Tank And The Bangas Release The Band's Major Label Debut : All Songs Considered Last year's Tiny Desk Contest winner releases its first major label single, "Smoke.Netflix.Chill," a song about a friendship that's falling apart.
NPR logo Tank And The Bangas Release The Band's Major Label Debut

Tank And The Bangas Release The Band's Major Label Debut

Tank and the Bangas Gus Bennett/Courtesy of the Artist hide caption

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Gus Bennett/Courtesy of the Artist

Tank and the Bangas

Gus Bennett/Courtesy of the Artist

Just a year ago, after sifting through almost seven-thousand video entries to the Tiny Desk Contest, we discovered Tank and the Bangas. The band would go on to win the Contest and the response was one of overwhelming joy. The way this New Orleans group blends hip-hop, R&B, poetry, jazz and rock is unlike anything I'd seen before and I wasn't alone.

Now, after tours that have taken Tank And The Bangas all over the U.S. and abroad, the band has a major label contract with Verve Forecast. Today we have the group's first single for the label, "Smoke.Netflix.Chill." It's a rhythm-and-blues-infused gem that packs the humor and emotional punch that only Tarriona 'Tank' Ball and her masterful band can conjure, with Merell Burkett on keyboards, Joshua Johnson on drums and Albert Allenback on alto saxophone, flute and Norman Spence on synth and bass.

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And as the song progresses, the friendship/relationship at the heart of the song is falling apart.

You used to come over and roll up," Tank sings. "Nowadays, honestly you don't show up / You're only consistent with being inconsistent / Grow up." Then, in the chorus, she repeats the line, "Smoke netflix chill, Smoke netflix chill Smoke netflix chill, Just be honest."

Tank wrote to tell us how this song came together lyrically and musically:

"I wanted to tell this story from a girl's perspective — a girl that actually wants to chill, instead of the guy pushing for it. I wanted to see where that could go. I've never written so many verses to one song! But it was so worth it to see the story in my head actually come to life. The organic feel comes from the fricky, fricky, fresh scratches from New Orleans own Dj Rq Away, the smooth, ever-so melodic sounds and beat boxing from Harbinger project, the male over tones from Alfred Banks, and myself and the Bangas — [it] created a feel that set the tone for true down-to-Mars magic! I went to a time when girls were confident if they were into you and it didn't take away from their fly. We took it back."