Follow The Cyborg
‘Follow the Cyborg’, the debut album by Miss Grit aka Margaret Sohn, is a record that delicately abandons boundaries and archetypal constructs. Centred on a narrative that charts a non-human machine as they advance from a primitive being to a fully functioning humanoid species, this is an album saturated in emotional discovery. Sonically, the NYC-based, half-Korean artist has forged a persona that blurs the lines between electronica and rock, opting for an aesthetic that’s both calmingly ethereal and wildly chaotic. Fluidity and complexity create a symbiotic union on ‘Follow the Cyborg’, which is emblematic of its creator, who themselves identify as non-binary. Delve below the flesh and circuitry of the album’s biomechanical
genetics and you’ll unearth several nods to identity and how this can be ever-evolving.
‘Perfect Blue’s elegant hue powers up the LP, which has our protagonist repeatedly stating, “can take a breath now” as electronic textures soundtrack the titular character drawing their first lung-full of oxygen. An orchestral nuance eventually makes way for a fuzzy wave of St.Vincent-esque guitars, illustrating the pendulum swing of influences in Miss Grit’s box of tricks. ‘Your Eyes Are Mine’ documents the cyborg’s first steps and their early encounters with the outside world. “My heart was open/so you showed yourself right in/your words had meaning/so I switched to your speaking” coos Sohn with an air of innocence and vulnerability. Again, the track is built around minimal electronica that is eventually usurped by frenzied guitars that take on an almost organ like guise. Themes of frustration populate the awkward, fuzzy whir of ‘Lain (Phone Clone)’, as the artist lashes out at arbitrary boundaries placed upon them. “And what’s the point of being so profound/when all I’ll be is contained in this so vague membrane” trills Miss Grit with a disconnected tone.
The album’s eponymous track, found at ‘Follow the Cyborg’s core, is a pivotal moment in Miss Grit’s character’s on-going development. This is where expressions towards identity and gender are vocalised “I’m a living girl/a real living girl/your real living girl/I’m a living boy/a real living boy/your real living boy.” Musically this is Miss Grit at their most effervescent with synths, disco beats and guitars forging an infectious, danceable sound. ‘The End’ and ‘Syncing’, the record’s closing tracks, take on a mournful tone as our main character reaches the end of their journey. On the former, Miss Grit’s vocals are just above a whisper while murky beats and waif-thin synths envelope the sadness of “once I start the game/I’ll forget my own name/wait for my next upgrade/and try to feel more sane/I won’t cry/I won’t cry”. The latter and final song are tinged with sadness, from its brittle aural nothingness to Sohn’s tender voice, it’s as if the cyborg has become fully formed and with it cocooned by a very human trait: melancholy.
For all of its synthetic tones and mechanical flourishes, ‘Follow the Cyborg’ is a very human record, one that’s steeped in growth and vulnerability yet bestowed with a subtle defiance that baulks at the status quo.
Order Follow The Cyborg by Miss Grit HERE
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