Pass the Aux 006: Superorganism by Superorganism
intergalactic space-pop, in the comfort of your bedroom
Hey, I’m Brandon and welcome to mint\brand – my weekly canvas to be human, explore my brand + music obsessions & share them with you.
In Pass the Aux, I spotlight my favorite records worth savoring from start to finish. Each issue ends with an amuse-bouche of new (& old) heat that I can’t stop listening to.
As the year winds down, it’s likely we’ll be spending even more time indoors (even in Los Angeles!). I’ve been listening to a lot of chilled out indie & bedroom pop lately. The lo-fi, washed-out sounds of a distorted guitar and the breathy, indifferent vocals of a Clairo, girl in red, and Soccer Mommy are reassuring companions for restless times – just like this week’s album.
Listening notes: a kaleidoscopic nighttime pool party; escaping to Neverland for a jam session in the year 2020; quirky indie-pop made by your best friends next door
Perfect for: an upbeat dinner party; quarantine-dancing in your bedroom on a Friday night
I love this album because…
It brings me an immediate feeling of home and there’s-nowhere-I-need-to-be. Not sure how this song does it for me, but the final track Night Time immediately takes me back to some of my favorite high school memories – my friends and I venturing through our neighborhood, speakers blasting. It’s a bit like this scene in Ratatouille, where upon tasting the dish, Anton Ego is transported back to his childhood. That’s the best way I know how to describe this feeling.
To back up a bit, I listened to Superorganism the entire time on a trip to Japan in Spring 2019. Because of this, it now reminds of that time I saw Skrillex, Future, and RL Grime at EDC Tokyo. Enjoyed many perfectly-prepared pour-overs at % Arabica Kyoto Arashiyama. Drooled over the many Aoyama flagship stores of my favorite labels. This is one of the most powerful effects a favorite album can have on you.
This effect compounded when I discovered the band’s capsule with Jun Takahashi’s Undercover label at their Kyoto outpost. Just like in the photo above, the group exudes an insane amount of style and creativity in this record. They deploy a wide assortment of samples, synths, and choruses that make the record feel more like a live, improv performance than an album some times. (side note: how badly do we all miss live shows right now?!) There’s elements of dance, upbeat indie-pop, alternative, and pure joy sprinkled throughout.
I love albums like Superorganism that make you feel like you’re on an adventure – maybe that’s why this one paired so well with my travels. Between the energetic melodies and samples (which include cash registers, a Tony Robbins recording, and a children’s choir) that appear in unique forms on each track, lead vocalist Orono Noguchi’s steady, at times even blasé vocals effortlessly guide you on your journey through their universe. I often find that I’ve looped the album 3-4 times consecutively because of how dynamic each track is. It’s whimsical, doesn’t take itself too seriously, and most importantly, whenever I feel like reliving my evening strolls in Kyoto or daytime explorations in Tokyo, I just throw this album on :)
Fun fact: Superorganism recorded this album in their own version of a shared production house in East London. In different rooms, they would send tracks to one another via email and WhatsApp, each member adding their own spin.
If you listen to one track, make it:
Everybody Wants to Be Famous ( Music | Spotify) – From the beginning notes, this song always puts a smile on my face. The spacey synths blended with the guitar riffs, rhythm, and Noguchi’s vocals make me feel like I’m on another planet – the perfect example of deliciously dance-able bedroom pop.
Songs of the Week
GREYGOOSE by Dounia (prod. by Skrillex) [⚡️ new] | 3:25, Electronic – This newsletter is and will remain a Skrillex stan page for its lifetime! Enjoy the crisp, clean production on this one – not to mention the BARS Dounia lays down. (Music | Spotify)
GATTI by JACKBOYS, Pop Smoke & Travis Scott  | 3:01, Hip-Hop – Sometimes you have those moments where you’re cruisin’ in the whip, windows down & are just feeling yourself. This song is for those times. You might scare the folks in the ride next to you but what an endorphin rush!! (Music | Spotify)
Statues in the Garden (Arras) by Local Natives [⚡️ new] | 3:57, Alternative – aaand to bring you back down, mellow out to the bright vocals and airy guitar riffs from Local Natives’ latest release. (Music | Spotify)
Albums of the Month
No changes to my top 3 albums, though we got a ton of new albums this week! On the electronic side, I listened to Godford, Major Lazer, Whethan & Kasbo. Adrianne Lenker, Wallows, Local Natives & HONNE’s new projects on the indie/alternative/folk side of things. My other top picks (🔥) and new releases (⚡️) I’m listening to this month below!
Decorating time with…
SAVAGE MODE II by 21 Savage & Metro Boomin (🔥), after hours by 53 Thieves (🔥), abysskiss by Adrianne Lenker, songs by Adrianne Lenker (⚡️), It Was Divine (Remixes) by Alina Baraz, Leave It Beautiful by Astrid S, Yesteryear by Cosmo’s Midnight, Earth Crisis by Dirty Projectors, Why Do We Shake in the Cold? by Elderbrook, Ella: The Lost Berlin Tapes (Live) by Ella Fitzgerald (🔥), Atlanta Millionaires Club by Faye Webster, On Hold by Fenne Lily, Shore by Fleet Foxes, Non Binary Place by Godford (🔥), nswy: dream edits by HONNE (⚡️), Hyper Romance by Jadu Heart, Before by James Blake, Don’t Let the Kids Win by Julia Jacklin, The Making of a Paracosm by Kasbo (⚡️), Kid Sistr by Kid Sistr, lil kiiwi by Kiiara, Peder by Lido, Sour Lemon by Local Natives (⚡️), Candy II [Beat Tape] by Louis the Child, Music Is The Weapon by Major Lazer (⚡️), For Luck by The Ophelias, The Room by Ricky Reed, Featuring Ty Dolla $ign by Ty Dolla $ign (⚡️), Fantasy by Whethan, Sleepless Night – EP by Yo La Tengo
Hood By Air Flips the Flag
“I think the idea of Hood By Air is that we are a group of radical people and radical thinkers, people of color, queer people. We're living a life pretty much marginalized at one point or another, whether or not some of us are famous or some of us aren't and some of us are artists or whatever, but we're all experienced with marginalized experience and through that, make things that depict that."
Designing the Future of Airbnb (with Jony Ive)
From the desk of Brian Chesky:
Today, I’m thrilled to announce that Jony and his partners at LoveFrom will be engaging in a special collaboration with me and the Airbnb team. We have made the decision to work together through a multi-year relationship to design the next generation of Airbnb products and services. Jony will also help us continue to develop our internal design team, which he believes to be one of the world’s best. I know he is particularly excited about a relationship that will evolve to become a deep collaboration with our creative team.
VitraHaus celebrates its 10th anniversary with a virtual tour
Inside Swiss furniture brand Vitra’s flagship VitraHaus, you’ll find:
exhibition spaces have been reimagined as "a changing series of interior collages", showing the versatility of Vitra's designs. One space focuses on "Scandinavian simplicity", while another celebrates "Mediterranean opulence".
Perhaps the most enviable component is the Lounge Chair Atelier, where you get to:
witness the craftsmanship that goes into the Vitra design classic – the Lounge Chair – which was designed by Charles & Ray Eames in 1956. In the VitraHaus, you can configure your own Lounge Chair & Ottoman with a selection of leathers, wooden shells and grains – and watch your own personal one-of-a-kind original be put together.