Michael Kiwanuka has announced a new album, Kiwanuka, to be released October 25th, and shared its lead single, “You Ain’t the Problem.”
“You Ain’t the Problem” boasts a delightfully boisterous mix of drums and horns, which anchor twisting guitars and array of vocal loops. Over this busy, uptempo groove, Kiwanuka delivers a simple yet compelling vocal performance, with lyrics like, “I lived a live/Love is the crime/It’s you I believe in/No Need to play myself/No need to die/I’m only human.”
Kiwanuka made the new album with Danger Mouse and Inflo, the same team behind his 2016 album Love & Hate. The record, which is available to pre-order, also arrives after a period of increased exposure for the English musician, whose 2016 song “Cold Little Heart” notably served as the theme song for HBO’s mega-hit Big Little Lies.
“The last album came from an introspective place and felt like therapy, I guess,” Kiwanuka said in a statement. “This one is more about feeling comfortable in who I am and asking what I want to say. Like, how could I be bold and challenge myself and the listener? It is about self-acceptance in a more triumphant rather than melancholy way. It’s an album that explores what it means to be a human being today.”
He continued, “When I first signed a record deal, people would ask me, ‘So what are you going to be called?’ And I never thought of that; calling myself Johnny Thunders or whatever, like singers from the past. So, on this album it’s kind of a defiant thing; I’m engaging with who I am and I’m not going to have an alter ego, or become Sasha Fierce or Ziggy Stardust, even though everyone’s telling me I need to be this, that or the other. I can just be Michael Kiwanuka.”
Kiwanuka has a handful of North American tour dates scheduled for this fall, including a September 25th show at Brooklyn Steel in New York City, followed by three shows in California with Gary Clark, Jr., September 27th through the 29th.
Kiwanuka Track List
1. “You Ain’t The Problem”
3. “I’ve Been Dazed”
4. “Piano Joint (This Kind Of Love) Intro”
5. “Piano Joint (This Kind Of Love) Main”
6. “Another Human Being”
7. “Hero/Hard To Say Goodbye”
8. “Final Days/Interlude (Loving The People)”
9. “Solid Ground”