NEW ALBUM ‘ZIG’ OUT 10/27
The mononymous Poppy is a unique creation. Transplanting herself to LA eleven years ago, the multi-hyphenate creative eschews discussing youth and young adulthood, preferring to lean into the moment. It’s a dictum that steers her many creative practices. Originating from a dance background, Poppy’s first steps in the creative world began with performance art video vignettes. The importance of these videos took prominence over the music she made to accompany them, but eventually, as the intimacy of the songs became too strong to let anyone else touch them, she progressed into singing, finding an outlet that would allow her to pull apart her journals, dig deep visually, and experiment sonically to create something entirely new.
After initially signing to LA’s Sumerian Records, she released her album, 2020’s I Disagree, to much acclaim. Disregarding both convention, labels and genres, it tallied over 100 million streams and BLOODMONEY earned a GRAMMY nomination for ‘Best Metal Performance’, the first ever solo female artist nominated in the category.
Zig is at once tender and tough, filled with bold, electronic beats, deep metal rock riffs reminiscent of early 90s industrial. Recorded with producer Ali Payami, and her long term collaborative partner Simon Wilcox the three of them made an album that is both from the heart and creatively significant.
Finding inspiration for the album from music that has resonated with her since a child – Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Blondie, Gary Numan, and Bowie, as well as semi-anonymous electro-pioneer Burial and English DJ Blawan, creating the album was a tight process representative of a singular chapter. “I learned a lot about myself [making it],” she says, “and I feel like that is represented. Now I’ve been with the music for an amount of time, when I listen back I can have a little more clarity than I had in the moment.”
Lyrically she speaks of emotions without varnish. In Flicker, she sings “never put your grimy hands on my steering wheel... I’ll be the drive in my own my life.” Electro drumrolls paired with Mirwais-era Madonna-esque keys give the song a dark ballad feel. “The song was about feeling uncomfortable with love relationships and trying to understand why that was,” she tells, “and orchestrating in my mind the end before it happens.” Writing the song helped her get that feeling under control, “It’s a reminder to myself to live in the moment and not expect much from the future or a “forever”.
“There is a freedom and aggression in singing that I lean into more so - there’s a now-ness you have to be present - it’s taught me a lot about myself and performing; you can’t be anywhere else mentally.”
“Making ZIG – we made well over 40 songs, and I selected the ones I kept coming back to. Ali is so inspiring and so quick, and Simon and I turn our phone calls into songs. We would finish one, listen back and say “lets make another”. Eventually whittling the album down to just 11 tracks, she worked between her four different journals (organised for different ideas) but just as often started with a riff or chord progression – she plays both guitar and bass. “I’ll come in with a skeleton and we piece it together. I feel the need to make sense of my own code, in an effort to understand myself.”
The final track on the album is Prove It, which sees her vocals flicker from unfettered and vulnerable to double speed, fuzzed-up, distorted screaming. “I am competing with myself. I believe that’s fine.”