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Oliver Tree and Little Big Generate a Meme Supernova

Two titans of Internet culture collide on one of the year’s weirdest releases. 

by Ben Boddez

It’s all too fitting that polarizing indie-pop provocateur Oliver Tree would make an EP dedicated to the Internet. Known for his absurdist music videos, bowlcut-rocking antihero persona Turbo and an outlandish attitude that leads naturally to meme-oriented success, Tree reaches across genre lines to collaborate with kindred spirits in the ancient art of Internet trolling – Russian rave-pop quartet Little Big. Although most of the resulting tracks certainly fall more in line with Little Big’s early-2000s Eurodance flavour, pounding percussion and manic energy, Oliver Tree handled all of the production singlehandedly, adopting the style of another artist with ease.

The project opens with a twisted marching-band rhythm and dial-up noises as the terrific trio welcome listeners to their bizarre, online domain. Little Big’s two vocalists are as hilarious as ever, delivering some truly preposterous and nonsensical lyrics in the most authoritative, self-serious tones they can muster. Oliver Tree takes most of the verses, offering the most substantive parts of the track before the blustering Little Big steamroller crashes through for hooks set to breakneck tempos and epileptic synth patterns. The most impressive combination of the two styles is saved for the very end – closing track “You’re Not There” is an acoustic emo-folk anthem interspersed with hyperpop-style blasts of bass and distortion where it feels like both artists are trying to connect on a deeper level, rather than simply dazzling with the fireworks show and carnival games that they seem to have mastered. In any case, anyone looking for something out of left field will find it here.

Best Track: You’re Not There