2016 has been a very productive time for Donald Glover, both on screen and in the studio. Over the course of this year the modern-day renaissance man debuted his critically acclaimed FX series, Atlanta, and landed lead roles in the upcoming Star Wars and Spider-Man movies. As his rap alter-ego, Childish Gambino, Glover premiered new music through an immersive and private sprint of concerts, called “Pharos Earth.”
Two months later, ‘bino has released details of his upcoming third album, titled Awaken, My Love. Listen to the album’s grandiose opening track, titled “Me and Your Mama,” below.
This first release is, unsurprisingly, unlike anything we’ve heard from Childish Gambino. Spanning from his introspective nerd-rap origins on Camp to the digital multi-media period piece Because the Internet, his catalog of music has covered a variety of stylistic choices and personal themes. “Me and Your Mama” ties together many of the elements of his previous work while introducing a more mature and emotional side.
Whirling vibes accompanied by hard hitting sub drops, west coast synthesizers, and a rhythmic gospel choir create a beautifully maximalist introduction. Suddenly, the angelic melody cuts out and a wall of distorted sound takes its place. Demonic laughter, fuzzy power chords, and trashy drums set the tone for Not-So-Childish Gambino’s new sound.
Glover quickly erupts on to the track with raspy and passionate vocals. He displays an astonishing sonic range, spanning from powerful James Brown-esque shrieks to his familiar gentle falsetto. The psychedelic instrumental builds around ‘bino’s heartfelt lyrics, accompanied by a chorus of powerful harmonies, until it is stripped away in a cathartic release.
“Awaken, My Love” will be released December 2nd, via Glassnote.