Premiere: Rosie Tucker Shares New Single “Paperclip Maximizer” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Premiere: Rosie Tucker Shares New Single “Paperclip Maximizer”

New LP UTOPIA NOW! Is Out March 22nd via Sentimental Records

Feb 26, 2024 Photography by Jon Del Real
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Over the past several years, Rosie Tucker has quietly crafted a career as one of indie rock’s most artful and thoughtful rising songwriters, delivering records laden with sharp hooks and an endlessly clever lyrical voice. Sucker Supreme, their last full-length album, arrived in 2019, shortly before they were dropped from Epitaph Records. Now newly independent, they returned last year with a collection of short songs, fittingly entitled Tiny Songs Volume 1, followed by a new single, “Unending Bliss.”

The latter release was also the first taste of their forthcoming album UTOPIA NOW!, which they announced last month with the record’s second single, “All My Exes Live In Vortexes.” Today, they’re following with another new track, “Paperclip Maximizer,” premiering with Under the Radar.

“Paperclip Maximizer” is another in Tucker’s latest series of punchy new singles, layering their vocals

A major theme of the record lies in Tucker’s relationship with their art. Listeners follow through as they dissect what it means to make music as a “career”, exploring how the act of creation has been commodified and monetized as part of a mentality of never-ending growth. “Paperclip Maximizer” plays into these themes, lacing them into Tucker’s trademark verbose and punchy style. Fuzzy guitar textures and wiry hooks intertwine with Tucker’s conversational vocals, creating a strange alchemy through which their wordy lyrics come out feeling sharp and immediately catchy.

Tucker says of the track, “‘Paperclip Maximizer’ is a cautionary tale about watching from afar as a former loved one pursues constant growth and career accolades with totalizing, universe collapsing abandon. The song is partly inspired by watching former pals pursue outwardly impressive music careers while absolutely trashing their private relationships. When I wrote it, I felt lonely and belittled in my attempts to articulate how my interactions with the music industry often left me feeling isolated, angry, and distressed. When I started trying to channel my frustrations into art, the songs that emerged were not simply critical of the artist’s experience but of capitalism as a system.

It’s kind of impossible to explain the song without coming across as a real dork but here goes: philosopher Nick Bostrom first described the paperclip maximizer in a 2003 thought experiment meant to illustrate how artificial general intelligence could pose an existential risk to humanity. I find some of Bostrom’s thinking to be harmful and regressive (he is a proponent of longtermism, the latest garbage ideology that tech billionaires are trying to pass for moral integrity) but I really liked the metaphor, not as a statement about AI, but as a description of the destructive perils of capitalism, especially when its logic is internalized and recreated in our personal lives.

People seem to fear that new technologies will oppress and dehumanize even as we are already immiserating and exploiting one another with great efficiency. It’s like, if you think it’s scary that a machine might control you, wait til you hear about what human beings have been up to!”

Check out the song and video below. UTOPIA NOW! is out on March 22nd via Sentimental Records.


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