Angel Haze first made a name for herself the old-fashioned way that rappers are supposed to: By spitting dense, tough-as-nails bars that were the work of an inarguably great technician. Yet by establishing herself as such as a skilled rapper, Angel Haze might have run the risk of falling in with her tongue-twisting peers, the kinds of artists so concerned with proving their lyrical bona fides that they forget what the point of those lyrics are in the first place. We didn't have to worry. Angel Haze has always been an artist making music with an emotional core first and rapping for the sake of rapping second. Her music has a heart.
And so on "Moonrise Kingdom," the new single from her upcoming album Back to the Woods, Angel Haze heads into full Florence + Machine bombastic pop territory detailing the story of a doomed, fantastical love in a "moonrise kingdom only made for two." "You know I'm breaking again / you know I'm caving again," she sings. It's deep and affecting, and there's not a rap bar in sight. Angel Haze has got this sad pop thing on lock.
"I think there is a lot to be said of a love gone wrong," she said of the song over email. "I just wanted to explore the boundary between what occurred and what could have been. I painted a picture with the colors it taught me, whether they are auburn with selfishness, green with possessiveness, or pink with the memories of sunsets and long kisses... somehow I managed to realize a kingdom wherein all the controversy, all the colors, all the rage, the fear, the trauma could be beautiful... could be more than just motion sickness. You know? It could be a way towards a more progressive, expressive, and reckless love. The only problem is... I love best in my mind. Reality doesn't ever sync up. Anyway, this song is like the part in the film [Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom] where they're on the roof in that wicked thunderstorm and they're trying to decide if they're going to jump in love and possibly die together or let everyone else tear them and their wild apart. I don't know. Fuck love."
Back to the Woods is out September 14. Check out the album art and tracklist below, along with "Moonrise Kingdom." And if you live in New York, make sure to come out to her album release party, presented by Noisey, at Baby's All Right on September 14. It will be every bit as awesome as you imagine.
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