Sexistentialist pop libertine, Brad Stank wants you to talk less and love more. A sensei of the slow jams, Stank writes jazz-leaning twilight ruminations that puncture the mythology of R&B.
A bedroom-recorded blend of lounge lizard jazz and smoky blues, 2018’s Eternal Slowdown saw audiences gather to receive Stank’s sensual gospel. Fast forward to 2020 and he’s broken out of the boudoir. Signing to Manchester tastemaker label Heist or Hit and teaming with producer Saam Jafarzadeh (Her’s), the vibe is one of future nostalgia. Paying homage to pioneers such as Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield and D’Angelo, the Stank alter-ego is a unification of modern hip hop attitude and old soul.
“In many ways, 2019 felt like a non-year” says Brad (real name Bradley Mullins); the loss of close friends affected him profoundly. It proved difficult to adjust to a world reformatted by bereavement, let alone write music. As paralysis took hold, creativity became somewhat of a spirit guide, allowing him to process events and massage the pain. Before committing vibrations to wax, Stank entered a self-imposed period of exile; meditating like a guru in the dojo of soul, plotting to remerge with fresh heat.
Erotic soul opus, ‘Kinky Visitation’ is sexistentialism at its finest! The slow glow of bump n’ grind gently permeates the clean Strats and swelling strings until we arrive at a climax of spirituality. “How she would hold me on heavenly breast” croons Stank with Madonna-like imagery before conceding “Roses are red now I’ve been blessed.” the visitation revealing itself as a philosophical booty call from B himself.
‘Sat on the Moon’ is a real mood. Bossa nova grooves sway the guitars like palm trees in a beach breeze, while ice cube beats clack together in a whiskey glass. In contrast, the lyrics explore loss as a landscape of moons, mud, floods and lagoons. Places with a dark, chaotic energy. Somewhere in the gloaming, Stank arrives at a position of acceptance where – channelled in the right way – the geography that once troubled and hindered becomes uplifting and beautiful in its own way.
Seducing audiences nationwide, Brad has supported the likes of Clairo, Gus Dapperton, Her’s and The Orielles. Disciples at press come in the form of Complex, i-d, DIY, The Line of Best Fit, and Clash. At radio, the UK’s most trusted ears in Huw Stephens at Radio 1, and Lauren Laverne and Tom Ravenscroft at BBC 6 show devotion.