Update, June 24: “As of around 11:30am EST today, Through the Soil II is donating all sales to the National Network of Abortion Funds,” a rep for the compilation tells Paste.
Thirty-seven musicians from across the contemporary indie scene have joined forces for Through the Soil II. The compilation benefits The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization that focuses on mental health awareness and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. This year’s all-star lineup includes contributions from Faye Webster, Julien Baker, Wednesday, Triathalon, Lala Lala, Tomberlin, Horse Jumper of Love, Squirrel Flower, IAN SWEET and many others.
The compilation follows Through the Soil, which was released last year and benefited the NAMI COVID-19 Mental Health Support Fund. The project was conceptualized during the pandemic by two friends who met through a DIY music Discord server. Since then, it has sold out multiple cassette runs and eventually became the best-selling various-artists compilation of all time on Bandcamp.
While everyone was struggling with the isolation and uncertainty of the early days of lockdown, Through the Soil gave people a way to connect with new music while helping combat the mental health crisis COVID had exacerbated. The intent to use music as a vehicle for change extends to this year’s compilation, according to featured musicians such as Joe Trainor of the Los Angeles-based band Dummy.
“It was important to take part in a project like Through the Soil II that is supporting something like Trevor Project because everything right now is so fragile,” says Trainor in a statement. “There is a near constant effort to take away the rights of LGBTQ+ people, along with women and POC. To not be a political band in 2022 is beyond us.”
For other artists, like Gabi Jr., the decision to contribute to Through The Soil II was a personal one: “As a kid, I felt very trapped and othered and struggled to see people like me in media and even just in everyday life—like many queer kids do. I knew I couldn’t be honest about my feelings in the communities I occupied as a kid because it would likely end in conversion therapy. That, combined with the many suppressive things in our culture, led to self hatred and hopelessness.”
“I was fortunate enough to make it to a point where I was able to overcome those feelings, find community, and build a support system for myself,” they continue. “But all those kids out there who are still doing that and need support and love to get to a point where they can do those things, can turn to groups like the Trevor Project for safe care and guidance. To not feel so alone and have the opportunity to see themselves in the person who’s helping them on the other line. It’s beautiful and— without any exaggeration at all—it saves lives.”
All of the tracks on Through the Soil II are unreleased, and almost all of them are original (there is one live track, one demo and two covers). The compilation took a 100% DIY approach in its organization, and has no attachments to labels or industry entities.
Through the Soil II is a Bandcamp exclusive and can be purchased here. You can check out the compilation art (shot by Chris Maggio [100 gecs, Toro Y Moi]) below, along with the full tracklist.
Through The Soil II Art:
Through The Soil II Tracklist:
01. MJ Lenderman – You Don’t Know The Shape I’m In
02. Sword II – First Rule of the Bug
03. Cryogeyser – Obvious
04. Horse Jumper of Love – Hotel Swimming Pool
05. Knifeplay – Trevor Project Benefit Compilation Song
06. Squirrel Flower – Rockets
07. Deadharrie – Tower
08. Teethe – Lucky
09. Hiding Places – The Fly
10. Floatie – Over the Terrain
11. Bedside Kites – Artificial Labor
12. Sipper, Russy – Byebye
13. Triathalon – For Now
14. Kole?anka – Hot Toddy
15. Lala Lala, Tomberlin – Good Luck New Year
16. Gabi Jr. – Muddy
17. IAN SWEET – F*ckthat (demo)
18. Shep Treasure – Two Heart
19. Skirts – Tunnel Vision
20. BEX – Fantasy Of
21. Faye Webster – What Used to Be Mine (Live)
22. Boosegumps – One Morning
23. Jodi – Where
24. BABEHOVEN – Bad Bad Good Good
25. Onlyness – Lonely in Paradise
26. Ratboys – Lie, Lie, Lie
27. Julien Baker – Milkman of Human Kindness
28. Friendship – Lucinda on Junebug
29. Euphoria Again – This is the Time (Hermit)
30. Swim Camp – Soccer
31. Wednesday – Who Me?
32. Sun Organ – High In the Shower Pt. 2
33. They Are Gutting a Body of Water ft. Highnoon, Karly Hartzman, Ruth in the Bardo, & Valerie Barbosa – Floe II
34. Sam Silbert (ft. They Are Gutting a Body of Water) – Riddler’s Mind
35. Computerwife – Lexapro
36. Parannoul – Lost and Found
37. Dummy – Ethereal Security Guard