Made to spark a visceral reaction of simultaneous disgust and wonder, see SOPHIE's CG-ed head shopped beyond recognition amongst strobes and HD stock images
Since the reinvention of SOPHIE, from enigmatic producer turned boundary pushing nu-pop figurehead, she's been exploring intimate parts of herself with her audience. Her latest releases from her upcoming album have been a total reinvention, exploring all sides of her new persona like the innately personal on 'It's Okay To Cry' and the twisted sexuality of 'Ponyboy'. Now she addresses superficiality and the pressures of perfection in her new video for 'Faceshopping'. It's a track and video that exists to disorientate, to make you feel uncomfortable, to make you think and to spark a visceral reaction of simultaneous disgust and wonder.
The video is a kind of lyric video style as is employed by many pop artists today, but far more abrasive and high calibre. Crisp images in HD punctuate every lyric and strobing flashes of light intensify the menacing bass builds. Words mutated and morphed beyond comprehension in the drops are made clear on screen, adding even more depth and surreal imagery to the track as a whole.
But the standout of the whole video is SOPHIE's CG-ed head. We see her already heavily cheekboned and lip plumped face sliced, warped, melted, twisted and deflated against the abrasive squeals of the synths. This terrifying yet hypnotising visual is completely jarring, but at home under a her soundtrack of synthesised whirring and crashing.
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So now we get SOPHIE's take on public image and authenticity in an age of facetune, lip injections and curated online lives. Superficiality reigns and looking good is a form of social currency, but does altering yourself to get there make you any less "real"? And if you do change, how far is too far and can you lose yourself along the way? How long is it until shopping any part of yourself loops back into genuine expression of self?
WORDS BY HOLLY O’NEILL