New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Superorganism

Posted by Amoebite, August 28, 2019 03:10pm | Post a Comment

Superorganism - What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

We had a fun time talking with London-based cross-cultural indie pop band Superorganism during a recent shopping trip to Amoeba Hollywood. Orono Noguchi, Soul, B, and Ruby picked out records by some of their favorite artists, including the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Tobias Jesso Jr, Kanye West, and Carole King and introduced us to cat ASMR.

Superorganism is a band of non-conformists. Bump into any of the eight members (Orono, Emily, Harry, Ruby, B, Robert, Tucan and Soul) in the street -- a contrasting collection of disparate and idiosyncratic individuals -- and you might never know they’re in a band together, let alone all live in the same house. Superorganism’s difference comes from a kind of permanent outsider status. With members from the U.K., Japan, New Zealand, Korea and Australia, they bonded via the internet rather than one geographical location, finding each other on forums while nerding out about music. Their similarities eventually brought them all together IRL, culminating in a mass migration to an unassuming terraced house in East London that they soon turned into an energized creative hub.

Superorganism - Amoeba Music

From a cloud-based collaboration came the beginnings of their self-titled debut album, although the final product doesn’t sound much like a debut: each song is bursting with rich samples and perfectionist production, and you can see why they’ve occasionally been mislabeled a supergroup. The record has a confident and fully fleshed out world-building depth - voices and ideas that seem bigger than the songs, painting a picture of a present that’s like ours, but not quite the same. They use obscure samples and bits of spoken word with similar crate-digging enthusiasm as The Avalanches. But they are not mere collators, they have a distinctive sound that’s all their own, all squelchy synth puddles and bottle-neck guitar. The band’s obsession with and reliance on technology plays throughout Superorganism, but they don’t see themselves as a product solely of the technological age, “it’s more that we use the internet as a metaphor for something real,” says Orono.

Initially, they were so freaked out by interest from fans all over the world that they decided not to reveal their identities, but that only fueled further interest and speculation, with journalists making wild guesses about who the band might be. By the time they revealed their true selves to the world, the demand for a live performance was overwhelming: their first show was a sold out headline slot at London’s Village Underground. Thankfully, they didn’t have to start from scratch in building the stage show: their visual artist Robert lives in the house too, and has been plotting their real-world identity since day one. The results were extraordinary – the world of Superorganism brought to life with hyper visuals and projected 8-bit chaos. The band brought dance routines, outfits and hand-flicks that seemed to come from some fantastical other place - between modems and emotions, the fake and the real. This ragtag group of outsiders had found unity in each other, and performed as a single entity – a Superorganism, indeed.

Orono Noguchi started off the What's In My Bag? episode with an offbeat pick -- a Danny DeVito prayer candle, which she hoped would help their tour bus smell better. "Need I say more?" she asked. She also chose Carole King's 1971 classic Tapestry whose iconic cover features a cat and introduced us to cat ASMR.

Soul was interested in a live Bob Dylan album, Hard Rain, as well as Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. He noted that although Kanye is a solo artist, he works with a lot of different people who are all at the top of their games, so he is actually a big group of sorts, a superorganism if you will.

B was eager to spread the word about Tobias Jesso Jr.'s record Goon. "I tell everyone I can about it, because not many people have heard of him and I am obsessed with this album," she told us. She also shared how she and Soul have bonded over their mutual love of a frequent, wise, and unique guest on Tobais Jesso Jr.'s Instagram stories.

Ruby is a massive Yeah Yeah Yeahs fan and had a hard time deciding which album to pick up. In the end, she grabbed both Fever To Tell and Show Your Bones, which were just a sampling of the group's eclectic tastes. "I think Karen O is great and she seems to be able to make songs that are both kind of heart wrenching, and also you just want to rock out to them so hard." 

But which cult, experimental, alternative rock band did Orono Noguchi discover through the Spongebob Squarepants movie soundtrack? And which progessive rocker does Soul call a stone cold genius? you'll have to watch the video to find out!

Superorganism - What's In My Bag?
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Kanye West (40), Carole King (3), What's In My Bag (381), Amoeba Hollywood (876), Tobias Jesso Jr (3), Bob Dylan (63), Danny Devito (2), Show Your Bones (1), Fever To Tell (1), Karen O (8), Yeah Yeah Yeahs (12), Superorganism (1)