Ragana – You Take Nothing

• “You Take Nothing” set to a picture of the housing album. Thanks to Astra Inclinant.

8.2 “Fantastic Alternative Rock from the USA”

First out as a download single in November, 2016, later serving as the title track on their mini-album in April, 2017.

On this one, the 8-year-old Oakland-based duo are: Maria Stocke (guitars, vocals) and Nicole Gilson (drums), which, as far as I can tell, is their most common permutation although, like tricky twins, they like to mix it up, both being able to drum, sing and play guitar. “Sometimes when I hear recordings I can’t tell whose vocals it is, which is really cool and weird.” says Nicole. LOL, what chance have reviewers got?

Literally the day after Donald Trump was confirmed as the 45th President of the USA, the group made this track available on a name-your-price basis, with all proceeds being sent to support the water protectors at Standing Rock’s Sacred Stone Camp, saying: “on this dark day we wanted to share a new song from our upcoming album as a spell of protection and a reminder that the sacredness of our selves and our communities cannot be taken away from us.

What a class act. You can read more about them in an excellent article by Kim Kelly for Vice. Of the song itself, Maria said:

‘You Take Nothing’ was inspired by the feeling of powerlessness. I got into an argument with an ex about our dog, he kept the dog, refusing to share her with me. The details are long and complicated but the point is in the end I decided that giving up the fight with him was better for me than continuing the degrading battle he was putting me through. I knew when I was writing ‘You Take Nothing’, I was writing from a place of powerlessness, I felt like my ex boyfriends controlling behavior of our dog was his last attempt to continue to hold power over me and us, letting go of the dog felt like he won, and his power over me won, but I also knew letting go of the dog was also letting go of his ability to control the situation. I write my songs so everyone can relate to them, I knew everyone had felt powerless and pathetic like I did at one point from some fuck boy or from an institution or from schools or families or jobs or government or borders or police or racists etc etc. I wrote it to be an uplifting anger, like a feeling of action and confidence and power, but not abusive power, like beautiful, calm, loud, feminine, heavy, dark, power, controlled only by your own emotions.

Heard on Lee Adcock’s April 2017 show on Dandelion Radio.

Get it at Bandcamp.

2019-08-15

Ragana 2016 (L to R): Maria & Nicole