Review: "Please Wait, Saving..." - Majeska
Rhythm 0 was Marina Abramović’s 1974 art performance that lasted for six hours; watchers of the performance were invited to utilize any of the 72 objects laid out before them on the artist’s still-standing body. The objects ranged from having a pleasurable to painful impact. Rhythm 0 began with delicateness, but quickly dissolved into violence as watchers became increasingly aggressive with Abramović’s body until it reached a boiling point where one of the watchers placed a revolver in the artist's hand and forced her to hold it to her temple. Before any further actions could transpire, a protective group suddenly emerged within the audience of watchers to stop the scene from unfolding any further. The spectacle of Rhythm 0 demonstrates women’s exploitation in power dynamics; a sentiment Majeska’s latest single, “Please Wait, Saving…” expands on while providing additional social commentary.
“Please Wait, Saving…” highlights the influence of the digital era – noting the cultural shift of getting lost in and manipulating the moment witnessed in Rhythm 0, to being emotionally removed from the moment altogether. The single begins with a haunting piano melody that invokes images of an old music box winding up and coming to life as swelling synths steadily bring the song to the first verse. This opening brilliantly connects the past to the present, showcasing how the former helps shape the latter. Simultaneously in the music video directed by Talia Stewart, spectators rush into a room to behold our artist in a glass box for public consumption. While they cannot physically interact with Majeska like the watchers with Abramović in Rhythm 0, they possess objects - modern technology - with the capability to leave similar mental and emotional scars on our artist. Through hushed and layered whispers that grow into a palpable rage, Majeska’s astounding vocals capture the range of heightened emotions being experienced from within the glass box. The glass box much like modern technology is perceived as a barrier – when in actuality its’ made the exploitation of women more readily accessible for ‘spectators’ to engage in with little to no remorse. In the midst of Majeska's rage and helplessness, the synths finally explode into an electronic trance as the spectators within the video relentlessly taunt our artist with no signs of stopping. There is no one to stop or save women from exploitation at the last minute like there was in Rhythm 0, and this is why the music video ends with a lifeless Majeska in the glass box. It symbolizes the lack of humanity and agency loaned to women of modernity. As much as we like to pretend the mistreatment of women is behind us, it’s still very much alive but now can be carried out with speed, shared repeatedly, and saved forever within the confines of a cell phone. This is why responsible media consumption is essential in fighting against the exploitation of women while ensuring a life beyond the glass box.
Majeska is a singer and songwriter currently based in Nashville, Tennessee. The artist was raised by their mother and the musical influences of art-pop icons like Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks. Her mother quickly placed her in piano lessons only to find that Majeska wasn’t in love with instruments – but with the process of songwriting. In 2015, the artist moved to Nashville to join and front the rock band, Damsel and Distress. After four years with the band, Majeska went solo to breathe life into the pop songs she had written in her spare time. Now, the artist’s discography is filled with singles that relay heavy emotions, compelling lyrics, and melodies that help listeners engage with abstract ideas to further explore the collective human experience. Other songs to check out from Majeska are her debut single “Wishing Away”, and their reimagining of Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel”. If you’ve enjoyed “Please Wait, Saving…” as much as I have, show the artist some virtual love in the form of streams, likes, and follows.
Written by Giavanna Gradaille