Melissa Etheridge was so incensed by the Russian government’s recent treatment of the LGBT community, she wrote a single specifically about the issue and formed an entire coalition dedicated to supporting Russian LGBT activists. However, instead of an attack, the track “Uprising of Love” (which shares its name with the coalition), is a call for unity.
In the song, Etheridge mixes her classic roots-rock with modern pop production. “Uprising of Love” opens with an ambient, free-floating beat before Etheridge, in her powerful voice, urges for unity against oppression. As she calls out the anthemic chorus, a stomping drumbeat supports the song’s slow burn.
“The lyrics of ‘Uprising of Love’ came from such a personal and passionate spot in my soul and I’m more than excited to share this anthem with the world,” Etheridge tells Rolling Stone. “Love is intangible and unpredictable, but it’s the one feeling that is universally experienced and desired by all.”
The tune doesn’t only target LGBT oppression on a conceptual level. All of the proceeds from the song are being donated to the Russia Freedom Fund, an organization that makes direct financial contributions to LGBT activists in Russia. Meanwhile, the Uprising of Love coalition, which exists to raise money for fund, has aligned with over 50 artists, including Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, James Franco, Edward Norton, and Julianne Moore.