On Our Radar: Colyn Cameron explores apocalyptic anxiety, romance, and palpable nostalgia in video for "Deepfake"

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      What does it all mean? More than any time in recent memory that’s a question that’s difficult to answer. If there is a higher power worth aspiring to, why in the hell does the world seem so endlessly confusing, unexplainable, and—let’s not sugarcoat things—hopelessly fucked up.

      We’d happily give a rundown of the things that keep us up at night, but really, what’s the point of that? If you spend as much time watching MSNBC as you do avoiding Fox News, you’ve got your own mental list of endless horrors.

      In an admirably understated way, Colin Cameron’s video for “Deepfakes” captures the weirdness of what it is to be alive in what we’d hoped would be the Roaring ’20s Pt. II.

      The key word there is “hoped”.

      Instead of endless cocktail soirees, gold-gilded opulence, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, we’ve so far got a global pandemic, a real-life American version of The Handmaid’s Tale, and an ongoing blood-drenched invasion that’s seemingly just waiting for its official WWIII designation.

      “Deepfakes”, which is billed as “made by Max Farrell”, starts out in grainy black and white, a bulging eyeball set in a human skeleton that’s bone one second and flesh-covered the next. From there it’s “Blink and you’ll miss the often-subtle shifts”. The way that we’re staring at God’s green planet Earth one second, and watching watery red blood pulse through an opaque vein the next.

      Lock onto the B&W brain sits floating in space, and then suddenly you’re starting at a blue metal chassis housing spider-web arteries, an alien-like spinal column, and what may or may not be blue-vinyl organs. After which the eyeballs begin appearing again, as beautifully multi-coloured as they are unblinking and all-seeing, accompanied by thermal-vision shots of hands and faces.

      It’s all soundtracked by a song that draws heavily on the circa-2000s indie folk revival, with an underlying blanket of soft-jangle psych and space-cowboy Americana. “Deepfakes” seems both indebted to the past, yet very much made for the here-and-now—which is another way of saying that the last thing anyone needs when the world is on fire is a song that sounds like a three-way between Run the Jewels, Slipknot, and Rage Against the Machine.

      The track is from Cameron’s upcoming album Freehand, which sees its release this August 5.

      The songwriter describes the release as follows:

      Obviously we are indebted to the invaluable nature of how advanced our civilization is, but at times it can be worrisome as to the limitless ways this advancement almost precedes us and answers to nothing really. There are plenty of moments on this record referencing the wide scoped and overbearing nature of the current times in relation to technology, philosophical concern, and almost apocalyptic anxiety.

      “But, without sounding outright pessimistic and bleak, there are also cues to simple things like good friendships, love, adventure, substance abuse, and cheap talk. I wanted to make something romantic and nostalgic, but freely allowing the calamitous to have its place. I love gadgets and sophistication, being connected, and knowledge but I also find it curious how much is dictated by the obsession with technology, ‘progress’, and prosperity.

      What does it all mean? Well, if you have to ask......you’re really not paying attention to the world around you. For which no one is going to blame you.