Corinne Bailey Rae’s thrashing “New York Transit Queen” is the first listen from her upcoming Black Rainbows album. The new music is inspired by Theaster Gates’s collection at Stony Island Arts Bank in Chicago. Black Rainbows has songs, a book, visuals and exhibitions. She explained her creative direction in a press release:
“I knew when I walked through those doors that my life had changed forever. Engaging with these archives and encountering Theaster Gates and his practice has changed how I think about myself as an artist and what the possibilities of my work can be. This music has come through seeing. Seeing has been like hearing, for me. While I was looking, songs/sounds appeared.”
Black Rainbows is described as coming from churches in Ethiopia, spellwork, and Black femininity. The album will be released on September 15th and Rae has plans to tour it in spaces such as New York’s National Jazz Museum, Yale University’s Schwarzman Center and University Of Chicago’s Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. It was 2016 when Rae’s last album The Heart Speaks In Whispers was released. In 2022, she appeared on the Al Green: Soul Legend tribute album on a cover of “Take Your Time” with Anthony Hamilton. Stream “New York Transit Queen” and watch the video trailer.