Today is April 20th, the high holy day, and Flying Lotus is celebrating with a pair of new singles. “Black Gold” featuring Thundercat and “Between Memories” featuring Niki Randa both appear in the Netflix anime series Yasuke, for which FlyLo composed the score.
Yasuke is based on the true story of the first Black samurai to serve a warlord in Japan, and stars the voice of Lakieth Stanfield (Atlanta, Knives Out, Judas and the Black Messiah). Flying Lotus did more than write the music; the artist born Steven Ellison consulted on the story with creator LeSean Thomas. “[LeSean] and I talked about being outsiders in anime,” he said in a statement. “I was like, ‘Why aren’t more Black kids trying to do this? Why is it so out of the ordinary?’ He was saying that it’s because they don’t have examples.”
“Black Gold” and “Between Memories” serve as the series’ opening theme and closing credits. The first benefits from Thundercat’s ethereal vocals, with lyrics that set the stage for a magical world of possibilities. “Open up your eyes,” he sings. “Open up your heart.” As for “Between Memories”, this track is built around jazzy drums and the sound of Randa’s ghostly laughter. Check out both songs, along with their respective instrumentals, below.