We’re premiering a single from Dayton, OH-based singer and bass player Mike Bankhead. The new single is entitled “Latent” and it’s the first track off Mike’s upcoming EP, I Am Experienced, out June 20th. While every song on the new album is of a different genre, what ties them all together is the subject matter. They are all first person accounts of Black experiences; they’re open, honest, authentic, and vulnerable.
Mike had the following to say about the new single:
“I intended it to be a punk-influenced song, but with a danceable beat. I think the drummer did an outstanding job with this, especially changing up the feel in the B section. You’ll notice that this doesn’t have a chorus, it’s a throwback to an older song structure, AABA. If you don’t pay attention to the lyrics, you might think it’s a happy song. It’s not. It’s a clear commentary on how latent racism really isn’t so latent and is based on my personal observations.
That lyric in the first verse about how I never knew my family name… so many Black people who descended from the enslaved in this country do not know their family names. The names were taken from our ancestors long ago. My last name is British. You can find it on a national park in Alabama and a neighborhood in Atlanta. That’s a detail that few people really ever stop to think about, and so many people in this country have no way of knowing what their family name truly is. That’s something profound to me. When I sing this one live, I’ll sometimes change this lyric in the last verse: “nowhere is safe / legacy of jimmy crow” becomes “nowhere is safe / not a grocery store in Buffalo”… an obvious reaction to the mass shooting there last year.”
Stream the new single below and make sure you grab your copy of I Am Experienced in June. The streaming version offers 6 tracks. However, the CD copy will offer up about 10 additional minutes of music along with a 16-page booklet full of lyrics and essays for context. There will also be a QR code and password in the liner notes so that folks who buy the CD can access a password-protected website full of bonus content – demos, lots of studio photos, videos explaining the meaning of each song, and LOTS of videos of studio sessions.
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