Release date: January 2012
¿Which Side Are You On? is the seventeenth studio album by singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco, released on January 17, 2012; it is her first studio album in more than three years. The title track is a revised version of the 1931 Florence Reece song "Which Side Are You On?" which was popularized by Pete Seeger. Seeger also provides accompanying vocals and banjo on the track.
¿Which Side Are You On? was co-produced by DiFranco and her longtime collaborator Mike Napolitano over a series of sessions in 2010 and 2011. The basic tracks feature two slightly different versions of Ani's touring band, recorded at Bogalusa, Louisiana's renowned Studio In The Country, Brooklyn, New York's Brooklyn Bridge Studio, and her own New Orleans home studio, The Dugout.
Many of the songs featured on ¿Which Side Are You On? are reflections on growing older and being totally okay with that process. Elsewhere, Ani tackles some of the many crises that are currently confronting the nation and the world, spanning environmental disaster, government inaction, and a culture hooked on comfort and acquisition at any cost.
"I'm testing deeper waters with the political songs on this album," she says. "I feel a little bit frustrated, politically desperate. After having written hundreds of songs over decades, I think, 'Now what? How far can I go with this? Can you sing the word 'abortion,' can you sing the word 'patriarchy' - what can you sing and get away with? I guess I've been pushing my own boundaries of politics and art. Seeing what people have the ears to listen to. How big is my mouth? What can I get out of it successfully?" - Ani