Plastic-wrapped mandrake siren? Your guess is as good as ours.To whom it may concern.iamamiwhoami
is a Sweden-based electronic project produced and fronted by Jonna Lee. iamamiwhoami is known both for its off-kilter take on electronica and its usage of new media, such as video sites, streaming, iTunes, even the phone. The first videos were released December 4, 2009 and were released on a more or less monthly basis, barring the odd hiatus here or there. Generally the project uses the imagery of the hunting of a mandragora or mandrake, and an exploration of the siren song
aspect of the mythology.
The first six videos were short clips with coded numbered titles about the emergence of the mandragora (here symbolized by Jonna) from the earth. The second arc of nine videos concerned the mandragora in captivity amongst humans. The one-letter titled tracks spelled out "bounty."
The project took a different turn when the artists invited fans to choose a representative to participate with them. A German known only as "ShootUpTheStation" was instructed to tape his journey, leading up to a concert that was streamed online in November 2010. The hour-long concert contained new arrangements of the "bounty" singles, showing the seduction and cremation
of ShootUpTheStation. All the videos concerning the concert were removed from iamamiwhoami's channel shortly thereafter, but mirrors can be found here
. The concert can be watched here
. A month later, the concert tracks were released on iTunes.
Mid-2011, "; john" and "clump" saw release, as the first half of an arc which culminated in their first public concert. The two songs saw little connection to its prior videos, but was eventually revealed to be a part of "bounty".
Their debut album kin
was released June 11, 2012. Each song off the album received a video, which were released on their YouTube
channel bi-weekly up until the release of kin
itself. The previously digital-only collection bounty
got a physical release a year later.
Contains examples of:
- all lowercase letters: everything but Prelude 699130082.451322-220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.14.1.12 and IN CONCERT.
- Alone in a Crowd: At the end of play.
- Ascetic Aesthetic: The video 20101104; set in a sterile white-colored residence.
- Anonymous Band: Formerly. iamamiwhoami kept silent about names and identities for almost two years, finally speaking about the project in 2012, although it was already known that Jonna Lee and her long-time producer Claes Bjorklund were behind iamamiwhoami. It was later revealed the duo were collaborating with director Robin Kempe-Bergman, cinematographer John Strandh and set producer Agustin Moreaux for the visuals aspects of the project.
- Arc Words: "To whom it may concern."
- Ash Face: Played for Drama, in the IN CONCERT version of y.
- Anti-Love Song: o.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: t.
- Brown Note: According to the myth, the screams of the mandrake root plant when dig up would kill all who hear it. During 22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52155, the mandragora screams at a black dog barking at her, who is implied to have died in the next video.
- Call Back: Some of the videos from kin make direct references to the bounty era videos.
- Concept Video: To the point that every video on her YouTube channel more or less links straight into the next one.
- Continuity Nod: In t, Jonna sings "I'm on a hunt to find the cure." which is later referenced in goods: "Now we found the cure."
- Cryptic Conversation: Her exclusive interview with Bullett magazine consisted of her own song lyrics as answers to questions.
- Dark-Skinned Blonde: When Jonna has Ash Face or a lot of dark makeup (most of bounty; n and y).
- Demonic Dummy: The puppet of the Mandragora in u-1.
- Dream Pop / Shoegazing
- Drone of Dread
- Dying Dream: 20101104 depicts a double suicide, who are thought to be the "real" bodies of the mandragora and the "bearded" man.
- Enthralling Siren: Par for the course with mandrake imagery, but especially in b, u-1, and u-2.
- Epic Tracking Shot: the concert version of u-2.
- Female Feline, Male Mutt: The black cat gets associated with the mandragora; the black dog(s) with the human men.
- Floorboard Failure: Several consecutive times in drops.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Much of the video for clump is Jonna's head bouncing to the beat as she lies on a bed.
- I Am Song: "."note
- Idea Bulb: The imagery is invoked on y when Lee climbs out of a tree and receives a glowing bulb from its hole.
- Indecipherable Lyrics: 184.108.40.206.5.723378.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: In t where Lee marches around a forest in the nude nonchalantly.
- Jittercam / Jump Cut: ShootUpTheStation's handheld videos of his journey.
- Looped Lyrics: "u-2" which consists of "You can't be the knight."
- Lyrical Dissonance: Many, if you think of it. The most clear example is t, which is an upbeat track despite the suicide by drowning lyrics in the chorus, "Water fills her lungs and she's inhaling."
- Madness Mantra: "Come on, just kill this." in 'kill.
- Minimalistic Cover Art: For the album cover of both kin and bounty, and the singles' covers.
- Mood Whiplash: goods.
- Murder by Cremation: what iamamiwhoami does to ShootUpTheStation in the concert.
- Nature Spirit
- New Sound Album: This is quite different from anything else associated with Lee's old music. Also, compared to bounty, kin is starker and more minimal, subsequently spawning some They Changed It, Now It Sucks arguments.
- Non-Appearing Title: All the songs of bounty except clump.
- One-Letter Title: All bounty songs spell out the album's name, with the exception of the later releases, ; john and clump.
- The Oner: IN CONCERT consists of several lengthy takes strung together with stealthy editing to appear seamless. Some of the edits are noticeable, particularly the abrupt continuity changes seen when the cardboard coffin is sealed. ShootUpTheStation's handheld footage at the start lasts just under 10 minutes before cutting to a film-grade camera for the rest of the video. The final shot lasts over 16 minutes.
- Rapunzel Hair: Varies each video, but is usually quite long; she wears a dress made out of hair extensions during IN CONCERT.
- Sanity Slippage Song: After iamamiwhoami is struck by thunder in play, her appearance looks disoriented. kin could probably be considered a Sanity Slippage Album.
- Scenery Porn
- Self-Backing Vocalist: Lee herself.
- Singing Simlish: 220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.18.1.1110
- Starts with a Suicide: 20101104
- Subdued Section: In the middle part of y.
- Surreal Music Video: Almost every music video of iamamiwhoami.
- The Reveal: The video for t was the first time Jonna Lee's face appeared entirely free of makeup or obstruction.
- They Have the Scent: The black dogs in 22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52155.
- Uncommon Time: u-2 is in 7/4 time.
- Viewers Are Geniuses: A working knowledge of mandrake root folklore (including the German novel Alraune) helps to understand the Prelude and bounty series of videos. Each of bounty videos links to another user's video as a parallel, often requiring lateral thinking to get the connection between them.
- The prelude series of videos introduced a riddle that was sent, in full, to a journalist at MTV. Clues peppered the group's first 13 videos on Youtube. The solution was revealed during their streamed concert film IN CONCERT, one full year after the riddle was put out into the wild.
- Visible Boom Mic: Purposefully in shot early on during IN CONCERT, but played straight towards the end.
- White Void Room: The ending of kill.
- Weird Swedish Thing: One of the most prominent.
- Wild Hair: After being struck by lightning during play.
- World of Symbolism