While Dick Van Dyke may have once asked listeners to “Put On a Happy Face,” singer-songwriter Soko is tired of it. Sometimes, you just need to be sad, and she’s making that abundantly clear in her latest music video.
On Friday (Jan. 17), Soko released her new single “Being Sad Is Not A Crime,” a funky, slow rock jam where the star reclaims the feeling of sadness, singing that while she appreciates your help, she’s okay with feeling a little blue. “I’m a threat to myself, and I understand you’re just trying to help,” she sings. “You treat me like a child.”
The video, however, takes a darker look at the singer’s concept. Set in a seemingly dystopian world where being sad is, in fact, a crime, Soko puts on a magical puppet show (with the help of the Bob Baker Marionette Theatre) for her child Indigo Blue, trying to keep it together while putting on a good show. But when Indigo is taken away and she lets the facade slip, the SAD Police burst in and inflict their whimsy on Soko.
In a statement released with the song, Soko said she was baffled by the fact that everyone is always focused on cheering others up. “Why should we have to pretend smile and put filters on everything?” she asked. “You shouldn’t have to apologize for having emotions. As long as you’re not hurting anyone, all emotions should always be welcome. I wrote the song feeling very hopeless, but wanting the music to sound very happy and comforting.”
Check out the surreal new music video for Soko’s “Being Sad Is Not a Crime” below: