In what could quite possibly be the slowest musical burn in history, YouTube phenomenon iamamiwhoami is out with yet another track/video from her upcoming album Kin, due out June 11. The song is titled “Rascal,” and features singer Jonna Lee frolicking in the desert sand.
When we say “slow burn,” we mean slow — when it comes to the art of the extended album reveal, iamamiwhoami is queen. Videos from the mysterious musician started surfacing on YouTube in December of 2009, and started gaining steam after iamamiwhoami sent them to a variety of music bloggers — including writers at MTV.
The project was first launched anonymously — leading writers and fans to endlessly speculate about her identity — until fans finally figured out that Swedish singer Jonna Lee was the woman behind the artful videos.
Over the years, Lee has taken a wholly unconventional approach to promoting her work. Every new release, every bit of news, is presented as a puzzle to solve rather than a packaged announcement. For example, to herald the news that she would play last year’s Way Out West Festival in Sweden (her first live appearance), she launched a website announcing the news, complete with a phone number that, when called, played a recording of one of iamamiwhoami’s songs. Her first album, Kin, was announced via yet another cryptic YouTube video back in March. She has been steadily releasing new videos/tracks over the last few months for the upcoming disc.
Lee also alerts press to the existence of new tracks in a rather stripped-down way: by emailing them a link to the YouTube video in question, the title of the song in the email’s subject line. (That’s how we found out about the new vid.) There are no accompanying press releases, no offers of interviews with the artist — nothing. Just a link and a title.
In online terms, two-plus years is a pretty long time to hold the attention of the masses when it comes to unraveling the identity of a reclusive performer. The Weeknd, for example, released his trilogy of mixtapes over the course of a year and has long since started doing live performances.
Still, iamamiwhoami has a rather rabid fanbase — check out the view and comment counts on some of her recent videos — so we imagine that June 11 will be an exciting day for many a Lee lover.