For her fifth album as El Perro Del Mar, Sarah Assbring has undergone her most distinct transformation yet. KoKoro is the result of Assbring’s immersion into the eclecticism of global music—India’s Asha Bhosle, Ethiopia’s Yeshimebet Dubale, and Cambodia’s Sinn Sisamouth were all big influences—but on a more profound level, it is the result of Assbring giving birth to her son, a paradigm-shifting event that rejuvenated the Swedish singer and altered her artistic outlook.
To experiment with different sounds for this record, Assbring rented a room in a children’s museum of non-Western instruments. The product of those experiments can plainly be heard on the album’s title track, the video for which we’re premiering here. The song begins with a Middle Eastern-sounding beat, an unusual turn for an El Perro Del Mar song, until Assbring’s restrained and airy vocals firmly ground it in her catalog.
The video, which was directed by Hedvig Jenning based on an idea from the clip’s stylist Nicole Walker, “evolves poetically and emotionally around the theme of the song,” Assbring says, “the before and after having a child and the coming to terms with life, love, and time.” And since the “kokoro” means “heart” in Japanese, and the clip features Assbring with a young boy (who may or may not be her actual son) as she sings “runs in the blood ’til the day that I die,” it’s not hard to see where both her head and her heart currently lie.
Watch the clip above, and check out the dates for El Perro Del Mar’s North American tour below.
North American Tour Dates:
11/09 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s11/10 - Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel11/11 - Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right11/13 - Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rossa11/14 - Toronto, ON @ The Drake11/15 - Detroit, MI @ El Club11/16 - Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen11/18 - Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern11/19 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge11/21 - San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop11/22 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo