The singer-songwriter tells the story of a sailor “yearning for freedom” on his latest track, and the new clip, filmed in quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic and released on Thursday (May 21), offers an intimate, moody portrait of the song’s character.
“The song can be interpreted in myriad ways and this was my primary idea. Miley interpreted the song, which is reflected in the newly released visual, as the Captain’s struggle with societal norms regarding masculinity, and his secret affinity for dressing as a woman at a time when this was not as widely accepted as it now has become,” Simpson explained (quote via Rolling Stone). “Being able to tell that story throughout this music visual was ideal, and I hope it inspires encouragement toward creative freedom in people in the realms of art, music, wardrobe and life.”
Simpson provided further commentary about the project in reply to a comment on Sunday on Instagram, where he wrote: “The captain/sailor’s struggle with personal freedom at a time long ago in which this wasn’t accepted, and you would in turn be vilified or condemned (often killed) for breaking apart from societal convention and proposed expectations or standards of ‘masculinity’. In this case the Captain’s (and my own personal) affinity for drag.”
“This message is intended to inspire others to be, act and dress however they please,” he added.
“Captain’s Dance With the Devil” follows the recent release of Simpson’s debut book of poetry, Prince Neptune.
Watch the new music video below.