AUGUST 15, 2023 (ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN) – It was two years ago today (August 15, 2021) that the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan, ending many of the freedoms the country’s citizens had enjoyed for 20 years. Under their harsh rule, the Taliban regime cracked down on women’s rights and neglected basic services.


As with everyone else in Afghanistan at the time, the MIRACULOUS LOVE KIDS, a group of Afghan girls who sing, play guitar and record music with world-famous musical icons, saw their world transformed from one filled with hope and dreams to one of precarious, extreme danger. Thanks to the group’s founder, American musician and activist LANNY CORDOLA, the girls and their families were able to take the perilous journey from Kabul, Afghanistan to Pakistan, Islamabad to escape the Taliban.


Nevertheless, August 15, 2021, is a day the MIRACULOUS LOVE KIDS won’t soon forget. To mark its two-year anniversary, the group with LANNY CORDOLA has recorded ATMOSPHERE / HEROES,” which combines JOY DIVISION’s “ATMOSPHERE” with DAVID BOWIE’s “HEROES.” They are joined by BETH GIBBONS of PORTISHEAD, who sings the lead vocals.


“The words exemplify the plight of the harshly oppressed people of the world,” CORDOLA says. “In particular, the girls and women of Afghanistan, where the MIRACULOUS LOVE KIDS hail from.” By combining the words of IAN CURTISJOY DIVISION’s lead singer who died in 1980, with those of BOWIE, there is both awareness of constant danger aligned with those small victories that can occur along the way:


Walk in silence.
Don’t walk away, in silence,
See the danger,
Always danger,
Then makes its way into a defiant roar of fierce joy,
We can be heroes just for one day…


“I first came in contact with BETH when I was in Islamabad, just days after the Taliban takeover,” LANNY recalls. “She confirmed her support and extended a generosity of spirit to the girls that was invaluable as she is truly one of the great voices in the world today. Then I contacted Charlotte, who works with Beth, I could tell she was moved by the plight of the girls. When word came back that Beth would sing with them, we were all thrilled.”


BETH GIBBONS adds: “I was so honored to guest on the MIRACULOUS LOVE KIDS’ reconstructed cover track ‘ATMOSPHERE / HEROES,’ and to be a voice next to these brave and beautiful girls of Afghanistan.”


Like Afghanistan, Pakistan is in the grips of social unrest, political upheaval, and economic instability. There’s also widespread discrimination against Afghan refugees, including those who have been arbitrarily arrested, detained and deported. While they’ve been able to resume their musical endeavors to a certain extent and avoid the rule of the Taliban, THE MIRACULOUS LOVE KIDS are still refugees who need a place to settle down and call home.


“From war-torn, poverty-stricken to refugees in a country on the brink of collapse and civil war. A nuclear-armed country, no less,” CORDOLA says. “In spite of all the challenges and obstacles the girls and I face we will continue to sing for justice and joy on behalf of  the girls, women and good souls of Afghanistan with artists like BETH GIBBONS.”


Engineered and mixed by SARMAD GHAFOOR
BETH GIBBONS – lead vocals
MIRACULOUS LOVE KIDS – guitars and vocals