McNally Waters is made up of Larry John McNally and his friend Harry Waters, and ‘Bang Bang’ is one of three songs the pair have released from their Covid-delayed second album, and it serves as a timely track and showcase for the talent this pair bring.
And talent they have in spades. McNally has had a massively successful songwriting career for the likes of The Eagles, Aaron Neville, Bonnie Raitt, Mavis Staples, and Rod Stewart – among many others, and recently decided it was time to start writing for himself. A chance mention to a friend that he was a fan of the Hammond B3 organ saw that friend put him in touch with Harry Waters, yes, now you’ve made the connection – the son of of Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters. Harry had made a name of his own by performing with his father, as well as Marianne Faithful, Ozric Tentacles, Tom Jones, Dean Ween, and Nick Cave. He’s also shared the stage with the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Dave Gilmour, and Eddie Vedder, as well as fronting his own jazz group, The Harry Waters Band.
The McNally Waters partnership went from leaps to bounds when they were offered an international tour, after having released just a few songs. Now, with Covid-19 delaying the release of their second album, they’ve decided to share three of those they’ve recorded, one of which is ‘Bang Bang’.
The rollicking soulful number is bluesy Americana recorded in the UK: the pair recorded the entire album in 6 days, along with Pat Kenneally on drums, and Tali Trow on bass. It’s a protest song at its very heart, with a matter-of-fact delivery, and phrases such as BLM’s calling card, “Hands up, don’t shoot, bang bang” being a part of the very title of the track. Politically charged, yet vital and compelling listening.
The track was written with a very specific incident in mind. McNally says,
“the initial inspiration was the death of Eric Garner, at the hands of the police, in addition to the trials and tribulations of certain young men in my life, pushing against societies’ society’s boundaries and society pushing back on them.”
The accompanying music video takes the topic even further, line-drawn animations by illustrator Gabriel Isacson. A flower in bloom appears across the frame from time to time, a symbol of hope; while a snake stands for evil intentions and a loss of innocence. Additionally birds feature, illustrating a litany of things, including, darkness, light, and death. Meanwhile, in fuzzy footage, McNally Waters walk around the outskirts of a Californian desert town, shot the morning after a late night gig. Their images are not as potent as the line drawings, which is probably a good thing, as it is these which most poignantly showcase the subject matter.
Watch the video for ‘Bang Bang’ below. You can find out more about McNally Waters online on their official website.