Founded at Georgia College in 2015, Trax on the Trail is a website where scholars, educators, journalists, students, and the general public can learn about American presidential campaign music and gain insight into how sound participates in forming candidate identity.
Our interdisciplinary team includes academic experts from the fields of political science, musicology, sociology, history, communications, and ethnomusicology, as well as industry professionals and students.
See our 2020 promo video!
The latest from Trax on the Trail
- Taylor Swift’s Alignment with the Democratic Party and its Effect on the 2020 Presidential ElectionThis lecture was created by Cameron Thiel, a student in Prof. Loren Kajikawa’s Music & Politics class at George Washington University. To download this lecture and accompanying slides, click here. Cameron Thiel is a senior at George Washington University studying History. Cameron is from Fort Lauderdale, Florida where she interned with the Vice Mayor’s office.Continue reading “Home”
- He’ll “Keep Yappin,’” but Don’t Call Him an Activist: An Interview with Composer Raphael FuscoOn October 1, a rare musical gem crossed the desk at Trax on the Trail. That gem was a canon à four, inspired by some of Joe Biden’s key phrases from the September 29, 2020 presidential debate. As luck would have it, the composer, Raphael Fusco, was more than happy to share with Trax on theContinue reading “Home”
- Footloose: Political Transformations of a Song and Its MeaningOn September 5th in Portland, Oregon, videographers on the scene captured footage of a protester inadvertently lighting his feet on fire as he set off a Molotov cocktail. In a state of panic and distress, the man runs awkwardly towards the crowd of protesters with his feet blazing, caught between getting out of the way ofContinue reading “Home”
- Just say “Song long to Kell” and that “Vlad Guy”: An Interview with SongBirdIn early October, the brilliant parodies of a 17-year-old singer who goes by the pseudonym “SongBird” came to the attention of Trax on the Trail. Following in the footsteps of her idol, Randy Rainbow, SongBird’s music showcases her acerbic wit and pitch perfect comedic timing. Her DIY videos have received over 500K hits and countingContinue reading “Home”
- Music and Politics, 1917–1920In unsettled times like our own, it is tempting to assume that the confluence of events is unprecedented: 2020 has already brought us an impeachment trial, a global pandemic, a sudden shift from prosperity to recession, a worldwide protest movement against racial injustice and police brutality, and a presidential primary unlike any other. But theContinue reading “Home”