HuffPost got an exclusive first look at the video, which you can watch above. Director Kris Moyes (who you may know from his work with Sia and Beck) has Kelly wandering through a dreamy landscape while fearsome characters, each representing one of the seven deadly sins, emerge from the gloom.
“I wasn’t raised in a religious background,” Kelly told HuffPost. “That wasn’t really a reference that came to me, but I thought it could fit in really well with what the song was about ... A lot of what ended up in the video was really not planned. It was an ensemble, improv feeling. It was spontaneous and alive in that moment.”
“It’s about society giving us so many opportunities to escape ourselves through drugs, alcohol, boys, sex,” he said of the song. “Not that any of these things are bad, but when it becomes a compulsion over a long period of time, you aren’t really embarking on the journey that we’re all invited to take as human beings and to grow and to really face ourselves, our fears, our anxieties.”
To write “Runaways,” Kelly drew on his experiences living in South America between 2010 and 2016. It was during that time that he met his former husband, and the couple lived in Brazil and Argentina.
Sonically, the album incorporates a variety of genres, including classical, pop and folk, while its lyrics reflect the ways LGBTQ people “have this amazing freedom to define our relationships in a nonconventional way,” Kelly said. One song in particular, “Cracked Porcelain,” explores open relationships among same-sex couples.
“There is still a responsibility there to take care of each other and to make sure there’s love there and to value love and not just cheap sex and feeling gratified in the moment,” he said. “We don’t have to do things the way straight people have done for thousands of years. That’s really exciting.”
The release of “More” was intended to follow Kelly’s March 17 performance in Austin, Texas, during South by Southwest. Like many other artists, the singer-songwriter was forced to cancel the performance in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Although all of his future tour dates are on hold, he’s hoping to schedule performances in New York, Los Angeles and Austin later this year. He’s also eager to try his hand at a stage musical and possibly travel the world for a world music project.
“I have the idea of going to different countries with music traditions that I’ve always been interested and loved, so I can learn more about the music traditions,” he said. “I’ve thought about India and Egypt and Brazil and Ireland and places where the music has always really spoken to me. That’s one of my fantasies.”