Collarbones: 5 Songs To Uncover Your Catfish With
It’s been over a decade since Collarbones’ cross-state collaboration began. And while the duo of Travis Cook (Adelaide) and Marcus Whale (Sydney) have been pretty quiet for the past couple years, they’ve announced a comeback show and a pair of singles:
The internet has been a central figure in the Collarbones story – both practically and thematically – so to celebrate their return they’ve made a perfectly balanced playlist to uncover your catfish with.
We met online, in 2006, before Facebook and before the term “catfish” had been introduced into the lexicon. As obsessive geeks with conflicted relationships with sociality, the internet was central to the way we grew up – mostly in a positive way. However, with all those hormones raging and particularly with little access to other queer people we – like many other people of that age – were drawn to the heady world of online romance. Here’s a soundtrack from the moment when your online paramour turns out to be not quite what they seemed.
Part of what can make us so susceptible to catfishing is a deep yearning, a fantasy so intense that any red flags render themselves invisible. Once you’ve bought into the idea and the projection, it becomes all-consuming. The narrative of a romance infects you to the point you’re unaware of what is real. Sigrid’s ‘Strangers’ is a particularly catchy and self aware take on the artifice of love. Rarely has heartbreak sounded so euphoric. – Travis
Oscar Key Sung
This heart-rending song by Oscar Key Sung is about a relationship that unfolds entirely on a screen – “glowing in the dark” – and will allow you to acknowledge your desire for a physical contact with your beloved, even as they studiously evade this possibility over a period of months. – Marcus
“Baby, are you with me, is it real? I don’t know.” Hannah Diamond speak-sings in the first verse of ‘Hi’, bringing attention to the constant doubt and turmoil of an internet relationship. Hannah reminds us that being alone in our bedroom “wishing, watching, waiting” isn’t the purpose of your association with your beloved. Their continued evasion is depriving you of the IRL meeting that you crave. Use this as motivation to continue snooping long into the night for clues of your catfish’s authenticity. – Marcus
Boy Harsher’s ‘LA’ is numb and world weary. Where previously the fantasy may have contained vestiges of hope, here it is rotten to the core. “Stop using me,” the vocals plead, “I wanna feel you tonight.” It’s conflicted and yet still ultimately seeking warmth – Travis
It’s hard to exactly explain why we fall for people on the internet that we’ve never met in person. But be assured that even though your catfish betrayed your trust, your feelings were real and valuable and speak less to their deception than your own powerful capacity to love, feel and desire. Remember that this blank space where your catfish used to be is, indeed, the thing you fell in love with – that mystery, that distance. And that – even for all this anguish -is something wonderful. As Sufjan sings: “Blessed be the mystery of love.” – Marcus
Photo: Ricardo Morales