When Superorganism’s second album was announced in early 2022, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to bother. Their 2018 debut was an insanely fun paean to the kind of international house party that was now possible, where like-minded geniuses/weirdos/nerds/perverts can combine and produce something so shamelessly fun across international oceans. It caught a particular moment in time, if not for the world itself then definitely for me personally. It was so care free and effortlessly in love with the ongoing potential of international community. That 2018 debut was a special capture of lightning in a bottle that simply couldn’t be repeated.
Hey, everyone! It’s fucking four years later, shall we try and repeat it!? That’s sure to go well!
We didn’t need this album. I didn’t need this album. Hey, Superorganism, do you really all need this album? Can’t you all go back to your day jobs as each individually being that weird person at a party who shows up and asks people about ley lines, whom nobody can name but always turns up with carrier bags full of shrooms? What’s that? Your eight person band is now just a five person band? Five people in your band?? Dudes, that’s just, like, a regular band. Are you even that special anymore. Why did those people have to leave by the way? Wha…?? Jesus fucking Christ, not again… More sexual assault stuff?? Sigh, the vibes just seem a bit off this time round, ma dudes.
Then the record starts, the static interference, computer blips and jibbered half heard Japanese of opening track Black Hole Baby settles itself into clarity with a literal explosion and singer Orono Noguchi enters the chat…
I’ve been eating fruit
I’ve been sleeping well when I can
And now I feel so good…
And now I’m working hard
My whole life is a montage
Leave some tips in my crib
Feels so good to be this big
But oh no, here’s the gravy
The dark horizon huge in size
And everything is changing
My spaceship’s started crying
…and you realise you’d forgotten about Superorganism’s secret weapon.
It’s hard to explain what it is – it certainly isn’t technical ability – but Orono is one of the most captivating and charismatic frontpeople in music. You’d hesitate to call her a ‘singer’, she kind of talks her lyrics with occasional tone shifts, but she nonetheless always instinctively understands the beat and melody of the song she’s singing/dictating and ensures that the madness always makes sense. She is the glue that holds Superorganism’s music together, and their one weapon that will likely ensure it takes a lot longer for everything else to ever start to feel tired and overdone.
Also, have you ever noticed how she’s potentially the coolest person in the world? Like, have you ever stopped to consider that? Yeah?
‘World Wide Pop’ is still a great album, and bodes well for the band’s longterm prospects as it suggests that all their great ideas weren’t spaffed on that debut album. Some sort of change is probably needed for their third album (but, oh God, please do not go all ‘mature’ and ‘mastering songcraft’ and ‘fucking boring – but as long as their fronted by Orono they’ll be afforded a lot more leeway than most.