In the third volume of the Same Animal, Different Cages series, American composer David First does a 180 from the purely sound-for-sound’s sake explorations of the first two volumes and gives eleven emotional outpourings performed exclusively on solo harmonica. Despite this minimalist single-instrument approach, First makes each of these songs sound fully realized; anything more would simply be crowding the sonic space. First has produced perhaps one of the first folk-music responses to the era of Trump and right-wing populism. But it’s more than that as well. The synth-like otherworldly sounds First coaxes out of his instrument are a revelation—he has done nothing less than reinvent the harmonica.Organic, soulful, melancholy and uplifting, Civil War Songs is protest music made for these times. In the face of this horrifying administration and the racist and fascist goons it has allowed out of the woodwork, First offers up a wordless experimental album that celebrates solidarity, friendship, community and principled resistance. Rather than providing an escape, these hymns wake one out of that paralyzing feeling of despair, delivering renewed focus and the capability to fight on.