Miss Grit "Follow the Cyborg"
The idea of Asian humanoids never seems to leave the cultural consciousness. While techno-Orientalist tropes have penetrated Western popular media for decades, appearing in sci-fi films like Ex Machina or Ghost in the Shell, recently artists of Asian descent have increasingly begun invoking the concept of Asian robots themselves: South Korean-born filmmaker Kogonada centered his drama After Yang on a Chinese automaton child, while this year Singaporean pop artist yeule explored their status as a “cyborg entity” on Glitch Princess, and Filipina-American singer and social media personality Bella Poarch cast herself as a robot revolutionary on her Dolls EP. Following this trend, Korean-American musician Margaret Sohn inhabits the role of a repressed machine on their upcoming debut album as Miss Grit, Follow the Cyborg, using the archetype to explore the complexities of selfhood.
On the album’s lead single and title track, Sohn is alienated from their own body: “I’ll wake up pretending/Then I’ll wake up again/Leave my mouth open/And let her say the rest,” they sing flatly, over a flickering drone beat. Drums, angular synths, and jagged guitars build momentum; midway through, the song is joyously elevated by saxophone flourishes. “I’m a living girl/A real living girl,” they proclaim, then announce a different identity: “I’m a living boy/A real living boy.” Offering a quiet moment of clarity after an adrenaline high, the track pulls back, and lingering piano keys dissolve into electronic dissonance. “Follow the Cyborg” gestures to a liberated future beyond binaries, and while its concept isn’t particularly new, its theatrical vision is striking.