Music has often been the means by which society reflects on peoples’ emotions during historical periods. From the Vietnam War to September 11th, bands and artists create work that shines a mirror back at what is going on at the moment. This is especially true in light of the continuing police brutality against Black Americans in the wake of George Floyd, which has spawned countless protests and pieces of art. Now, one of the strongest examples of the latter has come along in the form of Brandi and the Alexanders’ latest single, “Fire.”

“Fire” is the lead single off of Brandi and the Alexanders’ upcoming EP, Reflection — and if this first track is anything to go by, fans will have plenty to love about the final product when it’s released later this summer. The track is a protest song first and foremost, led by the very powerful vocals of frontwoman Brandi Thompson, whose opening lyrics immediately state the song’s thesis: “I stand on the shoulders of giants / Survival and essence of defiance / In chains but you couldn’t keep us silent.” Appropriately, Thompson isn’t shy about what inspired “Fire” or how its to-the-point message might come across:

“The spring of 2020, a second Civil Rights Movement overwhelmed the United States. I was as swept up in the movement as anyone, but I decided to write a song to not just stand against the brutality that was happening that spring, but to remind my listeners that this brutality and discrimination is not new; my ancestors survived similar brutality and discrimination – like that which we saw in 2020 and the many years prior – for centuries. I’m proud to be a product of the ancestors who survived generation after generation; their strength is my strength, and I wrote this song to honor them. As the saying goes, I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams. Theirs are the shoulders on which I stand and which have gotten me where I am today.”

Along with a prominent drum line, rough rock n’ roll guitar riffs and an arrangement straight out of the 70’s, “Fire” is a song that gets the blood pumping and isn’t afraid to state that Black people can, and will, always survive. And although Brandi and the Alexanders are still considered up-and-coming with their funk-meets-soul-meets-rock musical style, it’s hard to imagine that they’ll be under the radar for much longer. “Fire” is a song that’s both timeless and timely, and is the perfect introduction to such a unique band and its powerful message.

Brandi and the Alexanders’ upcoming EP, Reflection, will release July 1. You can, and should, listen to the lead single, “Fire,” below!

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