On Maraschino’s new single, ‘Smoke & Mirrors,’ Piper Durabo’s sing-song vocals coagulate around a slowly arpeggiating synth line that wouldn’t sound out of place on a rare Moroder-sound Italo-disco record.
She sings about fame and how those seeking it are sacrificed at the altar of the entertainment industrial complex. It’s about technology, and how the democratization of it has allowed everyone on earth to participate in the popularity charade—the whole world’s in high school—and how those who are adept and talented at it are rewarded (by the media companies algorithmic taunts) with great riches and personal brands that feed the cycle. All this is at the expense of humanity and true connection—ergo our mental health—where we are seduced by our ids to project an idealized version of ourselves at the expense of our true selves. The contrasts between the truth and what we’re told—our own truth and what we tell others—is just the norm now. The distinction between truth and fiction? It’s almost irrelevant, because we’ve lost track of who we are. It’s all, in the end, smoke and mirrors.
“‘Smoke & Mirrors’ is a glimpse at life in a techno-feudal La La Land where everyone’s a star, the whole world’s a stage, and the plot is lost,” explains Piper. “It’s a funhouse full of dopamine dependent seekers, lost in reflections of their “best” selves and trapped in an infinity mirror of banality and artifice.”