Label: Sumerian Records
Released: 27th October 2023
‘Zig’ starts with Poppy singing the oh-so-cheery line “life is a commercial for death” over pulsating synths, but over the course of eleven urgent tracks, she finds a powerful sense of comfort. “I got no one to prove myself to but me,” she sings on the pretty euphoria of ‘Prove It’ that closes the record and leaves the door open for whatever comes next. In between, there’s rage, empowerment, peace and giddy joy as Poppy once again shakes things up.
In recent years, Poppy has been at the front line of making rock feel interesting again via the nu-metal snarl of ‘I Disagree’, the dreamy grunge swagger of ‘Flux’ and the ferocity of her ‘Stagger’ EP. ‘Zig’ was written to utilise her love of dance, and while there’s a definite shine across the record, it’s as impactful as anything that’s come before.
Yes, the smirking ‘Motorbike’ and the frantic, bubblegum aggression of ‘Hard’ are confident pop songs, but there’s more to the record than sugary hooks. ‘What It Becomes’ and ‘The Attic’ are ambitious, brooding, story-driven songs that twist between joy and misery, while ‘Linger’ and ‘Flicker’ pull garage rock into the rave. It’s a beautifully complex album that defies expectations at every turn while never trying too hard. Poppy has fast become the master of reinvention, but she’s never sounded so sure of herself as she does with ‘Zig’.