Black Pumas Back With Soulful New Single, Album

Jody Domingue photo

The Black Pumas, Austin’s own rock ‘n’ soul sensation, have emerged from their cocoon, ending a year-long hiatus with a soulful serenade titled “More Than a Love Song.” This track is the first glimpse of their eagerly awaited sophomore album, “Chronicles of a Diamond,” set to grace our ears on October 27.

Eric Burton, with his unmistakable voice, croons, “Life is more, more than love song/ it’s more than a fantasy/ more than a little bit… This life is more, more than a dream/ more than a fantasy,” over a backdrop of sunlit melodies. The song is adorned with jangling acoustic guitar, a poignant organ, the rhythmic shake of a revival hall tambourine, and those signature Pumas harmonies that are as thick and comforting as molasses.

Burton reveals that the song’s message was a gift from an uncle, a mentor of sorts. “He’d listen to me write songs from afar and if I were lucky he’d have a pointer or two for me. ‘Life is more than a love song,'” Burton reminisced.

The Black Pumas’ journey to stardom is the stuff of legends. In 2018, they ignited the music scene with a month-long residency at South Austin’s C-Boys club. Their meteoric rise was so swift, so surreal, that it felt like a dream. “We were pinching ourselves in Europe, like, ‘What is going on?’” Burton exclaimed in 2019, just before their eponymous debut album was released.

Their South by Southwest 2019 performances catapulted them to international acclaim, leading to sold-out tours, high-profile festival appearances, and a series of unforgettable shows at Stubb’s BBQ. The pandemic may have postponed their 2020 shows, but when they did take the stage in 2021, the demand was so overwhelming that a fifth show was hastily added and promptly sold out.

 By 2021, the Pumas had not only accumulated a series of Grammy nominations but had also become a staple on late-night television. They further solidified their place in history with a riveting rendition of “Colors” at the 2021 Biden/Harris inauguration ceremony.

However, 2022 saw the Pumas take an unexpected break. “After four incredible years of career milestones and unforgettable live experiences around the world, we have made the difficult decision to press pause and step away from touring for the rest of the year,” they announced, leaving fans yearning for their return.

Now, with “Chronicles of a Diamond” on the horizon, Burton and co-writer and producer Adrian Quesada promise a collection of 10 tracks that encapsulate the band’s vision with “more power, passion, and daring originality than ever before.” The album title, perhaps hinting at the immense pressure of their rapid ascent, is juxtaposed with the video for “More Than a Love Song,” a heartwarming tribute to family and community, filmed in a Los Angeles neighborhood.

As Burton sings about life being “More Than a Love Song,” he paints a vivid picture of his true heart, reminding us all of the deeper connections and emotions that music can evoke. The Black Pumas are back, and they’re here to remind us of the soulful depths of life’s melodies.

black pumas chronicles of a diamond album cover image.

Black Pumas – Chronicles of a Diamond Tracklisting