New Video: The Surreal and Hilarious Visuals for Wolkoff’s “The Homecoming”

Originally known for her work in electro pop projects Her Habits, Gemology and others, Toronto-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter and electro pop artist Joanie Wolkoff has been a JOVM mainstay artist before striking out on her own last year with her solo recording project Wolkoff. With her previous projects and her early solo work, Wolkoff’s sound channelled the contemporary electro pop sound of acts like Beacon, Seoul, Shades and others — Wolkoff’s ethereal and coquettish vocals were frequently paired with eerily minimalist productions consisting of icy synth stabs and woofer and tweeter rattling beats and bass. However, her ongoing collaboration with young, up-and-coming producer Icarus Moth — a collaboration that began with her Talismans EP and has continued with her forthcoming full-length debut Shameless — reveals a much more deliberate, painterly approach that draws from contemporary electro pop, world dance much and more as big beats, swirling electronics and lush layers of shimmering synths are frequently paired with medieval-sounding instrumentation.

Building upon the buzz the duo received last year, Wolkoff and Icarus Moth are set to release Wolkoff’s full-length debut Without Shame on April 15. Lyrically and thematically, the material on the album explores the role shame has in our lives and perhaps more importantly the possibility of sidestepping its grip on us through breaking rank and venturing into the unknown. And as a result, the material on the album may be among the most deeply personal — and yet profoundly universal — material she’s released to date. Without Shame‘s first single “The Homecoming” pairs big tweeter and woofer rattling bass with skittering drum programming, swirling and ambient electronics, Eastern-tinged instrumentation and Wolkoff’s coquettish cooing, and in some way the song possesses the dreamy and ethereal feel of Swedish dream pop — think of Moonbabies‘ excellent Wizards on the Beach and The Knife but subtly filtered through chip tune and old school house music. Thanks to its accessibility, the song manages to be both radio-friendly and club-friendly — but it also reveals Wolkoff and Icarus Moth’s collaboration to be one of the most unique sounding collaborations I’ve come across in some time.

Written and produced by Italian-born, Brooklyn-based duo Era Ora and Ivana Gloria, the recently released music video follows the surreal life and tale of Sheila the Dog Woman (played by Giulia Paradell).  Sheila the Dog Woman runs around the streets of Brooklyn, attends a party full of random weirdos (which includes a cameo by yours truly — seriously) and has a transformative metamorphosis at the beach. As Wolkoff explained to  the folks at Jezebel: “I think everyone knows what it is to wind up smack dab in the middle of a new situation where the onus is on you to fit in and there’s a pressing sense of having to live out a probationary term with whoever you’re building a fresh relationship with before they’ll stop looking at you like some kind of alien specimen.

 “This music video’s plot follows a similar narrative challenge,” she continues. “Thought it was ok to drink face-first directly out of your soup bowl? Wrong. Thought you’d feel at home during a party full of weirdos if you were a naked half-dog, half-human? Try again. While finding acceptance can be very trial and error, look at the interesting turns we take when we come up against these impasses. It’s these situations that drive me to be my most innovative and rub my face right in my own identity until there’s no denying who I really am. I like that.” In the video’s surreal setup, we should see something of ourselves as we try to figure out ourselves and how we fit in or don’t fit in with others — to a hilarious result.