THE internet-born origin of Superorganism has already become a winning bit of self mythology for the nascent London-based eight-piece.

And it goes like this: band meets fan touring in Japan. An internet friendship is born. A few years down the road band asks fan (now 17 and attending boarding school in Maine) to sing on a demo they had.

The result is a fizzy, immensely likeable slice of genre-bending DIY pop called ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D’, buoyed by an inscrutably deadpan vocal and a winsome combination of dusty break-beats and triumphant slide guitar.

‘Something For Your M.I.N.D’ gets posted on the internet. The internet seems to collectively lose its mind, and rumours begin flying about the band, especially due to the lack of press photos or info.

Where did this all come from? Was the singer really a 17-year-old living in Maine? How did this bizarre aesthetic, based equally on ’90s slacker-indie and viral internet genre Vapourwave, combine so seamlessly together?

To find the answers you have to go back to the past. Really far back.

The New Brill Building

Much has been made of Superorganism’s approach to songwriting. In crafting their self-titled debut the band literally bounced tracks from room to room in their London sharehouse with each member adding a separate layer or visuals to the tracks: a guitar line in one room, and an animation for the band’s unique visual style in another.

“It’s kind of a non-stop pop production house,” the band told The BBC in February 2018.

This song-by-committee approach is not a particularly new trick. It first harks back to songwriters in Tin Pan Alley in the 1920s, where popular songs of the day were written by a team of songwriters, each taking a separate part and creating a complete song.

Superorganism’s refreshingly DIY take on the pop writing sausage machine feels both exploratory and galvanising for a band operating out of the major label system.

Then came the famous Brill Building in the 1950s, which housed the likes of Leiber and Stoller and Burt Bacharach. Even the “songwriting camps” that so irked Madonna recently seem to define the creation of post-milennial pop music, with teams of songwriters working under Swedish hit machine Max Martin to craft the sound of the radio today.

There’s a long and storied history of having many cooks in the kitchen to write songs. However, the clear lineage of style here is one of major popstars and an approach that’s used to churn out the hits.

That’s where Superorganism’s refreshingly DIY take on the pop writing sausage machine feels both exploratory and galvanising for a band operating out of the major label system.

Internet Culture IRL

Superorganism’s debut album (and their very existence) is also a love letter to the egalitarian power of the internet, both in the band’s own creation and in the framing of the album’s world.

From having “zoomed in 1080p” on a crush in ‘Reflections On The Screen’ to the particular strand of online-driven ego anxiety expressed so potently in ‘Nobody Cares’, the 10 songs on Superorganism depict the insular, lonely nature of living online better than any I’ve heard.

“We [grew] up with the culture of the internet instead,” band member Harry told Interview Magazine earlier this year. Superorganism clearly revel in a lack of borders – both in the geographical sense (the band has still never had all eight members in the same room together) and genre-wise. In the same interview, the band also noted they “have an abstract idea of what a band should be”, which might be the understatement of the century.

On Superorganism’s self-titled debut LP, this aesthetic has coalesced into a wider palette than on ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D’. Snatches of dialogue, static noise and a row of quacking ducks (on ‘Nai’s March’) are all used to induce the overwhelming sonic maximalism on display.

It’s often jarring and disorienting, but it works when combined with the band’s particular brand of ebullient indie-pop, providing a much-needed jolt to the immense joyousness of the songwriting on display.

The cross-pollinating of the band’s disparate, often clashing musical influences gives Superorganism its intoxicating, retro-futurist sheen.

The band’s not-so-secret weapon is singer Orono, whose straight-faced, wide-eyed delivery floats over the mishmash of genres seamlessly and adds a sense of cohesion and calm to the album. Orono’s voice is pitch-shifted, double-tracked and stretched to within an inch of its life throughout the record. And yet her serene delivery never waivers; an impressive achievement for any singer, let alone a 17-year old who had never sung publicly before ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D’.

The cross-pollinating of the band’s disparate, often clashing musical influences gives Superorganism its intoxicating, retro-futurist sheen.

You probably won’t hear another record this year that combines slide guitar, Tony Robbins samples, warped clarion-call synths and group-chant choruses – and that’s a big part of what makes it such a likeable, endearing listen.

On Superorganism, pop music is dragged through an exciting, cartoonish filter and given a much-needed shock to its system.

Something Else