Cold Specks Opens Up on Her Third Album, ‘Fool’s Paradise’

Cold Specks, the stage name of Ladan Hussein, released her third album, Fool’s Paradise, through Arts & Crafts on September 22. It finds Hussein exploring her identity as a Somali-Canadian woman and expanding on sounds and themes addressed on her previous albums.

Early single “Wild Card” announced that Fool’s Paradise was moving in a different direction from 2014’s Neuroplasticity. Where the music on Cold Specks’ second album was brittle and harsh, “Wild Card” is soothing and warm. Hussein’s mother inspired the lyrics, the artist explained in a press release.

“There was a man in my family’s store, a new refugee, who had traveled from Somalia to Canada … My mother had never met him before. He was a complete stranger from a familiar place. She took him to a local restaurant, fed him, and found him somewhere to stay. I was astonished by her selflessness and kept humming ‘I’ll be there for you. Don’t know why.’”

Cold Specks Press Shot

Hussein sings in Somali for the first time on the album-opening title track, which she dedicates to the semi-mythical Somali queen Araweelo. A queen of female empowerment and known to castrate male prisoners, Araweelo has been variously portrayed throughout the centuries as either heroine or misandrist. Discussing the song in W Magazine‘s premiere of the track  Hussein said, “It’s really difficult existing as a black Muslim woman in this world — especially a Somali woman … I started digging into Araweelo’s history, and I was just empowered by it all. I found solace in Araweelo.”

Both I Predict a Graceful Explosion, Cold Specks’ 2012 debut album, and Neuroplasticity contain an element of uncertainty to them; until 2015, Hussein was credited as Al Spx to keep her musical career a secret and avoid disappointing her family. Not coincidentally, both I Predict… and Neuroplasticity feel packed with anxiety raging just under the surface.

Now publicly known as Ladan Hussein, Cold Specks unleashed that emotion on Fool’s Paradise. Rather than an explosion (graceful or otherwise), the result is a beautiful, intimate album able to share the dark and the light.

Cold Specks’ Fool’s Paradise is available for purchase on: Amazon, iTunes, and Arts & Crafts’ online shop.

Culture

Reflections on Running 40 Kilometers Through the Swiss and French Alps

"When you are running on a mountain ... there is the link of mountain values. There is solidarity. You see someone on the path, you make sure they are OK."
Travel

What to Do in Mexico City: 33 Best Restaurants, Bars, Shops, and Destinations

CDMX is a vibrant metropolis filled with some of the best museums, eateries, and hotels in the world.
Culture

Fall Reading List: 10 Books to Read in October for Chills and Thrills

Poe, Dante, and King... the boys are back in town.
Auto

McLaren Debuts Not-Quite Senna-Challenging Track Pack for the 720S

The key to the weight-reduction of this track pack? Carbon fiber, baby.
Food & Drink

Def Leppard’s Got Their Own Beer Now

No foolin’ — you’re going to need more than a photograph of this new brew from Elysian Brewing Company.
Food & Drink

The Best Playlist to Enjoy While Day Drinking

Next time you plan on day drinking, put on this Spotify playlist and ride the wave.
Living

What You Need to Create the Ultimate Man Cave for Music Lovers

Immerse yourself in sound and style with these products perfect for your own personal listening room.
Music

New Music Preview: Kamasi Washington, Neko Case, and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

June has plenty of new album releases in store, but there are three particular records coming out this month that we can’t wait to hear.
Music

Best Road Trip Songs: Hit Play Then Hit the Gas

Ah, the open road! It beckons us to cast aside responsibility, embrace the unknown, jump in the car, and just go. Take this mixtape with you.
Food & Drink

Sink Your Teeth Into the Best Summer Barbecue Playlist

Take your cookout from genetically modified slumping to organic, farm-to-table bumping.
Outdoors

Cut the Cord with the Best Wireless Headphones for Running

It's easier to get in the zone with your favorite tunes when you don't have to worry about pesky wires.
Music

How Bose Sleepbuds ‘Non-headphones’ Promise a Better Night’s Sleep

Replace snoring partners or screaming babies with soothing sounds to help you fall (and stay) asleep.
Music

The Best Funk Songs for Getting Down

From roller rinks to velvet lounges, funk is the grout between the tiles of life that keeps our bathtub all sparkly, scrubba-dub-dub fun.