When an artist releases a debut album that serves as a disciple for the First Church of Rock ‘n’ Roll, there are going to be lingering questions about how they will follow it up. If lead single “Witness” is any indication, we’re in for something special on Benjamin Booker’s sophomore album.

The single, which is taken from the album of the same name, enlists Mavis Staples for support – not a bad way to transition to a new sound at all. It’s a song that’s flooded with soul and gospel influences with a nice bite of clarity in the production. Horns zip, and drums carry a head-nodding cadence that also make you want to raise your hands.

This all takes a backseat to the matter at hand though – Booker’s voice. He’s impassioned, frustrated, tired, and looking for where to turn or what to say in an age of cultural regression. The choir acts as a steady anchor in the midst of a storm, captained by Staples and her unwavering strength. “Am I going to be a witness?” is asking what kind of participant you’re going to be in the grand scheme of what’s happening now. We possess the power to act, so where will our motivations take us?

Witness will be out June 2nd. Pre-order it now.