Kelela is an R&B singer in the truest sense the word, and all her music fits squarely within the genre. But she always manages to find oblique, abstract takes on the genre, singing breathy, sideways vocals over woozily structured, cutting-edge tracks. And Kelela’s new video for “Frontline,” one the standout tracks from her excellent 2017 album Take Me Apart, reflects that.
The “Frontline” video, which tells the story a breakup, is an R&B video, and it indulges a lot the cliches R&B videos. It’s got a narrative romantic upheaval, told theatrically, with tears and dramatic gestures. It’s got a fancy car. It’s got a synchronized dance scene. But the twist, course, is that the whole video is computer-animated to look like a mid-’90s video game, with Kelela and her co-stars existing only as uncanny-valley polygonal creations. There’s some elegant surrealism in there, too.
Kelela shares directing duties with Claudia Matè and Mischa Notcutt, and it’s another entry in what’s quickly becoming one hell a videography. Like Kelela’s music, her videos combine easy sensuality with deep weirdness. They’re beautifully arresting. Check out “Frontline” below.
This article originally appeared on Stereogum.