Tinashe returns with new single “Die A Little Bit”
The newly-independent and ever-unpredictable songstress teams up with Ms Banks for a vibe-y breakup bop that signals anything but a bumpy ride ahead
It’s been a hot minute since R&B queen Tinashe blessed us with new material; after releasing the long-awaited “Joyride,” going through a public breakup and starring in FOX’s live production of “RENT” (not to mention a split from her label, RCA Records 👋 ), ‘Nashe needed a break. Can you blame her?
Flash forward to October 2019, and Tinashe is prepping a new album, “Songs For You.” This week, she drops the first single, “Die A Little Bit,” a track that’s all about getting fucked up in the face of heartbreak. Opening with Tinashe serving a falsetto that would make FKA Twigs proud (and looking like her in the video, below), we’re treated to a vibe-y, thumping ode to love, heartbreak, and self-destruction. If you can’t live with the one you love, then it’s better to just get 2-on and die a little bit.
It fits perfectly into Tinashe’s post-”Aquarius” discography, as well as her many mixtapes, which shed pop sensibilities for experimental R&B. This is where she shines. As a singer, songwriter and producer she’s forever a force to be reckoned with and unwilling to be boxed in by conventions. It’s admirable, and it mostly works. While “Die A Little Bit” isn’t what you might typically pick for a lead single, it’s still a catchy and defiant bop that’s sure to whet her fans’ appetites for new material.
The Ms Banks feature is a nice change of pace as well; ‘Nashe’s label previously paired her up with male rappers like Schoolboy Q and Chris Brown (UGH) in a bid for radio-friendly pop/R&B material, but it just felt inauthentic. Banks, on the other hand, glides seamlessly into her verse and complements the already bangin’ track.
It’s clear that the major record label life was just holding her back. While “Aquarius” was a tight and perfectly crafted album, “Joyride” suffered from a bumpy ride to completion that only worked against Tinashe and the album itself, which is a shame. It wasn’t perfect, but it had its moments. Tinashe’s self-produced material on her mixtapes, on the other hand, has always been a refreshingly different tone than her mainstream material, and “Die A Little Bit” effectively marries the two vibes. It’s a delicious taste of what’s to come, and it signals that Tinashe is still defiantly shirking radio-chasing trends, just like her peers on today’s roster of hugely talented female R&B singers.
I’ll take indie Tinashe over “Superlove” Tinashe any day. She’s a superstar in the making, and she deserves more time in the spotlight. Here’s hoping that “Die A Little Bit” is just the tip of the iceberg, and that “Songs For You” serves up more of the craftmanship on display here.