Samantha Callahan



July 25, 2019
650 Picks

If you inhabit a black body the question of where safety exists for you and who will be your savior if that safety is threatened are always on one’s mind — even if subconsciously. Blacker Face, the five-piece band from Chicago fronted by vocalist Jolene Whatevr, takes a George Romero-esque approach to illustrate this with their new video for “Tantric Suicide.”

The video, directed by Harley Foos, features Whatevr and her bandmates PT Bell (bass), Isaac Nicholas (guitar), Noah Jones (drums), and Louis Clark (keyboards) playing a Tiny Desk Concert that turns into the beginning of a zombie apocalypse. And though the video seems lighthearted on its surface, beneath the zombie make-up and amateur acting is a statement about violence and alienation and the paradox that the depiction of anti-Black violence for the sake of quelling it can also lead to its normalization and commodification for the oppressors’ consumption.

“Tantric Suicide” is the first single from Blacker Face’s upcoming album Distinctive Juju which will be released on Chicago indie label Sooper Records this fall. Created with the help of a grant from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) the LP delves further into the topics of race and class with the track “My Life Matters” inspired by the Chicago Police Department’s murder of Laquan McDonald, and city government’s attempts at a cover-up.

Distinctive Juju is available for pre-order here.