Songs We Love: Bilal, 'Satellites'

Bilal. (Courtesy of the artist)
Bilal. (Courtesy of the artist)

"Just another day, in another life / I'm a satellite, watching the world watch people / as they do what they do to people," sings a bewildered and audibly affected Bilal. After taking a trip to the surreal side of soul on 2013's aptly titled A Love Surreal the Philadelphia-bred singer has come back down to earth on his new song, "Satellites."

This first taste of his soon-to-be-released collaborative album with producer Adrian Younge, In Another Life, finds Bilal bearing witness to our tumultuous times and basically asking Marvin Gaye's famous question, "What's going on?" But here, over Younge's signature psychedelic soul production, Bilal is both a repentant participant and outsider observing humanity's strange, self-destructive ways from a distance.

Ethereal wah-wah guitars, almost funerary organs, and break beat-ready drums provide the perfect accompaniment for Bilal's musings and vocal gymnastics, which go from cooing to shrieking like an R&B Thom Yorke.

In Another Life is out June 30 on Purpose Music Group/eOne Music.

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More Photos:

The official artwork for Bilal's new album In Another World.

The official artwork for Bilal's new album In Another World.

Copyright NPR. View this article on npr.org.