The ShortListen: A Song For Orlando (no. 344)

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Dave Fawbert

Who? Song For Orlando

What’s the story? Making a charity or tribute single is a tough old business. Striking a balance of sentimentality without being too soppy, strident without being arrogant, knowing that whatever you write will probably sell fine because 'it's for a good cause' and then the dreaded chore of trying to cram as many famous singers on the track without it turning into a total mess (witness most of the Band Aid versions since the original). But this song, written by pop hitmakers Justin Tranter, Julia Michaels and Bloodpop, with the latter producing alongside Mark Ronson, manages to pull it off.

It was inspired by Tranter, volunteering at Miami's main LGBT community centre, in the aftermath of the tragic Orlando mass shooting, being told, “We need as many hands as we can possibly get.” Britney Spears, Mary J Blige, MNEK, Halsey, Gwen Stefani and about a million other big names appear on the track but - despite the presence of the usual bit of hands-on-the-headphones ad libbing - it's rather a beautifully-written, simple and uplifting song, especially when the 'million hands' section comes in halfway through, so well done everybody. All money raised by the song goes to the Equality Florida Pulse Victims Fund, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida and GLAAD; it’s not currently available in the UK iTunes Store, but if you’re in America you can buy it here.

For fans of: Imagine Dragons, Mark Ronson, Tobias Jesso Jr

In three words: Uplifting piano-led anthem

Click here for more ShortListens

Listen to all of them as they become available, on this Spotify Playlist


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Dave Fawbert staff writer Dave’s primary passions are pop, prose, punning and power ballads (and alliteration). A lower division football enthusiast and long-suffering cricket fan, he is one of only 110 people followed on Twitter by Chas Hodges from Chas ‘n’ Dave. Follow Dave on Twitter like Chas: @davefawbert

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