Superorganism – Superorganism (sealed UK import)


The fascinating story of how Superorganism came together can threaten to overpower the music the London-based eight-person collective make on their brilliantly fun and funny self-titled debut album. It shouldn’t, though. Coming off like the Go! Team‘s wacky kid siblings, a Shibuya-kei Ratatat, or the house band on a 2010s reboot of Pee-wee’s Playhouse, the album is stacked from end to end with goofy samples, bubbling hip-hop beats, wobbly synths, fat basslines, and hooky guitars. On top of this Technicolor gusher of sound sit the bored, charmingly disaffected vocals of Orono Noguchi, the American teen Superorganism hired over the Internet to be their singer. Her straight-from-the-heart (sometimes a little emo) lyrics and unaffected voice anchor the wildly spinning sound and keep it from being too silly or fun. There’s a little bit of the ’90s in the mix, a little bit of post-pop pop, a little bit of bedroom trip-hop, and a lot of imagination. That the crew all live together in the same big, dilapidated house totally makes sense. It’s easy to picture them throwing ideas around all day, with the result being a sloppy, overstuffed whirl of sound. It also has the feel of a record that was made by passing ideas back and forth over computer, the kind of record that’s unfettered by conventions and everyone is game to try whatever to see if it works. It all totally works. The band can do shiny pop (“It’s All Good,” which has a crazy slowed-down Tony Robbins sample), introspective dream pop (“Reflections on the Screen”), slowly strutting Beck-like hip-hop (“SPRORGNSM”), and melancholy ballads (“Nai’s March”), all with equal aplomb. When they kick into second gear, they make modern pop that equals the best around. “Everybody Wants to Be Famous” is a rollicking takedown of D-list culture complete with ringing cash-register percussion and a melt-in-your-mouth sweet vocal by Orono; “Something for Your M.I.N.D.” is warped pop gold with subaquatic bass, a naggingly catchy vocal sample, and Orono‘s second most off-kilter lyrics (after “The Prawn Song”). Despite the somewhat cluttered and freewheeling exterior, it’s clear that Superorganism know exactly what they are doing at all times, slicing and dicing like master chefs, then reassembling the bits and bobs of pop ephemera into a concoction that has a sugary kick sweeter and fizzier than an ice-cold cola. Mint.

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