Poppy – Knockoff
Over the past three years, former YouTube sensation Poppy has metamorphosed her sound from doe-eyed bubblegum pop to seething, angst heavy mutations of nu-metal and hardcore industrial rock. The surprising pivot proved polarising for some, but was entirely necessary to establish Poppy as an artist outside of her viral origins. It effectively reintroduced her as a new, more aggressive strain of internet-born popstar.
While her work since 2020’s I Disagree has made a point of distancing Poppy from her electronic driven dance pop beginnings, she’s slowly been revisiting electronica, albeit from a much darker lens. Knockoff bristles with the same volition as songs like BLOODMONEY or Flux, but trades chugging guitars for ominous bass as it veers toward dark, shadowy techno. Like Church Outfit before it, Knockoff pulses with a sense of impetuous tension. Shuddering synths and icy kicks provide a steely backdrop that exists in contrast to Poppy’s voice and lyrics. These are where she most reaches back toward pop. The lyrics are snappy and hook driven, the earworm melodies simple and accessible. These are delivered with fine-tuned pop perfection as opposed to the scream-heavy, aggressive vocal attack that has become somewhat of a Poppy trademark since I Disagree.
Knockoff returns Poppy to dance pop, but this is not the same android from uncanny valley that we first encountered. Instead, she feels more flesh and blood human than ever before. After all her constant shapeshifting, there’s a confidence here that suggests she’s fully grown into who, or whatever, Poppy is.
Poppy’s album Zig will be released on October 27th from Summerian.