Decoding That Poppy

Despite her character, her new EP is all killer.


If you’ve ever been stumbling around the wrong side of YouTube, there’s a chance you’ve come across That Poppy. Situated somewhere in a dark alleyway near ASMR, artschool and just plain bizarre videos, Poppy is mostly known for creating unusual content in a semi-robotic, entirely-creepy fashion. Some of these are wonderful social commentary or deeper artistic expressionism, but some are just f*cking weird.

However, the musical outpourings of Thar Poppy give nothing away about the unusual nature of her videos, in essence exposing her as just an ordinary human and the persona she portrays in videos and interviews just that – a persona. In fact, her latest EP, Bubblebath, reveals a sensitive and vulnerable outsider.

Of course, that’s a subtext and might not be immediately obvious. Poppy goes down the tried-and-tested path of wrapping up any sense of melancholy with upbeat and pop-pleasing instrumentation. Take opening track Lowlife as a case in point. Underneath the ska-influenced rhythms and the upbeat vocal melodies, it is ultimately a bitter love song with hints of an unrequited nature.

The rest of the EP follows in much of the same way, with the exception of Money which genuinely does seem like an upbeat ode to the pursuit of wealth. Overall, though, that is the message: Poppy is far more human that she would ever like to allow herself to behave. Whether it’s the lovelorn bitterness of Lowlife or the rejection of social expectations and norms in American Kids, Poppy is frequently on the outside looking in and struggling to truly understand. However, unlike most of us, Poppy manages to do this with four flawless tracks of effortless pop appeal.

In reality, that is likely the source of Poppy’s very irregular persona. It is the sense of being an outsider, or different, taken to a particular extreme. In that sense, it becomes much more reasonable as to why she presents herself the way that she does. Yet it is through the music, and the intensely enjoyable Bubblebath EP, that we can really get a glimpse into who the real Poppy is.

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