Song marks final release from multi-part collaborative project
X Ambassadors share their new single “Torture,” an electrifying and emotionally raw collaboration with Alabama-bred singer/songwriter/producer Earl St. Clair. Released via KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records, “Torture” is the third and final track from X Ambassadors’ (Eg) — a multi-part project also featuring collaborations with Terrell Hines and Jensen McRae. “Torture” by X Ambassadors with Earl St. Clair is available now at all digital retailers.
The follow-up to “skip.that.party” — X Ambassadors’ collaboration with McRae, released last month — “Torture” is a time-warping piece of soul-pop built on classic grooves and futuristic textures. As he trades off vocals with X Ambassadors lead singer Sam Nelson Harris, St. Clair showcases the force-of-nature voice and tremendous range he revealed on his 2017 debut album Songs About A Girl I Used To Know. Meanwhile, the track’s brooding melodies and impassioned lyrics spin a powerful portrait of romantic devastation (“I’ll give you anything, and everything/Just to take my pain away”).
Launched in January with the premiere of “Ultraviolet.Tragedies” (an explosive collaboration with Hines), (Eg) was created as a way for X Ambassadors to spotlight the boundary-pushing artists they’ve encountered through their production/co-writing work. As with Hines and McRae, the band felt an immediate chemistry upon linking up with St. Clair. “We had our first session with Earl and wrote pretty much all of ‘torture’ in a few hours,” Harris recalls. “I had the chorus and Earl came on and did the rest and made it his own, and right away I asked if he’d be down to be a part of this project.”
Like “ultraviolet.tragedies” and “skip.that.party,” “torture” is accompanied by a documentary-style visual that defies the standard music-video format and incorporates excerpts from a one-on-one conversation between Harris and St. Clair. In keeping with the track’s unfiltered feeling, the two musicians go deep on topics like emotional truth in songwriting, vulnerability as a natural state, and the life-changing heartbreak that informed the making of Songs About A Girl I Used To Know.
Completed as X Ambassadors finished up their third full-length effort (due out later this year), (Eg) is a natural progression for the hyper-creative band, whose output includes producing and writing for global superstars such as Rihanna and working extensively with Lizzo on her massively successful 2019 album Cuz I Love You (including co-writing and producing tracks like “Jerome,” winner of Best Traditional R&B Performance at the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards). In sharing (Eg) with the world, X Ambassadors hope to drum up further excitement for each of the emerging musicians they enlisted as collaborators. “They’re all very much artists with their own unique style that’s so specific to them; they truly don’t care about fitting into any sort of mold, or curating their sound to anything other than what they envision,” says Harris. “That’s what drew me to all of them, and I know it’ll draw other people in too.”