Album Review: food house – ‘food house’

Posted: by The Editor

When Gupi, the project of Spencer Hawk, released his debut album None back in what feels like four hundred years ago but was actually just February, any hype for it was invariably coming from “Thos Moser.” The song, which featured Chicago artist Fraxiom, is now a touchstone piece of hyperpop. Its lyrics are littered with references to fixtures within the scene, like Caroline Polachek and 100 gecs. The latter’s NYU performance is treated like lore within its verse. “Thos Moser” was so well received in part because it encapsulates a lot of what makes Gupi and Fraxiom feel like perfect collaborators. The two have natural chemistry and bring the best out in each other. Now, they’ve formed as a proper duo called food house and released an album of work together. That record, also called food house, contains 36 minutes of the most exciting music released all year. 

My favorite instance of Hawk and Fraxiom’s dynamic comes a few tracks in on “8 now.” The glitchy pop tune is a highlight of the record and exhibits how much of Fraxiom’s verses just might be improvised. When they go on a strange tangent about their haters being babies “fucked up in the crib eating Gerbers,” Hawk shouts from the background “Frax, what the fuck are you talking about?” They repeat the line, giving in ever so slightly to laughter. Often artists come off as self-serious, and their art suffers due to it – but the inverse is true for food house. It’s their universe to build, and they’re having a blast doing it. 

Sitting at the heart of food house is “mos thoser.” A sequel of sorts to the track that started it all for the duo opens with a voicemail from a Berklee College police officer informing Hawk they’ve monitored a “disturbing tweet” between him and Fraxiom. The inclusion of the message is amusing, but is ultimately superfluous based on the strength of the song itself. Outside of its main hook, there are so many incredibly catchy melodies in the one song that you might have a different one stuck in your head after any listen. While the entire album is full of incredible one-liners, I implore you, reader, go look at the genius annotations for this song. Here, I’ll even link you. You’re welcome. 

While much of the music that gets placed under the hyperpop umbrella can be a bit too experimental for some tastes – which is, in some ways, the point of the genre – there are plenty of moments here that have real crossover potential. The slick, wavy “ride” doesn’t push the listener too much but treats them to hypnotic, heavily auto-tuned vocals that make the song practically beg you to blast it from your car speakers. 

It’s impossible to sell how much food house benefits from being funny. They might occasionally bring up struggles with identity or depression, but the primary vibe they give off is unencumbered confidence. Fraxiom casually mentioning growing up dreaming of “being or kissing Skrillex,” or Spencer asking Siri if Ronald Reagan is dead, are refreshingly pure moments. Food house offers us an option of escapism, into a world of delightful chaos. 

Disappointing / Average/ Good / Great /Phenomenal

Eric Bennett | @seething_coast

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