Tenessee pop act Superbody released a new single and video, and it’s a fantastic step forward for the band.
Last year, Superbody released their tremendous sophomore album Youth Music, which was in nearly constant rotation last summer and landed on our best-of-2017 list. In October of last year, the band announced that half of the duo — Caleb Dills — would be leaving and Robert McCurry (aka Bobbi Superbody) would carry on the band as a solo project. “Hollywood,” Superbody’s first single as a one-man act, is more mature and focused than the band’s past work. But make no mistake: this song is just as fun.
Superbody’s “pastiche-as-lifestyle” aesthetic was always intended to be satirical, but this message comes into clearer view on “Hollywood.” The video finds a dispassionate Bobbi singing lines like “I ain’t got a dog in this race” and “Hollywood … Can’t decide if you’re the one for me.” The video closes with the fulfillment of his “Hollywood dream” being about as empty and as shallow as it could be. And perhaps the song is trying to say that all such ambitions are merely pipe-dreams and end in a similarly shallow manner.
Musically, “Hollywood” is far more restrained and accessible than Superbody’s previous albums. While McCurry’s bombastic vocals and the band’s flamboyant production gave Youth Music much of its character, it definitely flirted with overindulgence at times. In “Hollywood,” the vocals sound more genuine and dialed-back, and the production feels airy and open. It all feels less extreme, but that’s not to say it’s any less quirky. Superbody’s charming kitsch and sonic trademarks — the prominent basslines, guitar/synth interplay, and instrumental breakdown at the bridge — are all here; but they feel wiser. The key-change before the final chorus and coda is a moment of pure pop mastery, and the bridge features the best use of toy piano in contemporary music, period.
Overall, Bobbi Superbody puts his best foot forward and gives us his signature shimmy in “Hollywood” — and you’ll want to join in the fun. The song is a significant marker in the band’s growth, showing increased focus and restraint. It may not have seemed possible, but Superbody just got even more exciting.