Jessie Reyez recently released her long-awaited debut album, BEFORE LOVE CAME TO KILL US, to close out March. A series of EPs preceded the LP, where we got to know Reyez as a woman and artist, often crafting songs that go against the grain of society and our expectations. The album brings this journey full circle. “The idea of the album is a fetus and a coffin,” she shared with Remezcla last fall. “It’s the idea of instead of taking life and death as opposites, it’s taking love and death as opposites, and then switching their characteristics… I looked at it and I was like, ‘Well f**k, the day that you meet the love of your life you’re really meeting the person who’s going to hurt you the most.’” While “KILLS US” is the title track of the album, we feel that the latest single “I DO” fully embraces the concept of the album in both audio and video.
“I DO” is a slow ballad about regrets in a relationship. Jessie takes the words usually filled with certainty as someone pledges their life to another and turns them on their head. The simple refrain is loaded with indecision, questions, joys, regrets and all the things that come with a relationship. “Do I still live in your head? / Do you still live with regrets? / 'Cause I do, I do” she hums over the chorus. The video for “I Do” exemplifies the dichotomy of the messages in the song and the album by interweaving the two biggest events in a person’s life: their wedding and their funeral.
The visual starts with Reyez in black-and-white clips referencing past videos “Love in the Dark” and “Far Away” before we get some new footage of her lover laying dead in his grandmother’s arms. The action then cuts to Reyez outside of a church with her ladies in waiting dressed in white sheets. She walks into the church and the clip quickly shows a black title screen that says, “Asi es la vida,” which translates into “this is life.” The church holds people dressed as spirits of the dead and ghosts. Upon walking to the alter, we see there are two caskets, one with Reyez and one with her lover. Finally, at the gravesite, the two exchange vows to be locked together forever in death and in life.
In addition to releasing the new album and "I DO" video, Jessie also dropped a deluxe version of BEFORE LOVE CAME TO KILL US and performed the album live on YouTube from the comfort and safety of her home this week. While Reyez had to put on a show from her bedroom due to the coronavirus pandemic, the intimate setting actually worked for her sentimental and sad but beautiful songs. Watch both the "I DO" and recording of the live stream concert right here.