Music

Jesse Terry and Alex Wong Highlight the Inevitable Forces of Climate Change on "Ten More Years" (premiere)

Photo: Jess Terry / Courtesy of the artist

Folk artists Jesse Terry and Alex Wong set the spotlight on the imminent and irreversible effect that climate change will have upon the people of Kivalina, Alaska in just "Ten More Years".

Before coming together for their newest collaboration, Jesse Terry and Alex Wong have garnered a number of accolades as solo artists. Hailing from Connecticut, Terry has earned numerous awards for his wistful and reflective songwriting, including being a past grand prize winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Based in Nashville, Wong is an accomplished producer who has worked with the likes of Delta Rae, Vienna Teng, and Ari Hest outside of his own songwriting. On top of that, he's also a well-regarded chef who is responsible for the development of multiple Chinese pop-up restaurants throughout Music City.

They bring their combined artistic experience to the table on their collaboration EP, Kivalina, inspired by a small Alaskan town of the same name that is leading the charge on climate change debates. As experts predict that the town will become uninhabitable by 2025, Terry and Wong came to the realization that Kivalina houses those who will become some of the first climate change refugees. Inspired to tell the people of Kivalina's stories, their new EP came to fruition.

"When Jesse and I first read about the people of Kivalina, we saw our friends and families in their stories," Wong recalls. "It's hard to imagine how I would cope with my homeland disappearing beneath my feet and what it would do to my relationships, my sense of history, and my thoughts of the future."

Their latest cut from the EP, "Ten More Years", is a reflection on the harsh realities of the brisk timeline that Kivalina faces before imminent and irreversible change. It's a forward-driving folk song with a foreboding underbelly, reflected in nostalgic, percussive reverberations and Terry and Wong's combined, longing vocals.

Terry and Wong tell PopMatters, "When we were reading about Kivalina, one thing that struck us immediately when we were learning about the situation in Kivalina was the urgency of the timeline. This was not something that might happen in a far off hypothetical doomsday scenario. The science was certain; the village was going underwater in less than ten years. It was a length of time we knew from our own lives; it was how long I had my first car; it was how long I lived in NYC. This song was our way of processing that difficult reality."

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