ESPERANZA SPALDING’S POTENT ODE TO HAIR, WATCH HER MUSIC VIDEO FOR “HOW TO (HAIR)
Since fall of 2018, Esperanza Spalding has released 16 new song-spells and nearly as many videos as part of her 12 Little Spells(Concord Records) project, which was just released in May via physical/download formats. 12 Little Spells finds Spalding exploring the healing power of art, how music and the body interact – and each song-spell was inspired by a different part of the body. The latest video to be unveiled is for “How To (hair),” a potent celebration of hair.
NPR Music premiered the music video this morning: “It’s a dreamy procession of tight braids and flowing dreadlocks, of waves and shapes and curls…’How To (hair)’ makes no provision for an outsider’s vantage. Its message is exhortatory, its intended audience an empowered sisterhood.” Read the rest of the NPR piece here.
Esperanza explains the video: “For enjoying and honoring the unique combination of histories, geographies, wave patterns and shapes growing out of one’s own scalp, and appreciating all types of modern and historical art-gardens rooted in the scalps of others.”
Video director Vincent Martell is a queer Chicago bred filmmaker whose work centers around nuanced POC + queer narratives. He is the founder of VAM STUDIO, a full service production company and home to prominent underground film.
“The direction was simple: take Esperanza’s lyrics and transform them to show POC women and femmes as powerful beings in the universe. Using a more lyrical approach, I wanted to connect nature and intense weather patterns to the power that black and brown women contain in our universe,” Martell says.
12 Little Spells is available in physical, download and streaming formats, released along with an addition four new song-spells that debuted in May. Order 12 Little Spells, including packages that range from signed test pressings and USB drives, colored vinyl and more here.
After 12 Little Spells was released on streaming services in October, it appeared on several Best Of 2018 lists including The New York Times, Rolling Stone and Billboard, and received effusive praise.
CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR 12 LITTLE SPELLS
“Truly intoxicating” – New York Times / Top Albums and Best Jazz Albums of 2018
“[Spalding] is well over a decade into one of the most fruitful and strikingly original careers in contemporary pop…the conceptual hook of 12 Little Spells only hints at the radically inventive nature of the songs themselves” – Rolling Stone/Best Albums of 2018
Best Jazz of 2018 – Billboard
“Magic…pure imagination and also incredibly tactile” – NPR Music
“Spalding unearths a haunting, R&B-styled side” – Time Magazine
“‘12 Little Spells’ joins a long line of her goddess foremothers in their innovation”
“The sound of a woman conjuring the contradictions, beauty, strangeness, and power of her body is deeply moving and very possibly magic” – Boston Globe
“Pure magic” – Mother Jones
“Dazzling” – Essence
“Esperanza’s most appealing album yet” – Brooklyn Vegan