In a new interview with soon-to-be-ex-triple j breakfast hosts Matt and Alex, Childish Gambino has spoken about his fantastic new album Awaken, My Love! and his upcoming appearances at Falls Festival and Field Day.
Speaking to the pair about his musical progression, Glover explained that he didn’t always want to make this music, or that he’d planned anything specific; rather it “felt appropriate.” Referring to the album being described as a “sucker punch,” he said, “I like sucker punches. I like being what you’re not expecting. The feeling of expecting water and getting lemonade, I like that.”
Interestingly, he talks about how there’s no vocal pitching on the album. About the track California, he even said that many of the percussive sounds on the track weren’t an instrument at all, but his own voice (and he gives an example at 3:15).
The conversation turns to performing the new music live, which Glover described as “incredible.”
“I think the audience [at PHAROS] were taken away. We took phones away so nobody was recording the entire time, and we didn’t fill it to capacity. There was enough space for people to dance and run around… so it kind of felt like you were still outside.”
Although the album oozes energy and fun, “it was actually really hard,” he admitted. “I was going through a lot… I was trying to display what I felt.”
The new album has left fans divided, as it’s a major departure away from hip-hop. Fans of funk and soul have hailed it a masterpiece (including Questlove, who claims to have woken up D’Angelo at 4 am to tell him how amazing it is), but those who were hoping for rapping are less than impressed. So there will no doubt be a few relieved fans, with the news that Gambino is open to performing older tunes alongside his new album, although it totally depends on the crowd. “I like talking to my audience,” he said. “I really do like seeing how they feel. If we’re all feeling it, I have no problem playing some of the old stuff, I think that stuff is really cool.”
He also talks about the virtual reality vinyl, playing Lando Calrissian in an upcoming Star Wars spin-off, collaborating with producer Ludwig Goransson.
Attendees of Falls Festival and Field Day will be among the first on the planet to catch the new music live. It previously debuted at Glover’s own PHAROS event in Joshua Tree, California, but no further live dates had been announced up until Falls over the New Years period.