Lotus have confirmed that they will release their new hip-hop album Monks on September 10. The album features appearances by rappers like Lyrics Born, Gift of Gab (Blackalicious), Mr. Lif, Doodlebug (Digable Planets) and others.
A statement from the band explains, “Using the band’s own studio work as a sample source, the music will have a familiar feel to Lotus fans but re-contextualized as classic hip-hop.” Monks will be available for free digitally, via the band’s official website or on iTunes, and on vinyl. The members of the group first confirmed the album earlier this summer.

“The project started with a couple tracks we recorded with Mr. Lif,” explains Luke Miller. “From there, we just kept expanding to eventually include 11 different MCs and singers. Lotus is predominantly an instrumental band, so it was a lot of fun to create these collaborations. Life as a touring artist feels monastic sometimes. Monks devote their entire lives to their spirituality. We devote much of ours to music and have to sacrifice certain things to make that happen.”

The album’s tracks were woven together with the narrative intention of recreating a monk’s journey. Lotus also included several interludes between their MC collaborations. Jesse Miller adds, “For the interludes, we went toward funk and jazz influenced beat music. Off-time drum beats, analog synthesizers, tape echo machines and even a baritone guitar were used to record these short evocative set pieces.”

Lotus will perform at Eugene, OR’s Kaleidoscope Music Festival on August 25.

Here’s a look at the album’s tracks

1. Monk (Young)

2. He Ain’t Well – ft. Ozay Moore

3. Cannon in the Heavens – ft. Lyrics Born and Chris Vos (Record Company)

4. Great Molasses Flood

5. Deep Inside the Mothership – ft. CX

6. Different Dream – ft. Mr. Lif and Jay Lapp (Steel Wheels)

7. Pitched to the Fire

8. Another World – ft. Gift of Gab

9. In the Shadow of Towers

10. Follow Me – ft. Mane Rok and Xencs L. Wing

11. Atlas Slugged

12. Simplify Unwind – ft. Mr. Lif

13. Four Tips – ft. Ras Arcane

14. Bow Out

15. Cloud 9 – ft. Doodlebug and Ras Arcane

16. Monk (Old)