A still from the video for “Water.” Image via YouTube.
A still from the video for “Water.” Image via YouTube.

In its big write-up on “The Changing Sound of Baltimore,” The New York Times said the music of local indie R&B artist Joy Postell “often acts as a reflection of what is happening in the world and as a means of speaking truth to power.”

Nowhere is that more clear than on new single “Water,” which opens with the spoken: “I used to believe money didn’t grow on trees/ until I started seeing men hang from them.”

But the water in the title invokes growth, rainwater falling from the sky to “fertilize the earth so that the roots won’t fade.”

Over the song’s jazzy beat of drums, bass and sax, Postell intones that she has dreams of “better days” for African Americans, closing out the track with the repeated mantra of “Something’s in the water’s revelating change.” Interspersed in the track are two samples from a 1972 interview with activist Angela Davis, in which she says: “I mean, that’s another thing. When you talk about a revolution, most people think violence, without realizing that the real content of any kind of revolutionary thrust lies in the principles and the goals you’re striving for, not in the way you reach them.”

For the video, Postell gathered a group of friends and went to the shores of the Chesapeake for a video that, she tweeted on Aug. 10, “speaks on both power and grace.” Watch it below.

YouTube video

Brandon Weigel is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he has been published in The Washington Post, The Sun, Baltimore Magazine, Urbanite, The Baltimore...