I’m writing in the midst of an absolutely sweltering heat wave. People on the streets of New York City are looking at each other in disbelief. It would be comical if it weren’t so horrifying. On a day like this we all need music to directly lay our sweaty problems to rest.
Enter The Bamboos’ “The Wilhelm Scream,” a cover off James Blake’s magnificent self titled first record. This cover features all of Mr. Blake’s trademark melodic repetition and sophistication while still incorporating The Bamboos’ distinctive soul sound.
‘The Bamboos’ ‘The Wilhelm Scream’ cover brings something subtly new to the table. This track is effortless. Even its first few seconds feel almost accidental. The band and its vibe are so laid back you can’t help but lean a bit back with them. And something about Megan Washington’s sultry, mellow and utterly female alto tone brings Blake’s lyrics to a whole new level.
That being said, credence is due to the song’s original lyric and its writer. James Blake’s subtle carefree pairing of the present tense and idiom is nothing short of brilliant. “All that I know is I’m falling … Might as well fall in,” rings almost unbearably true on a sweltering NYC heat wave day like today. It’s a universal feeling of fear and subsequent resignation. But this resignation isn’t out of anxiousness, it feels more acceptable, more Eastern, more of a Beatles’ pop interpretation of the Maharashi (“turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream”).
In this era of instant gratification we could all learn a bit from taking a more noncommittal approach to our futures and dreams. We could all stand to benefit from allowing ourselves to (might as well) fall in. Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream. Allow The Bamboos to serenade your heat wave day, despite the fact that their native Australia is currently experiencing winter. Cheers.