POPNOTPOP by Rookes

Release date: November 9, 2022
Label: Self-Released

The first thing that strikes you about POPNOTPOP is the warmth of it. The sounds envelop you in a sonic hug that doesn’t let go for the duration of this wonderful record and allow the emotions, the words and feelings, the sheer relatable humanity, of the songs to wash over and around the listener. This is no mean feat for an ‘electronic’ album and the quality of production is top notch throughout.

The album was written & recorded over the last three years, much of it during the pandemic when most of us were just trying to keep putting one foot in front of another, and very much in public; each stage of production being documented in an accompanying YouTube series. All through, the synths are epic and the beats are huge and her gorgeous voice is front & centre.

 

The slower songs ache with life experience, empathy and a world weary fury at the state of things. The faster songs ache with life experience, empathy and a world weary fury at the state of things, but they also absolutely slap!

Lyrically, the songs navigate their way between subjects as varied as kink, misogyny, domestic violence, being in love with poor mental health, isolation, escape, societal wealth and queer sex. The full smorgasbord of human experience in 2022, basically.

The end result is a truly extraordinary album that deftly mixes ballads that alternate between lush beauty (‘Paint’, ‘Ready’) and dark menace (‘Bad Code’, ‘CTL’), and raging dancefloor fillers; ‘Sweat’, ‘PBB’ and recent single ‘Consent’ are all going in the bag for my next DJ set! Sad bangers of the highest calibre. 

 

On ‘Paint ‘, Rookes observes that “I only sing when I have something to say”. Well, it’s fortunate for us that she appears to have plenty to say. If there is any justice in this world, POPNOTPOP should put Rookes up there alongside Billynomates & Self Esteem as one of the pop icons of our time.

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