Some voices immediately win us over. I was introduced to HENNESSY back in March, thanks to my guy Kojo Dadzie. His ear is one I respect, so when he spoke highly of her single “1–800-SLIDE,” I couldn’t help but tune in. The Providence, Rhode Island artist has a voice as rich as the cognac of the same name. Hennessy, the drink, never sneaks up on you; the impact is straightforward, much like the content she delivers. New single “Double Back,” featuring Dee Gomes, follows that line of transparency and tackles matters of the heart.
I can’t help but think of every love song recently released within the scope of the world’s current times. One may find their self craving intimacy more than usual due to the forced distancing over the last few months. The human mind loves to conjure up someone from your past or get you too excited about a new flame. “Double Back” captures the experience of when a new love interest feels like they are becoming someone you may be moving on from.
“You had me fallin’ for you through the lust, babe/And now it feels like we’re so out of touch, babe/I know that it’s hard to see there’ll never be a ‘you and me’/We left it so incomplete, but you know I want it back.” It happens. A new entanglement (sorry, I had to) burns with white-hot intensity and can abruptly be put out.
This record, sampling Chris Brown’s “Just Fine” and “Best Of Me, Part 2” by Mya, feels apt for the summer days in both sound and message. There are a bounce and aesthetic reminiscent of a live band playing instruments on an island. Additionally, a love that forms in the June to August season tends to be that much more enticing, even if it may potentially blow away in the wind with the autumn leaves.
The 23-year-old is fully aware of her tendencies, admitting “I just really gotta face the fact, I just fall so damn fast.” HENNESSY isn’t alone here. Plenty of us fall head over heels and end up losing in the end. Accepting it doesn’t mean it will never happen again, but awareness is the first step toward growth. It’s hard to play it cool when you’re really into someone, though.
Dee Gomes pairs well with the songstress here, much like cranberry juice does with the brown elixir. He provides a different side of the coin, detailing how he’s a busy guy but he wants to be around her as much as she wants him. “I know that you hate that we barely speak/Every time you call I’m out of reach/Busy on the road I’m chasing cash/Been fiending for your love, I miss it bad bad bad.”
It’s easy to feel unwanted, but difficult to compromise our desires with the reality of someone’s schedule outside of us. Dee does his best to provide reassurance, but create some excitement. “She love it when I’m on my way to knock her screws loose.” No, sex isn’t an apology, but it’s a start.
I enjoy the call-and-response work here. HENNESSY feels like they are out of touch, and Dee speaks on his availability. Perhaps it isn’t that they will never be an item, but the desire for instant gratification and subsequent disappointment paints a picture of things falling through. HENNESSY seemingly accepts his words, continuing after his verse with “All you wanna do is get paid/And I love it when you got your hair braid/When it comes to you I won’t play these games/Just hit me when you’re on your way.”
She doesn’t want to stop his grind, and she enjoys seeing what he does with his hard-earned money. It’s still serious for her, so all she wants is a link when he’s pulling up. Wow, did we just witness healthy conflict resolution in this record? Kudos. There is a fluid synergy here that makes for a fun jam to rock to, packing emotional depth to sink your ears into.
Summer love isn’t easy, and there are always two sides. HENNESSY could have settled for the sad girl anthem, but instead tapped Dee to share the male perspective and show the complicated nature of courtship. It’s the ideal cocktail. HENNESSY and cranberry, but the drink is nothing without the Hennessy.