From Michael Jackson and Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me" to Death Grips' "I've Seen Footage," surveillance has long been a point of fascination for musicians. Encompassing everything from governmental critique to techno-pessimism, all wrapped in feelings of paranoia and dread, the surveillance state is ripe artists to explore — especially given the full invasive extent to which our info, movements and behavior are tracked online.
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New York-based experimental musician Jimi Lucid's latest offering takes a poke at the terror of our digital panopticon in "Screens." A lo-fi shoegaze bop full of plucky guitars and washed out vocals, the track sees Lucid ruminate on visions of death and our terminally online existence. The song feels reminiscent of Yves Tumor's more recent work, striking a sublime balance between melancholy and gothic shock.
The new single arrives alongside an equally unsettling music video, written and directed by Eamon Colbert. Drawing inspiration from cult classics like Cronenberg's Videodrome, Japanese export Hausu and David Lynch's body of work, the visual shows Lucid going on a cursed camping trip only to be stalked by a wild-eyed ghillie suit-clad bogeyman somewhat resembling Old Gregg. The growing sense of dread mounts as Lucid encounters taxidermy animal heads and dreams of diving headfirst into TV sets. It's equal parts surreal horror and campy farce, all rolled into one enigmatic package.
"We wanted to capture what it feels like to be stalked and have your information, whereabouts and habits monitored by an onlooker," Lucid says. "Playing with these ideas, but still with a silly almost Scooby Doo mystery goofiness and David Lynch absurdity."
Check out the PAPER premiere of the official music video for Jimi Lucid's "Screens" and stream the single, below.
Photography: Yulissa Benitez