One of the most striking things about Donnie Trumpet and Chance the Rapper’s “Sunday Candy”—Surf’s most immediately pretty track—was the voice of Chicagoan singer Jamila Woods swelling through the speakers on that chorus. It was all full of air and breath without losing its insistent innocence. It was Woods’s first true jump into the limelight—she was front and center for Chance’s perfect Saturday Night Live performance, for one—but she’d been a part of Save Money’s Chicago for a few years already. As one half of Milo & Otis alongside producer and composer Owen Hill, she’d already dropped two albums—2012’s The Joy and 2014’s Almost Up, both of which are worth a listen—and collaborated with Chance on “Lift Up.”
Her appearance on Coloring Book, laying down that cheerfully sultry hook, placed her back in the public eye, this time on one of the year’s most listened to records, before she announced the release of her debut solo LP Heavn back in May and dropped the title track, a play on The Cure's "Just Like Heaven." And with the album coming out next Monday, July 11, she’s now released “LSD.” It’s a dreamier track than either “Heavn” or January’s stunning “blk girl soldier.” Chance gets a verse in, too, his best guest verse in a while, but it’s Woods who owns it, soulfully considering her relationship with Chicago and allowing her voice to wander.
“When I was a kid, getting on Lake Shore Drive from the south side to go downtown was magical,” says Woods of the single. “I lived on the East Coast for a few years and people would laugh when I told them we have beaches and a lake we can swim in. I always wanted to write about that. A lot of people get Chicago wrong. I've developed this protective feeling about how we're portrayed, and at the same time I'm acutely aware of the issues we face and the root causes of these issues. It's important to me that there's not just one story told about our city. ‘LSD’ is an ode to Chicago, a song for the complicated love I have for my city.”
Woods has also unveiled the track list for the album which will feature production from Saba, Odd Couple, and Kweku Collins. Take a look at that, listen to “LSD” below, and keep an eye out for Heavn when it drops on Monday.
Alex Robert Ross is stoked about this, clearly. Follow him on Twitter.