Santigold will return this fall with her first album in six years. Spirituals is due Sept. 9 on her own Little Jerk Records, with distribution by Secretly Distribution. The album includes the previously released single “High Priestess” and the new song “Ain’t Ready,” which is out today.
“It was one of those songs where as soon as I opened my mouth, the whole melody just poured out,” Santigold says of “Ain’t Ready,” which includes collaborations with Illangelo, Dre Skull and SBTRKT. “There were no words but all the emotion was there. To me, the song sounded full of struggle and perseverance. It sounded like a battle, and I wanted the production to sound tough, to mirror that grit. I struggled to find the right lyrics at first, but when I got them right, and I started singing them one night in my studio alone, I cried. This song was my own battle song. It’s about taking the hits that life brings and getting back up. It’s about change and moving forward. It’s about faith and vision. And it’s about stepping into your own power.“
After struggling to parent her three young children during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic, Santigold got busy on new music by surrounding herself virtually with a wide array of contributors, including Rostam, Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner, JakeOne, Lido, Ryan Olson, Ray Brady and Boys Noize.
“Recording this album was a way back to myself after being stuck in survival mode,” she admits. “It wasn’t until I made the space to create that I realized I wasn’t only creating music but a lifeline. California was on fire, we were hiding from a plague, the social justice protests were unfolding. I’d never written lyrics faster in my life. After having total writer’s block, they started pouring out. I decided to create the future, to look towards where we are going, to create beauty and pull towards that beauty. I need that for myself, but it’s also there for whoever else needs it.”
The Spirituals name will also grace a forthcoming natural skincare line and a tea, and Santigold is planning a corollary podcast on which she will interview like-minded creatives. “I want to continue branching out into all forms of art,” she says. “And I’m really excited to let my music take me to new places.”
Spirituals is Santigold’s first album since 2016’s 99¢, her last for Atlantic Records.