Continuing his transition from comedic videos on the popular Filthy Frank YouTube channel to a serious music career, Joji released a new song and music video for "Slow Dancing in the Dark" to accompany the album announcement. The haunting Jared Hogan-directed video pairs dark, ominous visuals with Joji's tortured vocals.
"My hometown is in Japan and there was a lot of water around me," Joji told Pigeons & Planes in 2017, explaining how his childhood influenced the calming sounds of his music. "When I was young, me and some kids would go down to the rice fields. We would catch frogs and stuff and I think I learned to enjoy quiet, peaceful things. When I make music, I'm trying to recreate that feeling a lot."
BALLADS 1 will serve as Joji's return to solo material after he contributed vocals to 88rising's crew album, Head in the Clouds, in July. Explaining that the upbeat songs he contributed to the 88rising album weren't a sign that he's moved away from his somber sound, Joji reassured fans in July, "'Midsummer Madness' and 'Peach Jam' are for the 88rising Head in the Clouds project which has a summer sound. However, summer will eventually come to an end. I have my own project coming very soon."
Watch the music video for "Slow Dancing in the Dark" up top and revisit Joji's debut EP, In Tongues, below.