review | poppy live

There is power in being reborn and reimagined. For Poppy, who teeters across the genres of rock, metal, and everything in between, making a hairpin turn as she goes from album to album is just second nature. She sings it herself: when you zig, I zag. Equal parts powerful and punchy, Zig is a cathartic release of everything Poppy has contained within her, giving listeners and her feverish followers the colour and context to better understand her world. It’s something that’s even more apparent when you see Poppy live — commanding her cult-like attendees with ease as they are completely entranced by her performance, aesthetic, and intricate details flickered throughout the set. 

The 11 tracks that make up Zig should be viewed as diary entries — intimate scribblings of a woman making sense of the world (Linger), embracing self-love (1s + 0s), and knowing that she can do exactly what she sets her mind to (Prove It.) Where past albums were larger-than-life sonically, Zig is huge in its own way as Poppy moves beyond genre and dances between it, all wrapped up in a synthpop haze. Known for being enigmatic, seeing Poppy live during her co-headlining tour with PVRIS meant to be a witness to not just how she performs her music live, but how exactly visuals are integral to her work. This streamlines succinctly into her visuals for Zig thus far, a series of videos that show Poppy leaning into her time growing up as a dancer and commandeering a motorbike in the song by the same name.

There is only one thing constant in Poppy’s artistry: you never know what to expect with every new release or setlist. The standout on the album is “What It Becomes,” a haunting string production where Poppy proclaims “Whoever you tie yourself to/Whoever you’re gonna be kind to/It won’t be me.” She is, at her core, a free spirit — someone who cannot be held down by anyone and, in turn, the music flourishes for it.

Poppy‘s latest album Zig is out now.

photography. Grant Ivie

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