100 gecs is glorious, excessive and it’s the future of music
Hyperpop duo Laura Les and Dylan Brady, better known as 100 gecs, materialized like an early quarantine fever dream. While languishing in my childhood bedroom in the stagnant July heat with only Instagram and TikTok to keep me company, I kept seeing references to the duo’s quirky style of music and nonsensical lyrics. I decided to investigate. For research purposes, of course.
What started for me as an almost ironic form of consumption turned into a real 100 gecs appreciation. At first glance, the aura of the duo is downright confusing. The comments section under the Musical clip 100 gecs’ most popular song, “money machine,” is littered with stunned observers. “This song is the closest thing we’ve ever heard to audible battery acid,” one viewer commented. It’s not hard to see why: The video opens with Les and Brady dancing wildly in a parking lot chanting “Hey, you lil’ piss baby,” and only gets worse from there, crescendo for more. of two minutes heavily KineMaster’d.
However, as I dug deeper beyond the initial chaos, I felt a Frankensteinian longing for the seemingly monstrous creations of 100 gecs and hyperpop in general. The duo’s debut studio album, 1000 geks (2019) is 30 minutes of abrasive and experimental noise. Les and Brady apply autotune with a heavy hand, resulting in heavily distorted, robotic vocals. They combine elements of indie, electronic and hip-hop music to create an incredibly maximalist end product indicative of the hyperpop genre as a whole.
So what exactly is hyperpop? The genre generally takes on aspects of pop, dance and electronica, exaggerating their characteristics to excess. Other high-profile hyperpop artists include SOPHIE, Charli XCX and Dorian Electra, all of whom incorporate over-processed noise and distorted vocals into their productions. music critic Marc Richardson emphasizes crisp vocals, ska and pop-punk influences, as well as glitchcore and dissonant noise as distinct characteristics of the genre. To the average consumer, these gender boundaries seem like gibberish. Jargon aside, it is clear that 1000 geks is a delicious assortment of excessive noise, and I’m absolutely obsessed with it.
The songs on 1000 geks ranging from playful to profound, promising a truly complete musical experience. There’s a certain raw, unbalanced quality to lyrical art. The aforementioned energy-charged “slot machine” features provocative lines like “you talk a lot for someone with such a small truck” and “would you text me “I love you”/and then I’d fucking ghost you.” The fiery passion ex-lover ridicules them, inviting the listener to vicariously experience her vindictive temper. “Stupid Horse” channels a similarly playful character, detailing an episode of horse betting gone wrong. “I just gotta get out of this place with a big bag,” Les sings, then describes how he beat up the jockey, stole his phone and ran away with the horse. The ridiculously catchy refrain – ” Stupid horse, I just fell off the Porsche / Lost my bank account money, oh no” – provides a liberating sense of catharsis, depicting uplifting yet socially unacceptable actions. One can’t help but savor the pairing of nonsensical lyrics with metallic noises highly treated ques.
100 gecs also seamlessly weaves sentimentality into the fabric of absurdity. “money machine” transitions smoothly into the melancholy “cloud 800 db”, which details struggles with loss, addiction and fame. Lyrics such as “I’m addicted to freak, money and weed, yeah” and “I’m addicted to making money with me, yeah” address unhealthy coping mechanisms and criticize commodification. of oneself under capitalism. The duo are acutely aware of how the pursuit of commercial success brings out the best and the worst in them, whether it’s insatiable human greed or heavy drug use.
The best example of 100 gecs and the versatility of hyperpop can be “hand crushed by a mallet”. Underlined by a gradually intensifying electronic beat, the song describes the experience of being consumed by obsessive thoughts, perhaps about a relationship gone wrong. “This feeling goes to my head, I’m thinking about things I shouldn’t say / You surrounded me in my room, I couldn’t go another day,” Les and Brady shout. The accompaniment Musical clip depicts Les, dressed as a giant housefly, relentlessly tormenting Brady in a messy room. The contrast between the lyrics and the music video highlights 100 gecs’ strength in conveying serious subject matter in outrageous flavors. Chaos overload makes it possible to perform the songs of 100 gecs on any occasion. One can take the production at face value as a silly song about a pest problem, or blast the melody while trying to forget a painful romantic experience. Either way, 100 gecs offers an exhilarating choose-your-own adventure that the listener can take in any direction they want.
1000 geks is a work of art that defies simple categorization, brimming with absurdity, noise, heartfelt emotion and social commentary. The sensory overload seems indulgent, perhaps bordering on hedonistic. 100 gecs and hyperpop are certainly not for the faint of heart – as YouTube’s comment section shows, the departure from the easier-to-hear music categories brings some discomfort. But what good is art if not to push the limits and make the performer uncomfortable? By exaggerating the characteristics of pop music and combining ridiculous lyrics with more mature themes, hyperpop breaks down the rigid barriers of music and society in general. It interrogates the artificiality of labels and normalcy, and how these categories – whether around sex, economics, work or otherwise – could be redesigned to be less oppressive and constricting. It goes to show that breaking down boundaries can be a turbulent and shocking, but ultimately enjoyable experience. While the artificial and overly distorted riffs may initially assault your senses and activate your fight or flight instincts, the experience will leave you breathless and begging for more. If this is the future of music, I embrace it with open arms.