Santigold is back. Spirituals marks the singer/songwriter's first release since I Don't Want: The Gold Fire Sessions 2018 mixtape, and her first full-length since 2016's 99¢. The mom of three took advantage of 2020's lockdown to reconnect with her artistry, enlisting a prodigious set of producers and collaborators.
As the title reveals, she tapped into the sustenance of Black spirituals for inspiration to get over a famine of creativity. "[The title] touched on the idea of Negro spirituals, which were songs that served the purpose of getting Black people through the un-get-throughable," she says in the press release for the album.
On the thematic "High Priestess" and "Witness", the singler employs her trademark space oddity chant, scolding the haters who dare to count her out. "My Horror" recaps the mind-withering despair of quarantine, backed by the nursery rhyme melodies that cleverly heighten the eeriness. Synths and cymbals decorate the up-speed journey of "Fall First" to the call-and-response of a Black church service.
Spirituals bravely ushers us into an unknown future, Santigold's auspicious blessing to us all.
By Camille Collins
Photo: (Santigold) Frank Ockenfels
This article originally appeared in BUST's Fall 2022 print edition. Subscribe today!
Camille A. Collins is the author of the novel The Exene Chronicles and a recipient of the South Carolina Short Fiction Prize. She likes writing about music and has contributed features and reviews to The New York Amsterdam News, AFROPUNK, BUST, and other publications. She lives in New York City. Find her on Instagram @camillecollinsauthor