Have you ever scrolled through Facebook and received an endless plethora of friend suggestions? Usually it's people you've never met, and your only connection is through a mutual friend. Experimental pop musician and producer Vogds is here to help you decipher whether or not people are who they say they are online.
On their spooky, self-produced new single, "Mutual Friends," premiering today on PAPER, Vogds experiments with impassioned vocal trills and melodies evoking Mariah Carey's sassy 2018 kiss-off "GTFO," while lyrically analyzing social media relationship dynamics, and how unreal they can be.
"Keep your distance, I'll keep mine," they sing, "I know we'll probably see each other in real life, but I'd rather keep this s**t online," as pulsating rhythms and Vogds's layered vocals coincide. "Just live your life and I'll live mine, we can be mutual friends."
Vogds open up about their creation process behind "Mutual Friends," how it was inspired by Carey, and fueled by the many odd rules and expectations behind those "follow" and "unfollow" buttons.
"As our Lord and savior Mariah Carey said best, sometimes you just 'don't know her,' and that's okay!" they explain. "'Mutual Friends' is a hypnotic pop-anthem for you and your distant internet acquaintances. You know, the folx that keep popping up in your Facebook suggestions; the people you may have followed and unfollowed, or been followed and unfollowed by. This spooky track parodies social media isolationism, poking fun at how comfortable we can sometimes be with not breaking the ice."
Later in the track, the interdisciplinary artist sings, "My sexuality is complicated, I don't really need to explain it to you," highlighting how queerness is analyzed, scrutinized and questioned frequently on social media, a place where, as Vogds implies, people should be able to express themselves freely.
Listen to the experimental pop track below, and shake off any social media-induced blues.
Photography: Olivia Vogds / Garments: Vogds