St. Vincent’s Annie Clark takes the idea of being buried alive to new extremes in “Cruel,” the first video from her upcoming third album Strange Mercy. Directed by Terri Timely, who previously helmed the “Marrow” and “Actor Out of Work” videos, “Cruel” continues the singer’s penchant for distant, uncomfortable interactions with strangers. Here she’s kidnapped and force to play wife and mother to a dysfunctional family, and the end result is a little bit disturbing: our protagonist finds herself being buried up to her forehead by her captors. It’s Stepford Wives meets Hitchcock, wrapped up in a nice little dance-guitar package. “Cruel” comes on the heels of “Surgeon,” the first Strange Mercy song she released last month.
Clark gave a behind-the-scenes look at the video to Huffington Post, where she discusses designing a fake grave and getting violently thrown into a car. Dedication knows no limits.