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Live Review: PREMIERE: SQUIDGENINI invites us into her subconscious in 'Watched By U'

12 December 2017 | 9:59 am | Emma Jones

In this increasingly digital world we live in, it can be hard to find reprieve and because of this, it can be hard to not be negative about things that can't be helped. We're constantly being watched, or watching others, and constantly being analysed or doing the analysing. So, do you run from it, or learn to embrace it? Do you let it take over, or use it to your advantage? These are the questions Melbourne-via-Brisbane artist SQUIDGENINI asked herself recently, and she's come out the other side with some wisdom to share.

Through her new single, 'Watched By U', we not only get some answers to the aforementioned questions asked, but we also get a further peek into the world of SQUIDGENINI. Her RnB and soul influences are further highlighted here, inspired by the likes of ERYKAH BADU to carry swagger and emotion in every note she sings, while her production style sounds further developed. Squid has always packed a few punches in her previous singles, 'Fire' and 'Alligator', but this is perhaps her most powerful release yet.

What's described as "a love song dedicated to the sacred mirrors in life," 'Watched By U' features Squid's glitchy, hip-hop influenced production that lays down the perfect bed for her vocals to grow upon. Minimal but effective, she uses her "less is more" approach to give her music space to breathe, ultimately creating a soundscape in which her voice can truly shine- and shine it does. Starting off quiet and calculated, Squid eventually builds into a jaw-dropping crescendo; her emotion enveloping her lyrics to further convey her message of a positive outlook on what could be perceived as a negative situation. “I feel like everything we do is always watched by something higher. Something greater than 'us'. Even now, we are watched by all the technology we have created for ourselves. We are always being surveilled. But this seems to be how we learn and grow as humans. Life is constant communication and reflection," Squid said.

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It doesn't stop here, though, as she's also gifted us with some equally exquisite visuals to complement her song. Teaming up with her friends Maria Bui (cinematography), Ellen Taylor (editing) and Sadie Prego (computer graphics), SQUIDGENINI and her team shot the video in South West Victoria and pay their respects to the traditional owners, the Gunditjmara people, whose country the video was filmed on and pay respect to elders past and present. Using this beautiful land, the team have captured the back and forth between communication and reflection. The higher power Squid was talking about is represented by the country on which she dances and sings, while the scenes of her driving with the wind in her hair symbolise the freedom and release that comes with acknowledging the growth and lessons learned as humans. As the song develops, the video further descends into a dreamscape, representing her subconscious as she strips back (literally) to be her true self, at peace in her surroundings while gaining power from being in a natural habitat.

Spectacular scenes combine with SQUIDGENINI's unstoppable musical force to create something truly special in 'Watched By U'. Here we have an artist unafraid of taking risks, and unafraid to be herself. She refuses to compromise her artistic identity, and we're all the better for it. It could be read as hyperbole, but in the case of SQUIDGENINI, it's a fact - she is one of the most exciting artists to emerge over the past twelve months, and she is going to do great things. Having just played at Jungle Love Festival as well as grinding on the local Melbourne music gig scene, she's cut her teeth and now knows where she stands. We're just excited to be along for the ride.

Words by Emma Jones