Today's the day: Seven-time GRAMMY nominees Black Pumas have released their anticipated album 'Chronicles of a Diamond'
One of the most electrifying new acts to emerge in recent years, the Texan psych-soul duo Black Pumas have made a major cultural impact. Their debut album Black Pumas sold one million albums worldwide, and the duo is now back with an exciting, brand new album – Chronicles Of A Diamond.
Eric Burton and Adrian Quesada first discovered their once-in-a-lifetime chemistry back in 2017. Quesada began searching for a potential collaborator and connected with Burton through a mutual friend. Thanks to the powerful collision of their unique thoughts, ideas and backgrounds — Burton is a self-taught musician who got his start busking in his native Los Angeles, Quesada is a Grammy winner whose background includes playing in Latin-funk orchestra Grupo Fantasma — Black Pumas were on their way.
Chronicles Of A Diamond brings the band’s singular vision to life with more power, passion, and daring originality than ever before. Produced by Quesada and primarily mixed by six-time Grammy Award winner Shawn Everett, the album finds Burton taking the role of co-producer and infusing his free-spirited musicality into every track.
On Chronicles Of A Diamond, the band broadened their palette to include a dazzling range of musical forms: heavenly hybrids of soul and symphonic pop, mind-bending journeys into jazz-funk & psychedelia, and starry-eyed love songs that feel dropped down from the cosmos.
Wilder and weirder and more extravagantly composed than ever before, Chronicles Of A Diamond arrives as the fullest expression yet of Black Pumas’ energetic creativity and limitless vision.
Before the release of Chronicles Of A Diamond, we were introduced to the singles ‘Ice Cream (Pay Phone)’, ‘Mrs Postman’, ‘Angel’ and ‘More Than A Love Song’. These tracks were all inspired by personal, intimate stories and met with unanimous praise from both the media and their fans.
‘More Than A Love Song’ was the first single released ahead of the new album. On the track, Burton and Quesada tells a story about ‘flying’ through life. The song was inspired by a message from Burton’s Uncle Steve. Burton being a songwriter and caregiver, he would sometimes receive notes on his music from his wise uncle. His uncle’s words led to he heart of the chorus, as he spoke of life being more than fleeting romance, or daydreams and fantasies, so it’s best to realize the depth of life and to take it slow.
I wanted to send a message saying 'I still see all the beauty and light in you'
‘Mrs. Postman’ was the second single unveiled from Chronicles Of A Diamond. Burton and Quesada worked together with keyboardist JaRon Marshall on the song. “JaRon and I used to get together on afternoons and make hip-hop beats for fun, and ‘Mrs. Postman’ ended up coming out of one of those sessions,” said Quesada.
As for the lyrics on ‘Mrs. Postman’, Burton added, “I was partly thinking about how much joy the postmen can bring to people’s lives, but I also wanted to encourage the people in my family and anyone else working a blue-collar job… I know from first-hand experience how arduous it can be, and I wanted to send a message saying, ‘I still see all the beauty and light in you.’”
Their playful single ‘Ice Cream (Pay Phone)’ was written and co-produced by Burton and produced by Quesada. Burton wrote the fuzzed-out, falsetto-laced love song years ago, then further developed it with bassist/keyboardist Josh Blue during an impromptu session at two in the morning.
Completed by Quesada at his studio, the song ultimately induces a trance-like euphoria thanks to its hypnotic rhythms and swirling guitar lines. “A lot of Eric’s ideas lately have had a meditative quality, where all these repetitive motifs are happening in the background while the song changes around them,” says Quesada.
As soon as I heard ‘Ice Cream’ I loved it, because it was so radically different from anything we’d done before
Burton said “When left alone I tend to work in an unorthodox way, where the colours don’t go together quite like you’d expect them to. With ‘Ice Cream (Pay Phone)’, the big, distorted guitar doesn’t seem like it should work with how I’m singing, but it sounded so soulful in a way that felt just right to me.”
The music video for ‘Ice Cream (Pay Phone)’ was directed by Alan del Rio Ortiz and shot on location in the band’s hometown of Austin, Texas with friends and other local performers hand-selected by frontman Eric Burton. Watch the video here:
It’s heart-warming to see that, while Black Pumas flew out to become global stars, the love from their home town Austin and its habitants remains ever so strong. This incredible mural of the artwork for Chronicles Of A Diamond appeared in the city recently, as well as a widespread theatre marquee that was launched outside of Paramount Austin.
Click on the release below to experience this exceptional album.
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