Those looking for singer and songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae’s upcoming album Black Rainbows to mimic the success of her early, sunny songs like 2006’s “Put Your Record On,” had better think again. The musical project, inspired by the work of artist Theaster Gates and Chicago’s Stony Island Arts Bank, is eclectic, historical and personal.The album, due September 15, promises elements of rock, electronic, and much more, with lyrical examination of the history of the African diaspora resulting from Rae’s studies of the past several years. She describes the album as “Taking us from the rock hewn churches of Ethiopia, to the journeys of Black Pioneers Westward, from Miss New York Transit 1957, to how the sunset appears from Harriet Jacobs’ loophole. Black Rainbows explores Black femininity, Spell Work, Inner Space/Outer Space, time collapse and ancestors, the erasure Black childhood and music as a vessel for transcendence.”With the initial single, “Peach Velvet Sky,” Rae turns down the volume and delivers a piano-driven acoustic ballad with multiple movements and theatrical vocals. The song and accompanying video (featuring dancer Mayowa Ogunnaike) tell the story of abolitionist Harriet Jacobs, who observed small pieces of sky through her hiding place. Hers was a difficult life, and Corinne Bailey Rae’s own reflections of that life are powerful, and bring that experience forward two centuries. Watch the “Peach Velvet Sky” video below.

This song is the property of Corrine Bailey Rae