So I’ve mentioned before our boy Hot Sugar, and that he was working on the new album from The Roots. Well they’ve been posting tracks one by one in video form for a while, but it was the album opener I was waiting for – Sleep. Hot Sugar has masterfully produced this track to classy effect. It’s moody, dark, and lo-fi – not particularly things you’d usually associate with The Roots, but they’ve really been trying hard to top the bar they set for themselves in ’02 with Phrenology.
Aaron Livingston – one half of Young Vipers with Hot Sugar, and also half of Icebird with RJD2 – follows his Occupy Wall Street anthem with a spot on this track. Both ghostly and soulful, the tension is beautiful. I haven’t heard every track from the new album, but from this opener it could be a return to form for The Roots. The video is as unglamorous and contemporary as you can get, and brilliantly edited. Let’s hope Jimmy Fallon’s house band will someday be a cherished household name – they do deserve it.
Watch the video for Sleep below. The Roots’ new album Undun is due December 5th via Def Jam Records.