Photo: Harish Pathak / Courtesy of Clandestine Label Services

Lesley Barth Stumps for Universal Healthcare in “You Gotta Hand It to the Man” (premiere)

Out today, folkie Lesley Barth's Big Time Baby features "You Gotta Hand It to the Man", whose music video highlights the realities that many Americans face between unemployment and private insurance.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. unemployment rate is at its worst since the Great Depression and is due to worsen. With the loss of employer-provided insurance plans becoming increasingly more common, more Americans than ever support universal health coverage. Such is the case of Lesley Barth and the faces that comprise her new music video for single “You Gotta Hand it to the Man”. The indie-folk artist gathered people to populate the video, developing a showcase of their struggles on handwritten notes. It details the downright exorbitant prices provided by private insurance companies for average American workers, ranging in the thousands for debt owed, as well as the general worry surrounding the thought of losing this insurance for any reason.

Barth reflects, “This single also came out of a challenge to write 30 songs in 30 days. It’s about the first step to dismantling the patriarchy/white supremacy/other power structures that exist is to acknowledge they exist—but make it catchy! I wanted this song to feel really girlish and pink production-wise, because I thought that would be a good vehicle for the heavier subject matter—sort of like a ‘spoonful of sugar’ to help the medicine go down.”

“The lyric in the bridge is one of my favorite takeaways from this album: ‘someone told me there’s no gain without some pain, but I’ve never seen a flower grow without sunshine, only rain.’ In other words, yes, you might have to hustle and work hard, BUT take care of yourself for goodness sake! You won’t get anywhere in life without taking care of yourself and learning to love yourself. Hurt people hurt people, and we are all responsible for our own healing while we all work towards broader social justice and accountability for those who do harm and support existing and exploitative power structures.”

“You Gotta Hand it to the Man” is the latest single from Barth’s new album, Big Time Baby, due out today.