Song of the Day: Superorganism – Solar System


Once in a decade or so I like to return to the founding ethos of Panic Manual: we review anything and everything under the sun so long as it is (arguably) tasteful. So I will share a few words about a recent NPR interview with Superorganism‘s singer, Orono.

Let’s first get some observations out of the way. This was clearly not a pleasant morning for some anchors: to hear the words “people did not quality for tax relief” spoken on the newsreel and grind your teeth on the fumbling utterance of “NO, that’s not it” on the following sentence, is one too many hard boiled eggs to swallow at 8AM. For someone who thanks dudes for edibles, Orono seems to genuinely appreciate having them for breakfast right before an interview. Lastly, the tension on air as the host, Daniel Estrin, tries in vain to elicit responses, is so diametrically opposite to the basic tenets of edibles even though you could indeed cut it with a knife.

Superorganism is of course the London-based pop band that brought us the pre-pandemically infectious likes of “Everybody Wants To Be Famous” back in the heady days of 2018, with their eponymous debut album. We thoroughly enjoyed their show at SxSW that year in support of that album.

With the new album, World Wide Pop, in hand, I suppose this interview was meant to be promotional. If I were to pinpoint an exact moment when I realized this could have been much better as a video interview, it was:

D. ESTRIN: I have to say, you know, when I first listened to your album, it kind of felt like the musical equivalent of TikTok. It was that…

ORONO: I don’t know if that’s a compliment or a dis.

And then it became more awkward:

D. ESTRIN: As a lead singer of a band in your early 20s with this music that just mirrors this strange internet world we’re living in, you know, what would you tell our listeners who maybe are a little bit older than you?

ORONO: I would just be like, I hope you like this record. If you don’t, that’s fine. I don’t really care.

It could have been great to scrutinize facial micro-expression at 4K and see if that shot across the bow did damage, or bounced off everyone and is still hours later pinballing around in the recording chamber sound-absorption-be-damned, like a laser beam trapped in a hall of mirrors. They do sound a lot more frenetically electronic and sampled on this album, perhaps that departure from the first album was meant to be the focus of discussion. Regardless of whether or not I read too much into this interview, I’m just glad to hear evidence that energy (and edibles) both remain strong in music.

Posted on by Gary in Everything, Song of the Day

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