New Music from Patti Smith: Banga

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Patti Smith released her first album in 5 years yesterday, titled Banga. It’s a beautiful, musical peek into the mind of the icon over the past several years – like poetry set to her guitar, as she alternates between singing and half-speaking the lyrics. The songs themselves alternate between soft and sweet and powerful and driven, and include a gorgeous tribute to Amy Winehouse (“This is the girl”), a song written as a birthday present for Johnny Depp, and a cover of Neil Young’s “After the Gold Rush.” The title track “Banga” really seems to sum up the feeling and meaning of the album – a foot stomping, rising anthem about which Smith says it’s “not about anything really, it’s just sort of an absurd kind of song. It’s our anthem. It means nothing except that we’re all together.”

On a side note, those of you who haven’t read her memoir about her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, Just Kids – you really must. It’s an incredible, inspiring read. Check out some of our book club posts about it.

In support of the album Patti Smith is touring with Neil Young (who also just released a new album, Americana) this fall – and the tour includes a show in Philly in November. You can bet I’ll be there! Check out the list of confirmed dates here.

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