Cassowary, the moniker of 25-year-old artist and multi-instrumentalist Miles Shannon, has announced details of his self-titled debut album, which will be released April 24th via Fat Possum. The announcement arrives with the video for new single “Belt Notch!”.
On his self-titled debut, Cassowary evokes everything from the loping electronics of the Low End Theory “beat scene” to the freewheeling chops of the jazz fusion resurgence, from the murky textures of Odd Future’s genre-hopping basement rap to the vintage funk revisionism of labels like Stones Throw. It’s an artistic statement that’s as beautiful and strange as the flightless bird that shares its name.
Shannon’s recording debut was nothing short of playing piano on childhood friend Earl Sweatshirt’s landmark 2015 album I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside, and the two spent hours bumping austere, lyrical rappers like Mobb Deep, MF Doom, Talib Kweli and Juelz Santana, with the video for his breakthrough 2010 video ‘Earl’ being partially filmed in Shannon’s home.
After graduating in 2012, Shannon opted not to attend any of the esteemed music colleges that had accepted him, instead moving to New York to hit the club circuit. Embedded in New York’s local jazz scene for a few months, he promptly grew frustrated by its competitive one-upmanship and its focus on half-century-old standards.
Instead, Shannon retreated to the places he was crashing at and played guitar. He was getting into the hypnotic rhythms of composers like Steve Reich and Philip Glass, as well as the classic rock canon he had once shunned – bands like the Beatles, the Who and Pink Floyd. He returned to California with a new vision, an armload of new compositions and a dream.
That dream is fulfilled on Cassowary, an unclassifiable 38 minutes that seamlessly weaves through jazz, R&B, hip-hop, funk, minimalism, avant-garde electronic music and more.
“I really wanted to make a record that I would listen to,” Shannon says. “I want people to listen like a musician, with that intent. It’s clearly not just a pop album with pop songs. I wanted to challenge people, sonically. I want people to go in there and be surprised.”
Cassowary – Tracklisting:
1. 114° (part 1)
2. She Funked Me
4. Price Went Up
5. 114° (part 2)
7. Belt Notch!
11. 114° (part 3)