It’s been four years since Andy Bothwell released This Is Our Science, the fourth album under the Astronautalis name. In the time since Bothwell has explored various other projects, including the “mystery band” Jason Feathers (which counts Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon as a member), his long-gestating collaboration with Doomtree’s P.O.S. known as Four Fists, and he even released a Bruce Springsteen cover on a split single with country-punk journeyman Chuck Ragan. But, for those well-versed in Bothwell’s brand of indie-rap, each of these endeavors make perfect sense, though he’s not above throwing another surprising pairing into the mix.
For his upcoming album—which will be released in 2016—Astronautalis has signed to Side One Dummy Records, the label that’s home to Andrew Jackson Jihad, Jeff Rosenstock, and many other like-minded punks. But given Bothwell’s past history of name-dropping 7 Seconds frontman Kevin Seconds or sampling a Weakerthans vocal hook, it’s a home that seems fitting for hip-hop’s Tom Waits. For his upcoming record Bothwell paired up with John Congleton (St. Vincent, Modest Mouse) and today The A.V. Club is premiering “Sike!,” from an upcoming digital single to be released on November 20.
“Sike!” sees Astronautalis forgoing the more subdued instrumentation of This Is Our Science and, instead, opting to go for broke with a banger. It bounces with a similar style to that of Doomtree’s No Kings, but it’s a beat that comes courtesy of St. Vincent’s keyboardist Adam Pickrell and features horns from Bon Iver’s Reggie Pace. It’s proof that Bothwell’s various creative endeavors have been filtered back into his main gig, as “Sike!” is a track brimming with energy and befitting of its exclamation point.