Raymond Chalmé wanted a low-cost way for music lovers to support U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. So this month, he created the Bandcamp page “Rock 4 Bernie.”
The 23-year-old guitarist for New Brunswick, New Jersey’s alternative band Secret Mountain was surprised when he received emails from as far as Scotland expressing support of his project. Chalmé said all proceeds and donations from the $1 compilation album, titled “The Future’s so Bright it Berns” will go to Sanders’ campaign warchest.
“I just like the idea that there is still a truth to politics,” Chalmé said. “Just seeing a lot of things that happen that are disingenuous — and I mean that can go on for decades, there are so many people who are guilty of this — I feel like maybe, its time for someone who’s a little less guilty and a little more concerned with the well-being of average people.”
Philadelphia artist Abi Reimold, whose first full-length solo album “Wriggling” was released Jan. 26, contributed a cover of Jessica Mayfield’s “Standing In The Sun” to the album.
“We’re seeing a lot of independent, unsigned musicians supporting Bernie Sanders right now,” Reimold said. “I think it really says a lot when people who are already paying money to make their music — no one’s paying them to make music — are taking time off work and lose more money to play a show to raise money for somebody else.”
Chalmé said he was excited by the response he received after he casually reached out to fellow musicians about the project on Facebook. He wasn’t, however, surprised by the enthusiasm from the artists who donated their time and resources to the album.
“A lot of the ethics of DIY — sharing money instead of the house keeping some, making sure that everyone is fed and that there’s no sexism at shows and things like that, that’s all really important — that really does go hand and hand with the message that Bernie’s trying to put out there, which is fantastic,” Chalmé said.
Most of the tracks were unreleased prior. Along with rock, acoustic songs and synthetic pop also made their way into the compilation.
So far it has raised a few hundred dollars for the Sanders campaign.