Sui Zhen is set to release her new album ‘Losing, Linda’ this Friday (Sept 27th) via Cascine. The record is streaming in full on The Fader here and today Sui Zhen is sharing a new video for album standout track “Matsudo City Life“.
Speaking about the video, Sui said “Where Perfect Place touches on the artificial in its pristine, dreamlike atmosphere – a rose tinted memory, Matsudo City Life is the gritty cityscape, reality with the cuts and bruises and darkness we too easily forget. The Red Room represents death and decay in contrast to the Perfect Place. It marks the shift between the two places in Japan I spent time writing music. My Sapporo experience being romanticised in memory as spacious, mountainous, peaceful – a meditative daily practice and the Matsudo one feeling stifled, claustrophobic, forgotten in the dilapidated glamour of an old love hotel.”
Melbourne’s Sui Zhen zooms in on the intersections between human life and technology – how to exist in the digital age, as well as the ways in which we risk losing true sight of ourselves in the process. Losing, Linda, pairs her signature inquisitiveness with a surreal electronic pop that possesses a dreamlike quality: vivid, uncanny, and upon close examination, revealing of deep emotional and personal truths. It’s an album that examines loss on multiple levels – from the death of our loved ones to our widespread societal tendency to disappear within the ones and zeroes of modern life’s tech-driven rush.
Losing, Linda‘s creation began back in 2016 when she took up an artistic residency in Sapporo, Japan. Zhen originally came to the residency equipped with demos conceived in the wake of her preceding breakout record, Secretly Susan – but real-life tragedy intervened, as her mother was diagnosed with cancer. In the process, a sense of overall mortality was unmistakably infused into the thematic structure of Losing, Linda.
On Losing, Linda, Sui Zhen takes the theoretical form of Linda, a digital doppelgänger and avatar invoking the e-learning channel Lynda and its founder Lynda Weinman, as well as the humanoid robot BINA48. The character of Linda is personified on the album’s cover by choreographer and colleague Megan Payne, whose literal embodiment of Linda interrogates the disembodiment of online life, and calls into question the possibility of death in the digital age.
The album is also accompanied by a digital ecosystem, aiming to create an online world for listeners where they can interact in real time with Linda. “It’s somewhere between a ghost, a memory, and a digital assistant” Sui Zhen explains. In other words, a perfect evocation of what Losing, Linda represents thematically and musically: a trip through the real and the uncanny. Losing, Linda is a lovingly personal and humanistic document of our ever-changing world, the things we lose along the way, and the insights we gain from loss itself. You can see the first stage of the digital ecosystem here: https://livingmemory.suizhen.com.au
Sui Zhen Live Dates:
23/09 Melbourne, AU -11:30AM – Live to Air on 3RRR Radio
26/09 Sept: Melbourne, AU – 6:00PM Instore – Skydiver Records*
13/10: Melbourne, AU – Howler
18/10: Canberra, AU – Sideways*
19/10: Sydney, AU – Freda’s
25/10: Hobart, AU – Altar
9/11: Melbourne, AU – Peel Street Festival*
16/11: Melbourne, AU – Scienceworks*
30/11: Tocumwal, AU – Strawberry Fields Festival*