Last November 2020 gave us a light at the end of that year's dark and lonesome tunnel, as Rare DM released her new track ‘Send Nudes’, with a cinematic accompaniment shot in the streets of New York.
Budding from the name of Errmine, Erin Hoagg has blossomed into a darkly digital and effervescent project with hard hitting synth, hypnotising listeners into fantasy with hard hitting veins of realism. Speaking with Erin, learning of the name Rare DM’s origins captured the very essence of Send Nudes’ meaning…
What does rarity mean? The things we love are rare, be it material or otherwise. A key rarity we all strive for being love. For our generation especially this is paramount.
Be it Ducky from Pretty in Pink or Tom Hansen in 500 Days of Summer we are all looking for the light at the end of the tunnel known as True Romance.
The acronym DM can also splinter into so many different meanings for us at this current time, let alone phrases that include said acronym. Are you sliding in those DM’s? Do you reside with Death Metal as your genre of choice? Erin‘s anecdote of her friend associating DM with ‘Dance Music” encapsulates how many options there are for association.
One thing is for certain. Putting the two together hits a chord on how uninterpretable romance can be. Be it receiving messages from a rare and unexpected author or how an incoming message can be the last sentence we would ever expect to hear from our desired other.
In essence, Erin beautifully conveys the uncertainty of modern romance in a way we can all resonate with. The mission we are on to reach the end of the road simultaneously is displayed in this wonder of a visual accompaniment:
Bizzarre: Modern times now come hand in hand with dating. With technology placing everything is at our fingertips, how does this affect us?
Rare DM: Because there are so many avenues for conversation (insta, fb and twitter), we can be rejected in so many ways.
“You have so many ways to communicate and you can’t text back? Asshole!”
We are also confronted with the past of who we are dating on our screens. We instantly make comparisons and start to wonder, why are you ghosting me when I'm a catch, yet those before me saw the light of day for the second date?
Bizzarre: What are your inspirations to the project?
Rare DM: I would select my favourites from what my Sister would listen to. Interpol, Ladytron and Metronomy, The Rapture were examples: Lots of minor chords groups who sing to similar topics. DAF from Germany was a big turning point for me. It was such a game changer in its dark and obscure individuality!
Bizzarre: How do you like to construct the lyrics?
Rare DM: The lyrics have stemmed from Straight points or fantasy mode! The former is taking direct and raw pieces of context from my experience and turning them into lyrics.
The latter involves creating a beautiful dreamscape, delving into a fantastical environment that we dream of regularly/see in movies etc.
“No expectations, I'm just expecting you to want me”
In these lyrics I’m conveying that I wasn’t going into the date with expectation, like a happily ever after. But i'm never opposed if that was the case. There is the only expectation to make out.
Bizzarre: What came to mind was the wanting of direct communication in a modern environment. What are your thoughts on this?
Rare DM: For sure, and this plays into lyrics within the song. One example being a lyric that is verbatim: “Thanks for the night”.
What does he mean by that? He texted me the next day which should be a good thing. But what makes this stupid is we expect the worst. Maybe he was just clarifying he had a great night hanging out. I have a very optimistic friend who says instantly “YOU SHOULD TEXT HIM BACK! My instinct aligns in expecting the best, and it's hard to retract those instinctive thoughts.
Bizzarre: With riding around New York for footage in the video, what were the themes and context? How did you piece it together?
Rare DM: The whole idea behind it was what can I do by myself, permitting the lockdown? I can take my camera and my bike and shoot the city, whilst also keeping exercise up!.
It was fun to have a mission, whilst seeing the city in this unprecedented time.
The streets were eerily empty. I remember going down East Howsden, it was 10pm on a Sunday and I was not past by a car for five minutes. I went through a desolate Soho. How is this New York?! I started to look at the footage, and see what added to the video, for example a car headlights light shade over you. It looks cool at this or that angle, with different weather aesthetics etc…
Empty Times Square? That’s crazy! I would have a mission/pathway in mind- Oh i'm going to go to Prospect park today. After reaching my goal I would explore the surrounding area. This became a point to point ride. Landmark to landmark until my camera died.
Rare DM - send nudes
Filmed in the empty streets of NYC at the very beginning of the pandemic. Erin Hoagg describes the insanity of filming the video:
"The video started as all GoPro shot on my bike, because I could do it myself without seeing anyone.
I would ride my bike from Bushwick to Times Square to the Oculus and back - I wouldn’t get off my bike at all because the city was in lockdown. No bodega, no restroom stops - just bike somewhere with the right spooky aesthetic and ride home.
I would go out a few times a week to get a variety of sky backgrounds, and after filming over 8 hours of footage myself, Jordan Fuller and friends filmed me in Manhattan in full PVC attire.
Somewhere along the way, some dude caught me on his phone in the wild, and two days after, my Mom in Michigan sends me a TikTok of me on
Canal street, already at 480k views - no tag of course - which has
now passed 1.6 million views and has comments from around the
world asking if I’m Lady Gaga or Keanu Reeves' gf."
The fractured and fickle nature of modern dating and communicating has been the cause of both frustration and inspiration for Erin Hoagg and her solo music project, Rare DM. After a recent romance unraveled via DM, the Brooklyn, New York-based artist turned her disappointment into her newest single.
Hoagg wrote “Send Nudes” after a romantic interest followed up a date with the lacklustre line:
“Thanks for the night.” It was the first week of quarantine, and the mixed signals were leaving a lot to be desired. Still, it left her inspired to make light of the situation and make the mundane messages sound magical via song.
“I’m not subtle, I’m not trying to be,” Hoagg purrs over a somber synth melody and a pulsing beat. “I can send my n***s to someone else.” As the beat and the tension mounts, her disaffected monotone breaks into a delicate Billie Holiday-esque lilt over galaxies of synths and an acid bass beat.
A former student at Fashion Institute of Technology, Hoagg styled the series of looks from her eclectic closet—a PVC bodysuit with matching gloves, deconstructed knitwear, EVERYDAYS’ hand-painted snake pants, a custom SKNDLSS headpiece. Like the name implies, Rare DM is attracted to vintage, antiques and rarities—no fast fashion here.
In the song’s closing lyrics, she revisits the ritual of preparation—“dressing up to get down.” Whether she’s still dwelling on the previous date or getting ready for a new one is beside the point: the search continues.
“Send Nudes” follows Rare DM’s 2019 debut album, Vanta Black.
Interview by Isaac Ransome
Images by Lissyelle Laricchia @lissyellelaricchia / Adi Juhasz @Adijuhasz
Force Field PR