Here is a quote to reflect on: “If I wait for someone else to validate my existence, it will mean that I’m shortchanging myself.” – Zanele Muholi 103. "Stuck" by Katie Dey 7.01 Number One Fans: 10 x (@Trouble in Paradise @fatyoshi @ohnostalgia) 9.5 x 1 (@Cutlery) This Goes Away and They Don't Mind: 3 x 2 (@Lost Boy @dontkillmyvibe) 4 x 1 (@BeingNormal) My Score: 10 Previous Positions: 5 Voters: 26 10 Voters: 97 (that decline) 15 Voters: 108 20 Voters 107 I was born inside this body, now I'm stuck here I never heard of Katie Dey until I was compiling artists for this rate but boy did “Stuck” knock me off my feet. I mean those opening lines! Followed by the rest of the song’s lyrics!? Can you say wig? I actually can’t say wig without cringing but I will say WOW! Dey is an Australian bedroom pop artist who was responsible for the writing, playing, programming, and production of this whole album! That’s what I call talent! Obviously with doing all that work, this can take time as she explained: It's been three years since your last album. How long ago did you start working on Solipsisters? Some of the songs were written a long time ago -- "stuck" was written in 2011, I think. I started recording it in 2016. There were lots of long gaps scattered over the last three years where I was totally unable to do any work. A lot of these lyrics were written so long ago that I feel totally detached from them, which might be good. It's hard to feel proud of the songs I've started and actually work on them instead of writing new stuff. It's so hard for me to work consistently. Opening the projects — double clicking on that file — that's the hardest part. “It’s so hard for me to work consistently” is a big mood, especially in lockdown. The amount of tabs open, far too many. It’s also telling that “Stuck” and other songs were recorded with distance from when they were written given how vulnerable their subject matter is. Dey spoke about her use of vocal processing and the way that changed for Solipsters: You've sung with distinctive vocal effects in the past. Do you use similar processing techniques on Solipsisters? It's definitely evolved. It's the same plug-ins and pitch-shifting stuff. I feel like I've learned to work with it a bit more. I don't feel a whole lot of attachment to my own voice. Originally, it was a way of relieving dysphoria and making my own music more palatable for me to listen to so that it didn't upset me — like putting an Instagram filter on your face. I wasn't trying to make some kind of statement, and it wasn't an artistic decision — it was really just for my own well-being. I'm not destroying my voice as heavily as I used to. That might be something to do with dysphoria lessening, or maybe wanting to be a little bit more understood. I guess I'm feeling a little less ashamed of my lyrics. I never used to think that I was all that good at them. I tried to make it so that they weren't the focal point. For this album, I'm including a lyric sheet, which I've never done before. As I get older, I'm more desperate to actually communicate effectively with people. In the past, I always tried to be like, "There's these feelings I feel that I literally just can't put into words, and I'm going to try to make them into songs." I'd communicate sublingually through these weird sounds that I make — but that wasn't working out, so I figured I'd try to be more legible I adore all of the vocal manipulation on the album and “Stuck” in particular, but I do love that she let her vocals shine. I also find this whole quote to be such an incredible example of artistry and the power of creating art. To have actual documentation of how your dysphoria and your desire to be understood by others has changed over time is wicked cool! Speaking of wicked cool, isn’t it great to have an artist sing so openly about body struggles. I know I’m not alone in the everlasting mental battle of being a mind constrained in a physical body. Katie spoke about that personal theme: A lot of Solipsisters grapples with the relationship between the self and the body. Did making the album and airing out these themes help you approach some kind of resolution? It was definitely about working through that — trying to be clearer about what the argument was between my self and body. I don't think I'll ever reach any kind of resolution, but it definitely was a working through of that conflict. Originally, the album was supposed to be this dialogue between soul and body, or between different parts of myself: my heart and my brain. It ended up not making any sense, so I abandoned that, but a lot of the lyrics still are about this conversation. There's not many references to other human beings. There's a lot of "you" and "me" and "we", but it's really all just about me, because I was so totally alone while I was writing these songs. You end up talking to yourself a lot if you're isolated. The last line on the album is "Moving closer to a place for us to live." I don't think I have found anywhere to live. I'm still just moving. Given the way SOPHIE and her vocal processed songs went in the previous rate, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised this didn't make it passed the 100 mark, but it still stings! Also how did I end up writing about my body struggles in the past few eliminations? I guess its just another joy of being queer! Speaking of joy, @daninternational sparked joy for me with his commentary: LGBTQ content is often a lot more specific and angsty, which makes it all the better, but also less accesible for those on the outside of the specific focus. The video helps a lot with this song, I can understand the importance of it with this context. As did @Untouchable Ace with his: Lovely hair. And yes we've already broken the 7 average before the Top 100! Tomorrow we'll go back to the main albums for another cut, one I particularly don't agree with!