“Yesterday, Tomorrow.”The house is exactly what you’d expect: practically a studio apartment except it stands on its own, draped in honeysuckle and Dutchman’s pipe; a yard of dune sedge and stone. Her dog is buried in the garden along the eastern wall; sometimes, she wonders if the ground will bloom half-a-dozen of him under a certain kind of moon. In the morning the light creeps sideways through the windows and lights her up from the chest down, her head nestled in the shadow. Sometimes she finds herself playing guitar before she has left sleep. Her hands strum but her mind is still dreaming. (It’s her birthday, she’s at the movies, the screen is a tidal wave, someone touches her leg, she wakes up with her fingers tangled in the strings and the kettle whistling.)
The house is haunted. It should go without saying, but it should be said anyway. The house is haunted, but no one knows anything about the ghost or how it messes with you, except for the fact that every time she goes away (to Texas, to Memphis, to Graceland, to Germany) she always ends up coming home again. It’s the strangest kind of haunting. Everyone calls it, the house, the House of Punishment—more than one mistaken citizen has turned up looking for a similarly-named erotic dungeon on the other side of town—but the name is misleading. It is not a house where someone was punished, or a house where someone might be punished, but a house that replaces punishment; instead of feeling guilt or regret you must play quietly in any corner, and eventually the emotion will resolve itself.
Inside, every door frame is notched: the respective growths of former tenants, friends. On one of them, a place where—deep in her cups—she’d measured her height as a full five inches taller than normal; only the next morning did she realize, cotton-mouthed, that she’d been standing on her toes when she’d slid the pencil over the apex of her skull. There had been a Murphy bed once, she was certain, and sometimes when she was very, very tired she would imagine her bed, which was not a Murphy bed, snapping her up into the wall. Next to her bed, in her nightstand drawer, lived the following things: crumpled receipts, red yarn, eight dollars, a white lighter, two undeveloped film cameras, Grether’s Pastilles in their old-timey tin, fistfuls of birthday cards with the shimmer worn off, a pocket-sized copy of the constitution, a pocket knife, a pair of swimming goggles, a pair of recording headphones, shoelaces twisted into a Gordian knot, an unpaid parking ticket, a strip of Peanuts Halloween stickers, an MRI request form from when she sprained her finger, colloidal silver (someone told her it would cure her cold; someone else told her it would give her Argyria), a map of Kyoto (she’d gotten bored at the temple), incense, her first fan letter (she promised herself she’d respond; she never did), a bunch of bolts, a plastic doll’s hand, doggie bags (he’d died over a year ago), an unopened Replacements cassette, an unopened 23 & Me kit, an unopened fortune cookie, unopened pepper spray she doesn’t trust herself to take out of the packaging. In a fake book on her desk—pleather-bound and conspicuously absent a title—she collects her used boarding passes, old concert tickets, disconnected wristbands. It doesn’t escape her notice that she can’t throw anything away, that objects remain unopened, unresolved, untangled, unconsumed. She is always in the middle. She is never at the end of anything.
She lives near a hospital. All night, she hears sirens, imagines the people being transported to and fro, their bodies speeding along in the back of ambulances and their spirit trying to catch up. She makes jokes. “If I wake up, someone better be dying,” she says, until one night she wakes up and feels it: someone’s essence slipping past her on the way to somewhere else. After that, she thinks about the hospital as a metaphor, and considers the many ailments the metaphorical hospital could cure, the many symptoms it could treat: Imposter syndrome. Cabin fever. Foot-in-mouth disease. Word vomit.
She invites her friends—that is to say, her family—over for dinner. She has this one friend whose dad was really obsessed with blood—blood as in family, not the interesting kind of blood—and how it was thicker than water (ew), and then one day her friend looked up the actual expression and it was, The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb. Shit, right? Anyway, she makes a green bean casserole, which is demolished in short order, and hot rolls. Someone kills a pint of ice cream she’s been saving. Someone else drinks a beer so hard it sputters, erupts. Someone else sits in the corner playing cat’s cradle, waiting to feel the guilt lift from their sternum.
After that, the coven of her covenant goes out beneath the new moon; they journal and play Bright Eyes and Britney Spears and act out María Irene Fornés’ plays and eat peaches. They lie on the grass and the stone and talk about the skies they were born under. They don’t believe, really, that it makes a difference, but it’s nice to think about. After all, everyone knows the world is ending. They’ve been told as much, and they can see it in the streets, and they know the world is irreparably fucked, but most importantly they feel it among themselves; they know this goodness cannot last forever.
She sits near them. They are together but at the same time they are alone, as we all are. Someone has put a braid into her hair; she’s left toothmarks on someone else. Something moves through the empty house, less the ghost than the breath of the ghost. She tells her friends: “I’m not afraid to disappear.” Someone laughs. Then, someone else opens their mouth, and something else climbs out.
After a successful VIBES featuring Chloe X Halle we are proud to announce that our next VIBES performer will be J.I.D. This will be held November 11th at 7:50pm through AnchorLink. The link will be live on AnchorLink at 7:30pm. Please go to our page to RSVP
November 11, 2020: 8:00PM: J.I.D.
Please follow our IG and Twitter accounts for updates, @vpbmusicgroup
Please RSVP at the link here and to find out more information!
Born and raised in East Atlanta, J.I.D grew up on his parents’ collection of classic funk/soul LPs, and broke onto the scene with his 2015 EP, DiCaprio . The EP saw him collaborating with hip-hop duo EarthGang, whom he’d previously joined on a 2014 tour also including Bas and Ab-Soul. In 2016, J.I.D teamed up with his fellow members of Spillage Village — an Atlanta rap collective featuring 6lack, EarthGang, Hollywood JB, and Jordxn Bryant — and delivered an EP titled Bears Like This Too Much . Soon after signing to Dreamville (Interscope Records), J.I.D made his major-label debut with the widely celebrated The Never Story and most recently released DiCaprio 2 that received critical acclaim from the likes of Rolling Stone, Billboard, NPR and more. In 2019, J.I.D continues his momentum as rap’s most exciting legends in the making with his stellar contributions on Dreamville’s Revenge of the Dreamers III compilation — which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 charts. With its cinematic nature, it’s no surprise that J.I.D’s music is revered in the film and television world — just this summer he joined Aloe Blacc on “Getting Started,” the official theme song for “Hobbs & Shaw;” his track “151 Rum” appeared on HBO’s cult classic “Euphoria” TV show while “Skrawberries” makes an appearance on EA Games’ NBA2K20 video game soundtrack. Known for his larger than life presence on stage, J.I.D has sold out tours across the globe. This fall, J.I.D brings all this to life by joining Logic on his “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” stadium tour.
chloe x halle
“Everyone seems to perceive my sister and me as two little perfect angels,” says Chloe Bailey. “They know us from YouTube and see us with big smiles on our faces. We wanted to show that we’re not perfect—and that it’s okay not to be.” Chloe and her younger sister Halle are curled up on a couch talking about the inspiration behind their highly anticipated sophomore album Ungodly Hour (Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records) and how much of the project was shaped by their desire to dismantle how we think of them.
With their doe eyes and hypnotic harmonies, Chloe x Halle brought a youthful insouciance to R&B with their honeyed melodies and empowering, Black girl magic anthems. Their breakout, Grammy-nominated debut The Kids Are Alright wove bright tales of young adult love, sisterhood and self-acceptance over an adventurous infusion of jazz, indie rock, trap, synth-pop and soul.
Chloe x Halle’s music—which they write, arrange, produce and engineer themselves—is uplifting and delightfully enchanting, but the ladies were eager to show a different side of themselves.
In July, Chloe will be 22 and Halle turned 20 in March. They are lightyears away from the child actors we met on the big and small screen before capturing our hearts with impressive YouTube covers of John Legend, Alicia Keys and Beyoncé, who signed them to her Parkwood Entertainment imprint in 2015 and took them on tour.
“We wanted this to feel sexier, a bit more fun,” Chloe says of the new album. “We’re learning to love ourselves and our flaws; and we’re learning to own our sexuality and our imperfections. We’re showing you who we are in the ungodly hour—that time at 3:33 a.m. when your thoughts are running away from you, when you’re most vulnerable and raw. That’s what we’re sharing on this album.”
“We wanted to spill all of our secrets,” Halle adds. “We’re older. We’ve had experiences. Our perspectives have changed.” Ungodly Hour is a bold, sleekly produced statement that celebrates “the power and strength of being a woman” with music that’s edgier, darker and sexier than anything Chloe x Halle has done in the past, without sacrificing any of their signature sound.
Work on the album began around Christmas 2018 when the sisters and their younger brother, Branson, packed up the home studio and had a brief sojourn at a Malibu beach house they found on Airbnb. “We had a beautiful ocean view and that was so inspiring,” Chloe remembers, noting that album closer “Rest of Your Life” (which they debuted in concert late last year) and the spirted, self-love jam “Baby Girl” came from those Malibu sessions. “That was the moment where we were like, ‘Okay, we know what we want to say as young women.’” As they worked through ideas for the new music, the ladies began plastering mood boards with photos and phrases that spoke to the vibe and aesthetic they were looking to capture. “There was a lot of rawness,” Halle recalls of the collages that filled the walls.
A phrase, “The trouble with angels,” made it onto one of the mood boards and became the driving force of the album. That duality of darkness and light, good and bad, naughty and nice was something Chloe x Halle wanted to toy with. It’s why the album’s cover shows the sisters with metallic chrome angel wings emerging from their little black latex dresses. It’s clear from Ungodly Hour’s sultry opening “Forgive Me” (written by Chloe Bailey, Halle Bailey, Nija Charles and produced by Sounwave and Chloe) that they are charting new terrain for themselves. Inspired by Chloe feeling rejected by a love interest choosing another girl over her, the fiery kiss-off sets the tone for an album packed with songs that are complex, deeply vulnerable, sometimes humorous, raw and completely relatable.
They fantasize about bloody revenge on a straying lover over a glitchy, country-inspired beat on the biting “Tipsy” (written by Chloe Bailey and Halle Bailey, produced by Chloe); on “Busy Boy” (written by Chloe Bailey, Halle Bailey, Nasri Atweh and Jeff “Gitty” Gitelman and produced by Gitty and Chloe) they have the last laugh at a bed hopping player; and on the smoldering “Wonder What She Thinks Of Me” (written and produced by Chloe x Halle) they ruminate on a torrid love affair.
Ungodly Hour is more upbeat than previous releases—a conscious decision from Chloe x Halle, who wanted the album to reflect the fun they had with each other as they laughed and exchanged the stories that provided the framework of the records.
The album’s surefire hit, “Do It” (written by Chloe Bailey, Halle Bailey, Victoria Monét and produced by Scott Storch, Vincent Van Den Ende and Anton Kuhl), is the kind of fierce song of summer banger that would easily dominate the club if we weren’t confined to our homes amid a global pandemic. It’s an unabashed club record, which is a departure for them but judging from the instant viralness of the dance heavy visual that accompanies the record, the world is ready for this new era of Chloe x Halle. While Ungodly Hour has an effortless, assured cool to it, the ladies admit the recording process wasn’t breezy. After amassing a cult following with the homegrown music they crafted in their living room (their debut EP Sugar Symphony was released in 2016, followed by a critically acclaimed mixtape The Two of Us in 2017), Chloe x Halle truly took off with 2018’s The Kids Are Alright. The album catapulted the duo to R&B stardom as they were also getting buzz for their roles on the hit Freeform series Grown-ish (the show’s theme song is a standout on The Kids Are Alright and their 2019 singles “Who Knew” and “Thinkin Bout Me” was featured on this past season) and would go on to earn them Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best Urban Contemporary Album.
“All of a sudden this little underground album was put on a pedestal,” Halle says. She continues “You start to think, ‘How do we top that? What can we do?’” There was “immense” pressure, albeit self-inflected, to create songs that had hit-potential and could live up to the hype that comes with Grammy recognition. They admit there was a period during the creation of Ungodly Hour where they lost themselves creatively and had to find their way.
“With The Kids Were Alright, majority of it was done by my sister and I in our living room. It came together really naturally, but it also took us three years to create because we were trying to find our sound,” Chloe explains. “That was us experimenting in our living room and it got two Grammy nominations. There was this unspoken pressure to find this hit song. ‘How can we make ourselves more commercial? How can we make the music more digestible for people?’ For about a month or two, we were creating songs that didn’t really sound like us. We were hitting ourselves up against a wall for months trying to get out of that headspace of looking for a hit song.” Adds Halle: “The reason we make music is it’s a passion. This is our diary; it’s therapeutic for us to release these feelings. And, yes, to have someone relate to it is the most beautiful thing in the world to us but we don’t do this for Grammy nominations, or validation from other people.”
Like their earlier work, Chloe x Halle remain at the center of the writing and producing of Ungodly Hour, but they also collaborated with a range of A-list talents. The album’s title, and its pulsating centerpiece track, was born out a studio session with British electro house duo Disclosure. The album also boasts features from Swae Lee, Mike Will Made-It. “It’s beautiful when you get in the room with these amazing, iconic people and realize you’re just as good as them and just as capable,” Halle says of the superstar collaborations that dot the project. Chloe x Halle are anxious for the world to hear how much they have grown, both as women and as artists.
Like everyone else, they are navigating life in the time of COVID-19. This conversation is happening over Zoom as we all remain in isolation. They actually weren’t even supposed to be together right now. Had the virus not upended life, Halle would be in London filming Disney’s live action The Little Mermaid, her first major project without her sister. As they step further into adulthood we can expect to see more solo projects from them (Chloe completed filming for Miramax’s supernatural thriller The Georgetown Project before lockdown). Chloe x Halle hope the new music brings a sense of comfort to their fans, especially the young women who look up to them, during these strange times. More than anything, though, they just want to be seen and heard for the women they are now.
“What I appreciate about this album is it has our integrity and our musicianship but it’s so fun,” Chloe says. “The music naturally evolved because we are evolving and growing as women. We don’t have to force anything. This album feels like the time we are in right now.”
The Music Group is a student concert committee that plans, publicizes and produces several concerts a year for students of Vanderbilt and the Nashville community. Events typically include a spring and fall concert, Commodore Quake and Rites of Spring. This group works on contract negotiations, security, hospitality, marketing, technical arrangements and more. In addition, the Music Group may provide opportunities for its members to learn about the music industry within our city.
Mission: The purpose of the Music Group is to expose Vanderbilt students and also the Greater Nashville community to a diverse musical experience. The Music Group is dedicated to maintaining a balance between showcasing new talents and representing Vanderbilt students’ musical tastes. The Music Group is a student-run, democratic concert group which plans, publicizes and produces several concerts a year for Vanderbilt students and the greater Nashville community. Concerts include Commodore Quake in the fall, and Rites of Spring in April, as well as additional events as the Music Group sees fit. This group works on all aspects of concert production, including but not limited to, contract negotiations, security, hospitality, marketing, and technical arrangements. In addition, the Music Group provides opportunities for its members to learn about all aspects of the music industry while educating its members in all genres of music.
Commodore Quake History
Megan Thee Stallion
The Band Perry
2006 & 2014
My Morning Jacket