What happens when an experiment becomes a living, breathing pop song? Ask 100 gecs, because it’s a question they’ll probably be facing soon enough.
And the result, expectedly, is an unimpeachable bop. Charli, with her signature knack for frantic, slightly off-kilter pop electronica, is a perfect match for Laura Les and Dylan Brady, who used the same formula to make the original “Ringtone” such a stunning, addictively catchy mini-hit.
The remix is a sugary-sweet success, with Rico Nasty and Kero Kero Bonito (the British indie pop band who also appear on the track) basically serving as the sprinkles on top. It’s a resume that shines from top to bottom, and a track that deserves each and every one of the incoherent, all-caps Twitter reactions it generated.
But more importantly than all of that is what the song means, or what it could mean. The “Ringtone” remix isn’t just a validation, it’s a vindication — it shows that 100 gecs’ brand of wildly experimental pop music might just have a place in mainstream music.
The group’s 2019 album, 1000 gecs, was a critically beloved powerhouse of a debut. The record placed No. 1 on album of the year lists by both Noisey and the New York Times’ Jon Caramanica, and it established Les and Brady as easily the most exciting new project of 2019.
Still, 100 gecs always felt small, like, even amid the adoration, they were some kind of beautiful, innocent secret. The question was always whether the band’s music — which, at its core is rooted in a traditional type of pop music catchiness — could translate further.
It’s still not sure if that’s the case, but a cosign but Charli XCX, a verse from Rico Nasty and an impending remix album full of mysterious features seems like a pretty good start. 100 gecs were already the most interesting band of 2019, now they’ve got a chance to be the most important band of 2020.
“Wait, Charli, can you sing the chorus again please?” Les asks in the middle of the “Ringtone” remix. If things keep going the way they are now, it seems like a lot more people will be asking that question soon.
The *also* most important
BTS turns late night into primetime: If there’s a South Korean version of Michael Jordan’s Bulls winning back-to-back three-peats, it’s “Parasite’s” Oscar’s season paired with BTS’ last week of TV appearances. The world’s biggest boy band broke “Carpool Karaoke,” messed with Jimmy Fallon in a subway car and literally shut down Grand Central Station for an eye-popping, head-spinning live performance.
Dwyane Wade joins a long, laughable tradition: The history of NBA stars crossing into the world of hip-hop is, uh, complicated. Short of Damian “Baby Dame Save a Dolla With State Farm” Lillard and Shaq, who (remember!) has a platinum record, the process is not usually a safe bet. But, thanks to Rick Ross, Dwyane Wade is giving it his best shot.
Big bops, new tunes
JPEGMAFIA is exactly as bald as his song says: There’s nothing quite like a song that feels truly, wholly honest — and it’s obvious JPEGMAFIA knows that. Peggy’s latest track, “Bald!” is exactly what it sounds like: It’s a song about going bald (how bald? as bald as Ray Allen, according to JPEG). It even came with a video, which features Peggy in brutal, honest baldness.
Social media flex of the week
ASAP Ferg wants to be a lava lamp: Forget ice cream paint jobs — Ferg is going for sorbet. The past few weeks have seen an iconic hairstyle transformation for Fergenstein, during which his head has gotten consistently more … Predator vision-y.