I first met Cody Critcheloe back in 2007 when he was promoting his latest album Fools Gold, a snarling collection of trashy art-punk-glam-pop songs. The record marked a step away from the self-released lo-fi thrash of the DIY punk records he had been making up to that point, while maintaining all the loaded inspiration he took from early Riot Grrrl acts such as Bikini Kill, transgressive feminist art-terrorists like Lisa Suckdog, and gay boy go-to idols like Madonna. The album featured tongue-in-cheek pop-romps explicitly detailing Queer experiences where bored business men go cruising midnight parks for hook-ups, and the rapidly dwindling spirit of the gay male/feminist revolutionary alliance.
Under the guise of his genre-defying, media-spanning group SSION, Critcheloe formed early working relationships with fellow freaks at his art school in Kansas City, Missouri and began making elaborate animated music videos, as well as doing art work for it-bands such as The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. These skills snowballed into an instantly recognizable aesthetic, which can now be seen in more recent stints in the directors seat for the likes of major queer pop idols such as Kylie Minogue and Robyn, as well as indie darlings Grizzly Bear and Perfume Genius.
Having refined his sound on the Pet Shop Boys-esque 2011 album BENT, Critcheloe took a breather from the music thing, which gave him time to write and record his new opus O, a record that features an artillery of guest appearances spanning from ’90s grunge dream-queens like Jennifer Herrema of Royal Trux and Patty Schemel from Hole, to reigning queer art-goddess Róisín Murphy.
O is a pop record for the unsatisfied masses. It’s a direct roll call to the Queers who love pop music but are bored of being pandered to with shitty Adele remixes and vacuous club bangers.
I spoke to Cody recently about the what it’s like to be working as an artist and musician for this long, the new record, and how his work is here to let the world know pop music can be conceptual, feminist, and punk AF… if u want it.
Read the full Q&A after the jump!