It’s been years since we’ve heard new music from Maxwell, and when do we? He hits us with a gorgeous voice and a politically charged short, released on TIDAL, which shows a family calmly dealing with a mushroom cloud. It’s the end of the world, of course, and Maxwell, a small child and a pregnant woman are doing what anyone would do when the media tells you the end is five minutes away. They are holding each other’s hand.
The movie is called ‘The Glass House‘ and the song is called ‘We Never Saw It Coming’, and together they deliver a sobering vision designed to spark conversation and thought in combination with the outing. end of North Korea’s nuclear summit, where President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to pursue the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. It was a historic meeting for several reasons, one of them being that it was the first time a sitting US president had sat down with a North Korean leader. Some say the summit was a success even though no concrete next steps have been set. Regardless of the outcome, Maxwell was apparently moved by weeks of social media and media discussions surrounding the nuclear attacks. The video is available on Tidal.
The artist also recently announced a Black Summer’ Night of Social Justice gig, so of course he wouldn’t shy away from tackling nuclear issues. This new music, presumably from an upcoming album called NIGHTset to be the third in a trilogy of albums that debuted in 2009 BLACKSummer night and continued with 2016 blackSUMMERS’night.
“As an artist, I feel a responsibility to entertain and inform,” says the three-time Grammy winner, who can be seen here performing his 2016 hit “Gods” at the 2017 BET Awards. in the words of the great Nina Simone, ‘it is the duty of the artist to reflect his time.’ If we are to leave the world better than we found it, we must all come together, united in love, for our neighbor and this beautiful planet we all call home.
Adds Video Contributors, Bush+Renz Writing and Directing Team (Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz):
“As artists and storytellers, we have a responsibility to raise our voices to alert and activate people out of complacency. The Glass House serves as a sobering wake-up call that hopefully we will all have the courage and the determination to respond, … before it’s too late.
Here’s what else you need to know about “The Glass House” short and Maxwell’s return to the music scene – finally – after the 2016 album.
- The short is set in Los Angeles: as Maxwell and his film family gaze up at their glass walls, they watch the City of Angels as it is slowly devoured by a mushrooming cloud. When you watch it a second or third time, notice how the TV screen shows how the network is officially off.
- The film was created by Bush + Renz, longtime collaborators of Jay-Z. The group plans to release more videos with Maxwell as their album is released. The film is inspired by the quiet terror that many feel as they contemplate their very humanity. Street gangs, car accidents and cancer take their toll, but a nuclear situation makes all of that pale into consideration. The band taps into that anxiety. “A planet on the precipice brings us to this moment; global unrest and uncertainty afflict America with a palpable level of anxiety,” Bush + Renz say.
- The video features actress Yomi Abiola as the cautious, pregnant wife unable to do anything to protect her family. She is editor-in-chief at Vogue Italy, activist and model. She says she uses fashion and media to create social change. And she’s a fierce creative director.
- The song is classic Maxwell; quite charming and often haunting. This is in line with the star’s “Black Summer Night For Social Justice” concert tour, which will take place in New York in August.
- Maxwell says he has been inspired by Harry Belafonte, Nelson Mandela and Paul Robeson lately, and his art reflects these thoughts. If the new album NIGHT follows the trajectory of this trio’s first two albums, the songs are likely to touch on some serious issues while staying true to Maxwell’s “mature and sexy” musical allure.