I remember listening to NPR in my car while driving in Green Hills, and they were doing a music segment on neo-soul artist Kendra Morris. They played a clip of the song “Concrete Waves” off her latest record Banshee and it immediately caught my attention with its dark, psychedelic, guitar-driven intro that seemed to recall the
mysterious sound of Portishead. Then, the song downshifts dynamically into soulfully light keys and understated, subtle lyrics from Morris: “Did you ever ride a concrete wave?” During the interview with NPR, Morris explained the meaning of the song:
“I got that [song] from skateboarding. I used to skateboard when I was 15 for a brief second,” Morris says, laughing. “It didn’t go well. I did it to meet guys, and that didn’t go well, either. But with skateboarding, you’re gliding, you’re going fast, sometimes you’re on a ramp and you just feel on top of the world. But if you hit a pebble, you go flying off your skateboard and there’s nothing to catch you. It’s the pavement. It hurts. With a concrete wave, the metaphor to that is just following through with a moment of what feels good. It might wreak a lot of havoc, but it’s so worth it for that second of being on the top.”
Listen to “Concrete Waves” below:
What else do you need to know? She’s definitely committed to her music and her sound, and she won’t let a minor setback get in her way — she didn’t make the first cut on American Idol. But she did garner some attention when her cover of Pink Floyd’s “Shine On Your Crazy Diamond” was featured in the trailer for the movie Dead Man Down starring Colin Pharrell. You can listen to that cover below:
And we’ll all be in for a treat if she happens to do that cover at The Basement tonight. Come on out and arrive early. You can’t miss this performance, and it’s free!