On her new single, FLOTSZAM questions the nature of love in a digital world.

FLOTSZAM – Digital Love

‘Digital Love’ is the second track in a series of singles entitled, ‘Digital, Physical’ for London-based artist FLOTSZAM. Re-invented after a personal storm, Maz Osborne chose the moniker to reflect her state of being “broken, but still floating”.

The trip-hop-influenced first single, ‘Under the Same Sky’, released in June this year was written in the wake of the Brexit vote and at the start of the Trump era in 2016. Listening to Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now’, Osborne found a synchronicity between the clouds outside her window, the metaphorical clouds of political gloom and the clouds in Jodi Mitchell’s song. For her new single released on July 20th, FLOTSZAM takes inspiration from Bell Hook (the pen name of social activist Gloria Jean Watkins) and her book ‘All About Love: New Visions’ which explores the meaning of love in modern society.

‘Digital Love’ is “a cynical and playful exploration of love in the age of dating apps”.

Part sci-fi, part reality, the dance-floor-ready track produced by Ben Chetwood (Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons) and James Hallawell (Florence + the Machine), interlaces a vocal, that distorts and quivers like a rippling frequency with a driving electro beat, and a psychedelic synth seam which gives it an additional spacey feel. It is FLOTSZAM’s vocal line that connects the digital and physical aspects of the track together. From being initially fairly robotic like a programmed output to becoming more emotional and full of yearning, warmed by the plumes of Stylophone sounding synth as she seeks to find a ‘digital love’ to satisfy her human desire through the “great algorithm up in the sky”.

“Friends kept urging me to use dating apps to meet people, but past experiences had made me pessimistic about dating and I was quite sceptical about apps because of negative aspects of technology like inbuilt gender bias”

With the pandemic pushing up the use and reliance of online methods for dating and connecting with people, FLOTSZAM’s latest single definitely taps into the zeitgeist as we accelerate headlong into a new digital world, a far cry from the realm of star-crossed lovers.

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Words Andrew Gutteridge