Superorganism and the Future of Music
The band’s lead single, Everybody Wants To Be Famous - from their eponymous debut album - encapsulates their sound perfectly.
Over a base of psychedelic synth notes, a warping bassline, and artificial sound effects floats Orono Noguchi’s vocals: strangely sweet yet deadpan and reflective. What should sound like a messy salad of notes actually mingles together to create harmonious dissonance.
The 18-year old front woman leads us through their album. She whimsically dances with us through In the Nightime as their song explores our disconnect from reality and dependence on the interweb; she charms us with her quirky words in The Prawn Song which captures Superorganism’s pacifist take on politics; she fulfils the pop criterion of uplifting listeners in Nobody Cares as she pessimistically preaches individuality and agency over one’s choices. The album embodies the modern day, amalgamating the many of hot topics of the 21st century such as social media, identity, and an aversion to violence.
It’s difficult to not find them fascinating - a band with truly international roots - enabled by modern technology.
Although Noguchi may front the band, she is not herself without the band. Cryptically described in their Soundcloud bio: ‘We are Superorganism. We are in Maine/London. We are DIY. We are eight and multiplying. We have become sentient’.
Formed in 2010 as The Eversons, the band initially featured only four members - Mark Turner (Emily), Christopher Young (Harry), Timothy "Tim" Shann (Tucan), and Blair Everson (Robert Strange). Noguchi, a fan of The Eversons, attended their concert in Japan and quickly clicked with the group and eventually joined them. Over time and over the internet, the band expanded to include Earl Ho (Soul), Ruby, and B. Their debut album was synthesised while the members lived in separate areas, with Noguchi recording the vocals from her high school dorm room and Strange creating the visuals. Now, fulfilling the Romantic hippie dream, all members except for Soul live in a house-turned-studio in London. It’s difficult to not find them fascinating - a band with truly international roots - enabled by modern technology - that has now converged on one of the most multicultural cities on Earth.
However, Superorganism cannot be admired for their music and roots alone. Confusing and colourful and featuring late 90s-early 2000s styled graphics, the music videos that accompany their hits are experimental and lively. I’d recommend beginning with The Prawn Song.
Superorganism are definitely one of a kind. Despite their somewhat pessimistic take on the internet and modernity, they represent the unique magic that can happen when those things are done right.
They will be coming to Oxford on the 30th of October and will be performing at the O2 Academy. Don’t miss out!