Against the Grain

in Culture

Santigold is a gift. The genre-smashing artist has an innate musical ability to transcend any imposed boundaries, resulting in an enticing gumbo of hip-hop, reggae, new wave, and ’80s pop, to name a few. Her fourth studio album, Spirituals, released in September, finds the Philly native once again embracing her experimental tendencies and further establishing her inimitable sound, all with a fresh perspective.

After all, it’s been a long four years since she released the I Don’t Want: The Gold Fire Sessions mixtape. Not only is she the mother to three children (including twins), but she also, like the rest of us, has gone through a life-altering pandemic. Beginning in March 2020, as COVID-19 began its rampage, the concert industry came to a screeching halt, forcing everyone into isolation. No more concerts. No more tours. No more insufferable nights sleeping on tour buses or enduring cramped flights. All of it—good and bad—was over. During that time, Santigold was deeply affected by the changing world around her, but it resulted in the 10 tracks that make up Spirituals.

“It affected my songwriting because I’m a really sensitive being as an artist,” she told High Times via Zoom. “So, I’m very much a sponge of the energy around me. And when there was so many things happening, it was just like, there was the pandemic, fires burning everywhere, protests, police brutality and now, women’s rights are being taken away and there are shootings everywhere. It’s crazy times right now.

“For a person like me, I think my job as an artist is to sort of mirror culture and what’s happening. So, it’s my interpretation coupled with taking something from whatever other dimensions I can; whatever art comes from because half the time, I don’ …

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Author: Kyle Eustice / High Times

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