Song Premiere: Spirit Animal, ‘The Black Jack White’

Spirit Animal

Spirit Animal just want you to dance on their new track, “The Black Jack White.”

In certain nature-worshiping cultures, a spirit animal is a totem that lends people strength, and whose traits filter down into their own personal characteristics. Our spirit animal, for example, is a really handsome bear in a pair of tight pants reading a New Yorker. The New York four-piece Spirit Animal, on the other hand, channel their power from the entire rock-and-roll forest on their new single, “The Black Jack White.”

Listen to Spirit Animal’s “The Black Jack White” after the jump.

On their most recent release, last fall’s This Is A Test EP, the band galloped between the complicated funk arrangements of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, the throwback blues swagger of The Black Keys, and the over-the-top showmanship of Electric Six (the band’s frontman Steve Cooper is himself a sight to behold on stage). On “The Black Jack White,” the rock spirit animal in question might seem obvious, given the title, but while there’s a certain element of vintage rock tones and riffing on display here, the song, with its dirty slap bass, stripped-down drums, harmonized soloing, and spoken/shouted lyrics ends up being an animal all its own.

“Take a step to the left and right, the left and right,” Cooper shouts, guiding us through the dance steps of the song. “Throw your hands straight up in the sky, like amusement ride. Next your head, you point it at your feet, and stick your arm to the side. And shake your hand like it’s gone to sleep, and that’s ‘The Black Jack White.’”

Sounds pretty complicated, particularly if you’re an uncoordinated klutz like us, but once you let the spirit flow through you, you’ll be dancing in no time.

“Think of songs like ‘The Electric Slide’ or ‘Teach Me How to Dougie’ — where the lyrics explain the dance,” Cooper explains. “The catch here is that all of the ‘dance steps’ in ‘The Black Jack White’ are intended to be totally pedestrian physical movements that aren’t dance moves at all.  This way anybody can do the dance, most importantly people who ‘can’t dance.’  When you walk through the steps you wind up leaning, bouncing, and playing a very, very swagged out air guitar. And that’s ‘The Black Jack White.’”

 + Listen to Spirit Animal’s “The Black Jack White.”

Photo credit: Spirit Animal