Track of the Day: 'August Town'

By Brendan Hasenstab

Etana is a rising-star reggae singer from the August Town section of St. Andrew parish, just east of Kingston, Jamaica. In this spectacularly modern roots track, she lays down some tough-minded political observations about life in her corner of town. And it's not a happy story.

Guns, gangs, and other contemporary vices have changed things in August Town. The police presence is oppressive and apparently rather arbitrary. And what used to be a peaceful borough is now a place where parents can't let kids out of their sight, for fear of losing them to stray gunfire. (You'll see all of this represented in her video, below.)

Etana believes that there is a better way to live, and she's speaking up, in a powerful defense of a more civilized, peaceful August Town. As far as contemporary reggae goes, it is refreshing to hear a strong female speaking up for her neighborhood.


On iTunes:Etana / "August Town"

Past tracks

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/06/track-of-the-day-august-town/240532/