"Shoulders and Whispers" music video by JOOJ premiers via NOISEY

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By Ashley

On Apr 07, 2015

“Shoulders and Whispers” is the first single from the upcoming JOOJ debut album, a collaborative project from Sook-Yin Lee (Shortbus, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Year of the Carnivore, CBC’s DNTO) and Adam Litovitz, to be released on Last Gang Records on May 26th. It’s a spare and dramatic torch song that captures the tension between desire for physical connection and the denial of it. The music video was conceived by Lee, Litovitz, and award-winning filmmaker Brandon Cronenberg (Antiviral). In addition to JOOJ, the video features dancers Mairi Grieg, Syreeta Hector, and Benjamin Kamino, and legendary alternative cartoonist Chester Brown (Yummy Fur, Paying For It, Louis Riel).

Surreal and atmospheric, the video combines classical tableaux in stark black & white and contemporary dance: German Cabaret meets dreamlike evocation brought to life by psychological-horror enthusiasts Cronenberg and cinematographer Karim Hussain (Hobo With a Shotgun, Antiviral,Subconscious Cruelty).

The concept for the music video of “Shoulders and Whispers” came from Lee, Litovitz, and Cronenberg’s passion for film noir, German Expressionism, and classic horror movies. Using extreme shadows to create a supernatural mystery, naked and vulnerable bodies enmesh in a video that reflects Cronenberg’s preoccupation with human anatomy and Lee’s explorations of choreographic movement and sexual discomfiture. Additionally, the video adheres to formalist design principles regarding fixed shot duration and camera panning, for a hypnotic effect.

Dark shadows reveal isolated figures, cloaked and self-possessed, gripped by mysterious spectral forces that manipulate their senses in a space that is sacred and strange.

Check out the new music video, premiering via NOISEY.

Coinciding with the music video release, DFA recording artist Slim Twig and synth-pop brooder Digits contribute remixes:

“Shoulders and Whispers (Slim Twig remix)” by JOOJ
mixed by Steve Chahley & Slim Twig mastered by Noah Mintz

Slim Twig’s heavy cosmic remix of JOOJ’s “Shoulders and Whispers” is an enveloping three-dimensional storm cloud.

“Shoulders and Whispers (Digits remix)” by JOOJ

Digits transforms JOOJ’s “Shoulders and Whispers” into a propulsive and slinky disco hymn.