Red Robyn’s hometown is Wentworth, Durban: once a coloured township, today infamous for its drug abuse and gang violence.
In a sweeping exploration of her own identity “The Pits” is half an ode the toxicity of relationships and half geared towards unraveling who she is in the face of the coloured people’s crippled and often messy heritages.
The track is untethered and floating within its space synth foundation. Jangling electric guitar, and warping, oozing vocals pitch off an unpredictable melody line which pairs up with lazer synth the deeper it goes.
The video, directed by Jethro Westraad, is bathed in dusky, overcast afternoon light. Robyn strides through her old school grounds, a local playground, familiar teenage haunts – freshly bleached blond hair a fluffy halo around her head. Beautifully shot it follows an easy narrative as she wanders the memories of innocence.
The latter half of the track takes a left-hand turn and changes tack with the kind of swift decisiveness which catches you off-guard. The video echoes its sentiments as she finds herself in a heaving club.
It’s powerful in its direction.
An ode to realising your place in toxic relationships and simultaneously to your place in a culture still struggling to pin down its own identity.