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Love on My Mind

by Bambara

  • Streaming + Download

    Pre-order of Love on My Mind. You get 2 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    Purchasable with gift card
    releases February 25, 2022

      $6 USD  or more


  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Lyrics Chapbook

    Includes digital pre-order of Love on My Mind. You get 2 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    shipping out on or around February 25, 2022
    Purchasable with gift card

      $24 USD or more 


  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    First 200 Are Hand-Numbered

    Includes digital pre-order of Love on My Mind. You get 2 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    shipping out on or around February 25, 2022
    Purchasable with gift card

      $18 USD or more 


Slither in the Rain
Mythic Love 03:20
I showed up late and tired To a party for a friend. Parked my car on a street Where trees grew along the fence. Then I saw you in the brake lights, Glowing in the limbs, As you searched your purse for matches Cigarette between your lips. Inside, we sat entwined And forgot everyone. Our hands were fugitives in spotlights When the dark bar lit up. With the doors locked behind us We scaled the fire escape And fucked to a choir of Screeching sunrise trains. You said, “This feeling It’s a dog in the mud. It’s a blade on the tip up your tongue. It’s a bottle smashed on the head of a TV stud. Hearing my name when you cum, It’s the Father ,the Holy Ghost, and The Son. It’s a mythic kind of love.” Mythic love I know one day when I wake up, There’ll be a hole in the sky. And from that hole will come an angel With bright, strobing eyes. And in those eyes will flash the brake lights You were bathed in that night With the trees along street And I’ll let loose the reigns of life. I said, “This feeling, It’s a web unspun. It’s breaking the neck of a dove. It’s a gun between your eyes when you’re talkin’ tough. Hearing my name when you cum, It’s the Father, the Holy Ghost, and The Son. It’s a mythic kind of love.” Mythic love
Birds 03:36
Spring, The time of year when tourists shiver on the beach And baby birds begin to fall out of the sidewalk trees. Sometimes when it rained We’d grab a fifth and find a place to watch the planes. One night, we saw a Boeing trailing flames And you said, “They make it or they don’t.” You bought a point-and-shoot To try to document your visions of the truth. Cut your teeth on gritty portraits for the local zines. Snapping everywhere we’d go. We rode to Coney and you shot a couple rolls. And the boney kid who broke my nose was glad to Pose biting on a bodega rose. Then we crashed on the train. I woke up and saw the sun rising With your head on my knees And I closed my eyes. I saw a flicker of your face Above the candle with a sticker of a saint. Lit a cig and then you pulled me into the smoke. Then I was driving in the snow. You and Nick were scared, yelling where to go. But the Firebird was skidding all over the road. I said, “Damn thing’s dancing on its own. We make it or we don’t.” Passed out on the train. I woke up to find the sun blinding. You were still sound asleep, So I closed my eyes. [Then I was walking in a hazy field near where I’m from.] Passed out on the train. [I’d just clipped my first dove with my father’s shotgun.] I was bleeding in the sunlight [I found her among the sunflowers, still flapping her wings.] With your head on my knees [I scooped her gently into my hands, and I set her free.] And love on my mind.
Point and Shoot
Feelin’ Like a Funeral
Little Wars





About 'Love on My Mind'

If the start of the breakthrough for Bambara was the radically reimagined sound of 2018’s Shadow On Everything (dubbed by NPR a “western gothic opus”), then the moment it truly arrived was on the cinematically riotous noir-punk of 2020’s Stray. In the UK, buoyed by the enthusiasm of 6Music DJ Steve Lamacq (who called the band, “one of his favourite discoveries of the year”), the band rose sharply, immediately selling out shows across the country. Meanwhile, back in their native US, KEXP’s John Richards echoed the same sentiment. Things were set. In fact, tickets had just gone on sale for their biggest show to date, a 1500 cap headliner at London’s Electric Ballroom.

Then…well, then same as for everyone. Shutdown, lockdown, hibernation, nothing. It was a hammer blow. But rather than rue their misfortune, the band desperately tried to turn it into a positive, immediately moving to try to make more, and – they were determined - better, music. The result is the career-high 'Love On My Mind' – a six song mini-album, mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer - that condenses all the energy and darkness that has made Bambara so compelling but rearranges them into something defiantly new.

Not that getting there was easy. With the band’s core (twin brothers Reid and Blaze Bateh, the singer and drummer, and childhood friend William Brookshire, bass) scattered across the US, they remotely pieced together an EP but as soon as it was finished, they scrapped it. In their words, it felt “dishonest”. They were striving for something new and they hadn’t hit the mark. They realized they needed to change approach so at that point they decided to reconvene in New York. Finally, things started to take shape.
By now, they had a better idea of where they wanted to head. They knew they wanted to include a couple of duets and enlisted the vocals of Bria Salmena (Orville Peck/Frigs) and Drew Citron (Public Practice). They also wanted to expand their sound palette so turned to Jason Disu and Jeff Tobias (Sunwatchers) to add trombone and saxophone respectively. They recorded again, utilizing all these new elements, sampling their recordings as they went along, in the process manipulating the sounds across the mini album. The final result is something astonishing.

Opening track, “Slither in the Rain,” all hissing high-hat and spectral synthlines, is a true statement of intent. It’s minimal and atmospheric, foregrounding Bateh’s raw vocals as he introduces one of 'Love On My Mind’s main characters, years after the events of the album are over, a lonely man who throws bottles at airplanes and dances a two-step in the pattern of a figure-8. While Bateh has always been adept at character sketches, here we are introduced to a newfound vulnerability that runs true through the entire album and causes the songs to hit on a more human level. It’s a change he readily acknowledges.

“The lyrics for 'Love on My Mind' are a little more personal,” he admits, “and definitely more vulnerable and human. There’s more of a focus on realism. I think part of that was because I’d become zoned in on photography during lockdown. Being in NYC without being able to actually experience it made me search for representations of the way it feels to be running around in the city. And I found that in photographs. Mainly, Ballad of Sexual Dependency by Nan Goldin. This also influenced the decision to make one of the characters in the story a photographer, presenting pieces of the story through her snapshots.”

That’s something that makes sense of a track like “Point And Shoot” - – in which each stanza describes the louche, lawless scenes of “rooftop girls / standing shoulder-to-shoulder, naked figures with their hips / cocked,” busted up jaws, and couches full of burn-holes captured by the snapshots of 'Love on My Mind’s female lead – displays an autobiographical intimacy that is not as apparent in Bambara’s previous releases. There’s also a newfound tenderness here that hasn’t always been present before – especially on “Birds”, a rare love song (from which the releases’s title is derived) and album closer “Little Wars” a gripping finale of loneliness and isolation.

It's important to note though that in the refiguring of their sonic and lyrical sensibilities, Bambara haven’t lost the thrill of what attracted so many people to them in the first place. It’s just here the wild, kinetic energy is channeled like never before. Put simply, often this mini album just rampages. “Mythic Love” (featuring vocals from Bria Salmena), with its driving bassline and ricocheting guitar lines, brings to mind past rave-ups like “Serafina” and “Sunbleached Skulls” but obliterates them in the process, while “Feelin’ Like A Funeral” – a dangerously oscillating tale of a city knifing – is probably the most thrillingly anthemic song the band have ever recorded.

It all just contributes to the picture of something truly special. Love on My Mind is another massive step forward for Bambara, the boldest thing they’ve ever done and the sound of yet another breakthrough. This time though, absolutely nothing’s going to stop them following through on it.


releases February 25, 2022

"Mythic Love" single cover image by Lin Zhipeng (aka.223).


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Bambara Brooklyn, New York


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