M.I.A. returns with ‘a song for 2020’

The elusive artist released ‘CTRL’ yesterday, along with some trippy visuals and statements of support for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

by Jenna Mahale
10 September 2020, 10:53am

Image via Instagram

Calling herself a ‘‘modern-day Tolstoy” (she’s right and she should say it), M.I.A. posted a brand new track to her OHMNI website on Wednesday evening, describing it as “a song for 2020”.

The Paper Planes singer dropped ‘OHMNI 202091’ via her Patreon account back in March -- her first new song since her 2016 album AIM -- after teasing her fans with hints at an official comeback earlier this year_._ 

Now, with ‘CTRL’, the artist is sending out a call to action: “stand up/when they try to/control”. Specifically, the song is in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who -- facing lifetime imprisonment in the US for conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer network -- is currently undergoing an extradition hearing: “The significance of this moment and this case is like nothing we have seen in modern jurisdiction.”

“This is not a song from M.I.A 's upcoming highly anticipated IIIIIIth LP,” reads the statement that accompanied the release, overlaid onto an image of purple flowers, “It was made for the here + now. Today.” The statement goes on to discuss first amendment rights, including “freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition.”

The release is available to stream exclusively on OHMNI.com, where the song’s lyrics are paired with some hypnotic, geometric visuals. A tonic for a Thursday morning!