The opening track of indie electro pop/R&B group Agency’s newest album Resit opens with a speech from Dr. Martin Luther King followed by sirens before it launches into pretty much a full album of political commentary thinly masked as smooth R&B. In fact the message of “What’s Going On (Right Now)?” is so clear that “thinly veiled” is a misnomer. The track sets the tone for Resist, which pulls no punches as to its mission statement.
Over the course of Resist, Agency explore the current racial tensions in the U.S. and look at how this country got here by examining its history of racial subjugation and turmoil. Songs like “Till and Marrow (The Story of Emmet Till and Henry Marrow)”, “Red to the Moon (Dedicated to Philando Castille)” and “Let the Woman Roar (Rumors pt. 2)” are not meant to be subtle. They are stark, narrative songs about just a few of the cases where racial inequality was so blatant that, according to Agency, it should be obvious to everyone, not just those who listen to this album. The album is also likely meant to be a reminder of why specifically African Americans are still angry and not trusting of police, and why many of them see the scales tipped legally and otherwise towards the white race.
This album is meant to be political, it’s meant to make a statement and it does so while keeping a focus on high-quality smooth R&B and jazz. No easy feat. Resist is available to stream on Agency’s Soundcloud or on Spotify, and can be purchased on itunes.