With Help From Four Tet And 3D, Neneh Cherry Wraps 'Kong' In A Cool And Weary Wisdom
Though Neneh Cherry never really left music, her return as a solo performer in the last half-decade has been a reminder of the Swedish musician's remarkable elasticity. She fronted jazz group The Thing for a record of unlikely but should-be standards, appeared on recordings with her stepbrother David Ornette Cherry, made a pulsing dance record with London electronic music duo RocketNumberNine called MeYouWeYou, collaborated on a track with Devonté Hynes and released Blank Project, 2014's comeback album that felt less like a return and more like a celebration.
"Kong" features production from Four Tet (who also worked on Blank Project) and Massive Attack member 3D; within seconds, you're dipped into its crisp, yet foggy soundscape. Her diverse discography proves her range, but "Kong" captures Cherry's eternal vibe, an impeccable cool wrapped in weary wisdom.
"Every nation seeks its friends in France & Italy / And all across the seven seas / And goddam guns and guts and history / And bitter love still put a hole in me," she sings over dubbed-out drums and bass, as a piano breaks apart the melody in the distance.
Director Jenn Nkiru, who worked on Beyoncé and Jay-Z's "Apes***" and visuals for Kamasi Washington's Heaven And Earth, features strong women in striking portraiture. Like Cherry's lyrics, the video challenges, but also offers strength: "Bite my head off / Steal my world / We'll always be another risk worth taking."
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