I was introduced to Tank and the Bangas in the most unexpected way; I was half awake at 4am after a long, disappointing songwriting session looking through Youtube for any new artists I’d yet to encounter. I tend to find the artists that resonate with me the longest when I stumble upon them in this manner. Thats when I saw it, that NPR video that made its way to my notifications box… they just posted a new Tiny Desk. Now if you haven’t had the pleasure of watching an NPR Tiny Desk concert, you’ve got an interesting ride ahead of you my fellow enthusiast. Now I’ve seen a lot of my favorite artists on Tiny Desk, and its an incredible setting to see artists stripped down to the parts of the music that really matter. I’m so glad that this was my first experience with Tank and the Bangas, because their Tiny Desk Concert was truly one of the most memorable I’ve seen (Tank and the Bangas Tiny Desk). The performance that really struck a chord with me was the emotional rendition of “Rollercoasters” dedicated to Jazzland, a theme park that was shut down after damage from hurricane Katrina. The significance of this song is that it really does bring to light that there are parts of New Orleans that never truly recovered after the storm. It was easy for America to just sort of move onto the next thing because in this world, it seems that tragedies are never ending and we just keep throwing a bit of money at each one. Artists like this are so necessary, especially in the times we are in because they aren’t afraid to speak their truth. Now this band is made up of so many incredible musicians, it’s hard to pin the success on any one individual, but I will say the first thing you notice about this group is Tarriona Ball’s character and flow. As the lead vocalist of the group, she stands as the face of the songs and she does an incredible job of flowing through this poetic, R&B experience. This is the kind of music that makes listeners really hear the lyrics and understand the significance of the words in a song. I’ve always preferred music with more of a lyrical focus, so its safe to say that this is right up my alley. Now, a bit more of a background on Tank and the Bangas: they are an up and coming band from New Orleans that are taking the music world by storm with their new, unique sound. It is truly incredible what these artists have already shown in such a short time, and I’m excited to see what comes for them.
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