I would never belittle Beyoncé's Lemonade visual album by tossing out comparisons willy-nilly, which is why I hope you know I mean it when I say that artist Kelsey Lu has made her own version of that masterpiece. The music video for "Shades Of Blue," the latest single from the singer and cellist following her 2016 album Church, takes a freeform approach to storytelling, weaving in the song with intense visuals, pauses for ambient noise, and spoken word.
"It's like the snow that gathers beside the road," Lu says in a syrupy monologue at the beginning of the video. "Over time it turns from its pristine whiteness that attempts to block the blackness below to a sludgefest of tire marks and wind and, on occasion, ice, revealing that nothing can go untouched, and in time, all will be revealed."
This looser approach to storytelling is emblematic of her desire to not be put in a box. Names and labels often vex her, especially, as she told Pitchfork, when it comes to her sexual and gender identity. She is cis and bi, but she wants everyone to have the freedom to change.
"In this day and age, when people are trying to gain their rights and show what they identify with against what they were born as, or assigned to be, the freedom of choice is really important," she told the outlet. "We’re all fighting for freedom right now."
It's been almost two years since that interview, and the life changes that occurred in that span of time are what informed her latest release.
"I wrote ‘Shades of Blue; when I was squatting in a leather factory in Hoboken, New Jersey," she explained in a statement. "I was really depressed at the time, and my life had flip-flopped in many ways — musically, financially, romantically and, really, soulfully. Yet, I was writing a lot more than I had been and this song is a manifestation of that point in my life. For me, it was a glimpse of hopefulness and peace from within that depression, and I can only hope it will bring a similar moment of peace to the listener."
Watch the video for "Shades Of Blue" below.