Pump that Bass

Bank Head sweeps you off your feet with pulsing atmosphere & production

It’s been a minute since I’ve posted here, and part of the reason is that life suddenly and violently thrust itself in my path, like a jolt of electricity from out of the blue. My first-ever paid freelance writing gig, which I was really very excited to have finally landed, fell through, and the guy shredded the contract. Don’t ask me about it, I’m still pretty sore about the whole thing. And then there was a death in the family. So, basically I felt called to skip town for a few days, I’m glad I did, though it did throw a screw in more than a few facets of my life, in particular my finances.

This city of mine, though I Iove it, tends to get in my head sometimes, and it was good to leave and experience life on the other side of the Mason-Dixon line, if even for only a few days. So off I flew to Chicago, spending the entirety of my bi-weekly paycheck, with nothing but my hitchhiker’s backpack with clothes and some books and my computer. I parked my car at the East Point Marta station, betting that the local authorities wouldn’t boot it or tow it while I was away. Fortunately, my instincts proved correct, and the car was still there at the station when I returned.

One of the advantages and frightening qualities of this weird-ass brain of mine is that it takes me on strange and absurd adventures pretty regularly. I can’t control it, it’s just who I am. Maybe that’s why I like songs like these so much. They sweep you away and don’t let you go.

I haven’t yet developed many concrete thoughts about this track yet. I hope that’s okay with y’all. So I’m just going to write what comes to mind, and it may or may not have anything to do with the music featured here. Humor me. I need to let my stream of consciousness flow right now.

Kelela treats us to some deep, heavy bass and a consistent beat, and graces this track with absurdly expressive vocals and a tense heart-thumping aura that builds over the course of the song’s five minutes. But OH MY GOD this track is hot. It builds and builds with a tension and urgency and palpable emotion that makes you want shimmy out of your skin and ascend to the next plane of reality, which I think is totally possible, of course. It was the first thing that Spotify offered me when I asked it for a radio station based on my dGITAL bADASSERY playlist, because I’m a nerd like that, and the first five seconds of the song immediately hooked me like a fish in a powerful river current.

This song feels like being grabbed by an overwhelming jet-stream, dragging you forcefully from the deepest part of your soul, and pulling you inexorably into an overwhelming crazy undertow against which any struggle would be utterly futile. It feels like the movement of fate, or the sweep of the seasons, or the climactic build of a years-long political conflict coming finally to its head. Kelela’s voice dances around and through at least 4 registers, and is complemented and enhanced by a transcendent, electronic-tinged mix, with backing vocals and samples that sweep me off my feet and mercilessly sever my heart-strings.

If there was one thing my journey to Chicago reminded me of, it is that every city I ever find myself in is completely, and extremely different. Illinoisans are so damn silly and weird sometimes, and I know this because I’m from there. While both Chicago and Atlanta are corrupt, they are corrupt in their own particular ways. Chicago is orderly, frank, up-front, amiable, speedy, and a bit rude about its injustices, whereas Atlanta is hospitable, deeply disorienting, lazily self-assured, highly creative, sugar-sweet, and never ever ever exactly what it seems to be. I spent the day today walking around the city, and I was reminded why I feel at home here. Nothing may make sense, and our municipal services may be utterly lacking, and a quarter of the street-signs may make absolutely no sense, and at least a third of the time, when someone is talking to me, I have no idea what they are trying to say. But damned if they aren’t the most interesting conversations and experiences I’ve ever had.

I have no idea what the lyrics are to this song. I’m confounded, awash in the current, swept away, lost and confused. But I feel my heart racing, and I feel my blood pounding, and I can almost see my nerve endings firing. Music awakens something deeper than my logic, deeper than my rationality, and it hardly matters to me that the lyrics melt and swirl into nothingness, and back again, and blur and dance with the pulse and flow of the production here.

This song is so utterly cool. Give it a listen. Much love from ATL!!!

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