Not quite a week ago, Earl Sweatshirt returned, sort of, on an interlude track on Vince Staples’ great new FM! album. It’s funny though: The song, “New EarlSweatshirt,” isn’t set up like an interlude but like a radio premiere, getting about 20 seconds deep before being unceremoniously cut off, as if someone switched the radio dial.
It might’ve felt like a fake-out, but it doesn’t matter now because Earl is actually back with a real, no-BS track that is, in fact, more of a real song than “New EarlSweatshirt.” It’s called “Nowhere2go,” and it sounds like a sound collage clawed its way to life with the mandate to not waste any of its precious 116 seconds. It’s wonderful.
Earl accompanied the track on social media with a poignant message. “To say I’m excited to finally b(e) giving y’all music is an understatement,” he wrote. “This year been the toughest (one) of my life. Thank u for fucking wit me like Allblack.” That tone is reflected in Earl’s lyrics, too: “I think I spent most of my life depressed / Only thing on my mind was death / Didn’t know if my time was next / Tryna refine this shit, I redefined myself.”
They seem to speak to the depression Earl’s faced lately, and his tweet may also partially be a reference to the death of his father in January 2018, after which Earl canceled some live dates. His last album, I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside, was release in 2015.
Check out “Nowhere2go” above.