After sharing news of his signing to Warp Records and debuting new single “Ready To Ball” earlier this month, Kassa Overall is back to unveil details of his forthcoming album, Animals. Due for release on May 26, Animals was largely incubated in his hometown Seattle, where Kassa took respite to build out his solo work after many years of living and working within New York City’s jazz and music circuit as an in-demand drummer and producer.
Animals follows his acclaimed self-released albums, Go Get Ice Cream and Listen to Jazz (2019) and I Think I’m Good (2020), and further showcases the breadth of Kassa’s production chops and unique rhythmic sensibility. The album also harvests stunning contributions from Kassa’s community with guest features from Laura Mvula, Danny Brown, Wiki, Lil B, Ishmael Butler of Shabazz Palaces, and both established and rising jazz stars like Vijay Iyer and Tomoki Sanders, who brings a spiritual heft to the tenor sax, reminiscent of their late father Pharoah Sanders.
Animals pushes Kassa’s subversive message further too, the title a loaded metaphor for the paradoxes of his life as an entertainer and as a black man in America. Kassa explains: “We call ourselves humans, right? But we kind of do animalistic shit towards each other. We justify immorality by almost stripping people of their humanity. He’s an animal, so we can treat him as such. All these different kinds of little questions in these songs point to questions about humanity: am I free? Or am I a circus animal? These questions intersect with the way I think about race.” Enjoy Make My Way Back Home!