A ghost stalks across a barren landscape of skeletal trees and gushing, brackish fluid. It’s oil. She scoops it up in her hands, as it flows across her forearms as if she is about to slurp it. “I cracked the dirt… I build myself a pipeline”, she sings. It’s ominous. You know what she is. In Vera Sola’s “The Colony”, she is the first European, an industrialist. She is the angel of death.
Inspired by the Dakota Pipeline Protests, and the very real, nightmarish Bombay Beach disaster, “The Colony” is a haunting, melodic ballad and an acknowledgment of a fact which white middle-class America often takes for granted. For many in this country, we are the villain, the monster under the bed. The thieves of a land which had already been claimed and thriving, and the oppressors of all that is different.
It is a brave thing to write and sing from this perspective, placing yourself in the viewpoint of a people who saw and continue to see themselves quite differently. The original colonists thought that they were innovators and I suppose, they were. But at what cost? Well, we know the answer to that now.
“The Colony” off of Vera Sola‘s debut album SHADES is an oxymoron. A beautiful song, an even more beautiful video, about a very ugly truth.
I am emotionally drained from writing this, and I don’t think I’ll be able to watch that video again. But I’m glad I did. It’s easier to live in ignorance, but it is also dangerous.