With only one week to go until the November elections, Cass McCombs has released a new song titled “Don’t (Just) Vote”. The song is actually an update on the singer-songwriter’s 2011 song, “Just Vote”, and features contributions from Bob WeirAngel Olsen, and Noam Chomsky.

Though the title of the 2011 song was written in jest, this new version finds McCombs donning a more straightforward approach as times have become more dire.

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“I was compelled to write something for the election and I thought of no better way than to troll myself, laying waste to a much-misunderstood song of mine from over a decade ago, ‘Don’t Vote’,” he said in a statement. “Most people never made it much further than the title, anyway. For this new song, ‘Don’t (Just) Vote,’ the message is clear: Vote, yes, but when you do, imagine the world you would like to see, beyond what appears on your ballot. Harness your imagination and justice becomes inevitable.”

Produced by Sam Cohen (Kevin Morby) and Joe Russo, “Don’t (Just) Vote” carries the same rhythm of its predecessor, but with updated lyrics. The new words touch on the current state of identity politics and the cult of personality that has developed around candidates with lines like, “Don’t just vote for a candidate/A persona because you relate to it/Don’t just vote along party lines/There’s more than two colors in your mind.” Additionally, McCombs references the continued instances of police brutality toward people of color, saying “Vote for Breonna Taylor, vote for George Floyd/Vote for Oscar Grant, render racism void/Vote for Eric Garner, vote for Tamir Rice/Vote for change or pay the price.”

As for the song’s special guests, they add to the chorus of voices that reminds people to go beyond engaging in politics every four (or even two) years. While Olsen and Weir provide backing vocals, writer and activist Noam Chomsky comes in at the end to offer a reflection of his own.

We have to excise a malignant cancer from the body politic. But that’s just the beginning. Real politics is what you do before and after you push the lever. You have to keep your shoulder to the wheel: engagement, activism, organizing – that’s what will make the difference.

Listen to the updated Cass McCombs song “Don’t (Just) Vote”.

Cass McCombs – “Don’t (Just) Vote” (ft. Angel Olsen, Bob Weir, Noam Chomsky)

[Video: ANTI- Records]

“Don’t (Just) Vote” Lyrics

Your uncle’s old saying is still the same:

“If you don’t vote, then you can’t complain”

But you wonder after all these years:

Could one vote put a stop to all the tears?


Tears of frustration, tears of loss

Tears of oppression, tears of the cross

It’s easy to hide on the web

Not so easy when you’re on the other end


This ain’t no 3D movie, there’s a choice

Imagination fuels the voice

Your vote is your magic wand

Vote for whipped cream clouds, if you want


Don’t just vote for a candidate

A persona because you relate to it

Don’t just vote along party lines

There’s more than two colors in your mind


Vote for rivers and salmon in the streams

Vote for oceans flowing from inside your dreams

Dreams of equality; life is divine

Musical dreams of a sweeter time


Vote for Breonna Taylor, vote for George Floyd

Vote for Oscar Grant, render racism void

Vote for Eric Garner, vote for Tamir Rice

Vote for change or pay the price


Vote for wonderful architecture and better movies

Vote with secret humor, but vote truly

Every word, every gesture, you elect

This system isn’t great, but it’s perfect


View Lyrics

[H/T Consequence of Sound]