We need a Thing today, we always need a Thing of The Day, (although we did already post about Caitlin Keogh’s new exhibition at East London’s The Approach already today. “Miss Grit, the New York-based, Korean-American musician Margaret Sohn (they/she), announces Follow the Cyborg, their debut album – out 24 February 2023 on Mute – and presents the title track and accompanying video. On Follow the Cyborg, Sohn pursues the path of a non-human machine, as it moves from its helpless origin to awareness and liberation. At times gentle and sparse, at times volatile and explosive, it occupies a sonic world of electronic experimentation and stirring electric guitars. As described as, “[Miss Grit] refuses to pack her songs into tidy, predictable shapes, instead allowing them to sprawl and rip.”
“Miss Grits’ impetus to conceive an album about the life of a cyborg stems from their own connection to this way of existing. As a mixed-race, non-binary artist, Sohn has always rejected the limits of identity thrust upon them by the outside world, in favour of embracing a more fluid and complex understanding of the self. Hailed by Rolling Stone as an “inventive, incisive singer-songwriter”, their process is introspective, their vision precise. In their exploration of the life of a cyborg, they subtly and overtly refer to films, including Her, Ex Machina, and Ghost in the Shell, as well as essays by Jia Tolentino (from Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion) and Donna Horroway’s A Cyborg Manifesto.
Today’s ‘Follow the Cyborg’ appears on the album twice – performed in English as well as in Korean (‘사이보그를따라와’), Miss Grit’s second language-in-progress. This moment represents their reclaiming of both cultural identities; neither of which feel exactly like home without the other intertwined. Following previously-released ‘Like You’, ‘Follow the Cyborg’ hums with synth and Sohn’s controlled tenor. Percussion from Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint) signals a more upbeat turn, the track expanding with vibrant guitar lines and swells of saxophone. The accompanying video for the English version is a stunning cinematic piece directed by Curry Sicong Tian. Its opening is neon-tinged, culling colours from film, and later divulges with high-fashion, futuristic scenes and aesthetics, often found in the aforementioned anime. “‘I wanted to place my body in the cyber world, allowing the different variations of my ghost to move about freely,” says Sohn. “I wanted to look a little freakish, unrecognizable to myself to avoid my instinctive filtration.”
Miss Grit has released two acclaimed EPs over the past three years,Talk, Talk, about the complexities of relationships, and Impostor on grappling with identity. The self-produced debut, Follow the Cyborg, was recorded entirely in their home studio, and mostly in solitude with several guest collaborators joining – Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, Aron Kobayashi Ritch of Momma, and Pearla”.