A benefit project suggestively dubbed "7-Inches For Planned Parenthood" went live this morning, with organizers posting a video on Facebook featuring John Legend, St. Vincent, and Zach Galifinakis covering vintage hit "Lovin' You" as the first sneak peek at what supporters can expect from the initiative.
The curated series of singles (which will be available for purchase digitally and via 7" vinyl box set, thus the name) is set to feature contributions from an all-star lineup of musicians, comedians, writers, speakers, and even visual artists. All of the proceeds from these releases will benefit Planned Parenthood, which has faced intensely controversial threats of federal defunding in the wake of the 2016 presidential election.
A statement from the official Facebook page of 7-Inches For Planned Parenthood (which was also repeated in an Instagram post from the brand) was direct in pointing out the social significance of the timing of the project.
"Lawmakers with extreme views are working hard to shut down Planned Parenthood. If they succeed, millions of Americans will lose access to basic health services, including STD testing and treatment, birth control, and life-saving cancer screenings."The quote (featured on their About page) then went on to explain the motives and goals of the collaborative project as it relates to this ongoing political debate.
"7-inches for Planned Parenthood is a response to this threat. This curated series of 7-inch vinyl records is being made by a group of people who believe that access to healthcare is a public good that should be fiercely protected. "The list of musicians who have signed up for the project in support of Planned Parenthood spans a wide range of genres, though the star power remains consistent throughout. A-list artists such as Bjork, John, Legend, St. Vincent, Foo Fighters, Common, Mary J. Blige, Bon Iver, Sleater-Kinney, and Chvrches (many of whom are known for being politically outspoken) are all set to release music through the series.
The notable star power behind the project is not limited to the voices appearing on the songs, however, or even to songs at all. Many comedians are also set to be featured, with Sarah Silverman, Tig Notaro, Pete Holmes, Margaret Cho, Jenny Slate, and Janeane Garofalo all contributing audio of their own work.
Fitting to the social and political context of 7-Inches For Planned Parenthood, the release lineup is also set to feature spoken word contributions from Demos President Heather McGhee and filmmaker and cultural critic Dream Hampton (stylized as dream hampton), as well as Dr. Willie Parker, an abortion provider and devout Christian famous for being outspoken about his shift from a formerly anti-abortion stance.
Album cover artwork will be supplied by the likes of Penelope Gazin, Angela Pilgrim, Shepard Fairey, Hisham Akira Bharoocha, Rashid Johnson, and other highly-respected names from the art world. Filmmakers and stars of the screen (Kristen Stewart being just one) are lending their talents to help make promotional/collaborative videos in association with the project as well.
Unsurprisingly, even the individuals responsible for organizing 7-Inches For Planned Parenthood are notable industry heavyweights. The National's Matt Berninger and Brandon Stosuy of The Creative Independent (formerly an editor at Pitchfork) serve as the primary masterminds behind the idea, with other expert curators bringing years of experience in music, comedy, and art to the table as well.
Less than 24 hours post-announcement, fans are already buzzing with anticipation for what the massive project is set to produce. According to Stosuy, supporters can expect the singles to be released digitally in "batches" over the coming weeks, while the vinyl box set will be available for pre-order in the near future as well. Until then, the humorous announcement video released this morning will have to suffice.
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]