James Blake played a new song by Jamie XX earlier this month on his weekly BBC Radio 1 show. Now, anyone who’s been salivating at the thought of hearing it again can rest easy, because Jamie’s finally shared Girl himself, with an accompanying music video.
The bright colors of the video belie the song’s heavy emotional content. Like most of Jamie’s tracks, Girl feels like the aftermath of something traumatic–infanticide, a car crash, or anything harsh enough to leave the spirits of its victims attached to this world, making ethereal elegies that feature so much ghostly reverb that it still decays when you turn your speakers off. The beat is lumbering, the sub-bass is overwhelming, and whoever originally recorded those desperate vocal samples wants you to walk away from the track feeling like Sad Cat.
The video, on the other hand, looks like it would make a fun iPad touch screen game. Actually, it looks like Jamie might have produced it with some version of patatap, where each key triggers a sound and an accompanying moving shape, allowing you to make melodies with post-modern-looking visual feedback. It’s a neat effect that gives casual listeners a bit of insight into how a song breaks down into parts and layers, and in this case, also balances the somber qualities of the song with some much-needed playfulness.