Georgia Anne Muldrow says she named her latest album, "Overload," in reference to the violent, racist chaos that people—particularly Black people—endure when they go online. "We’re just scrolling ourselves into oblivion right now," she tells Colorlines from her home in Las Vegas. "This world is crazy!"
The influential singer and producer says "Overload," which debuts today (October 26), is an antidote to that exhaustion. Its 13 tracks offer listeners numerous moments of healing and love.Muldrow, who has collaborated with vanguard artists such as Yasiin Bey (then Mos Def), Bilal and her partner, Dudley "Declaime" Perkins, creates this atmosphere with soulful instrumentals and lyrics that are equal parts romantic, spiritual, revolutionary and celebratory.
For instance, the album opens with "I.O.T.A. (Instrument of the Ancestors)," which refrences the chants and percussion of Yoruba egungun ceremonies. "Blam" calls for Black people to practice self defense. The sweet title track pays homage to the friendship and trust a commited relationship requires.
"My ethnic group in this country has been through everything that everybody else is about to go through," says Muldrow. "At the same time, during these times, people had love for one another. There was love in relationships, even though it was illegal for our people to marry. Our marriages weren’t honored, because we were here to work. We weren’t here to cultivate friendships, motherhood or fatherhood. But in the midst of that, people still loved each other. ‘Overload’ is about [being] in this crazy-ass time, but we feel love."
Her concern for family and community courses through the album’s instrumentation, which, like most of her work, pulls from many historically Black traditions at once. Its seamless fusion also references her own childhood with musician parents in Los Angeles.
"My greatest conversations with my father stem from our shared love of jazz music," she says. "He wasn’t much of a talker, but when he saw I genuinely liked the sound of the music, that created a bridge of communication."
Muldrow made sure that all of "Overload" would be a family affair. She developed much of the music in the house she shares with Perkins and three of her kids. Friends Mike Keys co-produced most of the album with her. Longtime friend and collaborator Flying Lotus released the album on his label, Brainfeeder. Perkins appears on several of the album’s tracks. All of these connections help root Muldrow in her overall passion for the Black diaspora.
"I love music, man, and it comes from my love and curiosity of Black people all over the world," she explains. "The original people of this planet are an indication that the world hasn’t completely gone to shit. I’m interested in that, whether it’s in Micronesia, Maui, Memphis or D.C. in ’83. I want to hear it, and I love picking up on it."
"Overload" is now available via Brainfeeder.