I can honestly say that I have never heard anything quite like Tank and The Bangas.
I first discovered them during one of my late night Tiny Desk Concert binges on YouTube. Watching video after video, I eventually stumbled across Tank, and became instantly curious. I highly recommend watching their Tiny Desk Concert – they were selected to perform out of 6,000 other entries in NPR’s Tiny Desk contest, an awesome achievement and step forward in their success. Combining soul, R&B, funk, jazz, and spoken word poetry, Tank and The Bangas create music that could be a genre all by itself.
Based out of New Orleans, Louisiana, the group consists of Tarriona “Tank” Ball (lead vocals, writer), Joshua Johnson (drums, musical director), Norman Spence (synth keys, bass guitar), Merell Burkett (keyboard), Angelika “Jelly” Joseph (backing vocals), and Albert Allenbeck (sax, flute). They originally formed after meeting at an open mic. Tank already had some awards and recognition from her spoken word poetry, which obviously became the lyrical core of the group’s music. Their incredible combination of instruments bring Tank’s words to life, telling stories filled with humor and honesty, layered over the group’s unique style and groove.
The other day, I listened to their studio album, Think Tank, from start to finish, and I became absolutely mesmerized by Tank’s poetic reflections on the realities of life. From falling in love, to experiencing heartbreak, to simply dealing with the hardships of living, this girl’s extraordinary talent is undeniable. She is incredibly prolific when it comes to her observations of human behavior and societal norms, which she expresses throughout this record. From the funky jams in “Boxes and Squares”, to the pure poetry of “Hands”, this album will keep your mind and heart engaged through the very last note. “Walmart” will make you laugh out loud, while “Rollercoasters” will provoke your thoughts in the most beautiful way. Think Tank is more than just a collection of songs thrown together; it’s truly a work of art. No matter what type of music you like or typically listen to, I promise that Tank and The Bangas will make you giggle more, worry less, think hard, and view life in a more magical, imaginative way.
Please go listen to them, and leave a comment if you do! I would love to hear y’alls thoughts. I am now such a fan, and I already can’t wait to watch (and hear) what Tank and The Bangas will do next.
Much love y’all, and as always, happy listening.
© Kate Stedelbauer and AbundantlyKate, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kate Stedelbauer and AbundantlyKate with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.