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Sufjan Stevens’s New Video Stars Renegade Dance Creator Jalaiah Harmon

After your lead single is 12-and-a-half-minutes long, there really are no rules. So we shouldn’t be surprised that for his “America” follow-up, “Video Game,” Sufjan Stevens tapped Jalaiah Harmon, creator of the hyperviral Renegade dance on TikTok. And yet! Stevens’s second single ahead of new album The Ascension — his first proper album since 2015’s Carrie & Lowell — is upbeat by his terms, softly crooned over some spacey synths. Not quite the pairing for hip-hop dance, but Harmon makes it work, dancing and popping bubbles in front of colorful neon screens. “The main takeaway of ‘Video Game’ for me is: your worth (invaluable) should never be based on other people’s approval (ephemeral),” Stevens explained in a statement. “Jalaiah epitomizes all of this,” he added, “and I’m truly inspired by her. So I thought, ‘what if we could get Jalaiah to star in a ‘dance video’ about not wanting to star in a ‘dance video?’ I’m so honored she agreed.” So don’t be surprised if you hear a Sufjan song the next time you open TikTok.

New Sufjan Video Stars Renegade Dance Creator Jalaiah Harmon