Los-Angeles based multimedia artist Rick Farin has released his debut single “Sky Burn,” featuring Lecx Stacy. Farin, who previously released music under the moniker “Eaves,” is returning to the music sphere after taking four years to develop his creative studio, Actual Objects. The song–which was actually composed three years ago using easily accessible sounds and presets–gives you the kind of stomach-dropping anxiety that you might get if you stood outside in the middle of a humid summer thunderstorm and you didn’t hear any birds chirping. Like if you perched yourself on a highway overpass and began to realize that every car was zipping down the road without a driver or any passengers. Like if you went to hug your mother and you pulled back to see your own face peering back at you. “Sky Burn'' sets Lecx Stacy’s visceral metalcore vocals against a cavernous, dark, synthy production that makes you develop this incorrigible desire to hear it over and over while also never wanting to hear it again. The single–and its accompanying nightmarish visuals designed by Actual Objects–will pique your interest and petrify you at the same time. What more could you ask for in a song, really?
Of the track, Farin has remarked: “The song is meant to sound like you’re on the brink and pressurized, something heavenly but poorly lit. The cover art is the character who might listen to the song, wet black hair & without a face — uncanny, nameless and feverish.”
The other day, I was talking to my friend who suffers from night terrors and he was describing to me in detail the ways these hallucinations appear to him. He acted them out. A head and its hands, peeling their way from the kitchen doorframe. A body, contorted in the space underneath the living room table. A torso, squirming in and out of an open silverware drawer. It was deeply unsettling to not just imagine these types of terrors but to see these visions approximated by a real, familiar body. The theater of the kitchen, the set dressing of my own imagination, the actor and script and architect of this horror–my trusted friend. It was a scene that scared me so badly I swore to not think about it again, and then I listened to “Sky Burn” and watched its music video and now I cannot stop thinking about it. The terror of mimicry. The appeal of the uncanny.
This sort of frenetic appropriation of the known is somewhat of a trademark for Actual Objects, Farin’s company that explores the intersection of the material and the digital. Having created visual worlds the likes of Travis Scott, Kali Uchis, Trippie Redd, Bad Bunny, Charli XCX, A.G. Cook, and many more, the studio– and Rick Farin himself– has emerged at the forefront of this ever-relevant wave of AI and art. Farin, who opened for experimental artists Shygirl, Ecco2K, Jack Donahue (of Salem), and Loukeman earlier this year, shows enormous promise as an experimental artist. His work is porous, beating. It’s terrifying and refreshing and so, so addictive.