Annot(e)tations is a column by Austin Nguyen that shines a light on the hidden gems of recently released albums or singles that may have flown under your radar. This week, he discusses Gia Ford’s “GOD, CAMERAS, EVERYONE.”
In case you missed it, the world is spiraling down into f***ing. hell.
Bulletproof backpacks are the new craze that have taken schools by storm and have invaded normal school thoughts of chemistry tests and playground crushes with the perpetual fear of gun violence (I’m starting to miss those times when the definition of school trends was innocuous silly bands…), the 2020 election cycle seems to foreshadow America at its most screwed no matter which party you ask considering how unqualified candidates seem to be across the board, and each day is another opportunity for an article to be published that tells you that the world will END in 2050 — I mean, 2040 — tomorrow, for God’s sake, it’s a climate CRISIS.
But in the midst of all this chaos, those Hong Kong riots and Syrian wars, I’d still like to think that modern society still has something redeeming about it.
Gia Ford makes that hope so much easier with “GOD, CAMERAS, EVERYONE.” Inspired by a “Dr. Phil episode and Janet Jackson” (as disclosed informally on an Instagram Q&A), Ford’s second single begins with diminuendoing synth chords, a sparse atmosphere where the dark warmth of the singer’s timbre takes center stage enveloped in coffeehouse intimacy.
You can see Ford reaching out with one hand, eyes closed in an attempt to imagine her love’s touch, the memory lingering and reluctantly fading as she opens her eyes and the words “each and every day” dissipating from the air.
The chorus is just as minimalist until a metronomic pulse and a woooooozing synth joins Ford on the second verse, and it’s here that the song becomes paradoxical.
Everything about the added production is supposed to bury Ford’s voice, relieve it of the glaring stage lights that made her so vulnerable in the first verse, yet the truth seems to pierce through the sound even more than before:
“I need you to validate the way you feel about me / Wipe away my insecurities.”
It’s harrowing and blunt confessions like these, the ones we all feel but can’t bring ourselves to admit save for in those post-midnight texts to our closest friends, that lay Ford’s heart out for….well, for “GOD, CAMERAS, EVERYONE” to see.
The moment is almost life-affirming, a “Romeo & Juliet” moment where love is solipsistic no matter who’s looking on, the sun around which everything else revolves, a world in which romance rules all.
What started off as a contemplative ballad morphs into a syncopated soundtrack for the heart that skips a beat between those furtive glances of nervous love yet vogues around in their bedroom vying for confidence when no one else is at home.
You won’t find Fiona Apple’s poetry of an “orotund mutt” and “moribund slut” here, or the morning light seeping through the leaves as it does on Taeko Ohnuki’s “Summer Connection,” but you don’t have to. Because in Ford’s world, love is all you need — the reason to yearn, smile and dance.