Hyperpop is a loose term and the exact origin of it is hard to pin down to say the least. However, we can take a look at the music being made in the United Kingdom in 2013 to start. There laid A.G. Cook, the founder of PC Music, and his roster of experimental artists including GFOTY and Hannah Diamond. After making their music available on Soundcloud, we were giving PC Music Volume 1 (2015) and PC Music Volume 2 (2016) – including GFOTY and Hannah Diamond on both. This music existed as extreme, electronic-infused takes on pop music at the time. This is around the same time that the late SOPHIE was pioneering the genre with singles like “BLIPP," and Charli XCX was developing her sound – both in the United Kingdom.
Let’s travel over to Stockholm, 2014 – the birth of the first Bladee album, Gluee. Along with Thaiboy Digital and Ecco2k, Bladde was crafting a sound that was equally as experimental as A.G. Cook’s crew and would go on to heavily influence the SoundCloud rap scene. Dreamy and drenched in autotune, this group of pioneers backed by Whitearmor and Yung Sherman on production, known as Drain Gang all together, would go on to blend what we would now call hyperpop, with trap music.
Now, 2019, 100 Gecs... We all know it. Duo Dylan Brady and Laura Les would go on to lead the revamp and popularization of the sound that lives in speakers all across the internet now. With songs like “money machine” and “hand crushed by a mallet”, their album 1000 gecs caught everyone’s attention with the help of the beloved TikTok algorithm. Not every hyperpop track today sounds like it’s straight off 1000 gecs, but their influence is undeniable and their introduction of punk to the sound still lingers heavily today.
We’ve arrived: hyperpop in 2021. A.G. Cook, Charli XCX, and 100 Gecs are still influencing the sound today, but let’s meet the new faces pushing music’s limits, starting with the infamous Hyperpop playlist on Spotify.
Spotify’s Hyperpop editorial playlist is partially personal, meaning everyone’s playlist looks different (different songs and order), however no matter which songs you get, they were still specifically curated to be in the rotation. Additionally, when a song like “fantasize” by ericdoa drops, that song will be at the top of everyone’s playlist for a while.
Now let’s talk about what the music sounds like. There’s such a wide range of artists that might fall under this ever-growing “hyperpop” umbrella, but put simply when you hear it, you know it. It often contains high-pitched vocals, hefty uses of distortion, with elements of hip-hop, rap, indie, alternative, and punk. Artists like ericdoa and 8485 are pushing the boundaries closer to angsty alt-pop music with their recent records “fantasize” and “hangar” respectively. glaive and midwxst are both creating their own brands of the genre, receiving influence from the late Juice WRLD and intertwining a healthy dose of angst into their tracks. Artists like p4rkr / osquinn, blackwinterwells, angelus, and d0llywood1 opt for more rap-oriented flows, often with stuttering and sometimes pitched vocals - all with a bedroom type feel. AViT, juno, poptropicaslutz!, and new comer rouri404 all pull heavy influence from the mall-emo era of Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy, and My Chemical Romance. GOM and Noah Jack are merging a more traditional indie sound, with elements of hyperpop production on their tunes “Teeth” and “PIXIE DUST."
All-in-all, that was a long winded way to say that for this new generation of bedroom artists, there are no boundaries in music. The internet has thrown a mosh pit of kids together from different parts of the country, with different stories to tell, and we know it as hyperpop. And it is lovely.