The havoc social media can wreak on young relationships is a popular topic for Gen-Z artists, but it’s become stale over time. For being so universal, it’s almost impossible to write about the lilting anxiety of missed DMs, the validation economy of likes and follows, and the thousands of codes written into someone’s texting style without sounding tacky or cliché. But an original interpretation is possible when an artist can extract that all-too-familiar anxiety and blend it with fresh production and lyrics that step outside the online universe.
“Sun x Moon,” nineteen-year-old pop singer V!V’s latest single, opts to set her ships-passing-in-the-night social media story in the cosmos. An off-kilter interpretation of bedroom pop, “Sun x Moon” is an electric contribution to the growing catalogue of songs addressing the disconnect between the digital and physical.
Born in Detroit and raised in Chicago, V!V is a current student at Indiana University’s renowned Jacobs School of Music. “Growing up being surrounded by my dad’s band practices and going to his performances made me want to imitate that as a child, and it turned out I had a natural knack for it too. I always knew that my place in life was the performing arts, I just didn’t have the confidence to pursue it until my senior year of high school,” she said. It didn’t take long for her to establish herself, though; she won a local arts council scholarship to pursue jazz studies in college during her senior year of high school. On her connection with her musical father, V!V said, “Our creative relationship has been growing since I was a kid.” He now produces her music, including “Sun x Moon.”
“Sun x Moon” is equally influenced by V!V’s academic exploration of jazz and the left-of-center approach of her great musical influence, Tyler, the Creator. “I studied the way he songwrites, and I like how free his songs are. They can start with a certain feel, and end with a completely different one,” she says. It’s an approach that makes up the backbone of “Sun x Moon,” a song that undergoes several sonic transformations over the course of four minutes. A siren-laced hip-hop intro bleeds into the crackling, funky body of the song: production details like video game sound effects and flutes keep make the track unpredictable without sacrificing the breezy simplicity of the melody.
Though V!V directly makes reference to internet terminology with lyrics like “Can’t figure shit out over FaceTime” and “tripping on my tongue, talking like i’m dumb, all thumbs,” she refuses to dip into the cliché. The guiding metaphor of the song is as divorced from the digital world as it could be. V!V likens her and her partner to the sun and the moon who desperately need a moment of undeniable, in-person connection: an eclipse.
V!V might only be nineteen, but her musical charisma is beyond her years. “Sun x Moon” is representative of a rising artist who interprets quintessential Gen-Z experiences with her retro style and penchant for experimentation. It’s early to fully grasp who she is as a fully-fledged artist, but whatever she creates next will almost certainly be infused with an electric charisma and fearless interpretation of the present moment.
“Sun x Moon” is available to stream now.