At 68, Lonnie Holley seems like he might have some vital wisdom to offer us about the fucked-up state of America. The visual artist turned musician is gearing up to release his third album MITH, the follow-up to 2013’s Keeping A Record Of It. And today he’s sharing its lead single “I Woke Up In A Fucked-Up America.”
The song’s atmosphere is ominous, and Holley’s voice sounds rough and callous, full of a gravelly emotion. The accompanying video by Matt Arnett and Ethan Payne is cluttered with patriotic antiques that feel both powerful and hollow at the same time, reaching back to Holley’s sculptural work with found objects. And Holley himself can’t get out of bed. He’s begging to be let out this dream, pleading for an escape. His gaze pierces.
The track feels indivisible from the pain of American politics, and it hints at an album that will be equally chained to the injustices of our current world, one that will see Holley pointing his impressionistic poetry towards subjects such as Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock. Watch and listen below.
01 “I’m A Suspect”
02 “Back For Me”
03 “How Far Is Spaced Out?”
04 “I Snuck Off the Slave Ship”
05 “I Woke Up In A Fucked-Up America”
06 “Copying The Rock”
07 “Coming Back (From The Distance Between The Spaces Of Time)”
08 “There Was Always Water”
09 “Down In The Ghostness Of Darkness”
10 “Sometimes I Wanna Dance”
MITH is out 9/21 via Jagjaguwar. Pre-order it here, and catch Holley on tour with Animal Collective later this month.