SOPHIE, the London-based producer who is currently bending pop to her will, has just released a video for “Faceshopping”. This is the third in a sequence of singles which take meandering experiments through the artist’s psyche. Much like the videos for those previous releases, “It’s Okay to Cry” and “Ponyboy” the artist leads her choice of genre to a new place. This is pop at its forward-thinking best.
There’s a strong element of subversion to SOPHIE’s approach to craft. There’s a strong element of subversion to SOPHIE’s approach to subject. So here, in “Faceshopping” the low-techno intro establishes a tone which soon explodes. The clarity of the vocal track offers a crisp account of the refracting line “My face is the front of shop / My face is the real shop front / My shop is the face I front”. The value, and the absurdity of ego is nailed.
Chopping the perspective like this is smart. We have so many aspects to our identities – which are real? Which are worth protecting? Does one face preserve the integrity of another? Like a Dadaist exercise in repeating a word until all meaning is lost and a new kind of music is revealed, SOPHIE addresses her identity in her usual, unsubtle way. The result is, well, out of control, and perfectly in control.
The concept for the “Faceshopping” video feels like it was the concept that demanded music, rather than a visual treatment for an already-existing tune. The artist’s face is bent, broken, chopped, split and served against a cascade of words and contrasting images of products, flesh, sex, captcha captions. All of these things we know are means of self-expression and validation. All of them taken to the point of absurdity, where a mesmerising beauty happens.
Directed by SOPHIE, with co-direction credit being given to Aaron Chan, the glamor and crunch of previous videos is taken to a new level. This stuff is the good stuff. Expand to full screen. Turn it all up.
HURRY – LISTEN – SOPHIE