A couple of years ago, NYC artist Alexis Penney wrote a memoir called Window about his experience growing up in Kansas City as a gay teenager, and wilding out as a young adult living in San Francisco. It's funny and raw, sad and beautiful, and if you haven't read it, I highly recommend you do. While it was Penney's story, the pictures he painted most vividly were of the friends and lovers who danced in and out of his life. On his new single "Coming Home"—a duet with Holly Herndon collaborator Colin Self, co-produced by Teengirl Fantasy's Nick Weiss—he raises a toast to these lost loved ones. Fittingly, the video features many of Penney and Self's friends, lending their voices—and dance moves—to this moving monument.
"Colin and I wrote the song as a kind of present day, queer keen for friends that we've lost," Penney told The FADER, referring to the term "keening," which is a type of vocal lament or mourning. "[It's] brought into focus with a club beat because where else do queers keen but in the club? The lyrics center on the every day experience of death and grieving, which can turn even the most banal objects and turns of phrase deeply morbid and disturbing. But, as the experience also starts to normalize itself, there is something joyful and beautiful to it, as well—to the shimmer of life that everything has when you know it won't last forever. It's a lot to live in a house you shared with someone who has died, but I think that can metaphorically extend to all the homes and spaces we share as queer people, or as Americans or Westerners. There is a lot of death and ghosts and blood and bone running underneath everything, but also that same shimmer of life. I think all of that deserves to be given voice."
Penney's new EP, Home, is out today. Stream it below, and buy it here.