Tone Deaf: What Does the Program Director Listen to?
Multinational band offers chaotic yet cohesive sounds in their self-titled album. /Paul Hudson
Odd octad Superorganism is a refreshing modern band that plays like if the purest version of the internet could create music. As sounds are cut and pasted into the songs, this collective seemingly creates a portal that transports the listener to a place of genuine wonder with only lead vocalist, seventeen year old Orono Noguchi, as a link to our physical world. The magic of this album is palpable, and it’s so damn good.
From their unconventional songwriting process, the listener is given individually complex songs, each having its own strangely magical amalgamation of sounds and melodies. The album as a whole reads like a happy psychedelic trip; with constant beat and constant movement, songs flow effortlessly from one to another and with endlessly diverse sounds and seamless progress.
Tunes like liquid stutter stepping ode to Japan “Nai’s March’s” play nice with the funky anti-conformist anthem “The Prawn Song,” while still finding a way to keep from being messages-less melodies. Being a product of the internet, Superorganism’s light hearted and subvert approach to discussing pressing and relevant topics to today’s generation is like the vitamin gummy for the world’s hard truth.
Clear as day, songs like “Reflections on My Screen,” and especially heavily bass distorted “Everybody Wants To Be Famous,” serve as warnings against too much time spent looking at blue light searching for validation, which is so told in these songs, to eventually lead to harmful low self-esteem and reckless behavior. While other compositions such as opener “It’s All Good” and “SPRORGNSM” are head nods to those who honestly find it a little too intimidating to be a stand alone individual.
This spectacular group of eight consists of international members from Lancashire, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, with ages ranging from seventeen to thirty-two, and the story of how they came to be a colossus of a band is in cannon, too, with their internet-age genre and style.
The short story is that four members, Mark David Turner (Emily), Christopher Young (Harry), Timothy “Tim” Shann (Tucan), and Blair Everson (Robert Strange), were part of a band called The Eversons, which so happened to pop up on Orono Noguchi’s Youtube recommendations list. Noguchi quickly became a fan of The Everson’s weird but raw sound and saw them play live in Japan while on summer holiday. The quartet ended up meeting Noguchi, exchanged information, and bonded over what all international friends in the modern day bond over memes.
During one of their conversations, it became known to the Eversons that Orono could sing, which sparked an idea for a radically new project. Eventually, after being joined by Ruby and B, two background singers from New Zealand, and Soul, another background singer and solo artist under pseudonym “CHI,” superorganism was born.
The story of how they create their music is equally as intriguing. Seven out of eight members of Superorganism live in a loft together in London, which they’ve conveniently transformed to a twenty-four hour recording and producing studio.
“It usually starts with [the group] listening to music and talking about music, art, and all kinds of stuff in the kitchen,” said Orono Noguchi in an interview for Radio Milwaukee. “Then, one [member] would come up with a very basic idea for a song. [They’d] then send the file back and forth among the group and add on some random ideas that [they] have. [They’d] keep working on it until [they] have a final product.”
It’s rare that an album brings a smile to my face like this one. Imagine the Go! Team, the Flaming Lips, and Yo Gabba Gabba started a band together but also only spoke in riddles for some reason; that’s how one could explain the vibe and sound of Superorganism. This absolutely peculiar group has enthralled the ears of thousands, and is sure to be one to keep an eye out for in the future.