Joji announced Thursday (April 16) that he’ll deliver his sophomore album, Nectar, on July 10 — and he also gave fans a dual taste of its unpredictable sweetness with his new single “Gimme Love.”
The song can be sliced directly in the middle, with Joji’s frenetic pop production laced with hazy “oohs” driving the first half right up until the one-minute, 40-second mark. Then, “Gimme Love” immediately shifts tones with a chorus of ethereal “oohs” floating above a climactic orchestral arrangement to conclude the latter half, which he produced alongside Bekon & The Donuts (Kendrick Lamar, SZA).
“Back in the day, I feel like you had a favorite part of a song, and now that’s not really a thing anymore,” Joji told Billboard’s Chelsea Briggs for the upcoming First Stream Podcast (the full episode will publish on Friday). “So I thought it would just be nice to kind of have a song that’s long and in two parts.”
Joji directed the accompanying visual with Andrew Donoho and it delivers the drama of the track on a silver platter. They begin capturing the nearly four-minute short film with a gritty, VHS documentary-style film that records Joji’s elevation as a mad scientist hoping to escape Earth before drastically shifting to a refined, cinematic shoot to capture his incredibly dangerous, yet euphoric ascent in a space aircraft.
For any The Office fans finding parallels between Joji’s spastic lead role in the video and the mockumentary sitcom’s main character Michael Scott (Steve Carrell), the 27-year-old confessed where he first found inspiration. “For the video and the song, I went off this quote from The Office. … They said something like, ‘I wish we knew when we were living in the good old days instead of finding out later,'” he told Billboard. “We see very clearly that even when we’ve completed what might be our life’s work, those moments might mean absolutely nothing knowing what you sacrifice to get there.”
He captures the psychological and physical need for an escape, which Joji describes as one of the “stronger themes of the album” that’s open to interpretation during the novel coronavirus pandemic. The LP will ripen by the summertime, but the singer-producer told Billboard he’s just beginning to cultivate his art in ways he’s never done before. His “left of center” approach to music carves his ever-growing career, but he didn’t make Nectar for himself: It’s for others to pick apart and find their own inspiration within.
Watch Joji’s “Gimme Love” music video below, and pre-order Nectar here.