Nessa Barrett stripped down to the bare essentials alongside Ice Spice, PinkPantheress, and Raye for the latest Skims shapewear campaign. Barrett is even more vulnerable in her clever “American Jesus” single, out today (April 28) with an accompanying video directed by Loris Russier.
The video finds Barrett in classic small-town America. She’s sitting in a trailer while the object of her affection is cruising on a motorcycle on endless back roads. He arrives outside of her trailer and brings her along for the ride. They dance, make out on a kitchen table, and toss money up in the air before getting married at sunset.
Barrett’s cheeky lyrics use religious iconography as symbols of reckless young love (“He’s got a cross on his neck / But he spends Sundays in my bed”) and emphasize her devotion (“Knees down at your altar”).
“You know all my secrets / American Jesus, baby,” Barrett sings in the hook. “Won’t you take me to heaven tonight?”
The illusion of their love is broken when Barrett is awoken by him after he spots a police car driving by their trailer and panics. They can’t escape fast enough, and tears fall down Barrett’s cheek as her love is arrested.
“It’s about the fantasy of someone who is your savior, your cowboy in a crown,” Barrett said in a statement. “Everyone dreams about a love that’s heavenly, and I know everyone will be able to relate to this.”
The blind love at the root of “American Jesus” starkly contrasts the resentment fueling her punk-infused February single “Bang Bang” — further establishing her artistic range.
Watch the “American Jesus” video above.
Nessa Barrett is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.