The formation of the 8 piece, Cleveland based collective happened after the murder of a dear friend of poet, writer, artist and some speaker RA Washington in 2015. This incredible band mix Soul, Blues, funk, and everything in-between(really).
They released their 5th album ‘The Cycle’ in May this year(one of my favorite albums of 2020 so far).
They then released ‘Those Hands are up’, an A-side single on 5th June in the middle of this crazy time.
It starts with the voice of LaToya Kent singing ‘Those hands are up, don’t kill me’, over an heavy electronic beat, bass guitar and drums. It slowly builds, both voice and music and then 2mins in the trumpets kicks in and it turns into a slow, beautiful Jazz track. Kent voice is stunning throughout, the hairs on my arms were standing up as she goes full gospel Aretha Franklin.
Must also mention the B-side(are there B-sides in 2020) ‘BLK Water’. A more upbeat, soulful jazz track. It has a video which starts with a speech from Ta-Nehisi Coates and includes footage from #BlackLivesMatter protests and other footage which i am ashamed to say i am not sure about(i have tried). It really is a powerful track and video.
100% of the sales from this EP to Ohio Families Unite Against Police Brutality. OFUAPB was started by incredible Moms who have lost their children to police murder in the state of Ohio.
Oh did i mention the name Mourning (A) BLKstar was inspired by RA Washington who is a massive….David Bowie fan.