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“The album art, made by my close friend Quintin Caldwell, is a farm scene made in the isometric style of a silicon valley tech company’s marketing content. The cattle’s enclosures are smart-phone shaped. “John Wayne” is a comment on American individualism and the characters that symbolize it. John Wayne’s many, yet consistent characters and the consistent but multi-actored Bruce Wayne (Batman) serve as model citizens and vigilantes. They justify violence in fighting crime, or disrespect, while doing little to address underlying causes of injustice. I see in myself similar tendencies of false self-reliance despite knowing that collective effort will be critical to successful change.
My previous album, Anthropocene, asks in the title track, “where will I go/ if I don’t want to be/ with idle hands awaiting catastrophe/ here in the Anthropocene.” The Greener Pasture offers a somewhat defeated answer to that question in its own title track: “The greener pasture is also fenced in/ the wider trough has an asterisk/ rotate the herd every few days/ or is it every few years/ we got their tags on our ears/ standing in shit crying bovine tears.” As cattle’s comfort is often forgone, I’ve been uncomfortably seeking my role in a market economy that might allow me to contribute to necessary change in the system. Even those reluctant to acquiesce to the demands of the labor market such as myself are these days made valuable through their data and attention. Just as screens have reached beyond squared corners, up and around user-facing lenses, screens have spread beyond times square to capture the core of our culture and economy at a rapid pace. Peter Oren