With the release of her debut single “The City,” New York-based singer/songwriter June McDoom gives a rapt introduction to her lilting mixtures of folk, soul, and reggae. One penned as an attempt to reconcile the sum of her parts: from trying to construct a gestalt of personal history as a denizen of New York to looking back at her family’s move from Jamaica in the 1970s. So although melodically haunting and filled with McDoom’s ethereally breathy vocals, the somberness of “The City” shouldn’t be mistaken as dour melancholy.
Instead, its jaunty bass riffs and buoyant soundscapes balloon tenderly throughout amidst twinkling instrumentation and gloaming tones. With McDoom’s coos camouflaging themselves within the soothing pageantry as she praises the courage in embracing transcience — the physical and spiritual. Her eclecticism is apparent in the production of “The City” alone, as she looked to Joan Baez and Judee Sill while writing it, before listening to The Delfonics, The Supremes, Alton Ellis, and Phyllis Dillon while doing demos.
The music video for “The City,” directed by Ximena Prieto, sublimely captures McDoom’s vision for the single. Shot to look like a glossy-glowing vintage reel the film was created to “honor transience in all its bittersweetness.” As the video continues you see shots of McDoom in various states of tender repose as she wanders the city and a certain yearning is emblazoned quietly but profoundly with every sepia-tinted scene.
“‘The City’ was a song I wrote during college at a time when I was having a lot of realizations about who I was and how much all the family and friendships of my life had shaped me. I was thinking a lot about my ancestry, the strong matriarchs of my family, and the impact and courage it took for my entire extended family to uproot from Jamaica and move to NYC in the 1970s.”
Watch the video for June McDoom’s new single “The City” below!