In the mood for some new-new new music? Heavy Sydney based band Broken Earth have just landed onto the scene by releasing their debut single “Participation Badge”. We think what Ben, Daniel, Mitch, Raph, and Seb have made is a bit of alright!

Describing the inspiration behind the song, the band have shared that “Participation Badge” is about the way in which Broken Earth’s co-vocalist Raph dealt with “escaping out of multiple toxic friendships and relationships more than a year ago. As well as the greater frustrations surrounding the complacency towards life these individuals expressed.” The experience he endured is behind the song’s title and lyric line: “A participation badge is the only thing you care about”.

That’s not all that Broken Earth had to say about the song, and instead of my typical approach, I’m going to sit back and let the band share more about the intention and meaning in their own words:

“”Participation Badge” is a reflection and emotional catharsis about the way in which toxic relations feel like you’re going around in a never ending cycle of trying to please the other, never fully realising your own wants and desires. This meaning can be extended to regard the greater societal consciousness at the moment feeling like we’re in a rut, with everyone wanting to change but no one wanting to take the step to do so. The pre-breakdown lyric “Coward” is the focal point that we wanted people to draw their attention to when listening to these messages.”

“I’m no longer your scapegoat. I’m no longer your prey.”

Sonically, there’s a lot going on with “Participation Badge”. It roars and begins with interwoven and grooving instrumentals, before flaring out into more blackened sections of blast beats and screams. With its sung and soaring chorus, the track lands in something that would more identify as alternative rock.

“Participation Badge” has a definite storytelling vibe, with changing emotions and atmospheres as it goes. The story and the sharing of the experience seems to pin everything all together, whether fierce, softer vocals, or raw yells. The song’s journey ends on a calmer landscape and a call for better days.

Broken Earth have kneaded this metaphorical dough to form something uniquely tasty. They’ve set themselves a high bar with their debut, and mirror their high expectations of people/friends in the song back toward themselves as a band. “This is the song that we want to become our mission statement that good enough isn’t good enough for us, whether it be success, relationships, or personal development.”

Here’s Broken Earth, and here’s “Participation Badge” via Spotify, but you can also find it on your favourite streaming services:

[Broken Earth image courtesy of Brooke Harley]
Kel Burch

Creator and caretaker of Depth Mag, Kel uses her superpowers of empathy, word-weaving, and feeling everything deeply, to immerse herself in music before returning to reality to write about her experience with it.

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