Tank and the Bangas make friends everywhere they go

Quinn Dang

Photo source: NPR

Halfway through the press conference hosted by the °1824 division at Universal Music Group, Tarriona Ball, or the “Tank” in Tank and the Bangas, learns that her jacket is inside out.

“It is?” she exclaims, looking down at herself.

“The funny part is, she buttoned it somehow,” says drummer Joshua Johnson.

New Orleans outfit Tank and the Bangas, composed of Tarriona “Tank” Ball, Joshua Johnson, saxophonist and flautist Albert Allenback, and keyboardist Norman Spence, all crowded together on one couch, brought the energy to the Zoom call, occasionally breaking out into jokes or song as they answered questions.

Undeniably, Tank and the Bangas are friend goals.

Tank and the Bangas are perhaps best known as the winners of the 2017 NPR Music Tiny Desk Contest, and their electrifying performance currently has over 11 million views on YouTube.

Now, they’re back with their newest EP Friend Goals, recorded and mixed over long distance amidst quarantine.

Friend Goals bursts with the love and good vibes that we’ve come to expect from Tank and the Bangas, combining elements of soul, hip hop, and spoken word into one fun, foot-tapping record.

From airport frustrations in “TSA” (TSA keeps taking my shit / I'm going through the motions / Did she just take my lotion?) to reflections on social media culture in “Mr. Insta” (How do you know what it is to be fly? / To feel good without someone telling you?), Friend Goals is the perfect blend of humor and emotion that so captivated those millions of Tiny Desk Concert viewers and continues to draw listeners from across the world.

The EP also features many other musical talents, including Duckwrth, PJ Morton, CHIKA, and Pell.

“All these people really are friend goals,” Ball says. “They really helped this Tank and the Bangas machine keep going.”

“No matter where we go, we always leave with friends,” Johnson adds.

On the eponymous song of the EP, Ball sings, I wrote a song about friends / About you, about us.

Friend Goals is a much-needed collection of feel-good tunes for 2020, based in love and self-care - made by friends, with friends, for friends.

Tank and the Bangas’s EP, Friend Goals, is out now on all streaming platforms.