Press Play: Pom Poko

From the very beginning, Pom Poko has proven to be capable of a lot. On their debut record┬áBirthday the band conjured the proggy weirdness of Osees and the break-neck riffs of early Foals. The band synthesized an otherworldly blend of arty avant-pop and jazzy rock that would require extensive scientific research to replicate. Overall, it’s hard to pin down Pom Poko’s sound. That’s just one part of the mystique that blankets this eccentric Norweigian band.

“Oh, nothing is against me/ My body is a flower/ My blood simulating ecstasy”, croons Pom Poko frontwoman Ragnhild Jamtveit on one of Birthday‘s most accessible moments “My Blood.” While “My Blood” lingers around playful pop, the following track “Follow The Lights” is a rollercoaster jerking from speed to speed, constantly hinting at going off the rails. This delirious energy is potent across the record. Pom Poko has dug a unique niche in the ever-growing realm of pop and in doing so has expanded the boundaries of what pop can be.

The boundary grew even further on the group’s sophomore effort Cheater which released mid-January. Being what many considered to be one of the best records of 2021 so far, Cheater is an excellent execution of art-rock, dissonant post-punk, and saccharine pop. The wonky and defiant “Like A Lady” is a standout track that would sit pretty in a 90’s alt playlist as it harkens back to sounds like early Flaming Lips and Breeders. “My Candidacy” makes a run for the most raucous song on the record with punchy drums and distorted guitar. The tracks on this album are crafted with the perfect combination of pop hooks, oddball guitar squonks, tight starts and stops, and groaning bass distortion. Through careful calculation over the course of the two records in their discography, Pom Poko has innovated pop as we know it.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail