By James Ammirato for Boston Compass (#132)
February 21, 2021
Slimeater x Replicator
Pop music constantly evolves. Ever since the term’s conception, “pop” has been used to describe anything from radio hits to bedroom indie. Since the rise of label PC Music, artists like 100 gecs and Charli XCX have been pioneers of the aptly dubbed “hyperpop,” music that borrows traditional pop conventions and song structures and blends them with modern trends like autotune, lightning-fast tempos, and blown-out bass.
In Boston, hyperpop has attracted an audience, but hasn’t fostered many artists that have gotten off the ground. I sat down with local up-and-comers Slimeater (Claire Montgomery) and Replicator (Justin Tu) and discussed Claire’s upcoming debut project, a full-length album produced by Dylan Brady and Spencer Hawk, a.k.a. Gupi. According to Justin, Brady began sending Claire beats for her own use after hearing a track she had made for fun. Soon after, she played a Slimeater set with Gupi during Square Garden, the Minecraft music festival this past spring, headlined by 100 gecs.
“It was a big opportunity, we basically just took a bunch of songs that were semi-finished and other remixes that Spencer had made and… boom.” Right away, Square Garden attendees uploaded the set to SoundCloud and YouTube, cementing Slimeater into the hyperpop canon before even releasing any finished material.
The duo’s songwriting process is simple; listen to the beat and write punchy lines with infectious melodies that stick in your head. “We just sit there on our phones and come up with lyrics about raving,” Justin said, “it’s funny, sometimes they don’t make any sense, but I feel like this new style of music doesn’t have the same constraints that a modern Top 40 hit would have.”
The goal of the record is a wide range of sound. A prevailing element of hyperpop is unpredictability, with artists almost competing to see who can incorporate a more erratic sound or idea. “I’m trying not to be defined by one genre,” Claire said. To combat this, the record’s influences vary from Eurodance to 2000’s emo to trance and hardstyle. Justin stated, “[Brady] is a song factory—he’ll send ten different voice memos to Claire that are all completely different genres.”
The currently untitled Slimeater record is out on Dog Show Records this spring.
Shoutouts: Gupi, Dylan Brady, BDO