Mykki Blanco Shares New Single Featuring Michael Stipe “Family Ties”

Mykki Blanco kicks off 2022 with the release of new single “Family Ties (ft. Michael Stipe).” The track – ethereal, celestial and contemplative – is out today across all DSP’s via Transgressive Records. The video for “Family Ties” was directed by Kit Monteith. Shot in the north of England, it also features a rare appearance from Michael Stipe. 

Of the track Mykki shares, “Family Ties” is the first song where I sonically found my voice and I mean that in a very literal way. It’s the first song in my entire career where I am singing, I don’t rap. I wrote this song about the relationship between my ex-boyfriend and his father that has had bouts of mental illness. When the person you love is going through a situation that you can’t alter in any way, or help or be active in trying to correct it not only hurts them but it hurts you. I think the core meaning of this song is compassion in the face of helplessness.” 

Michael Stipe adds, “Mykki has a gorgeous voice, resolute and strong. I’m thrilled to have worked on ‘Family Ties’— I love how the song turned out.”

On their collaboration, Mykki continues, “I have been a fan of Michael Stipe and R.E.M forever. I had his email and ya know it’s one of those things when you acquire a living musical icon’s email and you think, ‘I have this now. but am I ever going to use it? Should I ever use it?’ Falty DL and I took a shot at the moon – I sent him the song because it felt as if in some alternate universe Michael Stipe had already created it. His willingness to perform and be a part of this meant the world to me. I hope to just keep making good art and attracting meaningful circumstances and people that make this life and making music worthwhile. This on so many levels was one of those moments.”

“Family Ties” was written in Lisbon, Portugal, and New York City and recorded by Mykki’s executive producer Falty DL (Drew Lustman). He says, “Looking for a fresh sound I returned to the abandoned instruments of my youth, guitar, and bass. Mykki and I always talked about no more sampling and let’s hire studio musicians. With this song, I got to scratch that itch and play my heart out. My voice can also be heard throughout the background of the song. Furthermore bringing in Matt Blanchard on saxophone was the moment the song became three-dimensional.”

“Family Ties” is the first bit of new music from Mykki Blanco since last year’s critically acclaimed mini-album, Broken Hearts & Beauty Sleep (Transgressive Records). The track further exemplifies the creative synergy they have found with Falty DL since they started recording together in 2018. 

“Family Ties” is the first single from a brand new project, which is due to be announced shortly alongside further live touring. 

For now Mykki is confirmed to perform at the BBC 6 Music Festival in the UK on April 1st alongside artists including Little Simz, Father John Misty, Khruangbin, Pixies, IDLES, and Johnny Marr. 

Photo Courtesy: Will Creswick