To make the next few weeks of waiting a bit more bearable, Bilal has blessed our ears and eyes with another preview of the album, in the form of the stunningly powerful single Satellites and its accompanying video. Across a psychedelic organ & percussion propelled groove with vocals echoing the likes of Prince and Radioheads Thom Yorke, Bilal proclaims his disillusionment with his fellow humans penchant for cruelty, wearily lamenting “Just another day, in another life / I’m a satellite, watching the world watch people / as they do what they do to people.”
In the beautifully executed video, Bilal assumes the guise of an urban miracle-worker who observes people in need from a distance and lifts them up, in the process restoring at least a small piece of our faith in humanity. At the 3:15 mark of the clip, a more foreboding tone emerges and Satellites segues into the more frenetically hard-rocking Lunatic, another offering from the new album. Two police officers apprehend Bilals character and proceed to choke the life from him, a not-so-subtle nod to the tragic fate of Eric Garner and more generally, the recent wave of unarmed black mens deaths at the hands of overzealous cops. Discerning eyes who watch closely enough will also observe passing references to the now-salient declarations of dignity Black Lives Matter and I Am Not an Animal.
A must-hear tune and a must-watch video, indeed.