Paul de Jong's latest single, "This is Who I Am," is unsettling and uplifting at the same time. The melody starts off with a lone cello, then slowly builds on top of itself with distorted sounds: bass guitar, voice, organ, drums. At one point, an audio sample of angry pastor yells: You made a fool out of me! You made a fool out of me, that's what you did! I curse the day you ever made me! It's hilarious, but creepy too. With synchronized video featuring vintage VHS clips, old portraits, and general imagery in the style of The Books—de Jong's old band—the visual accompaniment is just as strange.
According to de Jong, the song's angry streak isn't meant to be malicious. "I juxtaposed the—some may think slightly disturbing—lo-fi samples from some pastor's bizarre rant," he told FADER via e-mail. "Someone asked me where all that anger came from. It's not my anger. It's his. It is my kind of funny, though. I love my mother dearly and I would never say anything mean about her or the day she made me." His debut solo album, IF, drops April 28th via Temporary Residence Ltd.