Katie Dey’s best music has long fixated on the ways humans fail to connect. On the handful of records she’s released over the past half decade, the Australian singer-songwriter has meditated on fear, loss, heartbreak, and the deep loneliness of isolation. Her 2019 album solipsisters was intentionally named for the philosophical idea that nothing exists outside one’s own mind. She acknowledged in interviews that while the record makes references to other people, to “you” and to “we,” other characters were purely hypothetical. “It’s really all just about me, because I was so totally alone while I was writing these songs,” she said. “You end up talking to yourself a lot if you’re isolated.”
Dey’s digitally manipulated vocals reinforced these themes even as they obscured the literal meaning of her lyrics. The songs, while beautiful, were full of harsh glitches and sudden cuts—testaments to the troubles of forging the bonds of a relationship through technology. Sometimes intimacy can feel just out of reach.
For her fourth solo record, mydata, Dey examined similar themes but with a decidedly more optimistic attitude. She’s said that the record is directly about an “internet relationship,” but rather than focusing on feelings of distance and isolation, Dey expounds on the love and companionship that the internet can allow physically distant people to experience. “I was trying to prove to myself, maybe, that a conversation is still a conversation,” she has said. “That sex is still sex.”