Superorganism seeks to revamp pop on debut
Augie Collins | Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Superorganism may be a fledgling band, but that isn’t stopping them from having big aspirations.
In 2017, guitarist Christopher “Harry” Young lamented on the stale nature of today’s pop music, saying: “It feels like it needs a bit more fun injected.” And with the lofty goal of revamping modern day pop in mind, the eight-piece band will need all of its members’ hands on deck. For the last year, the band has been busy attempting to do precisely that.
The bands self-titled debut, “Superorganism,” was recorded in the their shared living quarters in East London, where seven of the eight members reside. The songs they recorded there were electronically passed from room to room via email, with each member adding their own bit on the production line. With the band’s techy and anti-establishment feel that each member adds to, if the current music industry was the United States banking system, Superorganism would be the tiny block-chain network seeking to kick-start a revolution.
Due to the flexible approach taken in the composition and production of their debut, however, the resulting sound of the album is closer to that of a blended jazz ensemble than of a indie pop jam compilation. But despite the album bursting at the seams with the sheer volume of the sound it contains, it never spirals into total chaos and anarchy, relying on its recurring harmonies to anchor it to its more listenable feel — think of it as a more poppy version of the Avalanches’ “Since I Left You.” Superorganism employs the use of cash registers, bursting champagne corks and stomping on crisp apples, among other things, to achieve the album’s infectiously fun sound.
As vital a role as production played in the cultivation of the album’s unique sound, Orono Noguchi’s laconic vocals perfectly juxtapose with the albums funky, techno sound, impeding it from ever becoming overwhelming for the listener. This lackadaisical vocal approach is especially prevalent on the grungy, EDM-esque “Nobody Cares,” capturing the apathy of a generation who are the most likely candidates to tune in, with lyrics such as “Sweet relief when you grow up and see for yourself / Nobody cares / Have a drink, have a smoke, do whatever you need to unload / Nobody cares.” Riding the wave of the album through its track list, Noguchi’s melancholy tone is also memorably palpable on “Reflections on the Screen,” while the subsequent “Nai’s March” paints an infectiously vivid portrait of an individual’s longing for their hometown.
But despite the album’s apathetic tone, it is always unapologetically clear that the band is here first and foremost to have fun. Their viral hit “Something for your M.I.N.D.” and other pre-released single “Everybody Wants to be Famous” perhaps exemplify this best with their lucidly colorful guitar riffs, pumping synths, and catchy hooks. All of their elements combine to create songs that feel less like a direct route from point A to point B, and instead akin to an entire visual landscape built for the listener to wander through.
“Superorganism” is a very promising release from a band who should be just finding their footing after assembling in 2016, yet are seen here basking in the glorious oddity of their newfound niche.
Label: Domino Records
Favorite Tracks: “Everybody Wants to Be Famous,” “Nobody Cares”
If you like: The Avalanches, Soccer Mommy, Beck
Shamrocks: 4 out of 5