New Orleans is a city where music lives and it’s rich cultural significance in jazz, powers the soul of this living body. You could easily find live jazz music at every corner as you walk down the street or a bunch of highly talented musicians in little cafes improvising to an irregular beat, over major 7 chords. At the heart of this city lies it’s open mic nights and in 2011, Tarriona "Tank" Ball, a slam poet and a vocalist found herself at the Blackstar Books And Cafe’s open mic, oblivious to the fact that would be meeting her future bandmates over there, with whom she would go on to form Tank and the Bangas.
They would go on to release their first album ‘Think Tank’ in 2013 which was a masterpiece by itself as they successfully pulled of combing, spoken word poetry, jazz and hip hop. They would later go on to win the NPR music’s tiny desk award in 2017, showcasing their improvisational ability and the lovable atmosphere their dynamic creates whilst they are performing. But the biggest break they received was in 2019, when they were nominated for a Grammy, for best new artist, after the release of their second studio album ‘Green balloons’.
The pandemic affected all of us in a way or another. In our privileged life, some of us stuck to our beds the entire day while others tried to work on themselves. Tank and the Bangas spent their quarantine over zoom making a new album, Friend Goals, which boasts a wide array of their acquaintances. “Friendly, Feautureful and Fantastic” are the 3 words that they choose, to describe their new album. With no touring happening anymore, the entire lockdown only brought them closer together, and this chemistry can definitely be seen throughout the album. Tank, remembering the time spent making the album, said, “Personally, I think we needed it. We got our covid test to make sure we could create with each other...we were on the road so much that we really needed this time to get together and create music cause its hard to be on the road constantly...sleeping working...and then after the show, nobody would say ‘hey you wanna come to my room and create a song. So, we needed this time at home to create.”
Albert Allenback, another member of the band, whilst speaking about the process of recording the album added, “ This is some of the best like recorded stuff we’ve ever made, it just captures us in a really really good way, like the spirit’s really there and so we caught it, and then we were like ‘We caught it but now fuck how do we craft it’ and then we spent all this time figuring out how to craft it. So that’s kinda where all the improvisational stuff would happen in the moments of creation while recording and then it was like let’s take these diamonds and do something with them. ”
The band have collaborated with some really amazing musicians for this album, including but not limited to, PJ Morton, Duckwrth, CHIKA and more! In fact, Tank went as far as saying, ” The reason that its called ‘Friend goals’ is because it a collaboration dealing with all of our friends.”
The album released worldwide on 20th November and can be found on every streaming service. Below is the music video to 'Self-Care’ from their new 6 track album Friend Goals.