Standing on the Corner are fastidious collagists at heart; the Brooklyn experimental ensemble stitches together far-flung samples, jazz instrumentation, and hip-hop beats into warped freeform suites. “Angel,” a punch-drunk interplanetary transmission anchored by a swooning, dazed vocal performance from the group’s architect Gio Escobar, is their first new single since 2017’s Red Burns. Over hollowed-out drum fills, scratchy, exuberant fanfare, and gently strummed electric guitar, the group tease out new vocal and brass tones and imbue them with dreamy lovesickness. The video elevates this astral-mindedness even further, casting musician and blaxploitation legend Melvin Van Peebles as an astronaut cruising through the cosmos. As he nears the darkness of the unknown at the end, Escobar’s vocals slow to a crawl and become increasingly mournful, pleading to “fly, fly, fly.” It’s an evocative low-lit ballad that induces a potent wave of melancholy and nostalgia.
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