WOODKID RAGES AGAINST THE MACHINE ON "GOLIATH"
French singer/songwriter/producer/auteur Woodkid reflects on monolithic systems and the harm they do on "Goliath," his first new single in seven years.
Electronic music's a funny choice for critiquing lifestyle and conspicuous consumption. While electronic music may have started out in dingy dungeons, dimly lit basements, gay clubs, and cheap bars, it's gone on to become the signifier of status. French house, minimal techno, cosmopolitan disco boogie, all bring to mind monochromatic drinking establishments, full of matte-polished steel and $8 cocktails. It conjures images of upscale sneaker boutiques, immaculate in its recessed drop lighting, selling you Off-White kicks for $200/pop.
It's vaguely ironic that electronic music, the ultimate anti-capitalistic utopian resistance, would become assimilated into the system it was born to rail against. It's neoliberalism's last laugh, the final triumph of late-capitalism. Here, finally, they'll get people to queue up, themselves, behind the velvet rope, and pay a cover charge for their indentured servitude. Here, all those former rebels will pay street prices for psychiatric drugs and take them willingly, smug and assured in their own hipness.
Any form of protest against these larger-than-life systems seems increasingly improbable with each passing day. Should we just give up and accept our lot? Should we just be good little Ewoks and accept the Empire? Recent events have shown us this is not the case. The faults and cracks are showing in these horrorshow systems, built on human misery and rampant inequality.
WOODKID - GOLIATH
All of this is made readily apparent in "Goliath"'s short 4 minutes and 9 seconds, especially in conjunction with the accompanying music video. Speaking on the motivation behind "Goliath," Woodkid says "It’s about scale, about toxicity. About these insane industrial machines that represent so well my fear and ambiguous attraction for human madness. Here is the world I have built around "Goliath", a world where the dominated can defeat the gigantic, the unbeatable."
These mammoth systems are visualized using a coal mining operation, in the accompanying video, bearing a striking resemblance to the opening sequence of last year's Uncut Gems. That movie also orbited around the negative karma that can accumulate from these larger-than-life systems, which are often oiled with blood.
Okay, that's all well and good, but what you want to know is - "Can you dance to it?" This is Pop Music, after all, not Philosophy 102. The answer is a resounding "Hell yes!" "Goliath" has a similar elegant arthouse dance vibe as latter-day James Blake or Forest Swords. Woodkid’s vocals sound glorious, cresting over waves of crude black sub-bass, while a dry UK Garage beat - think early, classic Burial - keeps things pedaling along.
"Goliath" is the first single off of Woodkid's upcoming new album, his first new music in 7 years. We Are: The Guard couldn't be more excited to see what he comes up with, especially if it's of the same quality as "Goliath"!
J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.