American Aquarium’s BJ Barham addresses the plight of the working class in the new song and video “Me + Mine (Lamentations),” the centerpiece of the band’s upcoming album, Lamentations.
Over seven minutes long, the track finds Barham blasting politicians and charlatans for false promises, empty pockets, and disappearing jobs. “The harder we work, the more they take,” he sings. “Neither the left or the right are going to fight for folks stuck in between.”
For the video, the North Carolina native sings the song alone in an abandoned building as images of ghosts towns, train yards, and desolation in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and Helena, Arkansas, flash by. It’s Barham at his brooding best, determined never to be screwed over again: “Fool me once, shame on you/ Fool me twice shame on me/ That’s the day I gave up the American dream.”
“Me + Mine (Lamentations)” is a song in two parts, with the final two minutes coming to a haunting, at times cacophonous head of instruments. The video footage matches the mania of the playing — there are images of smoke, soot, rockets, dying honeybees, and of Julius Caesar being stabbed by Brutus and the senators.
As Barham sings earlier: “Politician shows up promising that he’ll return the jobs that God himself cannot bring back.”
Lamentations, produced by Shooter Jennings, will be released May 1st.