Photo: Frank Ockenfels

Santigold surges with self-empowerment across comeback single “High Priestess”

Santigold has returned with her first new single in four years, “High Priestess”. It sees her teaming with a bunch of different producers, including techno artist Boys Noize, as she explains:

“I had started working on this beat and I didn’t have anything in mind for a topic, I just knew I wanted to do a sort of rap punk song (as dangerous as that sounds). My buddy Ray Brady and I started working on something, trying to add in all the elements that made sense, kicks, subs, new wave synths. Boys Noize ended up bringing something super cool that really built the song and made me get even more excited about it. It was coming along quickly, until it wasn’t. The punk rock energy, the angst, that I wanted to come across wasn’t quite there. I tried adding guitar and a live drum kit, and that was a big red buzzer ‘’X”. I ended up tagging in Psymun (Simon Christensen) who brought in Ryan Olson, and they brought the final missing element. The energy I was looking for couldn’t be the old version of punk rock, it had to be the future sound of punk rock. They brought the angst, the push and pull that was missing, but it was very fresh sounding and totally unexpected...

“I had also been in just Mom mode for months, and it was like finding gold to have found a cabin to escape to during the days, to run away and be with music and friends after having not had the opportunity to do that for months on end. It literally saved my spirit. And that brings us to the name of the song. I called this song High Priestess because this song was about my greatness. I needed to be a witness to myself at that point, calling out my own power, my own fortitude, my own wisdom, because I felt like I had become disconnected from it, having been stripped out of the rhythm of life that I had cultivated for myself, and thrust into this smaller, one dimensional version of myself, grounded and isolated for too long. The lyrics are fun though, rap lyrics in general, boastful, cocky, but that’s what I was talking about underneath it all.”

“High Priestess”, true to its title, finds Santigold in imperious mood: “I got that mana for you mama / I take your money fools and then off to the Bahamas,” she begins, and it only gets more emphatic from there. Across a high-speed rhythm and an imposingly hovering bass, her words spew out, drawing rings around your mind with rapid-fire boasts and imagery. It’s a hugely playful, boisterous and irresistible return for the multi-faceted pop artist.

Listen to “High Priestess” below or on streaming platforms.

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