A frequently staged debate in the last couple of years has asked whether our plugged-in, smartphone-wielding generation feels like they’re more connected. Tech-acolytes will claim that the available arsenal of apps and devices has brought people closer than ever, while dissenters will argue that these barriers to personal interactions have made people more isolated. Memphis-based artist Gavin Mays makes music as Cities Aviv in order to excavate honesty and real intimacy. On his debut Come To Life, Mays starts to explore the modern day dilemma of squinting to find meaning in a sequence of zeroes and ones on songs like “URL IRL” and “PERPETUATE THE REAL”.
The video for “No GMO”, a track off Cities Aviv’s latest record Your Discretion Is Trust, has just been released. Like other tracks on the album, the production is powerfully minimalistic. Mays explains, “When you’re traveling so much, it’s easy to get caught up in the pace and lose track of things—you run through backward relationships with different people. This song is a way of scaling things back and saying ‘what’s really good with you, though?’ to someone you’re feeling. It’s a natural, organic kind of love.” That organic connection often feels missing in an age where our methods of keeping in touch with friends and family through texts and liking photos and tweets seem to represent grasps at manufactured and inauthentic sentiment.
The two-minute video, filmed by NYC-based creative Rimar Villaseñor, features Mays performing as a lo-fi, black and white simulation. “No GMO” borrows from No Wave visual aesthetics in addition to sharing the movement’s philosophy of rejection. Mays ends the “love song” with sincerity rather than with sentimentality: “And when I speak, I speak of you / Shit, I wanna speak with you / I wanna eat with you / Let’s build, let’s grow.”
01 Stockholm, Sweden – Södra Teatern
02 Amsterdam, Netherlands – De Nieuwe Anita
03 London, UK – Birthdays
05 Frankfurt, Germany – Kafe KOZ
06 Berlin, Germant – Urban Spree
07 Prague, Czech Repubic – Basement Bar
08 Tallinn, Estonia – Rock Cafe
09 Vilnius, Lithuania – Kablys
10 Geneva, Switzerland – La Graviere
11 Basel, Switzerland – Kaschemme
14 Paris, France – L’International
15 Nantes, France – Université de Nantes