Album Review: Superorganism – Superorganism

Ditching the irony of PC Music and approaching vaporwave hyper-pop with fresh faced enthusiasm, Superorganism are a mystery – where do they come from? Are they an industry plant? How can a group of eight 20-somethings write a pop track as perfect as ‘Something for your M.I.N.D’? Whilst their debut single saw them blasted into the mainstream, the pressure to deliver on a potential one-hit wonder almost always threatens to crush an act’s main draw and lightning rarely strikes twice.

Superorganism - Superorganism artwork

Perhaps surprisingly then, the self-titled debut from the worldwide Domino darlings only rarely disappoints. It’s occasionally uneven, but the nature of their process makes an irregular album inevitable; the octet met online, live together and produced the album independently, free from external influence. Tracks are meticulously assembled around everyday samples and lead Orono’s deadpan vocals, and adorned with gaudy synths, giving the impression of a candid teenage diary plastered in flashy, metallic stickers. Opener ‘It’s All Good’ is a sprawling, sample-led collage of alarm clocks and ‘Good morning!’s, cemented to a stomping, glam-internet chorus; ‘The Night Song’ brings the album full circle with yawns and birdsong, and hints to a calmer future – though one still knee-deep in 00s pop on steroids.

Nostalgia is undeniably part of the record’s appeal. Nailing down a strange intersection between pop from a decade back and music which could only exist now, a cynic could read Superorganism as a label’s corporate vision for the future of the charts. Happily, the group stuff its brief tracklist with intense excitement, as if to remind the listener that behind the seemingly manufactured patchwork is a gaggle of keen creatives. It’s a frenzy they mostly master, though later tracks ‘Nai’s March’ and ‘Relax’ bemusingly break rank with bewildering tempo changes and an overwhelming bulk of samples. With pre-released and well-received material already making up the majority of the tracklist, it’s the untested tracks which flounder.

Delightfully technicolour and gleefully hyperactive, the debut from Superorganism flirts with the past while on a gallant voyage into the future. Though concise and thin on new material, it’s a smart and sincere take on post-pop pop, shedding the associated irony and nodding to 2007’s global, sample-driven twee pop ala M.I.A., Black Kids and The Go Team!. Superorganism: not quite orgasmic (classic schoolboy joke that) but definitely super.