It’s 3:19am and I have two essays due in the next six hours, one of which I am still less than halfway through, and somehow I feel the absolute, unrelenting need (this is a need, not just a desire; everything is more intense after midnight) to describe why I love hyper pop music.
I have been obsessed with Edmonton hyper pop artist Born Gold since I discovered his album, Bodysongs, in early August. I took a very a roundabout journey to get to his Bandcamp, having ﬁrst fallen in love with The Joeʼs painfully catchy “Wayward” from his album Float or Flail. The song proudly declared itself a GOBBLE GOBBLE remix, and I immediately had to look up the godlike creator of those sick beatz which had so succeeded in capturing my attention, even above Joe Gurbaʼs fantastic, undulating raps — the song’s obvious focal point. So, I found the GOBBLE GOBBLE website, discovered that Cecil Frena, the artist himself, was now working under the name Born Gold. Thus, the obsession began.
If you have continued reading after that exceptionally drawn-out paragraph describing in unnecessary detail the steps it took for me to actually listen to Born Gold, I have to offer you my most heart-felt congratulations. I am not being facetious; I truly understand how incredibly mind-numbing it is to stay focused these days, to read a full article when the duration of our attention spans at most from 1 image to 140 characters.
And this is exactly what I want to talk about.
It took me a windy, drawn-out journey through at least ﬁve different forms of media (physical CD to iTunes to Wikipedia to personal website to Bandcamp) to get to the actual music. But chances are the whole process took me a little less than three to ﬁve minutes. In that length of time, my waning attention span was bombarded by extraneous information (ads, search engines, external links, Facebook messages, tweets, emails, more ads) just get to Born Gold. Just get to Born Gold
In a time when a constant sensory-overload pounds at our ears and eyes and noses and mouths and ﬁngers, when the world in which we become submersed, anytime we open a laptop or check our phones or turn to a tablet, in a ﬂooded hyper-space of information, why in Zeusʼs underpants would I want to listen to hyper pop?
The answer is this: hyper pop engages just one sense. The ears. (No shit!) But it does so in an absolutely all-consuming fashion. The genre’s trademark tittering beeps and clicks and tones and bass-lines are wavy, squiggly, rippled, crinkly, kinked, zigzag-ed, and non-fucking-stop. They leave absolutely no brain-room for further thought. Hyper pop enables an escape from the very thing it mimics.
I got to see Born Gold at Wunderbar recently. My heart was happy, and my mind (oddly) at peace. I closed my eyes for the majority of the show and simply let the duo’s prickly noises penetrate my every pore. This too was a kind of sensory overload, but one that, for whatever reason, made me more focused than I have been in weeks.
I cannot claim that hyper pop will have this same effect on everyone. I’m sure it’s just plain overwhelming for some. But I do believe that there is a genre of music for each one of us that will harness and reorganize a chaotic mind; one genre that will push the whole world away for a second and demand absolute, undivided attention.
We desperately need that these days.
Now, onto the essays…
Featured image: “Thoughts I” by Zina Ndelcheva