Amidst the Trump administration’s constant waves of incendiary rhetoric and xenophobic policies, few controversies have rocked the country as hard as the human rights violations unfolding at ICE detention facilities at the border. Children have been torn from their families, relocated to foster homes and even lost in the system, while the negligent conditions under which thousands of Mexican and Central American migrants are held have led to numerous on-site deaths. These events have sparked global outrage and anguish, which are the central themes of “Cómo Perdonar,” an emotionally-charged new single from Kansas City rockers Making Movies, who poignantly ask: How can we as a society forgive such cruelty and injustice?

“Cómo Perdonar” kicks off with a sobering prayer from salsa godfather Rubén Blades, one of two titanic guest features on the track. “The earth doesn’t know where a country begins or ends,” he begins, “[That’s why] this song is dedicated to all of you; and everyone who suffers and has suffered because of the borders we’ve created in this world.” The song then unfolds from the point of view of a parent grieving for their child, performed in heartbreaking fashion by Making Movies front man Enrique Chi, who describes haunting nightly dreams of his daughter, disoriented and alone, dressed in white. “Cómo Perdonar” leads us through the different stages of his grief, oscillating between anger and despair, until the catharsis-seeking chorus erupts with emotional exhaustion, backed by chilling, ghostly vocals from Flor de Toloache.

Making Movies are known for their socially conscious songwriting and community work, which they double down in forthcoming album ameri’kana, produced by Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin and including additional features by Ozomatli and Las Cafeteras. Back in January, the band released their first collaboration with Rubén Blades titled “No Te Calles,” an anthemic rallying call to speak out on injustice and corruption. The song was launched in tandem with a new site, notecalles.world, where fans and fellow artists are encouraged to record vocals that will be progressively added to the chorus – creating a literal amplification of their message to the world.

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