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Music

Jack White drops new singles 'Hi-De-Ho' and 'Queen of the Bees'

@TylerGolsen
Jack White - 'Hi-De-Ho' and 'Queen of the Bees'
'Hi-De-Ho'
7.2
'Queen of the Bees'
7.5
7.4

American blues rock legend Jack White is set to drop two albums in 2022, so it only makes sense that the singer is working on overdrive to give us a two-for-one special in his singles releases. We’ve already gotten a few tastes of the records with ‘Taking Me Back’, ‘Fear of the Dawn’, and ‘Love is Selfish’, but today we get two more: ‘Hi-De-Ho’ and ‘Queen of the Bees’.

‘Hi-De-Ho’ features White collaborating with a somewhat unlikely peer – A Tribe Called Quest MC and producer Q-Tip. White is no stranger to off-the-wall partnerships, whether it’s with Alicia Keys or Beyonce. But according to White, the origins of ‘Hi-De-Ho’ actually come from another artist: legendary jazz singer Cab Calloway.

“I just heard that Cab Calloway song on the radio in the kitchen one day, and I thought, ‘I love that song, and it’s just so powerful,” White told Rolling Stone. “I said, “You know what would be great? It’d be great to sample that scatting that Cab Calloway does on there and have that scatting go along with a drumbeat.”

White is referring to Calloway’s signature song, ‘Minnie the Moocher’, in which Calloway scats and implores the audience to join in on the call-and-response fun. Apparently, when White decided to sample Calloway, his mind immediately went to Q-Tip.

“So I sampled it and then just played a drumbeat that seemed to go along with it, and then I grabbed a bass, and I wrote a bassline for that drum beat and on and on it went,” White added. “And then pretty soon I thought, ‘Man, this is so interesting. I wonder if Q-Tip would find something interesting about this?”

“Five minutes later, [Q-Tip] sent me back his own scatting on top of it,” White concludes. “I love synthesizing different moments, different areas of music, different time periods. The best part about it all is everybody I played to kept thinking that Cab Calloway was me. And I thought, ‘No, it’s obviously not me. Do I actually sound like that?’ So that was bizarre.”

White singular guitar fuzz is all over the track, but the experimental mash-up nature of the track recalls his work on 2018’s Boarding House Reach. ‘Hi-De-Ho’ isn’t the catchiest or easiest song to listen to, but White is clearly pushing the boundaries of what his audience is expecting of him while still making music that is unmistakably him.

As for ‘Queen of the Bees’, White approaches something close to haunted lounge music. The immediate reference here is The White Stripes Get Behind Me Satan, with its plethora of marimba that also colours ‘Queen of the Bees’. White is eclectic and devoted to a sort of old-school Americana throughout his discography, which occasionally comes out as bluesy acoustic music and occasionally comes out like the wonky ‘Queen of the Bees’.

Check out ‘Hi-De-Ho’ and ‘Queen of the Bees’ down below. Fear of the Dawn comes out April 8th, and Entering Heaven Alive comes out July 22nd.