Chicago soul singer Jamila Woods is a year removed from her critically hailed album Legacy! Legacy! and appears ready to begin releasing new music, starting with the sultry, NSFW video for new single “Sula (Hardcover).” Channeling ethereal soul stars of decades past like Erykah Badu and Nina Simone, Jamila’s latest finds her ruminating over the nature of love and life as a young, Black woman. She seems to weigh her options between “freedom” and motherhood, love and sex, and criticizes the world for limiting her options.
The video revolves around some “secret garden” imagery, as Woods begins the clip wandering the neighborhood until she comes to a locked garden gate. Opening it, she reveals a curated wonderland of knick knacks and heirlooms evoking old cultural traditions. Photos of Woods’ musical inspirations adorn bookcases and shelves bearing books like The Souls Of Black Folks and she luxuriates in their presence before stripping down to her birthday suit. Remember Erykah Badu’s “Window Seat” video? It’s a lot like that, but from the front.
“Sula (Hardcover)” is a remix of “Sula (Paperback),” the single Woods released in August inspired by Toni Morrison. Where the song originally had a softer, simpler composition, here, it’s built-up and percussive, illustrating exactly the versatile qualities Woods sings about in the lyrics.
Watch Jamila Woods’ “Sula” video above.