Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Superorganism’s self-titled debut is a pop culture collage

The band features vocals from 17-year-old Orono Noguchi

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Superorganism Official Facebook Page

Superorganism Official Facebook Page

Superorganism Official Facebook Page

By Ariya Sonethavy, Assistant Arts Editor

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The first thing that comes to mind when listening to Superorganism for the first time is that their music contains something that, for lack of better words, is a breath of fresh air. The indie-pop band released their self-titled debut album on March 2, 2018 and have since been living up to the energy that the internet hypes it up with.

Tinged with colorful synths and the crystal-clear vocals of 17-year-old Orono Noguchi, the seemingly makeshift band mashes up themes of technology with a fitting sonic scheme that borders between psychedelic pop and art pop.

The group came together rather unexpectedly, with its eight members spanning the ages of 17 to 32. Japanese-American high school student Noguchi came together with the rest of the members by chance – she discovered The Eversons, an indie-pop band originally from New Zealand, via YouTube. During a trip to Japan, she stumbled upon one of their gigs and began an online friendship with them that they maintained until the eventual formation of Superorganism.

With surreal lyrics and juxtapositions of miscellaneous sound effects, the album is easy to indulge in. It’s indie-pop to dance to in the least traditional sense, with flashy synths chopped up in between video game sounds, honking cars and vocal distortion that emulates a certain subtlety reminiscent of Daft Punk. The album is somehow extremely listenable for something so experimental. Their samples borrowed from everyday occurrences, though bent and shaped into something more colorful, something more alien and flamboyant.

The album’s opener “It’s All Good” starts with heavy rain and a distorted, robotic voice greeting the lead singer, “Good morning Orono. You are awake.” The scene sets immediately in your head – a young girl starting her day in a futuristic world that could be apocalyptic or manufactured. Noguchi’s vocals float above a muddy bass in the first verse, until the chorus explodes with haphazard drum beats and gnarled vocals. The song sets an energetic tone for the rest of the album, its ecstatic and spacey nature signifying the band’s fervor immediately.

The band’s first single “Something For Your M.I.N.D.” is catchy in an eclectic way, with Noguchi’s voice emanating the confessional deadpan of Kimya Dawson, if Kimya Dawson happened to stumble upon a synthesizer. Opening with the beachy twang of a guitar, Noguchi’s singing is monotonous with the quirkiness of a bored teenager, which makes sense considering her age. The track is refreshing as it’s framed by bubbly, fizzy synths, with its structure following a rhythm that makes it rather intoxicating. It’s a statement that diverges from classic indie pop, blending in both electronic and psychedelic elements that makes the song incomparable to others.

“Everybody Wants To Be Famous” captures the same addictive energy. Something about this song specifically, aside from the band’s overall essence, truly represents the strangeness of being a young person caught between the ages of Millennials and Generation Z. The lyrics are simplistic, the bridge repeating “Everybody wants, nobody’s ashamed / Everybody wants you to know their name,” while the production chops up soda slurps and cash register ka-chings. It’s a feel-good tune that definitely stands out as a signature track for the band.

What, exactly, is a Superorganism? The concept alone is something abstract, and the band carries this in the track “SPRORGNSM,” an anthem to the machine they’ve conjured in their own image. It might be the most unique song on the album, which is difficult to say considering how unconventional the album works as a whole. The surfy guitar that is found in “Something For Your M.I.N.D.” is borrowed again but chopped up in different vibrations, while the bassline of the song tastes like something to be swallowed and chewed with caution. The addictive chorus repeats “I wanna be a superorganism, a superorganism, a superorganism” until the imagery that comes to mind is a growing, radioactive blob – a symbol that represents the band’s ability to mold different genres into one for something especially vivid.

A major strength of this album is its ability to capture consistency in the band’s sound, although each song has something completely different from the next. Superorganism’s atmosphere is a moodboard that exudes Andy Warhol’s pop-art expressions, the ever-growing internet age and some things in between that are almost otherworldly. Between their peculiar sound, clever lyrics and surrealist music videos, “Superorganism” is the soundtrack from another planet to accompany your dreams.

Ariya Sonethavy can be reached at [email protected]

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