Coming off the back of their 2021 EP, I Cry, KYŌGEN have returned emphatically with ‘Where There Is Sorrow There Is Holy Ground’, and today are premiering the video for the song via Wax. The project, which is a collaboration between PINS bassist Kyoko Swan and producer Daniel Broomhall, has always delivered with a dreamy and experimental pop sound, and layers minimalist beats and a pulsating synth bass underneath evocative lyricism.
The video itself, directed by Jason Parkinson and filmed in Hackney’s Hundred Years Gallery, features Mai Nguyen performing a traditional Butoh dance; a traditional dance from Japan that is often used to express and represent taboo subjects and grotesque imagery. This use of butoh, which literally translates as “dance of darkness” works brilliantly with the way the track conjures these images of suffering and searching for a way out of a hellish place. This, when mixed with the psychedelic colour palettes and stark visuals comes together to create a visceral experience.
With KYŌGEN taking their name from another Japanese artform which deals in relieving tension in a theatrical piece, this works well as a juxtaposition with the Butoh dancer in the video, pairing something light and hopeful with an ominous force, and Parkinson’s use of lighting goes as far as to suggest that. The strong overarching identity that KYŌGEN were clearly forming on their early EP is coming back even stronger with this new single and video, and this new offering is a tantalizing marker of what is hopefully yet to come.
Watch the video premiere below.
Words: Reuben Cross // Cover Photo: Sinead Ferguson // Video: Jason Parkinson // Dancer: Mai Nguyen
KYŌGEN’s ‘Where There Is Sorrow There Is Holy Ground’ is out now. Stream the track here.