THUNDERCAT
ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM IT IS WHAT IT IS

OUT APRIL 3, 2020 ON BRAINFEEDER

 SHARES LEAD SINGLE “BLACK QUALLS”

FT. STEVE LACY & STEVE ARRINGTON

LISTEN HERE

 

 Thundercat is set to release his new album It Is What It Is on Brainfeeder Records on April 3, 2020, and shares the first track: “Black Qualls” (featuring Steve Lacy and Steve Arrington). The album, produced by Flying Lotus and Thundercat, features musical contributions from Ty Dolla $ign, Childish Gambino, Lil B, Kamasi Washington, Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington, BADBADNOTGOOD, Louis Cole, and Zack Fox.

 

It Is What It Is follows his game-changing third album Drunk (2017). That record completed his transition from virtuoso bassist to bonafide star and cemented his reputation as a unique voice that transcends genre. “This album is about love, loss, life and the ups and downs that come with that,” Bruner says. “It’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, but at different points in life you come across places that you don’t necessarily understand… some things just aren’t meant to be understood.”

 

The unruly bounce of new single “Black Qualls” is classic Thundercat, teaming up with Steve Lacy (The Internet) and funk icon Steve Arrington (Slave). It’s another example of Stephen Lee Bruner’s desire to highlight the lineage of his music and pay his respects to the musicians who inspired him. Discovering Arrington’s output in his late teens, Bruner says he fell in love with his music immediately: “The tone of the bass, the way his stuff feels and moves, it resonated through my whole body.”

 

“Black Qualls” emerged from writing sessions with Lacy, whom Thundercat describes as “the physical incarnate of the Ohio Players in one person – he genuinely is a funky ass dude”. It references what it means to be a black American with a young mindset: “What it feels like to be in this position right now… the weird ins and outs, we’re talking about those feelings… Part of me knew this [track] was where Steve [Arrington] left us.”

 

Stream “Black Qualls” HERE

(Credit: Parker Day)

Thundercat forms a cornerstone of the Brainfeeder label. In the 2010s, he released Golden Age of Apocalypse (2011), Apocalypse(2013), and the EP The Beyond / Where The Giants Roam, which features the modern classic “Them Changes”.  He was later “at the creative epicenter” of the 21st century’s most influential hip-hop album Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, where he won a Grammy for his collaboration on the track “These Walls” before releasing his game-changing third album Drunk in 2017. In 2018 Thundercat and Flying Lotus composed an original score for an episode of Golden Globe and Emmy award winning TV series Atlanta (created and written by Donald Glover). 

Last year saw Thundercat invited by the legendary jazz institute Blue Note, New York City to perform a sold-out 14 show residency over the space of 6 days. Special guests for the residency included Reggie Watts, Zach Fox and Hannibal Buress. Other live highlights for Bruner in 2019 have included a US tour alongside his friend Anderson .Paak, an appearance at the Nile Rodgers curated Meltdown Festival held at the Southbank Centre, London; and Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival (the brainchild of Tyler The Creator). Previous festival highlights for Thundercat include Glastonbury, Coachella, Primavera, Sónar, Field Day, Fuji Rock,Dekmantel, Newport Jazz Festival, Primavera Sound, SXSW, Governor’s Ball, and all three Brainfeeder X label showcases in Tokyo (SONICMANIA), Los Angeles (Adult Swim Festival) and London (Brixton Academy) to celebrate the label’s 10th anniversary in 2018.. One memorable sold out show at New York’s Irving Plaza in 2017 featured Dave Chappelle making an impromptu appearance as his hype man. He even found time to guest on the New Yorker Radio Hour.  

 

(Credit: Eddie Alcazar)

(“Black Qualls” single artwork – Credit: Parker Day)

 

It Is What It Is Track Listing

1. Lost In Space / Great Scott / 22-26

2. Innerstellar Love

3. I Love Louis Cole (feat. Louis Cole)

4. Black Qualls (feat. Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington, & Childish Gambino)

5. Miguel’s Happy Dance

6. How Sway

7. Funny Thing

8. Overseas (feat. Zack Fox)

9. Dragonball Durag

10. How I Feel

11. King Of The Hill

12. Unrequited Love

13. Fair Chance (feat. Ty Dolla $ign & Lil B)

14. Existential Dread

15. It Is What It Is

Thundercat 2020 Tour dates:

2/28     Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre

2/29     Portland, OR – PDX Jazz Festival 

3/02     Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo

3/03     Arcata, CA – Van Duzer Theatre

3/04     Chico, CA – Senator Theatre

3/06     Oakland, CA – Fox Theater

3/07     Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern

3/08     Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory North Park

3/10     Phoenix, AZ – The Van Buren

3/12     Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre

3/13     Omaha, NE – Slowdown

3/14     Minneapolis, MN – The Fillmore

3/15     Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre

3/17     Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre

3/18     Toronto, ON – Queen Elizabeth Theatre

3/19     Montreal, QC – Corona Theatre

3/21     Boston, MA – House of Blues

3/22     Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore

3/24     New York, NY – Webster Hall

3/28     Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore Silver Spring

3/29     Knoxville, TN – Big Ears Festival

3/31     Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works

4/1       Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel

4/2       Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse

4/9       London, UK – Roundhouse

4/11     Manchester, UK – Academy

4/14     Amsterdam, NL – Paradiso

4/15     Paris, FR – Elysée Montmartre

4/17     Berlin, DE – Astra

 

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