Flossing explores surveillance capitalism’s psychological warfare on ‘TRAP’

Flossing TRAP single artwork
Single artwork credit: Oriana Layendecker

Six years ago while taking a break from music and stuck in a loop of over-work, Heather Elle (former bassist of BODEGA and The Wants) was staying a sponge for potential new musical material and overheard a stranger on the street say, “…and everyone gasped as the clothes fell onto the tarmac!” She couldn’t stop wondering about the bigger story and loved how it involved the combination of technology, error, necessity, and luxury. Around that same time, Elle kept hearing Fetty Wap’s single Trap Queen everywhere she went and found it a strange coincidence that T.R.A.P. laws (Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers) were also in the news for using insidious non-medical reasons to shut down abortion clinics. This inspired her to reflect more on the double binds of both technology and gender – the social control, not-so-obvious coercion, and confusion. She wrote a skeleton of a song and put it away until 2020, coincidentally revisiting it when we were more plugged in and engaged with surveillance capitalism than ever before in human history.

The result is the second single from Heather’s upcoming debut EP as Flossing entitled TRAP, along with a remix by Interpol’s Sam Fogarino. The video for TRAP was directed by Brooklyn video artist Ali Yildiz of Analog Nation who, during the lockdown, began experimenting with circuit-bent AV gear, video synthesizers, CCTV and VHS cameras, and televisions. Elle once again plays with BDSM imagery and role play, seamlessly shuffling through exhibitionistic and voyeuristic characters. Whether she’s adorned and bound in a tangle of cables, sharpening knives in a harness, or tied up with tailor tape, she represents both the technological sadist and masochist. And with Yildiz’s CRT television tower as the main focal point of anxiety and trance — simultaneously live-streaming and replaying her pre-recorded memories — they comment on the eerie shifts in spectator culture, engagement with highly curated content, and the technocratic convergence of humans and data. Discussing the track, Heather offers, “Humanity’s fear of anti-mattering mixed with surveillance capitalism’s psychological warfare is quite the dirty martini to sip on every day.” Check out the video clip for TRAP via YouTube below.

TRAP is accompanied by a remix from Sam Fogarino, drummer of fellow New Yorkers Interpol, who voraciously strips, rips, and pulls at the original arrangement with the relentless assistance of the Isla Instruments S2400 drum sampler. Watch the video for the reworked version of the track via YouTube below or stream the Sam Fogarino remix here.

The debut EP, ‘Queen of the Mall,’ will be out on September 10 via Brace Yourself Records. The lead single, Switch, debuted on Matt Wilkinson’s Apple Music 1 program, in which he called Heather, “one of my favourite New Yorkers in music at the minute.” The self-produced EP, is mixed by Adam Sachs (Swans, Amen Dunes, Joan As Police Woman) and mastered by Joe Lambert (Animal Collective, Nicholas Jaar, Matthew Dear).

Flossing Queen of the Mall EP artwork

Queen of the Mall’ track list

01. Switch

02. On Read

03. Add to Cart

04. Psychosis

05. TRAP

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