It's been a long road to Childish Gambino's new album Awaken, My Love! He previewed portions of it during his Bonnaroo set in 2015. Later, he announced his Pharos festival at Joshua Tree, California in September, where its reported that he played a version of the project. He dropped two singles—"Me and Your Mama" and "Redbone"—throughout the fall, and later revealed that the album art and "Me and Your Mama" were featured in his hit FX show Atlanta.
Now, the funk-inspired album is finally available. The 11-track project is featureless, with Gambino handling all the vocals on every track. He gets some help on the production side from his longtime collaborator Ludwig Göransson, who has worked with Gambino since his mixtape days.
Although he's been primarily known as a rapper up to this point, Awaken, My Love is a decidedly funk and soul-oriented album. He spoke about its influences in a recent interview with Billboard. "I remember listening to songs my dad would play—albums by the Isleys or Funkadelic—and not understanding the feeling I was feeling," he said. "I remember hearing a Funkadelic scream and being like, ‘Wow, that’s sexual and it’s scary.’ Not having a name for that, though; just having a feeling. That’s what made it great… There’s something about that ’70s black music that felt like they were trying to start a revolution." In the same interview, he noted that he viewed the album and Atlanta as essentially two parts of the same whole.
Now, the long wait for his third album is finally over. You can purchase Childish Gambino's new album Awaken, My Love! on iTunes now, or stream it below via Spotify.