A girl with a sword behind her back.

Church Outfit, Knockoff, and Motorbike

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Can you call this dark pop? After Flux, one of the well-received albums of 2021, Poppy is releasing a new one soon. With three songs out, we now know what to expect from Zig – a major genre switcheroo.

Has Poppy changed her music genre again for the new album? Yes. For the better or worse? That remains to be seen when the entire album is out. However, as someone who doesn’t listen to the music genres that pave the new album’s path (and has no clue how to talk about them), I have to say I like what I’ve heard so far.

Here’s my three-in-one contribution to the discussion we’re all having – can we expect a combination of genres? How well could rock go with industrial music? Can an album like that work?

Poppy, music, and the other stuff

If you know Poppy, you know she switches between music genres faster than a model changes outfits during a show. It’s easier to list genres she doesn’t tap into because as of now, she’s been everywhere from heavy metal, rock, pop, and electronic to industrial music. We even point it out in our review of the Stagger EP:

You genuinely never know what will happen when you put Poppy on the hi-fi. Every musical style is fair game for past records, sliced and diced into one of the best examples of switch-up genre-bending.

Fenton’s review of Poppy’s Stagger EP

Poppy does that in an industry where most artists stick to what they know. It makes them feel safe and comfortable (and their labels happy).

If there’s anything Poppy deserves, it’s a huge shoutout for ignoring all that, taking her own path, and just doing whatever she feels like. Thumbs up from us because we love to see this.

Zig – What’s Out and What to Expect

With the new album titled Zig, we’ve got access to three songs:

  • “Church Outfit”
  • “Knockoff”
  • “Motorbike”

Industrial, electronic, pop, or electroclash music. Or dark pop? Genres don’t play any role here but I’d not be surprised to see a rock piece in the mix. Having a few tempo changes would be interesting since going from dance to rock and back dance music sounds awful and intriguing at the same time.

“Church Outfit”, “Knockoff”, and “Motorbike”

All three songs are different, no two sound alike, and each sets its own mood, but all three have a message to share.

“Church Outfit” is heavy on the beats and loves repetition of everything that makes the song quite captivating. I imagine it could be featured in the new Blade remake.

With the industrial parts enjoyable, how bad are the lyrics? Yes. And yes, lyrics play an important role in the songs.

As the title of the album’s lead song “Church Outfit” suggests, Poppy (and you as well) should wear whatever you see fit – what you wear is your personal statement, it’s a message to everyone else. Fancy a hoodie? Wear it. Fancy an expensive dress? Why not wear it? As Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”

Watch Poppy – Church Outfit

Being yourself is a common theme of the three songs. “Motorbike” admires not only powerful women who are “Makin’ it squeal, makin’ it beg / Lookin’ so free, so in control” but also celebrates sexuality of all kinds with the two following lines: “Want to love her, I want to know / What it’s like to be between her (Legs).”

Watch Poppy – Motorbike

Lastly, there’s “Knockoff”, a song about being with someone real and having a real life, not being with someone superficial, who doesn’t really know what they want in their life as Poppy expresses some of her previous negative experiences.

The question “Trailer park or real estate?” can be interpreted in any way but most obviously it’s asking whether the new potential person has a life (and job and other shit in order) or not. “Polyester hurts my skin / Tell me what you’d wrap me in / Synthetic or genuine?” means one thing and one thing only – whether they mean it and want to have a real relationship.

Watch Poppy – Knockoff

In terms of music, very much like “Church Outfit”, “Knockoff” also relies on heavy beats that dictate the pace rigorously; it feels like the two songs will be played at many industrial and electro events. On the other hand, “Motorbike” can be played at any disco or music event since even the music comes with a certain level of positivity.

The more I listen to the released songs, the more I like them. They may not be everyone’s cup of tea but if you need a recommendation, it’s simple: listen to the songs and see for yourself.

I’m very interested in what the rest of the album brings.

Written by Vinklarek on

Petr 'Pete' Vinklárek writes mainly about music. Prior to entering the digital industry, he taught Translation Studies & British and American Cinema at a university. In his spare time, he hikes, listens to podcasts, watches films, and writes poetry. Petr studied the English Language and Literature at The University of Ostrava; his master’s thesis covered some aspects of Warren Zevon's work.

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