D’Angelo officially released his meditative new song, “Unshaken,” which appears on the soundtrack of Rockstar video game Red Dead Redemption 2. The track, now available on streaming services, marks the soul singer’s first release since his third LP, 2014’s Black Messiah.
The vocalist explores his lower register throughout, crooning bleak imagery over a percussive groove. “Did I hear a thunder? Did I hear you break?” he sings. “I can’t quite remember just what guided me this way.” On the chorus, he pleads, “May I stand unshaken/ Amid, amidst a crashing world.”
The blockbuster Western action-adventure game also features music from Willie Nelson, Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, Nas, and Rhiannon Giddens. Woody Jackson’s score includes contributions from Arca, Daniel Lanois, Colin Stetson and Queens of the Stone Age drummer Jon Theodore.
Several of the game’s musical contributors spoke to Rolling Stone for a recent piece observing the soundtrack’s wide appeal.
“What’s interesting to me is the amount of traction we’re getting — all of this material has really caught on on the internet,” Lanois said. “These songs are being ripped from the game and they’re on YouTube everywhere. There are Japanese pianists doing classical versions of the song I wrote with Rhiannon [Giddens]. I haven’t felt this kind of fever since the late Eighties, when I was knocking it out of the park [producing] Peter Gabriel and U2!”