Santigold has returned with a jittery blast of future punk, “High Priestess,” which marks her first solo release in four years.
“High Priestess” is pure energy with its blend of restless percussion and new wave synths (a video short for the song was also released). Santigold largely crafted the track with the Berlin-based producer/DJ Boys Noize, though she brought in a handful of other collaborators — including Ray Brady, Psymun, and Ryan Olson — to help her fine-tune the exact sound she wanted.
“The energy I was looking for couldn’t be the old version of punk rock, it had to be the future sound of punk rock,” Santigold said of the song in a statement, adding: “It all came together in a way I could never have imagined when we started, but it was exactly what I set out to make. I want to make music that sounds like the past and the future all in one; music that makes you feel safe enough to jump in, but then takes us on a journey to where we needed to go but have never even heard of. I want my music to be the bridge.”
Santigold also noted that “High Priestess” came about after she had spent several months, as she put it, in “Mom mode,” and was only just finding time to work on music again. “I called this song ‘High Priestess’ because this song was about my greatness. I needed to be a witness to myself at that point, calling out my own power, my own fortitude, my own wisdom, because I felt like I had become disconnected from it, having been stripped out of the rhythm of life that I had cultivated for myself, and thrust into this smaller, one dimensional version of myself, grounded and isolated for too long. The lyrics are fun though, rap lyrics in general, boastful, cocky, but that’s what I was talking about underneath it all.”
“High Priestess” is the first solo offering from Santigold since she released her dancehall mixtape, I Don’t Want: The Gold Fire Sessions, in 2018. In the interim, however, she’s been busy with various collaborations: In 2019, she provided backing vocals for several songs on Tyler, the Creator’s Igor, while she’s also released tracks with DJ Mehdi and Busy P, and the late reggae giant U-Roy.