Dean Blunt has lurked in the shadows of experimental and pop music for about half a decade now, first with Inga Copeland in the project known as Hype Williams, but last year felt like a serious breakthrough. He dissolved his partnership with Copeland (who is currently doing great things, which we’ve written about) and issued The Redeemer, a song cycle of patchwork samples (from Biggie to Kate Bush) and murky R&B that became one of the most divisive albums of the year. We didn’t really get to cover that album (though it did land in my honorable mentions of 2013), but its reception was as bizarre and unknowable as Blunt himself remains. Some publications saw the album as a sarcastic joke in the same way Ariel Pink was first received. Some called it the best album of 2013. Others merely agreed it was better than Yeezus. Those two aforementioned artists make up some vague common ground where Blunt’s music falls and not just because he’s a famously inscrutable interview or that he also has a project called Watch The Throne (with James Ferraro).
So while people are still struggling to wrap their heads around The Redeemer, Blunt has already announced his new album and debut for the popular label Rough Trade. The new album is called Black Metal and the ghostly first single is called “50 Cent.” It sounds like neither of those reference points. It doesn’t really sound quite like anything, but still falls into a tradition of rap, rock, and the confessional intimacy of a singer-songwriter. It’s as dark, absorbing, and all-encompassing as that void of an album cover. Listen to it below and look for Black Metal later this year.
Black Metal is out 11/4 via Rough Trade.