I meet Erika and Doug on a not-unusually rainy day in Columbia City, Seattle. These two earnest twenty-somethings join me for breakfast and between us we put the world to rights.
I’ve never been a fan of the lazy journalist trope of listing why “millennials” are so useless, and these two throw aside every half-assed stereotype of their generation, a passion for changing the world around them blooming from their very pores. They speak passionately and knowledgeably of environmental issues, politics, the crippling pain of student debt, and the ways in which they, and the community they are growing around them, are addressing the issues thrown at them as they live and grow.
Erika rocks a 12 string guitar, Doug provides exactly the right amount of back up. They collaborate and host in-house gigs with friends and other musicians.
I have spoken to musicians across the country, and I have never had a conversation that didn’t steer toward the issues faced by lower income city dwellers right now, issues of gentrification, exploitation and low wages. The Animals of Grace are the first people I’ve met who have suggested solutions.
I leave the interview feeling a glimmer of hope in a week dominated by the Donkey Kong antics of Trump. I mean it when I say that with any luck the Animals of Grace will change the world, if just their small corner of it, and set to a beautiful soundtrack.