Superorganism (photo by Jordan Hughes, PR)
Superorganism could be called a musical commune, a collective of artistic visionaries or a pop production house. But their chosen name is the best representation of who and what they are.
The eight-piece group based in London is just as much a band as a musical family. Each member has a unique role in the band and each one has adopted a moniker and persona that represents them. When performing live, the band is a treat for the eyes as well as the ears.
Superorganism consists of lead vocalist and painter Orono Noguchi, keyboardist Emily (Mark David Turner), guitarist Harry (Christopher Young), drummer Tucan (Timothy Shann), visual artist Robert Strange (Blair Everson) and backing vocalists, dancers and multi-instrumentalists Ruby, B and Soul (aka Seoul). They emerged as an extension of the Eversons, a band formed in late 2010 in New Zealand. Starting in 2011, the Eversons, with Turner, Young, Shann and Everson, issued numerous albums, EPs and singles which helped build a dedicated following, especially in Japan.
Eventually, the Eversons relocated to London. Meanwhile, Noguchi a high school student living in Maine, became a fan of the Eversons after seeing the band on YouTube. A long distance friendship started which eventually led to a working relationship; the Eversons asked Noguchi to add lyrics and vocals to a song they were working on for a new project. This collaboration resulted in the single “Something For Your M.I.N.D." and became the seed that gave rise to Superorganism in early 2017.
Noguchi joined the band as a full time member and the door was opened to include vocalists Ruby and B, both from New Zealand. The seven members of the fledgling band decided to live together, and their house in London would also double as their recording studio. Despite being seven strong, there was still one more piece that needed to be added to complete this project and that was the addition of South Korean-born, Sydney-based vocalist Soul — only member who doesn’t live with the rest of the band.
With a full roster in place and with one song completed, Superorganism was still a project in search of a plan. But as 2017 progressed, the collective assembled nine more songs in their “music factory," and Superorganism, the band and album, came into focus.
Superorganism sounds like the work of a group of techno-pop geeks, set loose in a toy shop filled with synthesizers, computers, guitars, drums and other gadgets that whiz and bang. Their creative freedom is apparent in the finished product. Samples, loops, random voices, man-made noises — like snoring, the opening of beverage cans, water slaps, and car horns — and various electronic tricks meld together to create the band’s sweet pop songs.
A sample of a talking alarm clock triggers “It’s All Good,” the album’s motivational song of positive reinforcement. “Nobody Cares” is a dizzying mélange of sounds that bend, melt, and drift through the speakers. “Nai’s March” trips along on the surface of flowing water, only to break into a cacophony of random sounds.
Off-the-wall lyrics like, “Have you ever kissed a prawn, got a cold sore?” from “The Prawn Song,” and ”This sucks, I’m the K-Mart soda jerk,” from “Something For Your M.I.N.D.,” dot the album’s sonic landscape and are delivered by Noguchi in dry, droll, half-spoken manner. In fact, "Something For Your M.I.N.D.” might as well be the name of the album, as it perfectly describes the blissed-out experience of Superorganism's music.
Superorganism's self-titled debut will be the soundtrack of many cerebral parties for years to come.