Worlding with NOVAGANG: Hyperpop's Ironic Solvent for 2020

Charlotte Foreman

This essay considers the following: What exactly is hyperpop, and how does it differ from the preexisting genres from which it draws influence? How does queerness play into hyperpop’s dissidence as a stateless kind of music that rejects the boundaries of genre entirely? Is hyperpop’s fundamental queerness the source of the music’s “futuristic” sound? And finally, as a queer aesthetic exercise, how does hyperpop’s inclination to imagine an Otherwise inflect its use as an alternative worlding practice? 

I begin with a brief overview of hyperpop’s aesthetic elements and its collisions with other phenomena outside of the music world. Then, I bring in the eco-philosophical discourse of Timothy Morton, including object-oriented ontology and hyperobjects, to consider hyperpop as a practical device to imagine alternative futurities. This argument leads me to a deeper exploration of hyperpop’s aesthetic qualities and influences, and how it weaponizes them to effect a socio-political commentary. Following, I look into the queer artists that form the genre’s majority, and implement my colleague Sarah Batsheva Bonder’s thesis work as a framework for understanding the progress of queer visibility in cultural media, and how hyperpop digresses from that timeline entirely. Finally, I delve into the developing role of music platforms like Spotify as curators of popular music taste, and Spotify’s responsibility for hyperpop’s name, much to the chagrin of the artists housed within it. I highlight this naming as another instance of marginalized artists being spoken over, and how a practice of radical listening might help us recognize the magnitude of hyperpop’s contribution to queer aesthetics and music overall.

Futurality is peeping through the shards of the past
– Timothy Morton 

I get existential and so strange
–“Anthems,” Charli XCX … 

The radicality that allows hyperpop artists to explode the confines of the gender binary in service of a more inclusive, habitable world, is the very same radicality that prompted 100 Gecs’ first listeners to mistake the project for an ironic joke. The sound of this hybrid of genre, with its pitched-up vocals, ethereal and pneumatic synths, bass drops, and abrasive percussion, seemed at first parodic of contemporary culture, like a Top 40 hit from hell. As it turns out, the risk hyperpop takes in its sound is precisely the axis upon which it turns the momentum for its dynamism and the skeleton of its shape. 

Populated by mostly non-cisgender artists, the subgenre is unapologetic in its sonic desire to distance us from our reality just enough to reflect on the inanity of the world we’ve made, wherein we’re guided by past-rooted categories, boundaries, and responsibilities, rather than desires, dreams, meaningful connections, and futurities. Hyperpop is the sound of an Otherwise-made-music, wherein the musical endeavor is as much creative of new worlds as it is new sound. Actualized mostly in post-production, the subgenre dilates our idea of the “real” by acknowledging how the artifice of technology is as formative and employable in our world as natural phenomena. Does it matter that Grimes didn’t actually play the acoustic guitar on “Delete Forever” but borrowed its tones from a sample pack that she spliced and pitched up, if the song still memorializes the loss of her friend all the same? “You don’t have to be natural to be real,” nonbinary hyperpop artist Hexcode asserts in an interview with Ringtone Mag, speaking on the topic of synthetic enhancement as a gender-affirming practice.1  In accruing its sound in post-production, hyperpop both critiques the malevolence of technology and recognizes its use-value in reconstructing our world. Moreso, it insists on the queer necessity of reimagining not just a world but worlds, to accommodate inhabitants beyond the limitations of categorization. 

Ecotheorist Timothy Morton has spent a lot of time thinking about the ideological and physical limitations of our worlding processes. Their scholarship heavily converses with a new Heideggerian school of thought called object-oriented ontology (OOO), which holds that objects “withdraw” from all direct human and non-human contact, so that relations between things are always indirect and must be accounted for, rather than taken for granted. As follows, OOO rejects anthropocentric thinking that reduces objects to their relational meaning or use value. As a significant contribution to OOO, Morton has coined the neologism “hyperobject” to describe “entities of such vast temporal and spatial dimensions that they defeat traditional ideas about what a thing is in the first place.” Understanding the hyperobject, they posit, is crucial to understanding the toll that objectification causes. The concept of “world” as the background of human events, for example, is an instance of the objectification of a hyperobject (consisting of the biosphere, climate, evolution, and capitalism) which has allowed us to think of the world as a static container in which other objects “float or stand.” That fragile aesthetic effect we call “world” is void of horizons or a foreground-background distinction; it is therefore a fiction quickly dissolving before us as global warming undermines the fixity of objects like climate and weather that we once perceived to be enduring and accidental. Our concept of “world” as a set for human action is founded in a blurriness and aesthetic distance that we can only access through anthropocentric thinking. This kind of thinking foregrounds human happenstance against a background of that thing we call “nature,” from which we hierarchically exclude ourselves. Underscoring this tradition, Morton’s work is critical in that it points to global warming as a symptom of thinking that pivots around human exceptionalism.

This anthropocentric thinking underlies how we have constructed the world we live in; global warming, having foregrounded the event of “weather . . . along with melting glaciers,” has “melted our ideas of world and worlding,” which hierarchically upgrade human existence and prioritizes its needs at the expense of the larger theater of life on Earth.2

Insofar as cultural media reflects its social, political, and “natural” landscape, Morton’s ecological framework that discards human ontological priority is useful for dissecting how the novel subgenre of hyperpop deviates from other genres in its sapping of the integrity of certain existential and musical givens. While hyperpop borrows from many genres, it disposes of their attendant rules and does not hesitate to defy its own predecessors. We might then consider hyperpop to be an alternative worlding practice, evolving of its own accord, in conversation with the present moment. Although the phenomenon itself is a symptom spiraling out of the contemporary world, I would argue that hyperpop predicts and constructs an alternative future as much as it reflects and reacts to the present. To recognize just how it deviates from the norm, then, is to acknowledge its use-value as a tool to deconstruct the present moment and rework our ideas of potential futures. 

In a talk at the 2021 Sustainable Futures symposium at Rice University, Morton attests that in the era of Covid-19, “we all have the hyperobject feeling. It’s called coronavirus. . . . The virus is everywhere . . . it forces us to upgrade our awareness to planet scale.”  In shattering the fiction of a resilient and fixed world, the pandemic cultivated a “science-y” sense of solidarity with strangers we may never even meet. It forced us to drastically shift the way we exist on a global scale. For the first time, we had to operate in real time, adapting to the present in ways that held the future—“the possibility that things could be different”—in view.3 Pandemic restrictions halted factory production and quieted highways, reducing global nitrogen dioxide emissions by 20%, with a total of a 9% global drop in greenhouse gas emissions.4 We built profound households, threw Zoom birthdays and dinner parties, danced to online radio, and debuted the mRNA vaccine. We lost our minds in our bedroom uncertainty, cut bangs, proofed sourdough, drank too much, and when summer hit, fed up with the systems that got us here, rioted against the disciplinary apparatus of the state. To persist during and after the era of catastrophe necessitates “a future-oriented world based on not automating and locking down the past but opening up to new relationships,” which, Morton affirms, “is going to feel uncertain and strange. I repeat: we don’t quite have words, and that’s good.”5 

Hyperpop as a so-called “subgenre” came to a cultural climax during the Covid-19 pandemic, at the precise moment the present was called on to speak for itself, and couldn’t enunciate a thing. The future was an amorphous fog, no longer informed by an increasingly irrelevant and distant past. Its dissonant amalgam of genres and subcultures, earworm vocals, glittering emotionality, and aggro, industrial bass pantomimed our capriciousness in the buck of endless, apocalyptic weekdays. Our grasp on order dissolved with our grasp on a reality that was imagined all along. Hyperpop is the sonic summation of the invisible phenomena that shaped that reality, and continues to shape its remains, communicated via crashing, melodic scape. The shriek of the Real subsumes, void of temporality, preconceived notions of sonic beauty, and clear boundaries between human and machine. One might say that hyperpop is the sound of 2020, the sound of all we thought to be constant and true, ground down to ontic mush. If hyperpop is the sound of our anxiety, it is also the sound of our persistence. Take, for instance, Charli XCX’s how i’m feeling now, made entirely during quarantine using the tools she had at her disposal. “Anthems,” initially workshopped on Instagram Live, documents her vacillating emotions and futile attempts at preserving a routine in isolation: 

I'm so bored, Wake up late and eat some cereal Try my best to be physical Lose myself in a TV show Staring out to oblivion All my friends are invisible Twenty four-seven, miss 'em all I might cry like a waterfall I feel afraid when I feel alone, yeah, uh Have sex, me and my Romeo He says I'm irresistible I'm gassed up like I'm Texaco I ride, ride, ride, ride, ride, ride, ride, ride, ride, ride it Sometimes I feel okay, some days I'm
so frightened6

Rabid synths and combative, manipulated vocals get at the collective experience we shared together while apart—Charli brings us the rave without the rave. Meanwhile, in a posthumous resurgence of her 2018 album OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES, Sophie lets us know “It’s Okay to Cry” for the loss of the year we thought we would have. Less-established names like ericdoa, glaive, blackwinterwells, and p4rkr bring the sound of emo and Soundcloud rap to the table, replicating the middle school brand of depressive angst we built up in our rooms, holed up without our loved ones. What hyperpop does is disorient as a means of meditation on the current state of affairs. This alternate universe allows us to loosen our grip on our ideas of the temporal, and, freed from its confines, we are afforded the space to reflect on a chaotic Otherwise. 

The act of listening to hyperpop rocks us into a critical nowness in which being, perceiving, and understanding slide over one another. This attunement to the present differs from the current cultural obsession with mindfulness, commodified by the likes of Gwenyth Paltrow and the multi-billion dollar yoga industry, because it includes cultural fatigue in its agenda. In fact, it includes almost everything in its agenda. These shiny, addictive sound bites are able to integrate subjective experience within their critique of the larger pernicious systems that house and inflect them (e.g. industrialism, capitalism, heteronormativity, cisnormativity, and the perpetuated myth of “democracy” in the U.S.). Songs like 100 gecs’ “money machine,” with its manic, metallic percussion and confessional-yet-aggressive vocals, scratch some goth itch in our brains, brought on by a postmodern disillusionment with our capitalist reality. The song’s artificial pop sound, overlaid with lyrics that metaphorize machismo and affluence with “big trucks,” communicates the mundanity of success in American suburbia. Its plasticity mimes the superficial brand of romance distilled through Top 40 radio. Its lyrics “you’d text me ‘I love you’/and then I’d fucking ghost you”7 throw its highbeams on modern romance and how technology is so often the discreet third partner in monogamous coupledom, the medium through which our thoughts and feelings are warped in their translation through time-space. 

Hyperpop’s unorthodox-yet-camp sound, which The Atlantic describes as a “zest for punk’s brattiness, hip-hop’s boastfulness, and metal’s noise,”8 allows for the confusion of temporal timelines. While this sound evokes a kind of grotesque futurity, the subgenre is self-referential in its take on contemporary pop sound; it comments on the state of music in the present day, yet turns back time in its nostalgic references to noughties internet culture and Web 2.0—a refuge for the ousted youth of the past. These nostalgic references are a nod to how hyperpop has taken on the mantle of Web 2.0 as refuge and extended it beyond the niche corners of the internet and into pop culture. So what exactly is the source of hyperpop’s so-termed “futuristic” sound? Unlike punk rock, whose manic sound arose as a direct rejection of the overproduced jams and guitar solos of 1970s pop, hyperpop operates alongside contemporary pop music, with its rebellion manifesting as theft from the mainstream. Hyperpop’s celebrity figurehead, Charli XCX, straddles these worlds with ease and grace, equally comfortable working with the likes of radio regulars Diplo, Iggy Azalea, and Sky Ferreira as she is with genre-defying, experimental artists such as Dorian Electra and Mykki Blanco. Charli’s discography suggests that hyperpop’s “futuristic” sound comes not from any single aesthetic quality, but from its proof that genre is flexible, that solidarity and collaboration in the shadow of difference is not only possible but spectacular. 

Although artists that challenge the limits of genre, such as Dorian Electra and Mykki Blanco, are more likely to be transgender or nonbinary than artists cranking out radio hits, that we do not reduce the difference between pop and more experimental, genre-defying music to the matter of gender is critical. Mykki Blanco has time and again rejected claims that she is a “queer rapper” and resents the comparison of her performances to drag shows: “You can’t tag me as the rapping transvestite. I never vogued in my life. I’m from a punk and riot grrl background.”9 However, it is a worthwhile enterprise to consider how most artists featured on Top 40 radio and that replicate contemporary pop sound (or do not stray far from it) are cisgender. The artists who are not only reimagining pop and hip-hop sound but operating outside the construction of genre entirely, e.g., Dorian Electra, Laura Les, Sophie, and Mykki Blanco, all happen to be queer. We would be remiss to overlook this detail, for it is not mere coincidence. Who better to reimagine the confines of genre, to reimagine a world, than people who have been systematically marginalized and abstracted from the social norm? In many instances, the ability to imagine an Otherwise is central to queer survival. For this reason, there is a case to be made that hyperpop’s success as a worlding practice relies on its queerness and its audacity to unabashedly differ. 

To broach this lens of critique, we should first consider the heteronormativity and cisnormativity of contemporary cultural media, deep-rooted characteristics that overshadow its recent inclusion of exclusively benign and commodifiable queer representation. Shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race jive well with the cisgender gaze because spectacle gives cis viewers permission to stare, define, and reach totalizing conclusions about queerness based on limited representations from television. While the progress of queer representation in cultural media is certainly a net positive, the conclusions we reach about queerness through these initial portrayals should not be held as gospel. This caution particularly pertains to the aforementioned series  when one considers the fact that RuPaul himself has fallen under fire for the transphobic standards to which he has held his contestants. We might also take into account the conditional social acceptability and fetishization of characters like Euphoria’s Jules among Gen Z and older left-leaning viewers. For this audience, Jules’s ability to pass and meet television’s improbable femme beauty standards is a palliative to her radical inclusion as a transwoman on TV. 

In their bachelor thesis work, “Dysphoric Visibility: Discontents of Queer Visibility in the Media,” Sarah Batsheva Bonder notes how Gen Z culture is a culture that is “disenchanted with gender,” that “does not give a shit” about the fact of Jules’s transness in Euphoria.10 To be sure, Jules’s character and storyline is more nuanced than other prior depictions of transness on TV in that her transness is rarely explicitly stated, and her struggles extend beyond the fact of her gender. However, Bonder asserts that Jules’s character “is actually not as subversive as one may think, at least politically or economically, since what is anti-establishment or anti-mainstream culture, is extremely profitable.”11 Among the increasingly left-leaning youth in this generation, genders that deviate from the cisgender, perceived “norm” are no longer the object of spectacle. Tokenization and fetishization of non-cisgender people has replaced this phenomenon as its ideological converse. Bonder notices that queer representation on television has begun to turn a mean profit due to its social acceptability, and asserts that purported progress of visibility is not entirely an effort to diversify media, but rather an effort towards capitalist gain.12 

The difference between hyperpop and mass media that claims to adequately represent queer people is that hyperpop, as a so-called “subgenre,” was largely actuated by people who are not cisgender. This demographic difference means that the usual suspects of “queer media”—tokenizing, fetishizing, reducing the experience of a queer person to the fact of their assumed struggle—do not rear their ugly heads here. While hyperpop does not make a spectacle of queer identity, it is fundamentally queer music. Its concurrent cooperation with and refutation of Top 40 pop sound is positively weird, unapologetic, complex, and politically radical. Its pitch-shifted, compressed vocals afford discreet relief from the burden of gender dysphoria, and thus unshackle it from the wanton binary. These sonic landscapes accommodate tender ecosystems of feeling, wherein human meets machine to convey a world that deviates from our own. In “Immaterial,” Sophie rejoices in this fantasy scape: 

We're just
Im-ma-ma-material, immaterial
I could be anything I want
Immaterial boys, immaterial girls
Anyhow, anywhere, any place, anyone that I want13 

Sophie, who tragically passed away in January 2021, has been posthumously heralded for her contribution to pop music with her ecstatic, raw hybrid tracks where electronic music meets pop sound. As yet another queer musician who has pushed musical boundaries and  astonished us with new sonic possibilities, Sophie represents resilience and ingenuity in the face of the unavoidable stringency of the norm. Her ethereal, self-assured dance tracks let us know that we can do and be whoever we want, and we can have fun doing it, too—not all of the so-called “queer experience” is pain and struggle. Levity and liberation lay in the possibilities of deviating from the norm, from imagining an Otherwise. A top comment on Sophie’s “Immaterial” YouTube video proclaims, “This is Gender Euphoria.”14 Another, on the mix “laura les drops HEAVY BIRTHDAY BASS” by 100 Gecs’ Laura Les (formerly known as osno1) reads, “I can’t believe Laura just ended transphobia.”15 The ability to manipulate one’s gender presentation in post-production is a monumental development in contemporary popular music, which has historically been populated by conventionally attractive, cishet people. For the young listeners that comprise hyperpop’s audience, this manipulation is a critical possibility unearthed for queer aesthetics. The tokenization of queer identities for the sake of cultural clout is a cash cow that, thankfully, has not yet totally consumed the phenomenon of hyperpop. Hyperpop may even be one of the first iterations of “queer media” to enter the cultural mainstream while sidestepping that concession. However, with the rise of cosmetic representations of queerness in cultural media, cishet people feel welcome to speak over and for artists who are queer in order to perform wokeness. Wokeness exacts cultural clout, and so, too, does having a finger on the pulse of alternative music. This performance can be seen in  hyperpop, specifically in terms of how the subgenre got its name. In 2019, when 100 gecs released their debut album, 1000 gecs, reviews were polarized. Generous critiques touted Dylan Brady and Laura Les as sonic prophets, identifiers of the noise of the existential threat of capitalism—a kind of apocalyptic trill haunted by the digital age, rife with saw synths, dubstep drops, saccharine hooks, and autotuned, pitched-up vocals. Others mocked the album, comparing it to “an acid bath at Tom & Jerry’s,” or Dylan Brady jerking off at the intersection of clout and irony.16 Whatever it was, it was new, and Spotify manager Lizzy Szabo had no idea where to put the album’s nuanced hits on already-existing playlists. Spotify differentiates itself from other music platforms with its diverse range of playlists that algorithmically adapt with listeners’ engagement. The data collected from these playlists are invaluable because they determine which songs and which artists the platform will push to the top. The novel quality of the album 1000 gecs might have been buried and forgotten in the recesses of another playlist, had Spotify not created a new genre to describe its experimental sound; Spotify decided on the expression “hyperpop,” an umbrella term that houses and expands on the innovations of PC Music by A.G. Cook.17 Spotify’s designation of this term for the company’s own convenience recalls Bonder’s notion that the progress of queer visibility in media is reliant upon the breadth of its profit margin. 

Worse still, Spotify’s decision to speak over and for artists deemed as “hyperpop,” many of whom were teenagers socially ousted for the sheer fact of their gender, undermined the artists’ autonomy and power over the thing they conceived themselves—the marginal realm of their own control. For them, hyperpop was and is not only a style of music, but also a community that is consciously worlding an Otherwise, without the stringency of category or social norms. osquinn, also known as p4rkr, recounts the dichotomy between her online and offline worlds in her song “mbn”:

Without my music, bet I wouldn't get a mention
Not a peep or a sound, not a pen drop around
Like I'm livin' in a silent dimension
It must be nice to have some friends in person
Goin' over to someone's house would be worth it
Do what's best for my life, and I'll do best for yours
But not everyone agrees with my certains
. . .

It must be nice to link with your online friends
I know with them, that the fun could never end18 

osquinn is a sixteen year old independent artist in Northern Virginia. She is a sophomore in high school this year and spends her nights on Discord making music, talking to her friends, or playing video games. In interviews, she laughs at the term “hyperpop,” and when asked, she struggles to answer who exactly “started” the subgenre. She is a prominent figure in the hyperpop scene, and her disregard for the term signals that no artist was afforded the opportunity to decide what their music was to be called.19 That Spotify christened the style with its name is no small matter; to name this music is to cement it into genre, and further, to decide the framework in which it will be reviewed and critiqued. The term’s popularization is a testament to how fundamental the curation of platforms like Spotify are in constituting popular music taste. I would argue that its power to assign the boundaries of genre to new music without the input of those musicians is a dangerous one, especially when the impositions of that genre threaten or squash those musicians’ autonomy over their art.Certainly, in the case of hyperpop, this has proven to be the case. In a tweet from July 2020, Charli XCX, the celebrity figurehead of the so-called “subgenre,” asserted that she herself does not subscribe to any genre.20 100 gecs’ Laura Les keeps the term at arms’ length, finding its implications to have expanded with time, while acknowledging that as soon as “you can lock down specific elements of what makes something ‘it’ then it’s time to move on and do something else.”21 The categorization and naming of this music, with all its attendant expectations and impositions, is what will paralyze it in its infancy. To relegate this multivalent music to a single genre is counterproductive to its dynamism and evolution. This realization is crucial in that it identifies this music as an active force in our physical world. osquinn is just one of many young, queer artists instantiating the so-called subgenre, including blackwinterwells, d0llywood1, Fraxiom, Alice Gas, and many others. As these artists carve out a space for themselves in the pop world, they are pushing the boundaries of the socially acceptable—namely, real queer visibility beyond the limits of its profitability—in our lived reality. Beyond the reductive and inhibiting effects of imposing a genre on this music, Spotify’s algorithm-driven playlists dictate who and what is elevated to pop status, relinquishing human control over decisions that intimately affect very real human beings. Even during playlist “takeovers,” in which a single artist is given permission to update the playlist according to their own taste, the format of playlisting creates a cutthroat atmosphere on the platform that counterfactually purports to democratize music. For example, A.G. Cook’s takeover of the Spotify “hyperpop” playlist (which has one of the highest “save rates” on the entire platform) sparked controversy among up-and-coming hyperpop artists. osquinn expressed her frustration when Cook booted the less well-known artists from the playlist in favor of artists like M.F. Doom and Kate Bush: “At the time, I was really mad. People were asking why we were making such a big deal about it, but they didn’t realize that there were people who were literally living off that Spotify check.”22 While it is doubtful that A. G. Cook curated the playlist with the intent of financially harming these smaller artists, this instance is notable in that platforms like Spotify are increasingly shaping popular music taste through their algorithmically curated playlists and playlists curated by single, subjective persons. Audio analysis algorithms that study the character of listeners’ frequently played songs, as well as demographic data collected through location-sharing and provided by users (including age and gender) are all taken into account for recommendations. In terms of music by or about queer people/queerness, these algorithms create feedback loops within subcultures, wherein the same music is shared amongst the same group of people, and does not leave those circles. For queer aesthetics, this compartmentalization is particularly hazardous, as marginalized or minority circles often naturally form insular collectivities, and if this music does not leave these circles, it remains excluded from popular music taste. As follows, the chance for cultural socialization to queer aesthetics and for progress and growth of queer aesthetics dissipates. The toll of a majority speaking over the minority, even in seemingly innocuous circumstances like music sharing, runs deeper than it appears. 

The counterproductivity of the imposition of genre onto hyperpop also applies to hyperpop’s manic critique of the increasing technological artifice of our reality in order to placate the toll of capitalism. Hyperpop’s manifold influences, borrowing from sadboy rap, power ballads, ska, and heavy metal, evoke a Mark Fisher-esque correlation between capitalism and increasing cases of anxiety and depression, ameliorated by Big Pharma through mass prescription of SSRIs and benzos. The so-termed subgenre’s synthesis of aesthetic qualities from distinct genres rehashed into postmodern, cutting-edge sound jars us out of our familiar and into a position of deference and reflection. The ability of hyperpop to jar us out of our familiar relies on its use of multiple and imbricated genres. Its unfamiliar sound is composed of many familiar sounds; once cast into the bounds of genre, hyperpop loses its ability to startle—its main political weapon. This is why, for hyperpop, the dissolution of genre is the dissolution of the boundary between art (in a capitalist society, readily consumable content) and life. To relegate this music to category would be to potentially thwart its contact with our physical reality, inhibiting the very real difference it may affect. In his conclusion at Sustainable Futures, Timothy Morton assures: 

America is a virus. The virus is everywhere. The past is everywhere. Ideology is everywhere. Statues are everywhere. Inconsiderate buildings that destroy lifeforms are everywhere. Monuments to the survival of whiteness or of masculinity or of big business. But that doesn’t mean these things are everything. Everywhere, there is this shimmering thing called the future. The future future. Not the predictable one which is just the past built out a little more over the abyss.23 

I am not going to cheesily attest that hyperpop is the cure. There is no vaccine for racism, transphobia, or toxic masculinity. Laura Les isn’t going to reverse global warming in a beat drop, Hannah Diamond sometimes gives me a headache, and I can’t pretend that songs like “team edward” by artist meat computer are intentionally made as a mode of cultural critique. Nevertheless, we should attend to the fact we want these artists to keep going. At the very least, we should listen.


1. Nic Johnson, "How Hyperpop Gives Trans Artists a Voice."  Ringtone Mag, Aug. 12 2020,

2. Timothy Morton, Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017), 84-87.  

3. Timothy Morton, “Dancing About Architecture.” Recorded at Sustainable Futures 2021 Symposium, Center for Information and Architecture, Jan. 18, 2021.

4. Lara Streiff. "NASA Model Reveals How Much COVID-related Pollution Levels Deviated from the Norm." NASA, Nov. 17, 2020.

5. Morton, “Dancing About Architecture.”

6. Charli XCX, "anthems," recorded 2020, track 10 on how i'm feeling now, Atlantic Record UK,

7. Dylan Brady and Laura Les, “money machine,” recorded 2019, track 2 on 1000 gecs, Dog Show Records,

8. Spencer Kornhaber, "Noisy, Ugly, and Addictive." The Atlantic, Mar. 2021.

9. Moa Johansson, “Werkin' girls: a critical viewing of femininity constructions in contemporary rap” (masters thesis, Södertörn University, 2013), 16,

10. Sarah Batsheva Bonder,  “Dysphoric Visibility: Discontents of Queer Visibility in the Media” (senior project, Bard College, 2020), 25,

11. Bonder, 30.

12. Bonder, 1.

13. SOPHIE, “Immaterial,” featuring Cecile Believe, recorded 2018, track 8 on Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides, MSMSMSM,

14.  Jesse Shearer, 2020, comment on SOPHIE, “Immaterial,”

15. Jason!, 2020, comment on laura les, “laura les drops HEAVY BIRTHDAY BASS,”

16. Dean Mayo Davies, "100 gecs are ready for the age of the virtual music festival." Dazed, Apr. 20, 2020.

17. Ben Dandridge-Lemco, “How Hyperpop, a Small Spotify Playlist, Grew Into a Big Deal,” New York Times, Nov. 10, 2020.

18. p4rkr, "mbn," YouTube, 2:14, Feb. 28, 2020,

19. Quinn, "Quinn Interview - Masked Gorilla Podcast,” interview by Roger Gengo, YouTube, Aug. 20, 2020.

20. Charli XCX, Twitter post, July 22, 2020,

21. Dandridge-Lemco, “How Hyperpop, a Small Spotify Playlist, Grew Into a Big Deal.”

22. Dandridge-Lemco, “How Hyperpop, a Small Spotify Playlist, Grew Into a Big Deal.”

23. Morton, “Dancing About Architecture.”


Bonder, Sarah Batsheva. “Dysphoric Visibility: Discontents of Queer Visibility in the Media.” Senior Project, Bard College, 2020. Bard Digital Commons.

Brady, Dylan, and Laura Les. "money machine.” Recorded 28 May 2019, track 2 on 1000 gecs. Dog Show Records.

Charli XCX. "anthems." Recorded 2020, track 10 on how i'm feeling now. Atlantic Record UK.

Charli XCX. Twitter post. July 22, 2020.

Dandridge-Lemco, Ben. “How Hyperpop, a Small Spotify Playlist, Grew Into a Big Deal.” New York Times, Nov. 10, 2020.

Jason!. 2020. Comment on “laura les drops HEAVY BIRTHDAY BASS.”

Johansson, Moa. “Werkin' girls: a critical viewing of femininity constructions in contemporary rap.” MA Thesis, Södertörn University, 2013. Digitala Vetenskapliga Arkivet (urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-19121)

Johnson, Nic. "How Hyperpop Gives Trans Artists a Voice." Ringtone Mag, Aug. 13 2020. 

Kornhaber, Spencer. "Noisy, Ugly, and Addictive." The Atlantic, Mar. 2021.

Les, Laura. “laura les drops HEAVY BIRTHDAY BASS.” YouTube, 37:57. Dec. 4, 2017.

Mayo Davies, Dean. "100 gecs are ready for the age of the virtual music festival." Dazed, Apr. 20 2020.

Morton, Timothy. "Dancing about Architecture." Sustainable Futures 2021 Symposium, Center for Information and Architecture, recorded Jan. 18, 2021. Video of lecture, 30:08.

——— Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017.  

p4rkr. "mbn." YouTube, 2:14 Feb. 28, 2020.

Quinn. "Quinn Interview - Masked Gorilla Podcast." By Roger Gengo. YouTube, 56:40, Aug. 20 2020.

Shearer, Jess. 2020. Comment on SOPHIE “Immaterial.”

SOPHIE. “Immaterial.” Featuring Cecile Believe. Recorded 2018, track 8 on Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides. MSMSMSM.

Streiff, Lara. "NASA Model Reveals How Much COVID-related Pollution Levels Deviated from the Norm." NASA, Nov. 17, 2020.