Poppy has come a long way. The singer, real name, Moriah Pereira, kickstarted her career by uploading mildly creepy, pastel-hued videos to YouTube in 2014 that were more avant-garde art project than anything else. Quickly, she amassed a huge following who watched in the millions as she wordlessly ate cotton candy and conversed with mannequins and plants, studying the surreal clips for hints of hidden deeper meaning.
Since then, she’s made the difficult jump from YouTube persona to genuine Gen Z star, establishing herself as a high-concept artist who is impossible to pin down, and shape-shifting between myriad styles, from bubble-gum pop, to 90’s alt rock, fully embracing metal on 2020’s, I Disagree. Zig finds her immersed in industrial metal and dark electronica, pushing buttons from the offset. “This is the dress I want to be buried in,” she murmurs on Church Outfit, over the kind of throbbing, aggro beat you would expect from industrial-noise veterans HEALTH, her voice rising to a banshee scream. It’s a rager of an opener, although Poppy’s genre excavations are never one-note. On Hard, her voice is angelic, floating over a witchy, skittering beat. 1s 0s could be a Rina Sawayama track. Zig sounds like the matrix glitching to 3Teeth, punctuated by sharp stabs of nu metal rage. Closer, Prove It, is wonderfully unhinged, Poppy intoning “I am the blood and the guts spilling over the page” as she boomerangs between a hardcore beat and sweet moments of contemplation.
There’s a lot of ground covered here, but Zig never feels random or messy. Poppy has said that she views albums as “timestamps” of her life and for that reason, her genre-bending feels less like an artist following trends, still searching for their sound, more an avid consumer of art, exploring her influences and making music by her own rules.