photo credit: Koto Bolofo

August 15, 2023—Today, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae premieres her new single, “Peach Velvet Sky” with an accompanying video directed by Gregory Berg.
The song is taken from her highly anticipated new album Black Rainbows, her first album of new material in seven years, coming out on September 15 via Thirty Tigers. Of the track Bailey Rae explains “Peach Velvet Sky is about the fragments of sunset Harriet Jacobs saw, through the tiny loophole she made, and its ultimate width and wonder when she finally found freedom.” Watch/share the video here. Pre-save/pre-order the album here.
The transcendent ballad is inspired by the true story of Harriet Jacobs told through her self-written autobiography Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Bailey Rae originally read Jacobs’ story as a child, however after rediscovering it within the Stony Island Arts Bank she was empowered. “Reading in The Johnson Publishing Library reignited my interest in The life of Harriet Jacobs,” remarks Bailey Rae, “I had read her autobiography, ‘Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl’, as a teen. An aunt from America had sent me a copy of ‘Six African American Narratives’, and I went straight to ‘Incidents’, as it was the only one written by a woman. Re-reading the work as an adult and a mother, I was even more profoundly affected by Harriet Jacob’s mental fortitude and courage, as well as being shocked anew by the injustices and cruelties of her situation.”
Bailey Rae continues “Jacobs, born in 1813, escaped slavery in her early twenties. She feigned her flight North, knowing her obsessive, sexually harassing and violent ‘master’ would not relent until he had searched the Free States for her. Instead, she hid in the crawl space above her free Grandmother’s storeroom, where she remained, with the help of her Grandmother, for 7 years. Jacob bored a small hole through the wall of the cabin,  through which she could occasionally see her children as they played nearby. She could sew clothes for them by this light, as well as overhear conversations that pertained to her safety.”
The video features UK dancer /choreographer Mayowa Ogunnaike as well as Bailey Rae. Of the video Bailey Rae says, “I first saw Mayowa in the rehearsals for ‘Seeds, Dreams, Constellations’, the Contemporary Dance piece I co created with Sharon Watson MBE, in Leeds, Spring 2023. Sharon and Mayowa had begun developing the choreography for ‘Peach Velvet Sky’ and called me in to see what was happening. I was speechless when I saw Mayowa dance. The grace, the expression, the heaviness of the subject with the fluidity of the movement. Sharon and Mayowa had put in language which evoked Harriet Jacob’s story so poetically, her loophole for viewing the world, the compression which ultimately brought her escape, the mental strain, the physical and temporal endurance. When I saw Mayowa dance that piece I knew that we had to film her to bring this story to people.”
“Peach Velvet Sky” marks the second single from Black Rainbows, following critically acclaimed “New York Transit Queen”. On the track Eat this Music raves “Corinne’s vocals soar with passion and intensity, infusing the production of the song through meticulously crafted gritty guitar riffs and punchy drums, driving the infectious rhythm”.
In celebration of the new project, Bailey Rae is taking her live show to select U.S. cities this fall including Yale University’s Schwarzman Center, New York’s National Jazz Museum in Harlem, University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, and Bailey Rae will be making an appearance at the 35th Annual Chinati Weekend in Marfa, TX. See below for the full tour routing.
Wide ranging in its themes, Black Rainbows’ subjects are drawn from encounters with objects in the Arts Bank, a curated collection of Black archives comprising books, sculpture, records, furniture and problematic objects from America’s past. From the rock hewn churches of Ethiopia to the journeys of Black Pioneers westward, from Miss New York Transit 1957 to how the sunset appears from Harriet Jacobs’ loophole. Black Rainbows explores Black femininity, Spell Work, Inner Space/Outer Space, time collapse, ancestors and music as a vessel for transcendence.
English singer/songwriter/musician Corinne Bailey Rae shot to stardom with her self-titled #1 U.K. debut album in 2006, featuring the global hits “Put Your Records On” and “Like A Star.” Over the course of her career she has released three critically acclaimed studio albums—Corinne Bailey Rae, The Sea and The Heart Speaks in Whispers—and earned two Grammy Awards, two MOBOS, and has been nominated for multiple awards including the BRIT Awards, Mercury Music Prize and BET Awards. Her work for film and television includes the theme to Stan Lee’s Lucky Man (SKY1), “The Scientist” for Universal Pictures’ Fifty Shades Darker opening title and soundtrack which charted globally, and in 2020 her song “New to Me” was performed in the film The High Note by Tracee Ellis Ross. Bailey Rae has collaborated with a wide range of artists including Mary J. Blige, Al Green, Herbie Hancock, KING, Paul McCartney, Kele Okereke (Bloc Party), Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Questlove, Salaam Rami, RZA, Tyler The Creator, Paul Weller, Richard Hawley, Stevie Wonder, Tracey Thorn, Pharrell, Logic, Mick Jenkins and many more.
Theaster Gates lives and works in Chicago. He creates work that focuses on space theory and land development, sculpture and performance. Drawing on his interest and training in urban planning and preservation, Gates redeems spaces that have been left behind. Known for his recirculation of art-world capital, he creates work that focuses on the possibility of the “life within things.” Gates smartly upturns art values, land values and human values. In all aspects of his work, he contends with the notion of Black space as a formal exercise—one defined by collective desire, artistic agency and the tactics of a pragmatist. Gates has exhibited and performed at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France; Sprengel Museum Hannover, Germany (2018); Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland (2018); National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., USA (2017); Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada (2016); Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy (2016); Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2013); Punta della Dogana, Venice, Italy (2013) and dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany (2012). He was the winner of the Artes Mundi 6 prize and was a recipient of the Légion d’Honneur in 2017. He was awarded the Nasher Prize for Sculpture 2018, as well as the Urban Land Institute, J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development. Gates is a professor at the University of Chicago in the Department of Visual Arts and the College and also serves as the Senior Advisor for Cultural Innovation and Advisor to the Dean. Gates is Director of Artists Initiatives at the Lunder Institute for American Art at Colby College Museum of Art and the 2018/2019 Artist-in-Residence at the Getty Research Institute (GRI).
Designed by William Gibbons Uffendell and built in 1923, the bank at 68th and Stony Island was once a vibrant community savings and loan. Today, the restored Stony Island Arts Bank provides the South Side of Chicago with 17,000 square feet of space for innovation in contemporary art and archival practice. At the time of its construction, the bank was a symbol of the growing prosperity of the South Side, which was experiencing a building boom in the early decades of the 20th century. In 1979 the Bank was closed and it fell into disrepair. In 2012, upon threat of demolition, artist Theaster Gates purchased the building from the City of Chicago for $1. Gates, whose practice harnesses the power of space, objects and the spirit within them, saved the landmark from destruction. Gates sold marble from the original Bank build as “bank bonds” on the commercial art market to finance the renovation and remediation of the building. Today, the Stony Island Arts Bank is a vibrant hub of artistic, archival and cultural activity on the South Side of Chicago. In addition to serving as a gallery, institution and cultural space, the Arts Bank also hosts a variety of events including exhibitions, performances, film screenings and lectures.
September 5—Long Island, NY—Staller Center for
the Arts at Stony Brook University
September 6—Washington, DC—Lincoln Theatre
September 8—Philadelphia, PA—Theatre of Living Arts
September 9—New Haven, CT—Schwarzman Center at Yale University
September 10—New York, NY—The National Jazz Museum in Harlem
September 12—Cincinnati, OH—Memorial Hall
September 14—Chicago, IL—Rockefeller Memorial
Chapel at University of Chicago
September 17—Nashville, TN—CMA Theater
September 19—Charleston, SC—Charleston Music Hall
September 20—Durham, NC—Carolina Theatre
September 22—Sugar Hill, GA—The Eagle Theatre at Sugar Hill
September 24—Birmingham, AL—Alys Stephens
Center at University of Alabama
September 26—New Orleans, LA—Orpheum Theater
September 29—Austin, TX—The Paramount Theatre
September 30—San Antonio, TX—Boeing Center at Tech Port‡
October 1—Houston, TX—Stafford Centre
October 3—Dallas, TX—Texas Theatre
October 5—Santa Fe, NM—Lensic Performing Arts Center
October 7—Marfa, TX—Saint George Hall
‡Opening for Maxwell
October 25—London, UK—Ladbroke Hall
October 26—London, UK—Ladbroke Hall
October 28—London, UK—Ladbroke Hall
October 31—Madrid, Spain—Teatro Pavón
November 1—Barcelona, Spain—Studio P62
November 3—Seville, Spain—Cartuja Centre
November 4—Lisbon, Portugal—Capitolio
November 5—Porto, Portugal—Casa de Musica
November 12—Macau, China—Kooltai Festiva
February 6—Beverly Hills, CA—Wallis Center
February 10—San Francisco, CA—SF Jazz
February 11—San Francisco, CA—SF Jazz
February 13—Ridgefield, CT—Ridgefield Playhouse
February 15— New York, NY—Blue Note Jazz
February 16—New York, NY—Blue Note Jazz
February 17—New York, NY—Blue Note Jazz
February 18—New York, NY—Blue Note Jazz
1. A Spell, A Prayer
2. Black Rainbows
3. Erasure
4. Earthlings
5. Red Horse
6. New York Transit Queen
7. He Will Follow You With His Eyes
8. Put It Down
9. Peach Velvet Sky
10. Before The Throne of Invisible God


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