Okay, so, let’s start with the main news: The Red Hot Chili Peppers are back with their first song with guitarist John Frusciante in 16 years, and “Black Summer” is everything you’d want with a Chilis joint — ethereal riffs noodling along, wonderfully nonsensical lyrics, and a music video that has Anthony Kiedis disrobing at the midway point. The fellas also have their 12th album, Unlimited Love, scheduled for release on April 1 before an extravagant summer stadium tour, which Vulture will be in attendance for.
But … uh. A few thoughts on the vocals. Kiedis’s voice in “Black Summer” has an accent that can perhaps be best described as part leprechaun-Irish, part pirate, and part ShantyTok. As our headline stresses, it’s hot and confusing. We’ve now listened to him enunciate “the archers on the run” a dozen times and still don’t fully understand the vibe he’s going for. “Our antennae attuned to the divine cosmos, we were just so damn grateful for the opportunity to be in a room together, and, once again, try to get better,” the band said in a statement. “Days, weeks and months spent listening to each other, composing, jamming freely, and arranging the fruit of those jams with great care and purpose. The sounds, rhythms, vibrations, words and melodies had us enrapt.” That explains nothing, but we’re still very into it.