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Poppy shares Madonna-meets-metal single ‘New Way Out’ and tells us what’s to come

June 4th, 2024

Poppy has spoken to NME about her brutal, Madonna-inspired metal track ‘New Way Out’, the ongoing success of hardcore, collaborating with Bad Omens and Knocked Loose, and injecting more whimsy into her music.

‘New Way Out’ is the first taste of new music from Poppy since the release of 2023’s ‘Zig’.

“The mission for that album was to make a dance-inspired piece, but for this project, the goal is to bring a new level of intensity to my music,” Poppy told NME. “It feels like a good time for it as well, because there’s a lot of tension out there.”

Teasing that her fans have “been waiting for this sort of musical foray from me,” Poppy explained her deeper exploration of hard rock, having first dabbled in metal with 2018’s ‘Am I A Girl?’ before really embracing the genre with 2019’s industrial ‘Choke’ EP and 2020’s ‘I Disagree’.

“I still think ‘New Way Out’ is uncharted territory for me,” she continued. “It’s a fresh take on my sound.”

The track was created alongside former Bring Me The Horizon member Jordan Fish and House Of Protection’s Stephen Harrison, who has also been involved with The Chariot and Fever 333. She’d previously worked with Harrison on ‘Choke’-cut ‘Scary Mark’ and had met Fish a few times over the years via BMTH.

“They’re both great,” said Poppy. “It’s rare to find somebody that wants to move as quickly as I do. We also have a lot of similar influences.”

The trio went into the studio at the start of the year with a mission to finish a song before Poppy had to leave for tour. “Going into the studio with different people is like a puzzle,” Poppy offered. “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but this just felt exciting.“ They have reunited in the studio since, but Poppy doesn’t want to give too much away.

“There is a lot more to come though,” she promised. “We weren’t listening to much new music when we made ‘New Way Out’ but I was listening to Madonna, so there’s that as well as a Britney Spears influence to the track. I am a fan of pop music, and I think you can still hear that.”

The visuals for ‘New Way Out’ are also “more whimsical” than what’s come before. “That feels in line with where I’m at,” she explained.

Poppy, 2024. Credit: Sam Cannon

Are you going to get up, or are they going to keep you down,” Poppy screams during ‘New Way Out’ before a pulverising breakdown. Speaking about the rage in the track, Poppy said: “I go into the studio with an emotion that I want to address. There are plenty of things happening in the world to be angry about.

“Saving yourself is the overall message. You have to advocate for yourself sometimes.”

While ‘Zig’ was one of Poppy’s more polished records, ‘New Way Out’ comes as one of the heaviest. “I knew before I even started ‘Zig’ that I wanted to explore this kind of music and address those emotions afterwards,” she said. “I’m always after an emotional swing really. If I go one way, I need to run in the opposite direction afterwards, because it’s all about balance”.

‘New Way Out’ is part of a bigger project, but not every track will have the same level of intensity, said Poppy. “I view projects as rollercoaster rides; they should vary. But this is where we begin.”

Since releasing ‘Zig’ last year, Poppy teamed up with Bad Omens for ‘V.A.N’ and joined Knocked Loose for ‘Suffocate’.

“Collaborations are always about the song,” Poppy told. “It doesn’t matter who the band is, if the song isn’t good, why would I do it? Both those bands are very inspiring to me, and they’re also wonderful people as well, which is massive.”

Both ‘V.A.N’ and ‘Suffocate’ have become breakout anthems, but Poppy said she wasn’t surprised by the reaction. “I know I got that excited feeling the first time I heard them, so it makes sense other people enjoy them too.”

At April’s Sick New World festival, she joined both Knocked Loose and Bad Omens to perform those collabs live. “The atmosphere was electric,” said Poppy.

It comes as heavy music continues to go from strength-to-strength. As well as Knocked Loose and Bad Omens, Sleep Token, Bring Me The Horizon, Militarie Gun, Scowl, Heriot and many more are all in the midst of another blockbuster year. “I try not to pay too much attention to what’s popular, because that can clutter the mind but I’ve always loved heavy music,” Poppy admitted, “so for it to reach the masses and resonate with the outside world is exciting.

“Seeing those bands play bigger and bigger shows is really thrilling. I think the world is just ready for it. There’s an overflow of information right now and it’s keeping people pacified because they’re not able to tune into how they actually feel.”

She added: “It’s a response to a lot of the rigidity that has been going on culturally for a long time. People want to go to hardcore shows and get out those feelings. People want things to get messy. I don’t want to apply a meaning to ’New Way Out’ but it feels important to me. It serves as a bit of a release.”

In recent years, Poppy has experimented with grunge, pop, shoegaze and indie, but she has always returned to heavy music. “I just love playing it live,” she said. “It’s me, speaking directly to people, and it just resonates differently to say, a pop song. I always think about the live show when I’m in the studio.”

‘New Way Out’ may have the intensity of a sweaty basement club but next month, Poppy is set to join AFI and Kennyhoopla in supporting 30 Seconds To Mars in arenas across North America. “I feel like a great song is a great song, so it should be able to go over in any environment,” she offered.

After that run of shows, it’s back to work in the studio. “The rest of 2024 is all about new music,” said Poppy. “I want to release a couple of different projects that I’ve had in my back pocket for a little bit of time now.”

For years, Poppy was something of a black sheep on festival line-ups and touring bills, but after playing shows with the likes of PVRIS, Avenged Sevenfold and Bad Omens, it seems she’s part of a new scene of rock bands who aren’t afraid of doing things their own way.

“I’m sure each of those artists has their own reason for doing things but I’ve found that quieting the noise and listening to your own instincts is always the best way to go,” said Poppy. “My journey in music has never been obvious. If you’re doing things based on instinct, it does take longer but being able to sleep with the decisions you’ve made is very important.”

Poppy added: “I don’t know any other way other than taking risks. I don’t know what it would be to be predictable and safe, because I feel like those are close relatives of boring. There’s a feeling that I get when I’m diving into the novel experience and that’s what excites me. Wherever that takes me, that’s the gas in the tank.

“The trick is to not look around too much.”

‘New Way Out’ is out now via Sumerian Records. Her North American tour dates kick off in June. Visit here for tickets and more information.

This comes after Jordan Fish spoke to NME about his life after Bring Me The Horizon, producing House Of Protection, and various other projects he’s been involved with.

This content was originally sourced and posted at NME »
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