Legendary singer Mavis Staples returns April 21st with a new four-track EP, Your Good Fortune, through ANTI- Records. After releasing a pair of records produced by Jeff Tweedy, this new effort sees the gospel and soul icon working with “cross-genre soul explorer” Son Little. Ahead of the official drop date, Your Good Fortune is streaming in full below.
Half of the album is made of completely new compositions by Little: the title track and “Fight”. Both tracks match the producer’s electronic approach to classic R&B sounds with Staples’ unfailingly powerful vocals. “Fight” in particular kicks about with a sashaying funk rhythm while Staples delivers speedy lines like, “Talkin’ ’bout Jesus but you treat people dead wrong/ Lookin’ for answers but you singing the same song” with a fierceness that can only come from 75 years of living.
“I’m always excited to do new songs,” Staples said in a press release. “And this young man wrote two just for me. Seemed like we were a team made in heaven. He writes from his heart; he’s a great singer who sings from his heart, and he reached my heart. I’m so glad we got to work together. The whole experience right down to the finished product was just extraordinary.”
The back end of the EP features “See That My Grave is Kept Clean” and “Wish I Had Answered”, two fresh reworkings of tracks from The Staple Singers’ catalog. The former is a Blind Lemon Jefferson song originally recorded by the Staples as “Dying Man’s Plea”. Here, Staples’ voice digs deep through swampy guitars to keep trudging on. “Wish I Had Answered” was written by Pops “Roebuck” Staples himself, and feels like a vintage Mavis gospel number put through Little’s modernist filter.
Listen to the whole thing below.
The EP comes in conjunction with Mavis!, a new documentary about the living luminary which premiered at this year’s South by Southwest and has been acquired by HBO. Digital pre-orders for Your Good Fortune are going on now, with CD pre-orders available here. A 10-inch vinyl release is also on the way, and you can check out the gorgeously designed sleeve beneath the tracklist.
Your Good Fortune Tracklist:
01. Your Good Fortune
03. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
04. Wish I Had Answered