Directed by Geoffrey O’Connor, Two Steps on the Water have released a video for ‘Hold Me’ off their second album Sword Songs. Evocatively simple and raw, the video focuses on lead singer June Jones as she stares unflinchingly into the camera holding a lit candle, reflecting the lyrics: ‘look me in the eye as I’m talking’. And indeed, it’s hard to look away, as you’re sucked into the confronting darkness and suffering of the singer on her route to bodily acceptance.

The first half of the video shows Jones prior to facial feminisation surgery, the later part showing the result: a new but familiar face. Hands grab at her in a way that feels violent and voyeuristic, but the visuals are incredibly powerful. Vulnerable lyrics: ‘hold me’ ‘my body so unholy’ convey the feelings of powerlessness experienced due to mental illness and living as a transgender woman. She puts her demons on full display, accompanied  by sweeping violins, soft keyboard, and sparse drums.

Watch the heart-wrenching video here: