Jehnny Beth, the Savages frontwoman, has marked the release of her solo debut, To Love Is to Live, with a surrealistic video for the dusky track, “We Will Sin Together,” which contains the album’s titular line: “To love is to live/to live is to sin.”
To illustrate this, the clip presents a religious-looking marble statue that, once unveiled, comes to life and engages in a litany of sexual and violent vignettes. These reference mythology from Catholic, Roman and Greek literature — the Virgin Mary, Cupid and Psyche, Pluto and Proserpina, Michael and Lucifer, and Satyr and Hermaphroditus — as the track’s sparse, dramatic electronic backdrop supports Beth’s lyrics about kisses, murder and damnation.
The clip comes via British graphic designer Tom Hingston’s Hingston Studio, which also worked on To Love Is to Live’s cover art. The studio took a 3-D capture of Beth for the cover and she posed again in March for the clip. “The embodiment of different voices and this whole notion of embracing the masculine and feminine characteristics of identity was the main starting point for us,” Hingston said of the clip in a statement. “The record has an attitude and a driving intent — there is a rawness from her lyrics and the production, which doesn’t sound like anything you’ve heard before.”
In the leadup to the release, Beth issued videos for the record’s “Heroine,” “Innocence,” “I’m the Man” and “Flower,” the last of which Rolling Stone dubbed a Song You Need to Know. The magazine praised the album in a review. “Best absorbed in a single, uninterrupted sitting than in pieces, the music transforms from sweet and cinematic to harsh and claustrophobic and Beth’s voice similarly vacillates between acidic and corrosive or lush and full of yearning, in a manner that echoes Patti Smith,” the review read. “Her lyrics are often uncomfortably revealing, as she peels apart her feelings about love, sex, sin, femininity, masculinity, Catholic guilt and violence and how they all define her — often on the same song. She’s a rare artist who thrives on overthinking everything (hey, she is French) and the album’s general grandiosity never feels obnoxious.”