Adrian Quesada has shared “Starry Nights” and “Rise of the Have Nots,” two new singles and videos that further immerse listeners in the intoxicating, nocturnal noir of his forthcoming album Jaguar Sound.
Out this Friday, November 18 on ATO Records, the second album of the year from the Grammy-winning guitarist, producer, and Black Pumas co-founder is a head-nodding and hypnotic opus, heavily inspired by hip-hop and the unheralded composers of 1970s-era Italian and French film music. On the equally celestial and soulful “Starry Nights,” harpist Mary Lattimore and pianist Neal Francis make special appearances alongside cinematic layers of violin from Alexis Buffum and Quesada’s own bass, guitar, and keyboard playing, while “Rise of the Have Nots” erupts into an arrangement of frenzied beats and menacing synth.
“One of the few positive things that came out of the early pandemic was a reduced human impact on our planet and out of that came some rare and beautiful starry nights,” says Adrian Quesada. “I was inspired to make music that reflected the skies, very much capturing a moment in time.”
On “Rise of the Have Nots” he adds, “I imagined an animated sci-fi film with a revolt against oppression of all kinds and the song plays out like a musical story, climaxing with a long but victorious battle.”
“Starry Nights” and “Rise of the Have Nots” follow the recently released “Noble Metals,” and across the twelve instrumental tracks of Jaguar Sound, Adrian Quesada showcases his singular and signature ability to build a bridge between seemingly disparate worlds of music, driven in part by his experience growing up on the border of multiple countries, cultures, and languages.
Originally conceived during the onset of the COVID-19 lockdown, Jaguar Sound also paints a musical portrait of a particular moment and set of sonic and emotional obsessions in Quesada’s life, when he’d ride his bike every day after dusk, listening to The Alchemist before cranking out beats that he then turned to song. In addition to Mary Lattimore and Neal Francis, Jaguar Sound features Ikebe Shakedown, keys from David Garza, and an array of strings, horns, and percussion that were produced, written, engineered, and mixed by Adrian Quesada at his own Electric Deluxe studio at home in Austin, TX.