Juan Wauters - “Modus Operandi (feat. Frankie Cosmos)" from the 2023 album Wandering Rebel on Captured Tracks

On today's Song of the Day, Queens-based Uruguay-born artist Juan Wauters casts a critical eye on the New Yorkers who were able to vacate the city during the COVID-19 crisis. Against a melancholy plucked melody and with swelling strings, Wauters sings, "People that have options go back to their suburbs / To them it was just like some kind of Disney World."

“COVID made it clear that some people have it harder than others,” Wauters told the Tucson Weekly. “People that didn’t have an option, they were locked in their apartments. It was right in your face, the inequality of the world, and I commented on that. Sometimes I feel like ‘Modus Operandi’ could come off like I was resentful that everyone left the city, and people that didn’t have an option could not leave. Maybe I was resentful. But also, as I now look back and have a conversation about it, I realize that it’s just an observation of everyday life.”

“Maybe life is supposed to be like that, that some people live more comfortably than others, and some people are supposed to have it harder. But maybe it’s an opportunity to talk about it, and perhaps we can do something that, if COVID hits again, it’s not unfair.”

The track features guest vocals from born-and-bred New Yorker Greta Kline, better known as Frankie Cosmos. In the accompanying music video, she and Wauters wander through NYC and Montevideo, respectively. Director Fatos Marishta shared in a press release, "The idea of 'Modus Operandi' is that even though Juan lives elsewhere now, his essence stays in New York. Sometimes he’s in NY, sometimes he’s not, he can be anywhere. We shot through one week in two different countries with Juan wandering through the streets of Montevideo during the inaugural carnaval parade and Greta in Union Square, NYC. As they are having a conversation about New York City, Greta senses and sees Juan in the vicinity but can’t seem to reach him." 

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