LISTEN TO THE NEW PROJECT “HELLSCAPE SUBURBIA”
WATCH THE “DAYZEE” MUSIC VIDEO
“Viral hitmaker.” – Billboard
“The New Face of Hyperpop.” – SPIN
“Stayed in my head for weeks. It was musical candy, and I couldn’t get enough.” – VULTURE
“Hyperpop’s battery-licking leading light.” – The Line of Best Fit
“The [songs] were hyperactive, bursting through the ceiling of Platt’s at-home boredom, and they quickly caught fire online.” – PAPER
Canadian hyperpop singer, producer, and trans artist ElyOtto (Elliot Platt) today (April 8th) shares his debut EP HELLSCAPE SUBURBIA via RCA Records.
The Calgary native and former part-time pet store employee has always been able to find the silver lining. When he was laid off from Petland mid-pandemic, he used the opportunity (and frustration) to create, create, create. From that period, his viral hit “SugarCrash!” was born, a song that now counts over 237 million Spotify streams and a remix featuring Kim Petras and Curtis Waters. It’s an in-on-the-joke slice of hyperpop perfection that signals ElyOtto’s raw talent now ready to be revealed in full with his debut EP, HELLSCAPE SUBURBIA.
The project’s name draws from ElyOtto’s dissatisfaction about cookie cutter suburbs and the hellscape that is generic repetition. The record is part reflection and part fantasy on what could be. The cover art pictures ElyOtto’s pet spider Shelob, named after The Lord Of The Rings character, which captures his adulation for the frighteningly fantastical. Over its eight tracks, HELLSCAPE SUBURBIA marks ElyOtto’s progress, both as an artist and as a high school student ready to escape the drudgery of suburbia, ready to embrace the next chapter of his life. “You can hear subtle differences in my work as I grow and shape my sound,” he shares. “It’s sweet, vivid, repetitive, a little rough around the edges. I found myself very fixated on the rave movements of the 90s. I took inspiration from many legendary artists like Daft Punk and Gigi D’Agostino.”
Welcoming with sci-fi synths, ElyOtto sets the project up with a modulated conversation before gliding in the lyrics “Is it ever lonely living in the mosh pit?”. Building the tempo as the lyrics “What the fuck” diffuse, “stalker” is a head bopping club anthem. Over a punchy kick drum, ElyOtto pairs melodic ooh’s and vocal panning to masterfully curate this track. Drawing inspiration from the popular show Doctor Who, Platt pays tribute to the show’s ethereal yet mysterious manner, masterfully melding a multitude of genres.
Built over a hard-hitting eclectic beat, “profane” describes the duality of fame and obscurity utilizing the lyrics, “I felt sick as I let everything [the fame] wash over me.” Here, ElyOtto vulnerably shares the story and aftermath of his viral hit “SugarCrash!” Powerful ad-libs help translate the waves of emotions felt from being thrust into the spotlight so suddenly. It’s torrid affair, but full of cathartic release in its expression.
ElyOtto’s prized lyrical possession, “DAYZEE,” taps into the narrative of “a small-town beauty queen’s desire to live a famous life, all unpleasant aspects included.” It’s a song that forces the listener to truly hone in to catch every word. “DAYZEE” takes you through an entire storyline comforted by an upbeat banger of a track. Religiously reciting “why would you want this baby?” before plummeting into the chorus that gives insight to Platt’s skewed view on fame.
The accompanying music video, filmed in Sharples, Alberta, mirrors the frenetic energy of the song. “It’s a collaborative demonstration of 3 very different forms of art between 3 best friends,” ElyOtto explains. “Needless to say, it was a total blast to make.”
WATCH THE “DAYZEE” MUSIC VIDEO
Halfway through HELLSCAPE SUBURBIA, Platt introduces “freya,” a glitchy track comprised of vocal modulation, in preparation for the rest of the gutsy project. Dedicated to a late friend, “Freya,” highlights how cruel the world can be, but how this friend managed to rise above the chaos. Making art out of pain, ElyOtto pushes the barriers of hyperpop once again with his vulnerability and authenticity with the yearnful lyrics, “we were gonna,” knowing those plans will never come to fruition. The words come in hard and fast, shoving the listener into the mosh pit the song creates.
Starting with a simple drumbeat, ElyOtto builds up the tempo in time for the lyrics in “2013” to drop. Here, Platt hits on the relatable family trauma of divorce with the lyrics “Don’t tell my parents I’m sorry / They got enough up on their minds.” ElyOtto’s penchant for complex and seemingly incongruous arrangements emerges with the way he marries the positive beat of “2013″ with the heart-stricken lyrics.
Mimicking the playful sounds of video games, “When ur free” flows effervescently with a sweet and vivid beat. As the beat dissipates and the lyrics kick in, the repetition of the line “Can you tell me when you’re free” comes in to create an earworm hook. Drawing from 90’s rave influences, the track meditates on the rare moments of community with friends without the baggage of school, jobs, or other obligations getting in the way. It’s an ode to the restless nights out in each other’s company. “That’s why in the brief moments we get to party together, we party hard,” ElyOtto shares.
Here to break things up, however, are “THE COPS.” “At best, they’re an annoyance that cruises around freaking out the general public,” ElyOtto says. “At worst, they’re brutal killers.” “Oh my god, is that the fucking cops?” is strung throughout the entirety of the song, with underlying layers of vocals marrying it with the heart-thumping beat. ElyOtto doesn’t shy away from what matters to him, even if it means getting political.
Tying off “HELLSCAPE SUBURBIA” with what might be the most chaotic song on the project, “don’t eat all of the FCKING viva puffs” lets out terrifyingly beguiling screams about creating what ElyOtto wants, not what people want from him. “As an artist, it’s easy to get caught up in what would be best for TikTok or what would appeal to a specific demographic, to the point where we tend to forget about the art itself,” ElyOtto reflects. “The message of this song is that I am in control of my work.”
More About ElyOtto:
Born to parents who play in bands as part of Calgary’s local music scene, ElyOtto, who is trans, says he remembers distinctly his house being filled with the sounds of roots music as a child. This led him to pick up instruments, noodling around with things like keys, chords, and melodies. The real spark came when he discovered the glitching, frenzied electronic trappings of OMFG and Skrillex; for a while, he says, he thought DJing would be his path to success, teaching himself GarageBand and looping found samples he’d stumbled across all over the Internet.
In 2016, unsatisfied with the generic sounds that had started to clutter the genres he’d once sought inspiration from, ElyOtto discovered the keyboard attachment in GarageBand and started playing around with melodies. “That just blew my mind,” he says. “That’s what convinced me to start making my own music. That was when I realized I could make music.”
Drawing on his newfound love of hyperpop artists like Dorian Electra and Kid Trash, ElyOtto started making songs as thought experiments; each one built on the last, teaching him something new about what he could bring to the genre, and what he wanted out of a career in music. “I was like, ‘Fine, I’ll make it myself and it’ll sound great’,” he says of putting music up for others to stream. “It’s become the best way to get out my emotions whenever I’m really not in the mood for talking,” he says with a sheepish smile.
ElyOtto – HELLSCAPE SUBURBIA
ElyOtto – DAYZEE (Music Video)
ElyOtto – “HELLSCAPE SUBURBIA” Tracklist:
6. When ur free
7. THE COPS
8. dont eat all of the FCKING viva puffs
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