Seems like maybe Jamie Lidell is tired of being so good looking.
Without even the need for costumes -- which he's accustomed to donning at his concerts -- the British neo-soul and dance artist is looking pretty freaky in the music video to "The Ring," the first single from his forthcoming album "Compass." That set is due May 20 (a Thursday) on Warp.
We already had a good look at the title track from "Compass," and it made us cock our head in an entirely separate way: it was far smoother yet broken, emotive, more revealing than the Lidell I'm used to hearing.
But "The Ring?" Ah, "The Ring" is back to the thumping funk synonymous to his name, though it's an entirely, overwhelmingly rhythm, with little else. The guitar skitters and barely lands on a single recognizable note, a baritone note reports a bassline like a stripped-down version of Spoon's "Written In Reverse. Meanwhile, the beats scribble around his wily, paranoid (but, still, sexy!) voice, lyrics about "a bedraggled beachcomber as he is seen desperately searching for his lost gold." Chilly Gonzales and Dan Rossen join him on the track.
As for the clip, Lidell writhes around in sand, tweaking out like in those videos on YouTube where kids film other kids tripping balls on acid. It's voyeuristically weird, only with lip-syncing.
As previously reported, Lidell has Feist, Beck, three members of Grizzly Bear, Wilco multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone, R&B superstar drummer James Gadson, Nikka Costa and more on "Compass." He has two U.S. dates currently plotted, for New York and L.A.