Friday, 15 December 2017

New Music: Poppy - Bleach Blonde Baby (Video)

“She is the sort of celebrity who could not have existed even half a decade ago: born of and beloved by the internet, and essentially unknown outside of it,” the Guardian wrote of Poppy the other day. They pretty much nailed it.

Poppy is not in a cult. She does not believe in cults. Or so she tells us in this very cult like video (here). Yet once you’ve entered her slightly creepy, alien, wooden world of pastel colours, a mannequin called Charlotte, a basil pot plant and a man called Titanic Sinclair it’s hard not to get sucked in. There’s something weirdly compulsive about her You Tube channel. It probably explains why she’s had over 230 million views on it and it's rising by the day. People love her. Just like she tells them to (in this disturbing video here)

I’ve often suggested both here and on Twitter that there’s a big disconnect between streaming statistics and punters who will actually turn up to a live show, but with so many streams it was perhaps inevitable that someone would want to see what Poppy does live and this week I went, mainly out of curiosity, with a whole bunch of Poppy obsessives, to see her first ever UK gig at The Garage in London. OK it's still only a 600 capacity venue, but at least punters did turn up.

Rather like Poppy’s musical output online, live she probably isn’t quite as odd as you might want her to be. Ultimately the gig was still a straightforward pop show with singing, dancing and flashing lights. But on the other hand there aren’t that many pop shows that start with an hour of Toto’s 80’s hit Africa being played on a loop, a DJ set by a mannequin, an artist asking numerous times ‘Do you love me?' And measuring the audiences love with a love meter, and a man telling the audience to shout Monster Energy drink in response to one of the artists videos (this one). 

To coincide with the gig Poppy has released a new music video. I’ve never featured the music of Poppy on the blog before, partly because a lot of it is just too cheesy, too saccharine, too Barby Girl-ish to be considered of any lasting merit, and whilst Bleach Blonde Baby still very much sits on that side of the fence there’s something (rather like her alternative universe conversation videos) that is ridiculously possessing about it. Maybe it’s the synth riff that sounds like a beginner learning to play Like A Virgin by Madonna, the lyrics that describe that if you cut her she’ll bleed pink and that one day her face will be on a million dollar bill, the way that the video sneaks in Charlotte the mannequin sitting in the congregation at the church of Poppy without you really noticing, or the stupidly happy looking people waving giant fluffy letters spelling the words ‘Everybody Dies'. Or maybe it’s just the fact that the whole thing, rather like the whole Poppy project, is just a very modern, very youthful, satirical take on celebrity culture. 

Poppy - Bleach Blonde Baby (Video)

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