Poppy has taken another steer into a new direction through her newest album, Zig, out as of October 27th. The highly anticipated releases is her third full-length, inspired from her roots in dance, showcasing a newly-found, vulnerable side of this subversive performance artist.
The beauty of Poppy’s work lies in its many meanings, its clean and sharp style changes through each album’s era. After she progressed through an era with the release of heaviness in I Disagree, she began to dig even deeper, creating what’s known as Flux. Zig progresses all the more into the next chapter of this artist, blending the lines between each meaning and sound she’s built on before. Unsurprisingly, when we chatted with Poppy, we heard the answer that though there’s the sharp and sudden “zig” in her work, stylistically and lyrically, what defines that chapter concretely cannot be defined.
Keep reading to hear more about the interview!
When we hopped on our Zoom call, we started with small talk about the beauty of ceremonial grade matcha as a replacement to coffee and a trip to Japan, taking sips under a bamboo canopy. We then steered into the meaning of “Zig” and how it came to be the name of the album.
“I think it looks really nice when you write it down on paper, and I also like the letter “z”. And it’s one half of another body of work that I am making,” she stated plainly. The writing process for her during “The Attic” and “Hard” were particularly memorable for her:
The memorable days are the ones that are exciting. Sometimes when you wake up, it’s a melancholy day, or a sad day, or you feel excited for no reason in particular…the vibrations were high.
While “Hard” can be determined as reflective stylistically of Poppy’s previous eras, it delves into a root of something far deeper than she’s touched on in the past. In facing an anxiety of a mental isolation, there’s a desperate clawing for some sort of response or reaction. Whether this interpretation can be taken literally or not, is up to you to decide. When prompting her about some of the concepts of the album, she said:
I think when you’re making art, it’s hard to separate yourself if you’re being honest, from what you’re making… there’s something in there that’s going to sneak out, and maybe it holds more meaning to you later on when you step back and away from it, and you observe what you’ve made. But I don’t really know if there’s a hard line of my intent going into it.
We then talked about “Motorbike” and “Zig” being the outliers from the flow of the album. A cheeky and lighthearted tone overlays the sound of “Motorbike” in particular. However, the song touches on a serious topic in a way that would make just the right people angry.
I think that defiance is very important, and I think any time you push back against something, it makes me feel good. I think it’s very alarming to constantly go with groups and not challenge yourself, and to not challenge people. I think you can live a very mundane existence, and I think that’s the easy road, and I like to make myself uncomfortable because that’s where growth happens.
You’re always going to be scared. If it’s scary you should probably do it. Lean into it. Nothing ever happens if you’re too comfortable.
Poppy particularly touches on this growth lyrically with “The Attic.”
It’s good to observe, then observe yourself observing, and ask if you’ve gone too far…
You could hear the smile in her voice as she spoke.
Many can argue that Zig may be Poppy’s most vulnerable album yet. One thing for sure is that she will always be evolving, shifting, and is eager to take on the change and the challenge of facing the unknown, and no one can touch her.