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Kate Tempest It don’t matter how they shake us

Kate Tempest is a singular creative mind with high ambitions for her art. The London-based musician, poet and author takes on big, complex themes with her work, finding lyrically acessible ways to dissect and re-define the things she cares about.

Her latest video, released exclusively today on WeTransfer platforms, feels like a mediation on division. Directed by Akinola Davies Jr, Tunnel Vision appears on her Mercury-nominated album Let Them Eat Chaos. The piece started life as a poem, which is reproduced in full below, giving us an insight into the uncompromising power of her words.

Kate Tempest: Tunnel Vision

Tunnel Vision

Indigenous apocalypse

decimated forests.

The winter of our discontent’s

upon us.

Desolate apostles

slurping Strongbow at the crossroads

We are nothing but an eating mouth

Oesophagus colossal

Will not stop until we’ve beaten down

The planet into pellets

Before the interstellar mission to inflict more terror.

It’s killing me it’s killing me

It’s filling me

I’m vomiting

It’s still in me.

Everything is fine really, silly me.

Poor kids shot dead

Poor kids locked up

Poor kids saying

this is the future you left us?

Stocked up, lunchmeat

Processed punch from an unclean fat cat

Tasty tasty poison.

Carcinogenic

diabetic

asthmatic

epileptic

Post-traumatic bi polar and disaffected

Atomised

Thinking we’re engaged

when we’re pacified

Staring at the screen so

we don’t have to see the planet die.

What we gonna do to wake up?

We sleep so deep

It don’t matter how they shake us.

If we can’t face it, we can’t escape it

But tonight, the storms come.

She’s screaming, she’s screaming.

The drones

Turned her beautiful boy into a pile of bones

No body to bury

Nobody is home

Running from war

The boats full

The boats sinking

a mile off shore.

No beds in the hospitals

Our minds are against us

Imagine your daughter was gunned down, defenceless

On her way to school, there’d be uproar

But she’s collateral damage.

It doesn’t matter.

If our kids are fine

That’s enough for us

You can’t love into a vacuum

There’s got to be a limit.

Welcome to the biggest crime that’s ever been committed

You think you and I are different kinds?

You’re caught up in specifics.

You and I apart are easier to limit

The illusions so complete

It’s impossible to bring it into focus

Cinematic stock footage:

People are locusts

Uniformed men keep unleashing explosives.

What we gonna do to

wake up?

We sleep so deep

It don’t matter how they shake us.

If we can’t face it

we can’t escape it.

But tonight the storms come.

Tunnel vision

tunnel vision

Work drinks. Heartbreak.

Can’t face the past, the past’s a dark place.

Can’t sleep.

Can’t wake.

Sitting in our boxes

Notching up our victories

as other people’s losses.

Another day another chance to turn your face away from pain

Lets get a take away

Meet me in the pub a little later, say the same things as ever

Life’s a waiting game

When we gonna see that life is happening?

And that every single body

bleeding on its knees is an abomination?

And every natural being is making communication.

We’re just sparks,

tiny parts

of a bigger constellation.

Miniscule molecules

that make up one body

The tragedy and pain

of a person that you’ve never met

Is present your nightmares,

In your pull towards

Despair

The sickness of the culture

and the sickness in our hearts

Is a sickness that’s inflicted

by the distance

that we share.

It was our bombs that started this war.

It rages at distance,

So we dismiss all its victims as strangers

But they’re parents and children

made dogs by the danger,

Existence is Futile so we don’t engage.

It was our boats that sailed

Killed stole and made frail

it was our boots that stamped

it was our courts that jailed

and it was our fucking banks that got bailed.

It was us who turned bleakly away,

looked back down at our nails and our wedding plans

in the face of a full force gale

we said it’s not up to us to make this place a better land.

It’s not up to us to make this place

a better land

Justice

Justice

Recompense

Humility

Trust is

trust is something we will never see

Till love is unconditional

The myth of the individual

Has left us disconnected lost

and pitiful.

I’m out in the rain

It’s a cold night in London

Screaming at my loved ones

to wake up and love more.

Pleading with my loved ones to

Wake up

And love more.

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