On August 27, musician/actor extraordinaire FKA twigs debuted her new music video on the surreal FX comedy anthology show Cake. An unorthodox place to debut a music video, to be sure. But I am telling you: This visual, for her single “Sad Day,” deserves its place on the small screen and more. Directed by FX and music video wunderkind Hiro Murai (Atlanta, “This Is America”), “Sad Day” is a surreal, inventive, and psychologically exacting look at love, obsession, and ennui — oh, and it also happens to involve a straight-up wushu sword fight.
Yep! FKA twigs literally does battle with her scene partner, an incredible dancer named Teake, to work out the sadness of their relationship. They pull out goddamn swords from their backs, and fight hard. Murai and his DP Larkin Seiple (who also lensed “This Is America”) frame these battles in thrilling, dynamic long shots, giving FKA twigs and Teake ample time and opportunity to show us that yeah, they’re fighting the heck out of each other with swords, and yeah, they’re great at it. The fact that these visuals are communicating the chill electro-pop vibe of FKA twigs’ quite sad track is beyond intriguing, but I think we get a closer hint at what’s going on near the end. No spoilers, but a metaphor is made very literal in some of the wildest visuals I’ve ever seen in a music video, something that feels like a union between David Lynch and body horror of the ’80s. Let these folks make a feature-length action movie already!
Check out the incredible FKA twigs and Murai collaboration, “Sad Day,” below — and watch it until the very end. For more musings on music, here’s my ranking of every original song from Netflix comedy Eurovision.