How does one come back from dropping what is largely considered the best album of 2016? The journey of artist Solange Knowles has been a fascinating one to witness. From traveling as a dancer with her sister and Destiny’s Child. To the shy release of 2003’s Solo Star—Solange’s first personal statement in the music industry. To now, in the calm yet energized aftermath of her fifth studio album release, When I Get Home. We continue to bask in Solange’s every move.
It was a surprise release, a move first popularized by her sister, but has now become a widely utilized method for dropping albums. Solange loosely teased the LP all last year, but considering it was a large swath of time between True and 2016’s A Seat at the Table, fans knew not to expect anything soon. Even if she was around, fluttering in the zeitgeist, quietly mapping out her imagined worlds against the real landscape of where she was born and raised. Houston. Home.
The week before When I Get Home arrived, Solange took over BlackPlanet. It was the first signal from the artist that the art was nearly finished. On her BlackPlanet page, Solange shared stunning previews of what has now proved to be an aesthetically wondrous album. So much leather. Cowboy boots with silvery manes. Horses trotting in a circle created by Mercedes Benz, touching noses.
When I Get Home, much like A Seat at the Table, is a beacon from a world which actually exists for Solange. A world we hope she will bring on tour. You can marvel at its strange beauty in the new music video for “Almeda“, below.
Unsurprisingly, Solange is a visual artist and filmmaker, too. Her art has been featured at both the Tate Modern in London and NYC’s Guggenheim Museum. We saw much of her visual art sensibilities come through in the physical realization of A Seat at the Table. The original, geometric stage props she brought on tour. The angles and perspectives and shades of the album’s music videos. The installations that poured out of her in the subsequent years, like Metatronia, and her Marfa, TX performances with the Chinati Foundation.
Though Solange has yet to announce any tour dates for the promotion of When I Get Home, we are hopeful, as she is scheduled for a few summer music festival appearances. After testing out the new album on the Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Lovebox stages, we think Solange will have the juice and blueprints she needs to produce When I Get Home precisely the way she wants. In a way that upholds her status as one of the most important performance artists of the decade.
If Solange decides to tour in 2019, which artists will she choose to travel and perform with? When taking a look at the extensive When I get Home credits, there are several names to get excited about. Pharrell Williams. Gucci Mane. Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes. Playboi Carti. Earl Sweatshirt. Tyler, the Creator. Though it would be asking for a dream come true to expect any of these artists to open for Solange, we are hopeful for some one-off cameos.
Coachella is just a couple weeks away. We think by then, if not before, we should know more about Solange’s tour schedule, upcoming art installations, performance pieces, etc. Will Solange Tour in 2019? We think it’s likely.
At the very least, we’ve only seen the crest of the world she created along with When I Get Home. And according to Solange, there are far “…too many parts, too many spaces, too many manifestations, too many lines, too many curves, too many troubles, too many journeys, too many mountains, too many rivers . . .” for the artist to be done just yet.