Maxwell – “We Never Saw It Coming”

Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Maxwell – “We Never Saw It Coming”

Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Maxwell works slowly. The liquid, virtuosic soul great released his excellent blackSUMMERS’night album two years ago. That was the second album in a planned trilogy, but it came a full seven years after the first album. So it’s a genuine shock to wake up this morning to a new Maxwell song.

The new “We Never Saw It Coming” doesn’t have anything to do with that long-gestating album trilogy. Instead, it’s a heavy, stirring song about the dangerous state of the world: “The crosses burning, no chance to overcome… We’ve never been so divided, scattered and spread out like useless ashes.” Maxwell sings in that insanely smooth and angelic voice over a quiet bed of pianos and strings, and it’s absolutely gorgeous on a purely surface level. But Maxwell is using that voice to sing about some real shit, and the effect is powerful.

“We Never Saw It Coming” is coming out in conjunction with “The Glass House,” a new short film that’s being released today. Sadly, it is a Tidal exclusive, so many of us will have to be content with just the song itself. Below, check out “We Never Saw It Coming,” see a quick preview for “The Glass House,” and watch the film in full if you have Tidal.

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