It’s been a long wait for a proper follow up to the (sublime) Good Luck and Do Your Best, but Gold Panda is finally set to return. Having released “I’ve Felt Better (Than I Do Now)” earlier this year, he’s now officially revealed plans for his new album: The Work.
The title is far more personal than it might initially appear, referring to the journey he’s been on the last 6 years: towards sobriety and recovering his mental health, as well as fatherhood, which he credits as the greatest catalyst for change in his life. He himself puts it simply, “now I have daughters the goal is to stay alive.”
When it comes to the changes he’s undergone, Derwin Dicker (aka Gold Panda) can point to a very particular moment in his life in which he realized he needed to alter the way he was living. He bleaky, honestly shares, “I was in Japan, in a really horrible hotel, it only had one window – the window was in the bathroom. When I came out of the hotel room I was basically in a massive tower block 24 floors up – there’s all this mesh netting so people don’t jump off. It was so depressing and I thought ‘fuck it, I could still jump.”
He was hungover, and decided it’d be the last time he’d drink. It led to a massive sea change in both his personal life and his work, as he explains, “I hadn’t done any gigs sober at that point, which was a new thing I had to overcome – being conscious of what you’re doing in real time. With alcohol, you have that false confidence. And I had to learn to be with my feelings more, choosing to feel scared or nervous rather than getting drunk to combat it or overcome it.”
The Work captures that very growth, depicting the painstaking process of finding stability and some grace in this cramped life. To accompany the announcement, he’s shared his latest single, “The Corner.”
Speaking on the track, he shares, “A number of years back a friend of mine gave me a record by Dean Friedman, I’d been watching The Wire and when I heard the line in ‘Lydia’ I had to loop it up and mess with it. I tried to make it into a beat for some rappers but I could never get it right. When making this album I found the sample again, I had a new way of recording so starting from scratch it all came together. When I made ‘Lucky Shiner’ people used to rap over those tracks and stick them on soundcloud etc so i’m hoping this will inspire people to do it again.”
Check it out below, and look out for The Work come November 11th via City Slang.