World Wide Pop

Superorganism

World Wide Pop

The 10 songs that made up the fluorescent, experimental pop of Superorganism’s self-titled 2018 debut were the first 10 songs that the London-based, multi-national collective ever wrote together. When it came to making a follow-up, it was a simple case of keeping the creative spark alight. “We just continued where we left off with the first record,” guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Harry tells Apple Music. “We just didn’t stop writing.” With the group now retooled into a five-piece of core members who go by just their adopted first names—Harry, Orono, Tucan, B, and Soul—second album World Wide Pop expands their cosmic horizons through 13 mind-bending tracks of hyperactive synth-pop, warped indie rock, and cosmic electronica. “It’s about big versus small, teamwork, therapy, space, nature,” says singer Orono. Harry also believes it’s a more intimate and personal record than the debut. “The first record, we were trying to figure out what we were,” he says. “This time around, we felt a bit more comfortable owning who we are.” Featuring guests including Stephen Malkmus, CHAI, Boa Constrictors, and Gen Hoshino, it’s another light-speed leap ahead for one of the most forward-thinking groups in modern music. Read on for Harry and Orono’s track-by-track guide to World Wide Pop. “Black Hole Baby” Harry: “It felt like the opener to me because there’s the ‘welcome back’ theme in it, which I associate with Mase’s song ‘Welcome Back.’ It’s almost like we’re heralding our own return. Oasis did it, too, on (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, where there’s a song that opens the album [‘Hello’] that’s kind of triumphant sounding, and it’s a weird, self-congratulatory, ‘Welcome back, here we are!’” “World Wide Pop” Orono: “This is kind of like ‘The Prawn Song’ of this album in that it is kind of about nothing, but then it ended up being about everything and becoming the title of the album. We were trying to decide on an album title, and we were coming up with a bunch of pretty shitty ideas. And one of the ideas was just, why don’t we just call it World Wide Pop because we wrote a song called ‘World Wide Pop’ and it seems appropriate.” Harry: “The title has got this pompous vibe to it, like we’re uniting the world or whatever. That sums up what we’re about as a group—we don’t really take ourselves too seriously, but we do take what we do quite seriously.” “On & On” Harry: “We initially thought that we’d finished this album just before COVID broke out. Then it turned out we’d finished a demo draft of the record. We went back to the drawing board and reworked a bunch of the songs and wrote some new songs, and the last one of those was this. The initial spark came from the second lockdown. I was waking up feeling like every day was exactly the same as the last day. It started feeling like Groundhog Day. I was also listening to ‘Pure Shores’ by All Saints—that’s what triggered the production style of this song.” “Teenager” (feat. CHAI & Pi Ja Ma) Orono: “I feel like I’ve kind of cursed myself with this song because in pretty much every interview, they’re like, ‘So, why do you want to be a teenager? Isn’t that cringe and weird because most people hated being a teenager?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, obviously. I’m not meaning that seriously. I don’t mean any of the shit I say seriously.’ It’s still very much more of an observational song more than a personal one.” “It’s Raining” (feat. Dylan Cartlidge & Stephen Malkmus) Orono: “This is Tucan’s favorite song on the album because he loves Scott Walker, and that’s why we used a sample. He’s a weird pop legend, so I feel like it’s very fitting that he’s on the album. We were like, ‘So, Scott Walker’s pretty weird. How do we make it weirder? Let’s turn it into a hip-hop song!’” “Flying” Orono: “‘Flying’ was originally going to be for an unnamed movie, but then they were like, ‘We don’t want to use that song anymore.’ Originally, the movie people were like, ‘It should be about this and that, and it should be wholesome and fun,’ and I kind of steered it towards that direction. Once they were like, ‘We’re not going to use your song,’ I was like, ‘OK, well, I’m going to make it into whatever I want’ and tried to go in the opposite direction.” “Solar System” (feat. CHAI, Pi Ja Ma, Boa Constrictors, Axel Concato & Paul Concato) Harry: “‘Solar System’ always felt like a centerpiece for the record. I always thought it would end up being the end of Side One on the vinyl—that kind of vibe. It just floats along at a pace that, I think, is a perfect balance of how the record feels to my ears.” “Into the Sun” (feat. Gen Hoshino, Stephen Malkmus, Pi Ja Ma & Axel Concato) Harry: “This song and some of the others started out with little jam sessions where we were in the room together. But they then evolved so much, where we then go off and work remotely and piece it all together like a jigsaw and a collage anyway, that it ends up being kind of similar to the first record in terms of the process. The major difference is that once we’d all got together and we were working together and touring together and living together and stuff, you know each other’s instincts a lot more.” “Put Down Your Phone” Orono: “This was one of the earlier songs. It sounds like a Lil Yachty song to me. I don’t really know why. And the vibe is cool. At first, I was kind of worried, like, ‘Oh, is this too commanding to the audience or listener?’ But then we worked on it a bunch, and it ended up being not just about putting down your phone and stuff; it’s about consumer culture and self-care culture and a whole bunch of other stuff. So, it’s a very dense song, but it’s also very pop and very catchy. I think that dichotomy is interesting.” “crushed.zip” Orono: “I wanted to write a very annoying pop song that’s also kind of like an Elliott Smith song—very emo. That’s how I started the idea, and then Stuart Price’s production skills really shine on this one. He really took it to the next level with his ideas and choices. He really took the song to where it wanted to go.” Harry: “I always thought that the song has a Pet Sounds kind of feel to it because it’s got these lyrics that are quite sad, but melodically it’s really beautiful. Then Stuart brought this baroque sensibility that I thought just enhanced that even more.” “Oh Come On” Orono: “This one we started working on in Chicago with our friend Carter Lang, who is a big-time, big-boy producer now. I was super goddamn depressed that day and was binge-watching RuPaul’s Drag Race in my room, and my band were calling me, going, ‘It’s fun. Carter’s cool!’ And I was like, ‘No, Carter sounds lame, and I don’t want to leave my room, and I don’t want to shower. I don’t want to do anything.’ But then they forced me out of the Airbnb, and we wrote that song and it was very cathartic and a good time, so I’m very grateful for that experience.” “Don’t Let the Colony Collapse” Harry: “There’s an anxiety to this song, but an optimism as well, which is quite emblematic for the whole record. On the very first demo, there was a version of the chorus that was me singing into my phone on one of the hottest summer days on record. I remember going out, drinking a beer on the street with my mates, and the sky was this really weird orange color, and there was a homeless guy nearby whacking a piece of metal with a hammer. There was just something really David Lynch-apocalyptic about the whole scene.” “Everything Falls Apart” Harry: “It’s a nice bookend at the end, and there’s a really nice sentiment to it that ties it all back into the start. From the beginning, there’s this theme throughout the album of things being really hard to hold together and then, in the end, it finishes on quite an optimistic tone. It just feels natural at the end.”

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