Album of the Week: Superorganism - World Wide Pop
The hyperactive, genre-smashing, vibe-filled and party starting second album from the funnest band in indie pop lives up to its name
When Superorganism first announced the name of the follow-up to their acclaimed 2018 debut as World Wide Pop, it just felt right. Taking the world by storm with their unique, uplifting, frenzied and altogether hectic take on the broader indie genre, Superorganism’s music maintains a focus on catchiness and writing damn good experimental pop songs.
So, with a name like World Wide Pop, you’d hope the band lives up to this name… and you’d be correct. A seemingly natural evolution of the sound we heard on their first record, World Wide Pop turns everything up to 11, be it the countless wild samples or the lengthy list of guest collaborators (Indie lord Stephen Malkmus spitting bars, anyone?), some of whom pop up multiple times, adding to the album's cohesion. While very much an “album”, WWP somehow manages to capture the energy of our modern times, constantly chopping and changing, twisting and turning musically across its 13 tracks.
Before checking out what we have to say about the album, why not find out from Superorganism vocalist Orono herself in our feature interview.
Opening with Black Whole Baby, the record introduces us to the world of Superorganism through a melting pot of samples reminiscent of 90s video game intros, mobile phone interference signals sounding almost like an indie Saturday morning cartoon intro, while getting meta and interspersing samples of radio presenters talking about the band. The album's title track World Wide Pop continues this vibe with a more electronic leaning, packing dial tone samples, video game vibes and big vocoders. Recent album single On & On shows the band's seemingly effortless knack for writing catchy hooks with its addictive synth melody and hypnotic, sing-a-long inducing chorus.
The first collab on the album is up next with Teenager, a fun and uplifting ode to not really growing up featuring Japanese band CHAI and French artist Pi Ja Ma, before we enter hip-hop territory on It's Raining. An experimental Boom Bap beat featuring a repeated sample from iconic teen pop icon turned avant-garde maestro Scott Walker, as well as Orono's deadpan rapping being matched by verses from British MC Dylan Cartlidge and indie veteran Stephen Malkmus.
Buried pretty much in the middle of the record is Flying - the most "straight forward" (whatever that means for Superorganism) indie rock song on the record that lets you catch your breath from the madness that preceded. Solar System featuring once again CHAI and Pi Ja Ma as well as US group Boa Constrictors slows things down a bit before one of the most recent singles, Into The Sun pairs acoustic guitar samples with a hip-hop beat, as well as Stephen Malkmus and Pi Ja Ma once more, and this time adding Japanese singer Gen Hoshino into the mix
Put Down Your Phone is a slice of downtempo, trip-hop influenced maximalism with an all-to-pertinent reminder to do as the title says, before crushed.zip brings more wild vocoders, taking cues from British dance music on its skipping beat. Oh Come On beautifully pairs a slower beat with huge, epic chords and an ahtmic chorus before Don't Let The Colony Collapse kicks in with the most "normal" beat on the album, almost shocking hearing a four-four kick drum by this point on the album. Album closer Everything Falls Apart opens in a cacophony of sound before giving way to 90s alt-rock style guitar strums and industrial-esque drums before dropping out of the mix and the track going off in just whatever directions it needs to to wrap up this wild ride of an album.
On World Wide Pop, Superorganism have achieved exactly that - crafting a truly global pop album, perfect for our modern times.
Superorganism's new album World Wide Pop is out now via Domino Recording Co.
The best of the rest of this week's records:
Belief (Stella Mozgawa and Boom Bip) - Belief [Lex Records] AUS/USA
Black Midi - Hellfire [Rough Trade / Remote Control Records] ENG
Interpol - The Other Side of Make-Believe [Matador / Remote Control Records] USA
Katalyst, Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad - Katalyst JID013 [Jazz Is Dead] USA
Kode9 - Escapology [Hyperdub] ENG
Lil Silva - Yesterday Is Heavy [Nowhere Music] ENG
Lizzo - Special [Nice Life] USA
Steve Lacy - Gemini Rights [RCA] USA
R&B / Soul
Tunnel - Vanilla [House of Joy] USA