Anohni‘s “Crisis” visual is simple and unflinching. For the duration of the song, the camera holds a close-up on the performer Storm Lever. Lever mouths the lyrics — pointed statements like, “If I killed your father with a drone bomb, how would you feel?” — and becomes teary as the song progresses.
“De-escalation cannot occur until we truly account for what the United States has done,” Anohni wrote in a statement accompanying the visual. “I wanted to model what that might look like on a personal level as an American citizen. There is an unspoken sense that the atrocities our country has committed in the Middle East are too grave to really acknowledge or account for. And yet for peace to really take hold, there is no other road forward.”
“Crisis” appeared earlier this year on Anohni’s Hopelessness album, which came together with help from electronic artists Oneohotrix Point Never and Hudson Mohawke. “People that know my music tend to rely on my voice as a source of comfort,” Anohni told Rolling Stone. “This album was me not only making a series of indictments of our world, but also dealing with my own complicity as a participant in this prevailing consumer culture we’re all enmeshed in.”