Miss Grit, the New York-based, Korean-American musician Margaret Sohn (they/she), has just released her debut album Follow The Cyborg through Mute Records. The new record builds on the promise of 2019’s Talk Talk and 2021’s Impostor EPs (the incredible title track was one of our favorite tracks of that year) to deliver an album that is experimental but accessible. It was recorded mostly in solitude in Sohn’s home studio, with the exception of a few guest collaborators, which include Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, Aron Kobayashi Ritch of Momma, and Pearla.
Across Follow the Cyborg, Miss Grit pursues the path of a non-human machine, as it moves from its helpless origin to awareness and liberation. Throughout the record, Sohn subtly and overtly refers to films, including Her, Ex Machina, and Ghost in the Shell, plus essays by Jia Tolentino (from Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion) and Donna Horroway’s A Cyborg Manifesto.
The opening track “Perfect Blue” starts with delicate vocals over sparse synths but builds to a wall of sound by the middle of the song, while “Your Eyes Are Mine” follows a similar pattern but brings in screeching guitar licks. Album highlight “Lain (phone clone)” is about a girl who becomes entranced with the online world with Sohn singing “I don’t want to see everything anymore”. Following the instrumental “Buffering”, the title track is performed in English and then Korean (“사이보그를 따라와”), Miss Grit’s second language-in-progress, but they are very different musically. The lead single “Like You” draws you in with bass and guitar before the chorus kicks in to finish the job. On closer “Syncing”, Miss Grit tenderly sings about the departure of the cyborg, as it leaves its human behind but is also well-named as it allows us to process what we’ve just listened to.
If you don’t know Miss Grit’s work but are a fan of St. Vincent and Mitski then you will love this album and the earlier EPs.
Photo Credit: Hoseon Sohn