Starting his music career under a deliberate and intentional cloak of mystery as Kidepo, the Ugandan-born singer/songwriter Jonah Mutono finally steps out into the spotlight by releasing material under his own name. Mutono’s debut single “Shoulders,” is an achingly intimate pop song that’s one part diary entry of the painfully lonely and one part longing daydream about stumbling upon long-lasting love. Centered around an atmospheric production featuring stuttering, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, synth arpeggios and Mutono’s plaintive vocals, expressing an aching yearning that reminds me a bit of Jef Barbara‘s “Song for the Loveshy” and Avalon-era Roxy Music.
Directed by Isaac Eastgate, the recently released video follows Mutuno in an empty and abandoned subway car. Accompanied by only the train conductor, who’s just barely out of frame, the video is a reminder of how loneliness can make you desperate long for even the smallest bit of connection with another. “We are so lonely these days,” Mutono explains in press notes. “This old school sex therapist I stan, Dr. Ruth, talks about how she worries that Millennials aren’t finding lasting connections. In my experience, that’s on point. A woman put her head on my shoulder in a NY subway train — and it became a daydream about the rest of my life. I still secretly want an ever after, despite life having taught me otherwise. With ‘Shoulders’ I wanted to capture that feeling of big love in spite of that.”