By Sydney Miller, Associate Editor
Katie Pruitt has just flash-dropped a pure protest song. “Look the Other Way,” released today, was inspired by her growing frustration with our response to the many crises we face as a nation.
“’Look the Other Way’ deals with the ongoing issue of complacency and how we all play a role in it,” Pruitt says. “I wanted to confront that complacency head on, both culturally and within myself. We have two choices when we witness evil: we can ask ourselves what we can do to stop it, or we can look the other way.”
Pruitt’s debut album, “Expectations,” was a heartfelt collection of gorgeous, soul-searching songs. But in her new single, Pruitt shows that her talent for spinning complex stories into music extends far beyond her own life. Look the Other Way is a defiant and poetic look at almost everything going wrong in our world today, from economic inequality and housing shortages to police brutality and climate change.
The soulful guitar on this track rocks harder than anything off of “Expectations,” bringing a righteous and indignant tone to match Pruitt’s confrontational lyrics.
She condemns people who watch while our society burns around us. “It’s so sad / To watch you give up the little power you have / All because you’d rather look the other way,” Pruitt sings.
The backbeat picks up and the instruments swell as Pruitt’s anger and frustration grow. “Every last dollar goes to feed the machine / so they can keep on selling the American Dream / while our TV dinners and Photoshopped screens / keep on killing us slow.”
At the beginning of the song, I wasn’t sure if this was going to just be a generic protest song (which, if it was, would have been a fine one) or one that wasn’t afraid to call out specific problems and people. In the final verse, I got my answer.
“Headlines are bleeding red / With the names of a man I’ve never met / Cuffed on the street with a knee on his neck / And tears spillin’ out of his eyes,” Pruitt sings, painting a harrowing picture of George Floyd that will conjure up images that no listener will be able to escape — unless, of course, they look the other way.