Mitski delivers one of the best music videos of the year.

New York-via-Japan singer-guitarist Mitski got her first FACT nod for the excellent, stark video for ‘Your Best American Girl’ from Puberty 2, her upcoming follow-up to 2014’s Bury Me at Make Out Creek. Today she releases a clip for ‘Happy’, the album’s opening track, which is directed by Maegan Houang. Here, Houang doubles down on the mystifying and sometimes gruesome aspects of love and fidelity, so to speak, explored in ‘American Girl’.

“I’m a huge fan of Mitski and dreamt of doing a music video for her for a long time. Her music inspires me on a daily basis and I especially like to make work for female artists,” Houang told FACT over email. “The juxtaposition between the title of the song ‘Happy’ and the sober tone of the music reminded me of 1950s melodramas where things look so beautiful, but people feel so emotionally tortured and trapped… Stylistically, Douglas Sirk, particularly All That Heaven Allows, was the main inspiration for the video, as well as Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood For Love.

“It was important to me to cast an Asian American female as the lead as we rarely see Asian American women portrayed in the past, even though they did exist. When I was growing up I never saw anyone that looked like me – I’m half-Asian – on screen so to see someone like Mitski, who is also half-Asian, connect with so many people is very inspiring.”

Puberty 2 is out June 17 via Dead Oceans.

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