Today, Chicago’s shadowy songwriter and detached, distorted dream-pop lyricist, Claude, shares her debut EP, Enactor, out now via Side Hustle Records / The Orchard. Exploring the darkness of true self-awareness and the hidden depths of the collective consciousness, these six songs hold a code that’s embedded into those brave enough to admit these truths and bring them into the spotlight. Vulnerable courage that says it’s okay not to be okay emerges.
On Enactor as a whole, Claude says:
“This EP is about the world outside of me and the world inside of me, about change and disassociation, about the different faces we put on, and about trying to be honest. In it are my ideas about the effects of technology, the state of the world, and the state of ourselves when we’re dealing with uncertainty and changes in our lives.
I originally recorded all of the songs for this EP myself the winter of 2017 into the spring of 2018 but then with the help of my dad, who works at a high school with a recording studio, and the school’s engineer added bass and drums and basically made an EP of songs the opposite way you’re “supposed” to make them. As I spent more time in Chicago and met more people who also played music I formed a band. The original members are no longer a part of this project but through one of them I met engineer, and bassist, Michael Mac and he helped me re-record the EP now that we had been playing them live for a while and I had a better idea of what I wanted the songs to sound like.”
The recently released single “Everything’s Great
” arrived alongside Impeachment hearings that continue to dominate the media landscape, tying back to the very origin of the track. On writing the song, Claude says, “I wrote this song after Trump got elected. It felt like the world was ending and I wanted to somehow poke fun at his “Make America Great Again” slogan.”
A cathartic song that taps into a collective “empty eyes” energy that many felt after Election Day in 2016, Claude feels into the internal call for self-preservation to ignore the heaviness of reality (“You’ll go crazy if you don’t turn off your device”) and a call for escapism because of the weight of the world. It’s easier to fake it than to be rooted in what is so (“The menu for breakfast is mouthfuls of pretend” / “You get through life faster if you’re a good liar”).
The first single, “Screen
,” which was shared along with a music video
, sets the stage for this new song, and talks about the all-too-relatable scroll droll and social media toll. A song about being detached in a digital era and social media’s existential impact, “Screen” connects to this conscious self-awareness of living through a screen and how numbing it truly can be.
, who premiered the song and video, says the song “shows Chicago musician Claudia Ferme delivering an eerie, evocative meditation on our collective social media anxiety,” adding, “You’d think social media would make us less lonely—particularly during a time when it’s literally illegal to hang out with other people IRL. Think again.”
Stay tuned for more on Claude and dive into the new EP, Enactor, out now on Side Hustle Records.