Still settled at an artistic apogee after the release of the career-reviving The Next Day, David Bowie, though without a full-length record in 2014, is proving that he is no less curious and daring at sixty-seven than he was in his twenties. His latest single Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime) is set for a US release on November 28th, and as already exhibited, the track contributes in further sheathing the current Bowie persona in haze. A figure disguised in murky grays, Bowie in his contemporary form is impossible to plainly spell out, so much so that each new release presents a challenge that makes each new track as enticing to unravel as it is to hear.
Directed by Tom Hingston and Jimmy King (the latter being responsible for broadcasting the few calculated images available of the artist’s modern guise), the video accompaniment for Sue serves as a fantastic appendage to the song.
In black and white, an image of Bowie and the Maria Schneider Orchestra performing the track is sporadically projected onto cheerless New York and London walls, as a figure in black, looking quite akin to Bowie, coldly watches on at a distance. The words to the song – perplexing, bizarre, and sad – are cast upon the walls, while darkness quietly closes in on the phantasm, leaving the word “goodbye” to haunt the screen, as a reflection of the bob-hatted Bowie lurks in its smoke.
The video serves as a chilly, fantastic summary of the artist’s complicated, contemporaneous guise. It’s well-worth watching, below.
Earlier in the week, ‘Tis A Pity She Was A Whore, the second new track that shall be featured on the upcoming Sue single, was also unveiled. The Facebook page of the artist dubs the song a “demo,” but it certainly doesn’t sound like one. In fact, it is so cryptic that it would be hard to even imagine what a “complete” version would sound like. Bowie’s only hint? “If Vorticists wrote Rock Music it might have sounded like this.”
Bearing in mind that Vorticists combined “cubist fragmentation of reality with hard-edged imagery derived from the machine and the urban environment,” the description seems apt. Listen to the track below.