Paper Citizen reaches past digital perception on ‘Scratching The Surface’

Photo Credit: Meghan Kay Sadler

Every time Paper Citizen’s Claire Gohst reaches out, she wants to grasp at more than a wall of pixels and Instagram likes. 

As days, months, and (yikes) years pass with real-life human interaction at a bare minimum, our screens increasingly set the scene, propping up reality behind walls of filters and online facades. In response, Gohst pierces the veneer with blistering guitar on her single “Scratching The Surface,” out today (January 29).

The new track from Berklee alumna approaches digital perception from a poppy matter-of-fact angle, dodging the tired cynicism that often accompanies social media criticism. Instead, her love-letter-like lyrics take on a new meaning, examining how well you can understand someone through simply a profile — if at all.

“One, two seconds ’til I’m locked into a station of your mind / All the time / And how I wonder if I’ll ever get to hold your hand in mine,” she she ponders on the chorus, offering her unrequited request to truly connect.

“This song is about the ever changing world we live in.. the fast pace we run with, the desolation of our cities, and the digital stations we have created to connect,” Gohst shares. “No one really knows in which ways the world changes, but we’re all in it and ready for the ride. Our personal expression is more valuable than ever, and how this is only the beginning of it all.. can we still touch with one another in the same ways? How can I still reach out to understand you behind these walls we’ve created? Is it all just perception, smoke and mirrors? Will we ever get to feel each other’s presence and who we really are behind the curtain?”

Her question remains TBD, but with “Scratching Surface,” Gohst provides an honest start to the solution. Her forthcoming album — also titled Scratching The Surface — might have some more answers when it drops on April 23.

Tune in below.