In times of turmoil, some retreat inward, some draw closer to their fellow humans, and others lean into spirituality. The multifaceted collective Spillage Village does a little bit of all three. As pandemic and social upheaval gripped the country, the artists—duo EARTHGANG, rappers JID and Jurdan Bryant, singers 6LACK and Mereba, and producers Hollywood JB and Benji—holed up in an Atlanta rental and came back with Spilligion. Built around religious signifiers and iconography, the album teases out the theme to create something that is ambitious in its scope and lush in its musicality. “Baptize” playfully incorporates the language of the sacred in a display of nimble lyricism; elsewhere, "Judas" deals with betrayal and loss, while “Oshun,” named for the Yoruba goddess of sensuality, and “Cupid,” named for the Roman god of desire, juxtapose experiences of romance.
Throughout, hope, love, and camaraderie take center stage amid a backdrop of injustice and doom. “End of Daze” is an apocalypse (“God packed his bags and said bye-bye,” Mereba sings on the hook) set to candied neo-soul, while “Hapi” is a prayer for survival that resembles a sermon. The songs are collagic and, like church services, offer themselves up to be mined for whatever it is you need to heal or get free. Despite the cerebral nature of what brought Spillage Village to this album in the first place, Spilligion feels fun and carefree, intentional but not self-serious and brimming with a soulful Southern hospitality that goes down easy.