In January 2017, a fully formed pop banger titled ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D’, was uploaded to streaming services. In the space of a few days, the song landed in Spotify’s esteemed New Music Friday playlist. Racking up millions of streams, it piqued the attention of Frank Ocean and Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig. But Superorganism, the mysterious group behind it, were a complete unknown. A social media presence, or even a photo were nowhere to be seen. Rumours soon began circulating that it was a project of Damon Albarn or Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker.
Such secrecy wasn’t some savvy media hype masterplan concocted by the multinational eight-piece – it was a result of the band’s chaotic, sprawling reach. The core of the collective met on music forums years ago, when kiwi multi-instrumentalists Emily and Harry were members of a creative community that kicked around tracks across borders on email. In late 2016, ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D’ ended up with friend and collaborator, Orono, a 17-year-old living in Maine, USA.
“We sent it over thinking, ‘That’ll be cool to hear whenever we get that back’,” Harry explains. But within an hour of sending, Orono had cooked up lyrics and a melody. She recorded vocals and sent it back. “Well, I am a bored teenager,” she admits.
The reaction to the song was immediate, but the track was taken down earlier this year due to an uncleared sample. “We are actually idiots” says Harry.Happily, since then, two further cuts in the shape of ‘Nobody Cares’ (a cartoonish electro-pop zinger) and the quirky ‘It’s All Good’ appeared.
Now, all eight members are living in a four-bedroom house in east London. Not that that will stop them working together in their own unusual way.“Even when we live together, we do a lot of the work by sending electronic files between each other in our rooms,” Harry explains. “It’s a bit like a cult,” adds Emily, only semi-jokingly.But it’s this idiosyncrasy and individuality that makes the group so intriguing – and that vibrancy couldn’t be more important right now. Harry: “Pop music has been so serious for the past few years. It feels like it needs a bit more fun injected.”
So with the mystery over, a deal with Domino Records inked and hotly anticipated UK live dates booked for next month, Superorganism will be making the world a more colourful and chaotic place for the foreseeable future.
Buy: ‘Nobody Cares’ is out now
Live: Village Underground, London (October 5)
For Fans Of: Gorillaz, The Avalanches
Strange But True: Ezra Koenig played their song on his Beats 1 show, he also read some of Orono’s Vampire Weekend fan fiction
Best Track: ‘Nobody Cares’. Cartoon crunches reign supreme in this surreal hit