Former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant have teamed-up with the British Red Cross for a charity album that aims to shine the spotlight on real-life experiences of refugees and asylum seekers in the U.K. and around the world, while also raising funds for the cause. The album, entitled The Long Road, also features tracks from Tinariwen, Kindness, Scroobius Pip and the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars and is being produced by Ethan Johns. The Long Road is due out March 4 2016 and is available for pre-order this week.
Plant's musical contribution to the project is a cover of Elbow's "The Blanket of Night," NME reports. The song is about refugees attempting a treacherous journey in search of asylum in the U.K.
In a statement, Plant said "We have a worldwide international catastrophe - talking about it is one thing, doing something about it is another. The position we are in, it's paramount we all do our best one way or another to help," Stereogum reports. The former Led Zeppelin frontman also discussed his involvement in the project in a trailer video, which you can watch below.
Meanwhile, Kindness' contribution is a new track inspired by Ayman Hirh, a Syrian refugee that fled to Scotland. In a statement, Hirh said, "I hope that my experience and the album will encourage people to think about the reasons people like me are forced to leave home." The Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars also created a new song based on the experiences of refugees for the charity compilation.
Tinariwen also contributed an original recording to The Long Road. The new song is entitled "Silence" and is very likely inspired by band members' personal experiences: founder Ibrahim Ag Alhabib was a refugee as a child when he was forced to flee his home in Mali after his father was executing in the 1963 Mali uprising.
The entire project sounds pretty uplifting overall, but the promise of a new Kindness original is especially exciting. The producer has worked with Blood Orange and Robyn, among other notable artists in the past, and just wrapped-up a North American tour in support of his Otherness album from 2014. Channel the new project's good vibes while rewatching the video for "Who Do You Love," below.