It has begun. The Roots‘ drummer ?uestlove had made a tweet a week or two ago showing his set-up of snare drums, and stated that it would be used in the recording studio. In other words, a new Roots album is underway, but he did not give out any more information than that. Different drums, different sounds: the spark of creativity underway.
The first day of July, ?uest answered a tweet by stating “undun is like a xmas lp. specific setting. Our next lp “&TYSYC” (guess) will be regular.”
?uest is one of the kings of the cryptic message, but hints are occasionally aplenty. This time, it’s just initials. One person looked at the initials and said “& Then You Sold Young Chickens?, which may or may not be a thinly guised reference to ?uest’s chicken drumstick adventures.
That’s all we know though: &TYSYC. Is it a lyrical reference? The ampersand may suggest this title is meant to compliment something. For example, if undun is meant to be “we wish you a Merry Christmas”, then would &TYSYC be the equivalent to the other half of that line, “and a Happy New Year”? ?uest stated that this new album would be “regular”, which means it’s not a concept album or (as I stated in my review) one with a running theme. This might mean it’s a bit of fun, a bit of playtime. The Roots album everyone can appreciate without being too heady, but then again, The Roots have always gone out of their way to add something extra to their music. The musical equivalent of the phrase “by the way” that Professor X of X-Clan would say in many of his songs.
Which leads me to be foolish and come up with a few guesses for this &TYSYC:
& Thank Yourself, You Cowards
& The Yack Suck Yellow Clang
& To Your Sonic Youth Caucasians
I can assume without asking ?uest that all three guesses are wrong. However, having a title pre-determined means new Roots music is on the way. With luck, maybe a few tracks from these recording sessions will be considered for Record Store Day 2013, either as The Roots or maybe a pseudonym or two. Maybe they could release their version of The Turtles‘ The Battle Of The Bands, which would satisfy some fans and how they’d like to hear them try out different styles of music out of their “expected norm”. I know: “Book, stop playing musical director, we got this.” Fair enough, I’m just playing guesswork as I always am. New Roots album before the end of 2012? Crossing fingers.
UPDATE (July 4, 2012): ?uest has added some numerals to the equation, to suggest that each word has x-amount of letters:
& T___(3) Y__(2) S____(4) Y___(3) C_____(5)