Photo by Philip Cosores
Mavis Staples’ forthcoming record, If All I Was Was Black, was written and produced entirely by her new favorite coworker: Jeff Tweedy. The Wilco frontman helmed two previous Staples albums in 2010’s You Are Not Alone and 2013’s One True Vine. As heard on the title track, their latest collaboration affords Tweedy the opportunity to write about the current political discourse in the country from a perspective he might not otherwise have been able to. This is again evident on “Little Bit”, which takes a long hard look at racially-charged police violence.
The album’s latest single builds its groove on funky bass and guitar lines, a smoky drum beat tapping along underneath it all. Consider it a soul dirge, as Mavis sings of the unfair treatment black people receive at the hands of those charged to serve and protect. “Poor kid, they caught him/ Without his license/ That ain’t why they shot him/ They say he was fighting,” she sings on one verse. “So, that’s what we’re told/ But we all know/ That ain’t how the story goes.”
Take a listen below.
If All I Was Was Black is due out November 17th via Anti-.