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H31R announce new album <i>Headspace</i>, share lead single “Backwards”

H31R. Photo by Kenyatta Meadows


H31R, the joint experimental electronic and hip-hop project from Brooklyn-based artists JWords (who serves as the producer) and rapper maassai, are coming out with a new album this fall. Releasing on November 17 via Ninja Tune’s Big Dada, Headspace will mark a new chapter of adulthood for the two New York City collaborators. With guest features from Quelle Chris and Semiratruth, the project is said to detail their coming-of-age epiphanies and discuss how they want to navigate the world. It follows their 2021 debut LP, ve·loc·i·ty.

News of the forthcoming record comes with a new song and visual accompaniment. In the Mike Weir-directed music video for “Backwards” — a nod to the visuals for The Pharcyde’s classic 1995 track “Drop” — H31R walk through the concrete jungle in schoolgirl-like skirt suits that represent the adulthood purgatory they seem to be in. While the pair move forward, everyone around them is in a state of rewind. maassai repeatedly asks, “Why you moving backwards?,” a lyric everyone can relate to when they make an unfortunate misstep on the road to progress.

“Working on the visual for ‘Backwards’ was a great experience and we’re really glad to see our vision come to life after having the concept for so long,” H31R said in a press statement. “We got to both pay homage to creatives we admire and also create something new with it.”

The director echoed the positive sentiment toward the group. “When H31R approached me to do the video I was all giddy cause I loved the idea of making a video like The Pharcyde’s ‘Drop,’” Weir said. “I think we’ve made something special and I hope people out there enjoy it.”

Watch and stream “Backwards” as well as find the artwork and tracklist for Headspace below.

Headspace album artwork & tracklist

H31R announce new album <i>Headspace</i>, share lead single “Backwards”

1. Glitch in Time

2. Backwards

3. Reflection

4. Big Bang

5. Glass Ceiling (feat. Semiratruth)

6. At Ease (Interlude)

7. Train of Thought

8. Shadow Self

9. Rotation

10. All Over The Place

11. Right Here

12. Down Down Bb (feat. Quelle Chris)

13. Static

14. Air it Out