By: Staff –
Up-And-Coming singer-songwriter Bre McDaniel is back with her new single “The Militant Mothers of Raymur”, which you can stream exclusively via Aesthetic Magazine below.
‘The Militant Mothers of Raymur’ is the second single from McDaniel’s new album Howl (out October 26th) and it’s a song about social activism with a bit of Vancouver history attached. It’s based on a local story of single mothers living in low income housing in East Vancouver in the 1970s, who organized a sit-in on the railroad tracks on behalf of their children. Their protest resulted in the construction of the Adnac Overpass which is still there today, and they also formed a co-op grocery store and other cool initiatives. Bre learned of this story after doing a call-out on Facebook when she was writing songs Howl.
“I asked for songwriting inspiration and was looking for real life stories of older women who stand up and say stop to things that are wrong when it seems like there’s no other option,” says McDaniel. “I craved a true story of people who show us a different way even though they may have little support or visible power, people who don’t make noise about themselves but go about raising the bottom. My brother Josh was one of the people who responded, and he sent me this PeerNet Vancouver history site with the story of The Militant Mothers of Raymur in Strathcona in ’71. At this point I had already developed a lot of the songs of the album but I had this feeling that there was something missing, and then I was handed this story that seemed so fitting with the image of the railroad tracks and who these women were – all happening in a place where I have biked by hundreds of times unaware. They were a group of single moms who were looked down on for being on welfare; women of colour who had to do a lot of work to get their voices heard by the city. And they went on to form a co-op grocery store and advocate for the Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre which is still there on Hastings St near Heatley Ave today. There’s actually a mural and other creative works about their story, which is cool because Vancouver is a site of a lot of protests and direct actions that aren’t always remembered in public.”