Less than a year after Karen O received an Oscar nomination for her solo recording “The Moon Song” from the Her soundtrack, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman has returned with the lead single to her first solo album, Crush Songs, due out September 8th on Julian Casablancas’ Cult label. In the video for the two-minute, lo-fi song “Rapt,” which, according to Pitchfork, was directed by O’s husband Barney Clay, the vocalist floats underwater and sings in a similarly murky style about how “love’s a fucking bitch to me” while strumming guitar. Despite the painful lyrics, she stays stable, barely moving, before disappearing at the end.
“When I was 27, I crushed a lot,” Karen said in a handwritten statement about the record as a whole. “I wasn’t sure I’d ever fall in love again. These songs were written and recorded in private around this time. They are the soundtrack to what was an ever-continuing love crusade. I hope they keep you company on yours.”
The singer recorded the album in 2006 and 2007 in her bedroom, with every song containing the warbled, lo-fi sound of “Moon Song.” The record’s artwork will feature drawings the singer made alongside handwritten lyrics and will first be released on limited-edition vinyl before its standard vinyl, CD and digital releases. “So excited, lucky and proud to be involved with such a classic album – I just wanna listen to it all day,” Casablancas said in a statement. “Karen is an all-time great.”
Earlier this year, Karen O performed “Moon Song” on the Academy Awards but lost the trophy to the irrepressible Disney song “Frozen,” but judging from what she told Rolling Stone in January before the show, it was an honor to be nominated. “Holy smokes,” she said. “I had zero clue! To say this was unexpected is an understatement. It’s wild because ‘The Moon Song’ was written and recorded in the most humble of circumstances; at my dining room table, a few paces away from the couch I read the script for Her for the first time.”