Here's the story of how Thundercat ended up with his signature wolf headdress. Or so his latest video, for "Song for the Dead," would lead to you believe.
In celebration of the one-year anniversary of his album The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam, the singer-musician released the Ry No-animated clip and, in it, a cartoon and caped Thundercat mourns the death of his pet wolf while playing bass, soaring to the sky, amid the galaxy, and overlooking the earth. Eventually, the lost pet finds its place on Thunder's head, and the two return to earth, where his wolf pack awaits.
The illustrator, Ryan McShane, says that, upon hearing the album, it was the song's moment at 1:49 that inspired him to draw the clip:
"[It] gave me the idea to animate. I wanted to animate this few seconds of a transformation as the sound spins around in stereo. But I had a few days free, so I decided to block out a full video. Super rough, black and white, with NASA footage backgrounds... And then I just sent it to Thundercat. He loved it. So I was locked into it now, my first big solo animation. Naturally, the way I work, I made it even harder for myself – adding colours and extra seconds.... Six months later, I'm backstage at Thundercat's show in Brisbane. Talking about art and Kendrick, drinking Hendricks."
Thundercat will head back on tour next month, including three shows with his Brainfeeder labelmates. The shows will feature Flying Lotus, Shabazz Palaces, Funkadelic featuring George Clinton and Parliament, and the Gaslamp Killer.
September 15 | Fox Theatre | Oakland, CA
September 16 | Fox Theatre | Oakland, CA
September 17 | Hollywood Bowl | Los Angeles, CA