Raphael Saadiq has been a pretty busy man outside of the spotlight in the eight years since his last project, 2011's Stone Rollin'. He's worked as a producer or collaborator on a few projects for fellow musicians — including Solange, John Legend, Miguel, En Vogue and a host of others — and has made sure that some of our favorite shows like Insecure keep our heads nodding. However, when it comes to his own solo work, Raphael has kind of left us hanging outside of a teaser here or there. Well, that now ends with the release of his latest single, "Something Keeps Calling."
Lifted from his upcoming album Jimmy Lee, "Something Keeps Calling" finds the singer-songwriter jumping into the here and now after delving into old school soul on The Way I See It and Stone Rollin'. Still, there's something a bit vintage about the sound, which is definitely steeped in soul tradition. Driven mainly by guitar and bass, the track finds Raphael trying to figure out what exactly is pulling him in the direction that he finds himself drawn toward. We're told the many opinions of everyone surrounding him and the costs of what he must do. However, what exactly this "something" is is never clearly defined, even on the chorus, where he sings, "Something keeps calling me / I feel the burdens on me / Something keeps calling me / This is so heavy for me." While this might all seem pretty maudlin, what keeps things afloat is the musicianship displayed on the track, including the searing guitar solo from Rob Bacon, who wrings every bit of emotion out of his solo time on the track.
Jimmy Lee, named after his brother who struggled with drug addiction, looks to be one of Raphael Saadiq's most personal albums to date and is said to have a "darker" tone than his previous work. We'll see just how much when the set arrives on August 23rd. In the meantime, check out "Something Keeps Calling" below and stick around for the album's tracklist and Raphael's summer tour schedule.
Raphael Saadiq Jimmy Lee tracklist:
1. Sinners Prayer
2. So Ready
3. This World Is Drunk
4. Something Keeps Calling
5. Kings Fall
6. I’m Feeling Love
7. My Walk
8. Belongs To God
9. Dottie’s Interlude
10. Glory To The Veins
11. Rikers Island
12. Rikers Island Redux
Raphael Saadiq Summer Tour Dates:
Aug 3 – Columbia, MD – Summer Spirit Fest
Aug 23 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey
Sep 5 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live Ballroom
Sep 6 – Austin, TX – Mohawk
Sep 7 – Raleigh, NC – Hopscotch Festival
Sep 7-8 – Atlanta, GA – ONE Musicfest
Sep 10 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg