The Band – Superorganism
Superorganism is the album The Flaming Lips might have made if they’d adopted the Vaporwave aesthetic and recruited Poppy. The international octet, Superorganism might not have Poppy, but they do have Orono. She’s an 18-year old Japanese-American who sings in monotone and seems to always be bored.
In early 2017, the undiscovered Superorganism released their pulsating electro-pop track, “Something for Your M.I.N.D.” into the ether. Within weeks, newly-won fans were ravenous for more from the nostalgia-pop’s aloof lead-singer. Soon after, Domino Records signed the band and moved them to a London flat.
The Sound – Cute
I had been dreading that all the pre-released tracks I had been listening to would ruin the record. Fortunately, this was not the case. To my relief, the glitzy hook of “Everybody Wants to be Famous,” and nostalgic whimsy of “Nobody Cares” failed to overshadow the album as a whole.
In a group that favors the zany, it could have been easy for Superorganism to sprawl into 8 different directions. And yet, the band manages to bunch its eccentric beats into one coherent sound. It’s the whammy-bar bent across hazy, guitar chords in “Nai’s March,” and “Something For Your M.I.N.D.” that keeps the album feverish and hypnotic. The surging bass synths that gurgle through “It’s All Good” and “Relax” keep the album compact and danceable. And Orono’s bored-out-of-her-mind affectation coupled with eruptions of back-up singers makes Superorganism a record cohesive in its sound.
The (title?) track, “SPORGNSM” sums up the bands ethos well by painting them as a Rick & Morty style, all-consuming collective consciousness: “It wasn’t right for you to refuse. It’s okay now you’re part of the only thing alive.” This is soon followed by “The Prawn Song,” the band’s bubbly dip into Seapunk.
“Reflections On The Screen” pin points our fixation on digital life and includes some of the album’s most clever writing: “It was never jealousy, just acute hyperbole. Idiocracy, I dream. And he’s still keen to chill with me, I’ve zoomed in 1080p. Your pseudo-smile is so unfree.”
The Theme – Complacent & Nostalgic
As for thematic consistency, the album teeters between heartfelt sentimentality and existential indifference towards the world. It’s an angsty meditation on adulthood and that express-lane known as “growing up.” It’s difficult to find much to criticize with Superorganism. The band is new on the scene and the album still fresh in my ears. The true test of the pop-record will be time. My hunch is that there’s enough here to keep me invested even after the catchy hooks wax familiar. Superorganism is out now while the tour begins at the Echoplex in LA in a few weeks.