PREMIERE! BLVCK HIPPIE’S “BUNKBEDS” IS THE FEEL BAD SONG OF THE SUMMER
By Nathan Leigh
July 23, 2020
“If you’re Black, any music you make is Black music.”
There’s an enveloping warmth to the sound of Blvck Hippie’s new single “Bunkbed” that cuts perfectly against its sad indie vibe. It plays up the push-and-pull of the song’s longing and frustration. Reverb and distortion envelop the guitar and vocals (fittingly the song was recorded at Memphis’ famed Sun Studios), with frontman Josh Shaw’s voice rising from a croon to a scream over the song’s explosive bridge. It’s raw and jagged in all of the ways indie rock should be. “Bunkbed” is the feel bad song of the summer.
Shaw sees the band’s existence as a radical act, explaining “As a Black indie artist I find it necessary to examine how my identity affects the creation and perception of his music. Blvck Hippie falls somewhere between Indie Rock and Post-punk, both genres saturated in whiteness where Black-fronted bands are difficult to find and often tokenized. As such Blvck Hippie cannot exist outside the marginalization of Black artists in the Indie scene. From hearing ‘Blvck Hippie makes white music’ to the lack of representation in the Indie scene, the construction of American music around race asserts itself constantly within my art. When I do find artists that look like me, making the same type of music as I am, it is inspiring and a reminder of why he’s so invested in making his music his way. I want to see more Brown and Black kids picking up a guitar and making any kind of music they like without being pigeonholed into a genre. I make Black music that just happens to be indie rock because it’s pretty simple – if you’re Black any music you make is Black music.”
Follow Blvck Hippie on Instagram at @blvckhippie901