Track x Track: SUPEREGO - Who Are You Hiding From?

Track x Track: SUPEREGO - Who Are You Hiding From?

Walyalap/Fremantle-based experimental hip-hop group take us deep behind the scenes of their highly anticipated debut album

After years of enthralling us both with their wild live shows and dope EPs and singles, mainstays of the W.A. scene, the ever boundary-pushing, sound-evolving hip hop group that is SUPEREGO have released their debut album Who Are You Hiding From? and it was more than worth the wait.

Absolutely oozing with atmosphere, across eleven tracks the album sees the band experimenting with a range of styles and tempos, fusing elements from punk, noisy electronics, ambient compositions and soulful soundscapes, with beats ranging from boom bap, trap and upper tempo, dancefloor oriented styles. Bringing some friends along for the ride, the record sees features from some big Boorloo faves, with Cruz Patterson, Sakidasumi, POOKIE and MALi JO$E all jumping on cuts.

We’ve been fans for a long time here at Pilerats, including having them take us their debut EP Nautilus, so we thought it was only right that we linked up again for Who Are You Hiding From? and the guys really dug deep for this one.

Not content to simply give us a sentence or two on each cut, SUPEREGO have taken us through each song on the album from both the writer and the producer’s perspectives, offering some amazing insights into their inspiring creative process.

Have a listen and get to know below!

Chrome Face

Prod. Rhys Hussey (Moiya) & Toby Batchelor (Blunderland)

Writer notes:

Rhys (Moiya) mumbled the melody to this track .. some of it was legible haha… nelson was able to decipher it and create some more haha. That's pretty much how the verses were created which led Nelson (POW! Negro) into writing his rap verse. We all knew the overarching meaning and direction behind this song so all the verses perfectly fit together. We really leaned into the idea that Chrome Face is a caricature of capitalism and worked to out portray his corporate mine boom boomer mindset into an anthem.

Producer notes:

Chrome Face was the track that started the creation of this album. It was the quickest made, everything fell into place. In some ways it set the tone for how to approach writing the next 10 tracks for the album. The approach being, let ideas flow through, don't let "industry standard" recording approaches slow down the song writing. Most of the stems in this song (and album really) have been terribly recorded but it all adds to the overall tone of the song. It started our love for an 'Anti Mix / Anti hi-fi (referencing Jai Paul and JPEGMafia) sound we wanted to have for the album.

You Don’t Even Know

Prod. Rhys Hussey

Writer notes:

"I don't care about this at all" the vocal sample (Rhys voice) was what started this song. Rhys was testing the microphone before starting a session, tried to attempt a vocal recording technique he learned from Cam Deg and basically stumbled across the vocal sample. From there, the rest of the track fell into place. The middle, soft verse, was a poem Rhys had written on his phone a while before the song was created but it fit the meaning of the song perfectly. The end rap verse comes along much like 'Chrome Face' , Rhys rapped gibberish and Nelson deciphered it haha. Rhys then rapped it over and over again until he got the take right.

Producer notes:

You Don't Even Know, again, was one of the first tracks to be made. Was made super fast. However, the rap verse near the end of the track (Rhys’s rapping debut), took a ridiculous amount of time to get right. There must have been over 300 takes recorded over a 3 month span.

We knew this track was something special. We just didn't know how to fit vocals on at the beginning. After some song composition experiments we found a perfect way to keep the listener involved and on the edge. ‘Subvert expectation’ became a bit of a mission statement while we moved through creating this album.

Yung Freud (Ft. Cruz Patterson)

Prod. Kaprou Lea & Rhys Hussey

Writer notes:

Cruz Patterson has been a big brother to us all but particularly Nelson. He introduced us to playing live and mentored Nelson In his formative year prior to the band so we’re always stoked to work with him - The guy is a rap machine.

The day we wrote Yung Freud we’d gotten up early to do a double interview with Cruz at RTR. As we were on the way there in the car in classic ‘Cruzy fashion’ he candidly started talking about the baby he was going to have as if we’d known for ages but was in fact the first time we’d heard the news. It was all we could think about for the rest of the day and when we got to the studio one of the first ideas he came up with was “what about being a big baby?” (See the Instagram making of) Cruz’s verse is like the babyish desire of rappers to be seen and heard, this ‘it’s all about me’ attitude. Also a tongue in cheek embodiment  of those born and fed with a silver spoon in their mouth. The penchant for selfishness we’re all born with and that most children are encouraged to suppress. However, for some big baby’s ‘every single items what I like’.

Producer notes:

Yung Freud was another track that kind of just fell in place. I (Kaprou Lea) didn't really have any clear ideas when I started and then suddenly there it was, kind of a happy accident. It wasn’t a super labored process.

I started with what is now the intro and was experimenting with some weird sounds and honestly got bored of it and felt like I'd hit a brick wall. I moved on to a new section with the intention of beginning a new song but honestly was too lazy to open a new project. I put some ideas down and then that was it, the song was already pretty close to what it is now. Rhys helped finish it by structuring and messing with dynamics. The beat sat around for a while and didn't go anywhere until Shannon (Cruz Patterson) and Nelly made it a funny as hell song and think it adds a bit of levity to the album.

Lies (Ft. Sakidasumi)

Prod. Toby Batchelor (Blunderland)

Writer notes:

I (Blunderland) had just gone through a big break up - the real body rattling, identity crisis type. I wasn't the partner I wanted to be or that the relationship deserved - there was a great thing there but I was lying to myself and to my partner through it. It all broke down because of it. The lyrics are just reflective; there's some stuff I'm really proud of in there - "seeing you as another flower, never thought we'd have it cut, oh I know it's hard to swallow, see you on the pedal drop".

Producer notes:

Toby (Blunderland) wrote the bulk of this song in March 2021. It took a lot of tinkering to get it to where it is now, but also a lot of time in between sessions. There’s just something about the drums and that bass in the chorus that kept me coming back to it. I’m really proud of it from a song writing standpoint. That has been a big focus of ours through this album. I knew I wanted a female vocal and I love Sakidasumi’s voice. She helps so much to tell the story of the song. It felt like she understood the song immediately and it all came together pretty quick after our studio session. She really made it feel special. It feels the closest to a big pop anthem that we’ve ever done.

H.S Oldy

Prod. Rhys Hussey

Writer notes:

This song has a double take on the lifestyle of FIFO work in WA and the FIFO lifestyle of professional musicians/ artists. Working so hard to achieve that ‘6 figure wage’, turning a physical and metaphorical ‘hole to a cave’ and getting the literal and metaphorical oil to the station.

All this to support the family, give them and ourselves a sense of security yet so many people once attaining such wealth/ success find that it isn’t satisfying or enough. The whispered pre chorus vocals are ‘I just want to win, not be scared of the wind change, how much do give’.

How much happiness, time and leisure do you sacrifice to reach this financial security? How much of the earth's wealth and resources do you take without giving back. Many just drown themselves in substances, expensive toys and fast thrills to numb the pain.

Producer notes:

H.S Oldy was one of the last songs to make the cut for the album. Rhys, who produced it, wasn't on board at the beginning. Toby came through and helped finish the composition. He created the perfect transition between H.S Oldy and Who Are You Hiding From?

This track was chosen from a folder of a bunch of tracks that never made the cut for the album. The sounds on this track are manipulated and blend analog/digital tones so well, it fit the overall album sound. It had to be on it.

Who Are You Hiding From

Prod. Rhys Hussey & Toby Batchelor

Writer notes:

This song had probably 7 different verses written for it that didn’t make the cut. Rhys wanted this song to touch on his idea / interest in a dynamic shift in a relationship between children and their parents. When you're young and scared of the dark there is not much at stake. It can be fixed with a hug and turning a night light on. When the child gets older the fears get more complex. Identity, existentialism, financial stability. When do your parents stop seeing you as a child just scared of the dark? What goes through their minds seeing their child grow up finding themselves cripplingly frightened by their own existence. Maybe a hug could do. So basically the verses are different points of view on the complexities of life,

God, the cycle of generational trauma, anxieties, apathy, depression, the ongoing effects of colonialism in Australia, trying to find our sense of place, direction and identity. Trying to avoid these confrontations throughout life but realising that we can not truly be happy or move on individually/ collectively without acknowledging these things and coming to terms with them.

Producer notes:

Who Are You Hiding From…. Fuck… this track.

It is the oldest track on the album. Toby and Rhys had moved into a house together. It was the first track that Rhys made in that house - at least the bones of it. The track has evolved and gone through every possible remix / recomposition effort we could throw at it. This track is older than the first idea of making an album. Somehow it never left us. It's been the core of the album throughout the entire process. We always knew that it would end up being the most important track on the album. Hence naming it after this song.

It's the only track on the album that blends every tonal aspect the album has to offer and more. Today I'd say this may be one of the greatest songs we've composed.

Follow

Prod. Toby Batchelor

Writer notes:

This song laments the ending of a deeply intimate relationship, reaching the understanding that there is no way forward together anymore and finally letting go. "Follow that ocean way, water will wash away my love". Wanting to heal and improve from who you were in a bad relationship. I started going to the beach more, even on stormy days, and it's a pretty real and rough but beautiful place. The songs about that process I suppose.

Producer notes:

I love how simple this song is structurally. It has a laid back feel to the beat and the way that Nel flows on it is so cool and fitting. It also has Toby (Blunderland) basically rapping on it which is new for everyone. Rhys was a big champion of this one and wanted to see it on the album, but I wasn’t convinced until Kaprou recorded saxophone on it. He added some really beautiful layers and moments. The drums always get me because they sound like an old crappy drum machine.

Naked Religion (Ft. POOKIE)

Prod. Rhys Hussey

Writer notes:

Much like other tracks with Rhys singing … Nelson wrote the lyrics haha. Not that Rhys is bad at writing lyrics, it's just that Nelson has come along and either found meaning in his gibberish or written the lyrics for Rhys to sing.

These lyrics however are really emotional and close to us. Ripped right from a personal story of a relationship breaking up, staying in limbo, then finding each other again now grown, sorry and ready to try again.

"Who said I would call for you babe?" –  Is basically a line saying, I was never going forever, we were always meant to come back.

"I was just Losing my way" – Pookie came through and we discussed what the song was about and how we wanted her to be the other side of the story. She understood and gave us so much energy.

Producer notes:

This track was never meant for the life this album has given it. It was a break up song, a miserable, soppy and sad break up song. A corny outlet for a hurt muso haha.
This track was made somewhere in the middle of us making our previous EP (Nautilus). It never got finished, no second verse or chorus. The composition was left open ended and lost for years. It got put on the shelf, got real dusty and forgotten. It never left our minds though.

Rhys brought it out while we were going through the process of looking through our B-side songs. Songs that were good and we loved but didn't fit the world the album was shaping. There was a lot of push and pull not knowing what Naked Religion's purpose would be on the album. That's when Pookie came in and changed everything. Her vocals on this track sewed everything together. Having her strong vocal tone on it rounded off everything. This was the last track to get mixed and mastered for the album. The last piece of the puzzle.

DPOPN (Ft. Mali Jo$e)

Prod. Lachlan Dymond (Faoul Duke)

Writer notes:

THIS IS STRAIGHT UP BARS!

Realizing the other songs on this album are super heady and really introspective…. We got bored and tired and thought we need a fat ass beat and some stupid braggy raps to make ourselves feel better haha 

Mali made sure he ate. He got his. We knew he'd kill it and he did.

Producer notes:

This song was the result of an inability to write a ‘real song’. I (Faoul Duke) had been in the biggest songwriting rut throughout the whole writing process of the album and was really struggling to make any meaningful contributions to the album and was feeling pretty frustrated at myself. But I had these two beats that I really liked, and I felt like there was an opportunity to put a track on the album that was just a big, fat, dirty, stinky beat that we could rap some really dumb and ignorant bullshit to, and just wild out for a couple minutes.

The first half was made pretty early in the album process, and I knew when I made it that I wanted to have a back and forth dynamic on it, so I was so stoked that Mali dug the track and wanted to be on it, cause he and Nelson have a really good chemistry. The second half came much later, and you can probably hear how much my frustration had built up by this point haha.

Pygmy Fowl Swan Song

Prod. Lachlan Dymond (Faoul Duke)

Writer notes:

I (Faoul Duke) loved this song so much as soon as I heard it and immediately wanted to write it. The instrumental sounds so painful to me, and I was in pretty bad shape when I started to write it so it came out as the most personal lyrics I think I’ve written. I’ve noticed that I have this really bad defense mechanism to protect myself from rejection, in which I put this enigma in front of myself to prevent myself from ever truly feeling rejected because they’ve rejected the enigma and not me. It's really dumb I know, and it’s led to me alienating the people I care about most. So this song is a reflection on that and an apology to the people I’ve hurt and the relationships I’ve strained. I wrote it in the hopes that I would find a way to kill off the version of myself that does this, hence it being a swansong, but apathy is as intoxicating as it is destructive.

Producer notes:

A big fuckoff type beat. I made it after I saw someone have a stroke. I’ve gotten really into distorted, blown out, destructive sounding audio and Pygmy is the pinnacle of that exploration. We loved the beat but didn’t know what it was until Lachy wrote to it. The lyrics are so beautiful, so poignant and sad. I love that we have a track that's just beats and bars for 2 minutes - that's the coolest shit when it works. It feels so right that it’s just him on the track - he made it his own.

Covihaunt

Prod. Rhys Hussey & Toby Batchelor

Writer notes:

All the lyrics in this song were written by Nelson long before Covihaunt was produced. It was a part of a song Toby produced and Nelson had written with some other musicians from Brisbane. Abraham (one of these music lords) decided to move to Perth and now is our go to guy for notes and advice on music composition. Generally the lyrics are about not hiding your real feelings in a relationship and being honest with who you're with. Nothing good comes from hiding your feelings especially if you've been hurt or know you've hurt someone. Emotionally it can be frustrating, listen to Toby's vocal energy at the end of this song. That should let you know.

Producer notes:

This is as close as Rhys and I (Toby) have ever gotten to writing a song together in real time. I had the bones and asked him for guitar and vocals on it. I ended up structuring the whole song around the guitar. It didn’t have an ending and I think out of pure frustration I ended up with the final section.

A few times on this album we’ve had to really bang our heads against the wall to finish a song. I think I actually love that process. Searching and throwing so many ideas at something. It’s so frustrating when you feel stuck and lost, and arriving somewhere that feels good is so satisfying when you have to work for it like that. The noise at the start reminds me of the sound before a PA announcement, which feels fitting prior to the last track.

SUPEREGO ALBUM ART WAYHF

Follow SUPEREGO: Instagram / Facebook

Watch: Majid Jordan - My Love

The Drake-backed Toronto duo release visuals for their late night lounge track.

9 years ago

Listen: Black Vanilla - Slug

The Sydney three-piece switch up their sound - from seductive to scary.

9 years ago

FYI: BROCKHAMPTON's Kevin Abstract is teasing something new

Could it be BROCKHAMPTON's first project since last year's iridescence, or the frontman's first solo release in three years?

5 years ago

Meet Shygirl, the London rapper bringing the depths of club music to hip-hop

Regardless of whether it's features with Arca and GEORGIA or singles of her own, Shygirl always offers a glimpse of the future with everything she does.

4 years ago

Close
-->