Astronautalis has released the first single, “The Way I Am,” from his upcoming album. He has not yet announced an album name or release date, stating on his website he had to push it back due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Static flows through the track, Bartees Strange providing backing vocals, the sound muted throughout the first verse as Astronautalis’ vocals the only clear sound. The track moves swiftly, Astronautalis’ vocals becoming distorted throughout the middle verses as horns can faintly be heard. The track fits well for summer, which Astronautalis stated had been his goal.
Astronautalis announced the release in a tweet, including how all revenue from the single will be donated to various charity organizations. He also included a link to his Bandcamp page, where he included the song’s lyrics.
I put out the first single of my new album today: https://t.co/lZHfXB7raS
All profits today go to a few different charities. You can read all about that, the album, & releasing music during these strange days here: https://t.co/lZHfXB7raS
If you enjoy it, play it loud, and RT. pic.twitter.com/Xv9ur06YhO
— ASTRONAUTALIS! (@astronautalis) June 5, 2020
On his website, Astronautalis abbreviated which organizations he would be donating to. The statement also included his reasoning for choosing to release a song this week, and how the coronavirus pandemic had thwarted plans for an earlier release.
“This was supposed to come out in April, and the album was all set for a September release, with a full US and EU tour to follow in October and November … then all hell broke loose with Corona,” Astronautalis said in a statement on his website. “As borders locked down,and the world ground to a halt, I talked to my team,and everyone advised that we push everything back. This totally gutted me, because Subp Yao and I have been working on the album for so long (he is producing the entire thing), it is such a departure from anything I have done, and I was just so ready for the world to hear it.”
Astronautalis explains that the album will now be released in early 2021, with tours throughout the United States and European Union. He also said that he will be moving towards working DIY, leaving record labels from the United States so he can self-release. The statement also read they will be using Cargo Records in Europe, but the rest of the world will be self-released.
The rapper is also a resident of Minneapolis, and included in his statement his feelings on the current situation and what had happened with George Floyd. He details his confliction over whether he should release the song or not, worried over the timing in relation to the protests and civil rights movement being seen throughout the country
“I felt so heartbroken and angry in the last 10 days, so worried for my friends in MPLS, and so furious at my country, it felt hard to think about releasing music. It felt hard to think about anything.”
Astronautalis also stated that all of his revenue share from the song will be going towards African American Youth Harvest, Lake Street Council and Unicorn Riot. While he mentioned in his statement that due to working DIY for the rest of the album’s release will need more money, he felt donating revenue from the single’s sales would be more important.
His last album, 6666 had been released in 2018, each track a collaboration with Four Fists and P.O.S.. In 2016, Astronautalis released Cut the Body Loose, which had been his last non-collaborated length of work and included single “Kurt Cobain.”