BAMBARA – ” Love on My Mind “

Posted: January 20, 2022 in MUSIC

Bambara share the second single from their forthcoming mini-album “Love on My Mind“. Another masterclass in gloomy dynamism, “Birds” moves between a minimal, bass-driven verse into an expansive, atmospheric chorus that further drives home the band’s distinct narrative approach and the contrast between dark and light. While their last album “Stray” mostly ruminated on death, “Love on My Mind” further tackles the motives of the heart, only with the creeping feeling that our sense of mortality is never too far from being questioned in the process.

Bambara’s Reid Bateh had the following to say about “Birds”:

“Birds” compresses the events of many months into three and a half minutes. A time when the couple we follow throughout the record are growing closer together. On the train, they fall in and out of sleep, reliving shared moments, when a childhood memory bubbles up to the surface of the protagonist’s mind, revealing his complex relationship to the idea of love.”

After radically reimagining their sound on both 2018’s “Shadow On Everything” (dubbed by NPR a “western gothic opus”) and 2020’s riotous noir-punk masterpiece, “Stray”, Bambara have managed to condense all the energy and darkness that made their prior releases so compelling and rearrange it into something defiantly new.

Opening track, “Slither in the Rain,” all hissing high-hat and spectral synthlines, is a true statement of intent. It’s minimal and atmospheric, foregrounding Bateh’s raw vocals as he introduces one of “Love on My Mind’s” main characters years after the events of the album are over – a lonely man who throws bottles at airplanes and dances a two-step in the pattern of a figure-8. While Bateh has always been adept at character sketches, tracks like “Slither” introduce a newfound vulnerability that runs true through the entire album and cause the songs to hit on a more human level.

Similarly, “Point And Shoot” in which each stanza describes the louche, lawless scenes of “rooftop girls / standing shoulder-to-shoulder, naked figures with their hips / cocked,” busted up jaws, and couches full of burn-holes captured by the snapshots of “Love on My Mind’s” female lead – displays an autobiographical intimacy that is not as apparent in Bambara’s previous releases. This tenderness is echoed on “Birds,” a rare love song (from which the album’s title is derived), and album closer “Little Wars,” a gripping finale of loneliness and isolation.

But while these songs may display a softer side of Bambara, it’s important to note that they haven’t lost the thrill of what attracted so many people to them in the first place. “Mythic Love,” with its driving bassline and ricocheting guitar lines, brings to mind past rave-ups like “Serafina” and “Sunbleached Skulls” but obliterates them in the process, while “Feelin’ Like a Funeral” – a dangerously oscillating tale of a city knifing – is probably the most thrillingly anthemic song the band have ever recorded.

Taken together, “Love on My Mind” amounts to another massive step forward for Bambara – both the boldest thing they’ve ever done, and the most human.

11 April – Leicester, United Kingdom – Firebug *sold out*

22 April – Nottingham, United Kingdom – Rescue Rooms

Love on My Mind” will be released on February 25th, 2022. Available on Deluxe Edition Green Vinyl and Special & Limited Edition Black Vinyl.

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