Santigold explores new sounds on ‘High Priestess’

Art radical Santigold has shared a new song, High Priestess, and an accompanying video short.

Santigold challenged herself, both in the songwriting and production, to push her music into new frontiers and reimagine the sound of her influences for the future. The video short is a stand-alone piece that evokes the emotions and themes of High Priestess.

Confined by the pandemic and isolated from her creative community, Santi says she went inward to reconnect with her personal strength and purpose to create this invocation to gather your powers.

“I had started working on this beat and I didn’t have anything in mind for a topic, I just knew I wanted to do a sort of rap punk song (as dangerous as that sounds),” Santi said.

“My buddy Ray Brady and I started working on something, trying to add in all the elements that made sense, kicks, subs, new wave synths. Boys Noize ended up bringing something super cool that really built the song and made me get even more excited about it. It was coming along quickly, until it wasn’t. The punk rock energy, the angst, that I wanted to come across wasn’t quite there.”

“I tried adding guitar and a live drum kit, and that was a big red buzzer ‘’X”. I ended up tagging in Psymun (Simon Christensen) who brought in Ryan Olson, and they brought the final missing element. The energy I was looking for couldn’t be the old version of punk rock, it had to be the future sound of punk rock. They brought the angst, the push and pull that was missing, but it was very fresh sounding and totally unexpected.”

“It all came together in a way I could never have imagined when we started, but it was exactly what I set out to make. I want to make music that sounds like the past and the future all in one; music that makes you feel safe enough to jump in, but then takes us on a journey to where we needed to go but have never even heard of. I want my music to be the bridge.”

Renowned for her iconography, Santigold has collaborated with visual artists including Kehinde Wiley, Wangechi Mutu, Kara Walker, and Sanford Biggers. She has also done various brand collaborations for shoe, accessory, and cosmetics lines, as well as had comedic roles on The Office, and Adult Swim’s NTSF:SD:SUV.

Since her last full-length release, she has been engaging new ways to express and release her ideas in a variety of mediums, allowing her greater range to be even truer to her creative intentions on her own terms.

“I’ve been tired of the cycle of making records and touring,” she explains while discussing her multidisciplinary interests.

“I want to branch out throughout all forms of art, and I’m really excited to take my music into new places, too.”

High Priestess is out now.

Image: Frank Ockenfels

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