Believe it or not, living out a life inside and online is not something that was invented during the COVID-19 pandemic. For many the outside world is constantly an unsafe or inhospitable environment, in contrast to an online world that can foster entire communities and intimate, tactile relationships. This idea is at the core of mydata, the striking fourth solo record from Melbourne experimental luminary Katie Dey. The follow-up to last year’s Solipsisters, mydata is an album-length exploration of a long-distance relationship that unravels into an epic about love, connection, and all the strange, unruly factors that surround those things, from capitalism to sex to internet servers. In the process, Dey makes concrete a handful of concepts that, to many, seem almost entirely intangible. “I was trying to prove to myself, maybe, that a conversation is still a conversation,” she says of the record, “That sex is still sex.”
Arriving alongside the announcement of mydata is “dancing,” the album’s heart-racing, lovelorn first single. Accompanied by a video by Black Dresses’ Devi McCallion that was created entirely in SecondLife, “dancing,” like much of mydata, finds Dey excising the once-trademark distortion from her art. Over strings and undulating, technicolor synths, Dey sings of the emancipation that new love brings: “I am sick of dancing by myself at night / I will learn how to take flight / You could come with me.” Immediate and dazzlingly self-possessed, it’s a remarkable opening to Dey’s new era.
"This video was made entirely in Second Life, and I hope when people watch it they think about just how much work it would take to do that. If you've ever played that game you know how difficult it is to even control the camera, let alone create a whole world, with such incredible characters, such breathtaking cinematography,” Dey says of the music video via email. “Created remotely, across countries, in a pandemic, on a dying laptop, their lives in utter chaos, the world in chaos... I hope people cry about these beautiful characters, and then cry about the beautiful humans that put so much love and care into creating them. Anyway, the song is about dancing. Like, metaphysical dancing, I guess.” Watch Devi McCallion’s video for Katie Dey’s “dancing” above.
Pre-order mydata, out July 24th on Run For Cover, here.