Now that Mother Monster has dropped the news of her upcoming single with a pop art Instagram announcement, let's see if we can figure out what Lady Gaga's new song "Perfect Illusion" is about based on the title alone. Most artists would be content to announce new music with just one post, but this is Lady Gaga we're talking about. She used a full 12 posts to give us all the information we could need to figure this out — "LADY GAGA PERFECT ILLUSION NEW SINGLE SEPTEMBER PERFECT ILLUSION."
Lady Gaga has always been about high art and fashion, and finding new and interesting ways to weave that into pop culture, so obviously my brain jumped right to seeing the "Perfect Illusion" music video. I have no doubt that it will be filled with the kinds of bright colors and shapes that she teased on her page with this announcement. Can't wait for that. But what about the song itself?
It's interesting to me that Lady Gaga chose to deliver the news via Instagram, because that's the social media platform that's conjured by "perfect illusion" for me. Critics of the photo-sharing service and social media in general have repeatedly pointed out how easy it is to misrepresent your life as better or happier than it is just with a well-curated Instagram feed. Even if you're really struggling with something, you can put on a brave face — and clear the takeout boxes out of the background — and look like you're living a dream that's unattainable to everyone else.
Especially in the wake of Gaga's breakup with fiancé Taylor Kinney, it makes sense that this topic would be on her mind lately; she and Kinney seemed so happy from the outside, but, of course, things are always very different within.
As far back as 2013, Gaga shared that with her music, she wanted "to alter the human experience with social media" and to "bring art culture into pop in a reverse Warholian expedition." I'm starting to think she might be doing both with this upcoming album. If social media really is a "perfect illusion," then you may as well elevate it to an art, so at least we're all in on it.