Album Review: Superorganism's Very Millennial Self-Titled Debut
Superorganism might just be the most millennial band around. For one, their members come from across the globe, met online on music forums, bonded over memes, and range in age from 17-34. They now all live together. Their music sounds a bit like a lot of bands (Passion Pit, Grimes, The Avalanches and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, for starters), but not a lot like any of them. They have little regard to genre restraints. Their creative process is largely computer-based, and scatterbrained. And they sing about issues familiar to any young people, with the spirit of a thriving community.
The band’s sound is spontaneous and highly energetic, mixing samples and studio trickery with ‘real’ instruments. It’s unpredictable in the best way, rich with details and engaging enough to entertain the whole way through. Despite the consistent energy, Superorganism somehow to make sure the album is never exhausting; every song lasts for the perfect amount of time, and the odd moment of peace becomes a clever curveball to break up the pace rather than a bathroom break.
The electronic soundscape fits in perfectly with the band’s lyrics. Superorganism mostly explores the modern world and how technology has changed the way we relate to each other, in relationships and friendships. ‘Everybody Wants to Be Famous’ is one such song, engaging with the appeal of internet notoriety. ‘Nobody Cares’ on the other hand, the highlight of the album for me, cleverly highlights how that very phrase can be both crushing and freeing, depending on the context. What makes these themes sound relatable rather than preachy is frontwoman Orono’s deliciously distant delivery; not since The Strokes has boredom sounded so effortlessly cool. The "voice of a generation" label seems to be applied to everyone these days, but Orono is definitely a candidate, both with her jaded performance and lyrical focusses. Both live and on record, this contrast between Okono and the cheerleader-esque backing vocalists is one of the many ingredients that makes this project work.
Just like millennial culture, not everybody is going to vibe with this band. Scrolling through the comments of their recent KEXP video shows there are as many people who “don’t get the hype” as there are who think they’re the next Björk. But for those who can see the appeal, this album will be the one to blast in your car and learn all the words to.