Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright has released a new standalone song and video titled, “Sword of Damocles.” Rufus debuted the song last week on The Late Late Show with James Corden to widespread praise.
Of the single, Rufus said “This is my artistic response to what is currently transpiring within the American government and how its collapse is affecting every aspect of existence for us all. With the Midterm Elections around the corner, it’s important for everyone to take a stand and contribute in some way, whether it’s bringing awareness to issues in your community, protesting/demonstrating, watching the news to formulate your own opinions, creating, yelling – it’s all hands on deck. VOTE.”
The video heavily references the famed ancient expression, which is a parable of impending doom of and to those in positions of power. This timeless tale points out the hard fact that with great power, comes great responsibility, and for all concerned, great danger. The project is packed with talent – featuring Emmy winner Darren Criss, wardrobe from Vivienne Westwood, and direction from Andrew Ondrejcak.
Ondrejcak said, “Often my work is concept-driven but for Damocles, I knew that I wanted to focus on a more traditional narrative storytelling. I’ve also been playing with a more formal approach to color – and I wanted to experiment with a Wizard of Oz effect – to begin the story in brownish tones, and then once Dorothy lands in Oz, the creamy sepia tones of Kansas turn into the candy-colored Technicolor of Oz. I think this also speaks to this duality of reality and imagination, of the Real and Unreal.”
A portion of the proceeds from “Sword of Damocles” will benefit the Swing Left Organization.
The song comes off the heels of “Hadrian,” Rufus’ second opera that premiered to much fanfare in Toronto on October 13th. Next up is the “All These Poses” Anniversary Tour 2018 which kicks off in Los Angeles on November 9th, followed by the legendary Rufus and Martha Wainwright Christmas show, “Noel Nights,” which returns to New York City for the first time in four years at Town Hall on December 16th.