Growing up in North Carolina, Jamil Rashad’s fondness for funk filtered through his exploration of the punk and metal scene, leading him to a career performing as Boulevards. As a follow-up to last year’s Groove!, Boulevards will return this December with a new album called Hurtown, USA. Today, we’re premiering its latest single, the Neon Indian collaboration “Nu Burn Ave (Intercruise).”
With the help of Alan Palomo’s production, “Nu Burn Ave” highlights Rashad’s Earth Wind & Fire-inspired harmonies as well as his Prince-like spoken exclamations. Beneath the uptempo beats though lays a darker, more contemplative underpinning. Lyrics like “Our love’s not good enough” counter rhythms native to the funk tradition, as was Rashad’s intention:
“Nu Burn Ave” is inspired by a road in my hometown Raleigh that stretches downtown. When I go for walks on that avenue, I like to self-reflect and figure out how to be a better man. The song is about self-reflection, loss, a love that’s running out of time, pain in heartbreak, fighting for the person you love and going the distance for that person.
Palomo also gave us some background on his collaboration with Boulevards:
This track initially came about during the VEGA INTL. sessions, though it had arrived a touch too late to catch that train. When Jamil shared with me some of the tunes that would later become Hurtown, USA, I immediately thought of it! Seemed like a great fit within the universe he was building for this album.
Listen to “Nu Burn Ave” as well as previous single “Wear & Tear” below.
Hurtown, USA is out 12/8.