Bangas Reintroduce

Tank and The Bangas Reintroduce the Nuances of Soul With ‘Red Balloon”

Throw in some jazz, funk, and a ballad with a sprinkle of neo-soul, and stir for the fluid nature of ‘Red Balloon.’ Jeremy Tauriac In 2017, I stumbled upon the abstract greatness Tank and the Bangas radiated during their debut Tiny Desk performance. The vibrancy that lead singer Tarriona “Tank” Ball exuded while accompanied by…

Add some jazz, funk and a ballad, with a little neo-soul to create the fluidity of “Red Balloon.” ‘

Tank and The Bangas posing for

Jeremy Tauriac

In 2017, I stumbled upon the abstract greatness Tank and the Bangas radiated during their debut Tiny Desk performance. Tarriona “Tank”, the lead singer, exuded a vibrancy while being accompanied by the live instrumentation from her bandmates, Joshua Johnson (drums), Norman Spence (keys), and Albert Allenback (alto, flute), respectively. It was both cool and warm, as if she were a part of a heatwave, or in the cool, crisp New York City night.

It was overwhelming but not overwhelming. Following the release of their 2019 LP, Green Balloon, and their 2020 EP, Friend Goals, the New Orleans-bred group has evolved into a more unified quartet, thanks to the time spent together throughout the pandemic. With Red Balloon, they celebrated the beauty of Blackness while not shying away from the struggles we face in society, as heard in “Stolen Fruit.” Elsewhere on the project, the aggressiveness of “Who’s In Charge” feels like something you’d hear during a scene in P-Valley.

On one side, the group offers danceable singles that have deeper meanings such as the confrontational “Mr.

The group offers more danceable singles with deeper meanings, such as the confrontational “Mr. Tank sings “Oak Tree” before switching to a poetic account of harsh realities.

More endearing tunes such as “Easy Goes It”, and “Cafe Du Monde”, take gentler approaches, while still highlighting the group’s New Orleans roots. Lalah Hathaway controls the tender narrative of the former as she talks herself through the vulnerable realization that what she has to offer isn’t enough for her partner. Haven’t we all “made an mess [ourselves] of trying to love [another]?””? “Jellyfish,” Tank’s other track, finds Tank’s hypnotizing vocals captivating listeners as she sings about getting lost in “unusual loves .”


“Communion in My Cup” featuring The Ton3s is less sanctified than implied, but more complex, as it unveils the beasts of society like politics and internal battles. The “Big” title is too short. However, the carefree bop has the most replay value to my mind because it is something that we all need to ride as much as possible.

Soul is more than a one-track monolith, as heard with Tank and the Bangas’ Red Balloon. The jazzy, funk-influenced, soothing elements of this LP leave one ready to reflect and bask in the various takeaways revealed throughout.

Get weekly updates straight to your email


Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.