Pop singer/songwriter Santigold tells Billboard.com that she is working out the "last-minute details" of her anticipated sophomore album and will release the full-length this fall on Downtown/Atlantic Records.
Recorded in Los Angeles, Jamaica and New York, the new album features collaborations with Major Lazer producer Switch, TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek, Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner, John Hill, Greg Kurstin and Ricky Blaze, among others. Like her 2008 self-titled debut, Santigold says the forthcoming effort will be sonically eclectic but with some "epic" curveballs thrown into the mix.
"I wanted it to feel dynamic and powerful," says the 34-year-old singer (real name: Santi White). "I still have the songs that sound very electronic and clubby, but I have a couple ballads on this one -- my own type of ballads, where they just sound big, like the way some old Kate Bush or Peter Gabriel songs were…on this one song, we did a whole section that has a bottle used as the percussion, so there's layers upon layers of Greg Kurstin playing a bottle and literally filling it with different layers of water, and stacking each note. Mixed with a marimba and taiko drums!"
After touring for two years behind her debut album and starting work on the follow-up in January 2010, Santigold admits that it's been a struggle to stay on the same page as her label to create a finished product, especially since her first album was made without any label interference.
"By December of 2010, I thought I was finished. I was like, 'I'm done!'" she says. "I never really had the experience of labels and stuff, because last time I made the record and then got a deal… I didn't have to deal with people talking about singles and stuff before I was even done the creative process. That was new, and annoying. So for the last six months I've been trying to tie up loose ends and do a couple more songs."
Despite the hold-up, the singer says that she's pleased to have never compromised her vision of the album. "I wrote in the direction that [the label] were telling me, but secretly I kept writing in my own direction," says Santigold, who signed to Roc Nation Management in March. "At the end of the day, nobody will hear anything but things that I feel 100 percent are great."
Santigold confirms that a first single will be out before the end of the summer, although "there are some choices floating around" for what that song will be. In the meantime, the singer says she plans to road-test her new material when an overseas tour kicks off on July 8 in Bratislava, Slovakia. She's also set to perform at Brooklyn's Afro-Punk Festival in late August and at the 2011 Austin City Limits fest in September.