rjd2 and Aaron Livingston have formed the duo Icebird, and together, the prolific producer and talented singer are excited to announce their debut album, The Abandoned Lullaby, which will be released October 11th on rjd2's own label, RJ's Electrical Connections.
For rjd2, Icebird is the next step in a 10-year career that has seen him grow from heralded crate digger to celebrated instrumentalist and songwriter, composing the theme music for Mad Men and TNT's Inside The NBA, while releasing albums like The Third Hand and Colossus. With The Abandoned Lullaby, rj is expanding his repertoire, by stepping back. "I went into The Abandoned Lullaby knowing my role exactly," explains rj. "Both the engineering and producing – I was able to focus on both here totally, more than almost anything I've done before."
And it's because of Livingston that rj feels so comfortable in this new role. Livingston brings his own history to the table, taking part in the Black Lily jam sessions that birthed the careers of Jill Scott and Musiq Soulchild and being featured on The Roots' fan-favorite "Guns Are Drawn." The two first collaborated on "Crumbs Off The Table" from rj's Colossus album, and the resulting track had the two itching to work together again. "It was so exciting to see what Aaron would do with the songs," says rjd2. "He really is super clever as a writer."
Much of that cleverness is on display with "Going And Going. And Going," the album's lead single. rj's upbeat, snare- and guitar-heavy beat paves the way for Livingston's gritty, soulful vocals. "Language is always a code, and I wanted to use that idea to expand the range of what I can sing and say," explains Livingston, whose unique style shines through with lines like, "Forget your problems mama/ I'm the Dalai Lama up in here."
Sonically, "Going And Going. And Going" only touches on the musical diversity of The Abandoned Lullaby, which pulls from the duo's interest in creating art that mirrors life. "Stories about fabricated heroic shit don't interest me as much as something like a half-written lullaby," remarks rj. "I have an interest in art that portrays real world issues, that portrays the dichotomies of a 'balanced' human experience." The Abandoned Lullaby displays that balance throughout, making it easier for the duo to explore new artistic freedoms. "This is the first time I've had someone else at the controls for an entire project," explains Livingston. "It gave me room to really explore my voice – and what I can say with it."
Download: "Going And Going. And Going"