Sufjan Stevens has released a new single from his upcoming album, The Ascension. Titled ‘Video Game’, it comes with an accompanying video directed by Nicole Ginelli and choreographed by Jalaiah Harmon. Check it out below.
“It’s unfortunate that we live in a society where the value of people is quantified by likes, followers, listeners and views,” Stevens said in statement about the track. “So many people are seeking attention for the wrong reasons. I think we should all be doing our best work without looking for accolades or seeking reward.”
He continued: “The main takeaway of ‘Video Game’ for me is: your worth (invaluable) should never be based on other people’s approval (ephemeral). Just be yourself. Keep it real. Keep it moving. Do all things with absolute purity, love and joy. And always do your best. Jalaiah epitomizes all of this and I’m truly inspired by her. So I thought, ‘what if we could get Jalaiah to star in a “dance video” about not wanting to star in a “dance video?”’ I’m so honored she agreed. She clearly owns it, and her work here is beautiful, poignant and true.”
For Harmon, this was the first time she was asked to do the choreography for a whole song. “I was a little nervous in the beginning, but once I really broke the song into parts and listened to the lyrics over and over, I just put moves together that connected to the words and felt natural for me to do,” she said. “I think I’m still really trying to get used to this kind of success, so I can’t really define it just yet. I just know that when you work hard and you treat others with kindness and fairness, good things come back to you.”
The Ascension comes out September 25 via Asthmatic Kitty. It includes the previously released, sprawling 12-minute single ‘America’, which was then accompanied by the non-album B-side ‘My Rajneesh’. Stevens recently joined Mina Tindle for her song ‘Give a Little Love’.