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LISTEN: Allison Russell, “By Your Side”

Feb 4, 2021

LISTEN: Allison Russell,

Artist: Allison Russell
Hometown: Montréal, Québec, Canada
Song: “By Your Side” (Sade cover)
Release Date: January 29, 2021
Label: Fantasy Records

In Their Words: “An endlessly expansive and inclusive song of love — it could be the love between lovers, the love of a parent for a child, the love for an elder who is not long for this world. … It feels like it has always existed and always will — it feels like an expression of our collective unconscious. It comforts me and invokes a melancholy yearning all at once. I was singing this one to my seven-year-old daughter, Ida, like a lullaby. I couldn’t get through it without crying. This pandemic has been devastating for our little ones. I’ve returned to this song almost daily during these hard months. ‘By Your Side’ may have lost the Grammy back in 2001 but it has won the test of time. Sade lights the way for so many of us. I remember how electrified I felt the first time I heard her and saw her on television — a mixed heritage black woman like me — not fitting easily or neatly into any box, transcending them all. A living, breathing Goddess. I sing this in homage and gratitude. I hope to have the privilege of meeting her one day. Sade’s voice gives me strength and hope.” — Allison Russell


Photo credit: Francesca Cepero

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