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Tank and The Bangas - Musical Group

by Bridgette Babb - Copy Editor
Thu, Nov 8th 2018 06:55 pm

Have you ever experienced something so magical, that touched the depths of your soul, so deep that you didn’t know how to react? Something that brought goosebumps to your body on the first note? This is what I experienced when I was introduced to the group Tank and the Bangas by a friend a few weeks ago. 

The group was created in 2011 by lead singer Tarriona Ball (Tank), who has a vocal range like no other. The way she can go from a tenor to soprano with different verses is extremely impressive. She tends to have an almost childlike voice in some of her songs, but it works with the group’s aesthetic. 

Other members of the group include musical director and drummer Joshua Johnson, backup singer Angelika Joseph (Jelly), keyboardist Merell Burkett, keyboardist and bass player Norman Spence and flutist and saxophonist Albert Allenback.

The group is based in New Orleans, which I found surprising because most popular new age music from the area is bounce music, from artists like Big Freedia. This group produces so many different attributes that I honestly wouldn’t place them in one category. Songs have jazzy feels, with a bit of pop, a splash of R&B, followed by a ton of spoken word. The type of music the group produces can cause you to reflect on life and make you realize that no matter what you go through, everything is going to be okay. 

The group released the album “Think Tank” in 2013, but did not really start gaining popularity in other states until 2015. What allowed this group to gain exposure would have to be the live performances. Despite the fact these were the same pieces in different settings, Tank and the Bangas would bring something new and different each time. My favorite piece would have to be “Rollercoasters” in which Tank’s lyrics hold the question, what is it that attracts people to roller coasters, what about the falling makes us feel so alive? She responds to herself in the chorus with,“it’s the butterflies, and the fireflies, fighting in my stomach. Scared to fly, I might come down. Think I’m ready now, getting back in line.” The accompaniment of Jelly’s vocals and Albert’s flute solo just brings the whole piece together beautifully. She compares the feeling of falling down a rollercoaster to being in love. 

The piece “You So Dumb,” performed live was also profound. Just the way Tank and Jelly’s voices blend together made me fall in love. There is so much I could say about this group, every individual should aspire to listen to at least one of their tracks.