Sufjan Stevens has released his new song ‘Video Game’, the second single taken from his forthcoming eighth studio album The Ascension.
To coincide with the song, Stevens has also shared the visuals which has been choreographed by and starring Jalaiah Harmon—the teenage creator of the TikTok-famous ‘Renegade’ dance—and directed by Nicole Ginelli.
The Ascension, the long-awaited follow-up to Sufjan’s Carrie & Lowell, is set for release September 25 on Asthmatic Kitty Records. ‘America’, the album’s debut single, was released in July along with its B side, non-album track ‘My Rajneesh’.
“It’s unfortunate that we live in a society where the value of people is quantified by likes, followers, listeners and views,” Stevens said. “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 added: “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 honoured she agreed. She clearly owns it, and her work here is beautiful, poignant and true.
“Her dance shows incredible energy, work-ethic and spirit. She is dancing for herself, not anyone else. Her choreography is sophisticated, nuanced, and fun. She is a star. She keeps it real. She keeps it moving. She keeps it true. What a blessing!”
See the clip, below.