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Here’s What We Know About Childish Gambino’s New Album Following His Weird And Wonderful ‘Pharos’ Shows

Childish Gambino A.K.A. Donald Glover took fans out to Joshua Tree in California over the weekend to deliver his “full album experience,” previewing his forthcoming album Pharos live in a world he created based on the record. While phones were banned, details about the event have started to filter out and it sounds like it was a pretty amazing experience.

He performed the album in a dome, dressed in a colourful, tribal outfit with his hair in braids. While was strictly a no-phone zone a couple of cheeky punters managed to get a few snaps of the event while others have since taken to social media to spill details about Pharos.

There’s no release date for the record just yet, but it’s more than likely you’ll be hearing at least some of it when he touches down in Australia to headline Falls Festival and Field Day. Until then, here are some details we’ve collected about the album from the event.

There’s Not A Lot Of Rapping

Through tracks like Sober, Glover has proved himself to be a competent singer as well as rapper and it sounds like he’ll be exploring that much more on Pharos. Many who attended are reporting that the album features next to no rapping and instead has Gambino channelling his soulful side. One punter told triple j that, “he didn’t rap at all”.

It’s Funky

Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak and Schoolboy Q have all featured jazz and funk as main influences on recent projects and it sounds like Glover is set to follow suit with Pharos. One attendant described it as “funk/jazz/futuristic 80s pop” while another said it was a “Funk/jazz hybrid”. Another compared the sound to Stevie Wonder and Prince, noting that Glover has been heavily influenced by ’70s funk.

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It’s Different

Glover has always been one to deliver material that’s a little futuristic and by the sounds of it, Pharos will be no different. This time around though, it sounds like it could be even weirder. “The album was super experimental,” said one punter while another said, “Pharos was weird…but cool.. But really fuckin weird.”

“This is a WHOLE different Gambino, you aren’t ready for it,” one said basically summing up what everyone who was there is saying about the record. Forget what you know about Glover already because it sounds like he’s going to shatter expectations. There are even reports that it could be a concept album.

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It Has A Full Band Vibe

Glover hasn’t disclosed whether or not he’s bringing a full band with him to Australia but he did perform Pharos for the first time with one. Kendrick Lamar and Anderson .Paak have been touring their music with a full band, suiting the vibe of both records, and by the sounds of it Pharos has been created for a full band to perform. Glover brought with him two drummers, a choir, a guitarist, a synth player and a bass player. “A riveting guitar solo was a crowd pleaser at the midnight show,” wrote Billboard about the show.

There Are 12 Songs With No Features

Twitter seems to be in agreeance that Glover performed 12 songs and there were no featured artists. Obviously, he was performing it live so it’s common for artists not to be able to gather together every featured artist to join them on stage but for the moment it seems there are no featured artists on the record. This is in stark contrast to his last record Because The Internet which featured Chance The Rapper, Azealia Banks and Jhene Aiko.

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It’s More Than Just An Album

If the Pharos event proves anything, it’s that Glover has grand plans for this record. He told Fallon that the event was, “a way for people to hear the album but also experience the world that it’s in,” suggesting he sees the album as existing in its own world that he intends to bring fans into. Many people were talking about the album as an experience more than anything else. From the outfit to the visuals, it seems the event was also a feast for the eyes.

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If you’re impatient and want a little taste of the album now, check out a vid from the event below:

And check out a few incredible photos from the event:

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