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Birds of Bellwoods’ new song ‘One By One’ is about the violent removal of a Toronto encampment during the pandemic

Toronto alt-rockers Birds of Bellwoods are back with their new single, “One By One.”

The track comes from their forthcoming album, Everything You Want, out this fall. Today’s preview, “One By One,” was inspired by the violent removal of an encampment at Trinity Bellwoods park during the pandemic. Lead vocalist Stephen Joffe, who lives around the corner from Trinity Bellwoods, witnessed the unnecessary violence towards people without housing living in the encampment. “One By One” is a sort of call to action from Birds of Bellwoods about how institutions aren’t for the people. The accompanying video sees the band performing along to the tune, interspersed with shots of them drenched in a hazy smoke.

“These were his neighbours who he interacted with often, who made a lovely arts market on the sidewalk, and would help clean up after people from out of town left piles of trash in the baseball diamond,” a press release explains. “And then one day, hundreds of police in riot gear kettled them, crushed their tents, and threw all of their belongings in the trash.”

Listen to “One By One” below.

“The machine is breaking down,” a press release continues. “As Yeats said, ‘Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold, mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.'”

Birds of Bellwoods’ forthcoming sophomore album sees the band honing in on their rowdy live energy. They take the anthemic choruses and raucous guitar lines from their live shows and weave them into their signature harmonies, making for a perfectly balanced collection of tracks.

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