Video: Jess Joy, ‘Thrashold’

Jess Joy (Photo by Rayana Chumthong)

The new video from Jess Joy comes with a trigger warning for violence — which, although merely mimed by the artist herself, delivers her heavy message.

“Trashold,” the second single from Joy’s solo debut album, “Patreearchy” (out April 16 via Joyful Noise), is a broadside against oppression, especially as instigated by white males. She argues the power dynamic is ingrained in society, and incidents such as the death of George Floyd are not the result of “just one bad apple.” Instead, she proclaims, “The tree is sick!”

“The ‘Thrashold’ music video portrays oppressive binaries,” says Joy, formerly the singer in Moon Honey. “In the context of a patriarchy founded on white supremacy, the binary concepts of men/women [and] white/black serve to justify an unequal hoarding of power. The tree of good/evil represents the roots and fruits of white privilege and power, the inherited belief that one knows/should enforce right or wrong on others, aka policing/violence. ‘Thrashold’ suggests that if white folks want be of any help in dismantling white supremacy, we first must acknowledge it, become cognizant of our own privilege and bias, and be willing to give up our ‘rightness.’”

The tune is another of Joy’s dalliances in experimental pop, with her distinct, acrobatic vocals flitting over minimal instrumentation. It’s a sound that producer Greg Saunier of Deerhoof has bottled for the album.

Proceeds from the single, released on this Bandcamp Friday, will benefit the Los Angeles-based nonprofit A New Way of Life.

Joy, a visual and movement artist as well as a singer-songwriter, directed the video and designed the set. It was filmed by Sarah McTaggart.

||| Watch: The video for “Thrashold”

||| Previously: “Bless Your Name”