Photo by Jonny Bell
Hanni El Khatib is making the most of his time in 2016. Instead of releasing a complete follow-up to his 2015 effort Moonlight, the bluesy alt-rocker has been delivering singles and EPs at a remarkably steady clip. Savage Times, Vol. 1 came in April, followed by Savage Times, Vol. 2 in May, and then the single “Come Down” dropped just earlier this month. Now, the West Coast rocker is premiering his latest offering from the forthcoming Savage Times, Vol. 3, the mellow yet defiant “No Way”.
The track breezes in on sun-streaked acoustic guitars, a dustier version of a beach bonfire jam. But when the drums begin to beat and the layered harmonies come in, the rebellious edges of the sound begin to reveal themselves. By the time the track has built towards its buzzing finale, it’s become a block party of long-time locals standing strong against the bulldozers of progress. “We see them coming from a mile away (but they know)/ We going nowhere even if we are chased (and its true),” goes the hushed chant of the chorus, punctuated by Khatib’s own wails. “We got no money but we sure got our pride (and they can’t)/ Take that away from us cuz we’re still alive.”
As the songwriter himself explains to Consequence of Sound, “The song is about 1st generation families that have lived in their neighborhood forever but are now being pushed out due to gentrification.” Take a listen to “No Way” below.