Poly Styrene Takes Aim at Technology's Failings in 'Virtual Boyfriend' Video
Poly Styrene, Opera-trained frontwoman for punk pioneers X-Ray Spex, tackles themes of technology, consumerism and dystopia on 'Virtual Boyfriend,' a cut from her forthcoming solo album 'Generation Indigo.' In the song's video, which features pixelated, GIF-style animation and a number of visual nods to gadgets and social networks, the iconic vocalist highlights the disconnect between humans that tech often causes.
"It's a mixed bag. It's good for mass communication, as we see in Egypt," Styrene tells Spinner. "But maybe on a personal level, people don't see each other so much socially and sometimes they end relationships by text or e-mail. I don't think that's so cool."
Though her song is a sharp critique of online culture, Styrene insists she's no luddite. "We have to be careful that we still have physical contact with each other, but on the whole, being able to communicate by e-mail and text can be really nice as well," she says.
Musically, the song recalls her earlier work from X-Ray Spex, with her powerful vocals and witty lyrics driving a high-energy punk rhthym section. It's a welcome return to form for the singer, who was inspired to start writing new material for a solo album after the Spex regrouped for a one-off show in 2008. Regarding the timing of her comeback, Styrene says, "I had the opportunity to put my writing out in the world. I guess it was the right time."
Have a look at Poly Styrene's 'Virtual Boyfriend' video below.