The enigmatic pop collective TQX featuring Sia

The enigmatic pop collective TQX featuring Sia – words Alexa Wang

There is not much mystery around these days in the world of pop. This is why we yearn for the days of Prince and Bowie and cling onto pop stars of old who can still manage to intrigue us.

Many of today’s pop pretenders have forgotten all about the art of mystery. The ability to weave stories into their stage presence and personas.

So, we jump up and take notice when something does tickle the mystery bone. The debut single from TQX is such a thing. It has to be one of the top 10 songs of this year. It’s a heartfelt roar of a song co-written with and co-starring Sia who is much in demand by respected artists across this and distant lands including Zero 7 to Beck, Kendrick Lamar to Angel Haze.

With Sia’s soulful tones, plangent piano and a dramatic sweep of drums and guitars, it’s worthy of a spy thriller soundtrack. A haunting song on the raw vulnerability of human attachment, when you view the video, the plot thickens. In a twisted futuristic world, humanity and technology melt together. A surrogate Sia merges with another woman to become the TQX avatar. It’s a virtual creation designed to reframe pop culture and suggest a political, philosophical, and cultural rethink.

“As an artist famed for questioning attitudes towards image and marketing by singing live with her back to audiences or with her face obscured, Sia was the perfect candidate to participate in the project,” TQX say. “She’s brought the challenging nature of art into the pop world, which we really like.”

The forthcoming TQX album GLOBAL INTIMACY features an all-star cast of guest artists, from R&B singer Daniel Merriweather and Gabriel Winterfield of psychedelic dance outfit Jagwar Ma, to New York MC Cormega and players who’ve worked with David Bowie, D’Angelo and Jeff Buckley.

Inspired by the dystopian prophecies of TV drama Black Mirror and Hollywood movie Her, and the very real spread of “fake news” via online networks, TQX want to stem the bleeding: draw our attention to this nightmarish situation, and make us question our reliance on screens.

“We are disturbed by the control that technology exerts on our lives, and social media’s power to reduce people to nothing more than cash cows. The unfolding reality of advancing technology is something that needs to be commented on. The internet has become insidious,” say TQX. “People’s actual attention is a commodity now. Attention itself is money.”

In its lyrical content, GLOBAL INTIMACY is a potent shot across the bows imploring us to alter our course. “It’s political, it’s anti-brainwashing, it’s looking at the scrolling zombies,” TQX say. “It looks at the 24/7 curating of the exhibition of the self. The songs are anti technology and governmental bullying. It’s a political statement and a pop album.”

TQX are also acutely aware of the power that the internet has for positive change. It’s through the internet, after all, that TQX aim to disseminate their music and message. “There is a beautiful ironic symmetry to it. We’re putting forward this message that the internet is stealing everything, but we aim to use it to gain recognition. It is a very deliberate, mindful way of leveraging the very thing that is leveraging our lives, habits and information. It’s a kind of bite back, and we love that idea. We also love pop music!”

You can buy the single here

The enigmatic pop collective TQX featuring Sia – words Alexa Wang