When it comes to hyperpop, the question is: how many crimes against music can you commit? Born of the internet on dark mode, hyperpop is all the sugary sweet appeal of mainstream pop but soaked in steroids – a garish reflection of the all-you-can-eat hunger of the material world. With lyrics that read like shitposts from a finsta account, keyboard-mashing song titles and anime-inspired artwork thrown together on Microsoft Paint, hyperpop pushes the limits of ‘taste’. Too much is never enough. From the pioneering collective PC Music, to sonic fusionists 100 gecs and shadowy SoundCloud trailblazers you’ve never heard of, we took on the impossible task of ranking hyperpop’s finest.
45. Danny L Harle – ‘Broken Flowers’
Unsurprisingly Danny L Harle’s most mainstream-friendly track, ‘Broken Flowers’ is the pornstar martini of hyperpop – palatable to almost everyone, gleaming with almost tropical disco grooves, only nudging you a little off-kilter with skittish vocals and glitches.
44. Hannah Diamond – ‘Every Night’
Hannah Diamond, a hyperpop veteran, is the queen of cooking up diabetically sweet confections. Her ultra-English, almost uncanny simulacrum of pop is almost like an alien’s interpretation of what tops the charts.
43. Cookii – ‘love yourself (spend forever)’
Despite its artificial gloss, hyperpop is surprisingly confessional. Cookii swims from the shallows of breaking the bank and dips into the deep end of why no matter what you buy, it’s no replacement for loving yourself – all on top of a fizzy, ridiculously danceable beat.
42. Nabi:3 – ‘XxwhileimeatinicecreamXx’
With a track name that looks like the tag of a cybercriminal, ‘XxwhileimeatingicecreamXx’ conjures a world of baby pink and glitter, yet it has the pacing vocal signatures of the emocore SoundCloud rap which laid the foundations for this new strain of hyperpop.
41. Jazmin Bean, Zheani – ‘Monster Truck’
‘Monster Truck’ is playtime turned sour, the teacups are laced with arsenic and pink chainsaws are laid out on the frilly table cloth. Swinging from Jazmin Bean’s sinister, baby-doll sweetness to Zheani’s vicious, screamo freak-out, it’s a masterclass in nightmarish extremity.
40. Dolores Haze – ‘White House’
Criminally underrated Swedish rock band Dolores Haze like to mutilate genre and stitch the parts up to make an entirely new monster of their own creation. ‘White House’ is their foray into the world of hyperpop, which, fully furnished with the vacuous kitten-heel wearing, chihuahua-carrying energy, gives the tried and tested rock formula a no-fucks-given twist.
39. QT – ‘Hey QT’
QT is the cellophane-flavoured love child of SOPHIE and A. G. Cook. The (kind of) fictional singer promotes and is the living embodiment of the (also kind of) fictional DrinkQT energy drink – which, like their only track to date, ‘Hey QT’, is loaded with the kind of sugar your mum warned you about.
38. Kim Petras, SOPHIE – ‘1,2,3 dayz up’
Imagine this: you’re in a pink convertible, rooftop down, riding with your friends on the way to the club – and what’s that blasting through the speakers? ‘1,2,3 dayz up’, of course. It’s a three-minute shot of hedonism, from kissing strangers to partying with Jesus.
37. EASYFUN – ‘Be Your USA’
Hyperpop can even dress up heartbreak to look pretty. “Never gonna be your USA / Never gonna be your everything”, the pitch-fried vocals mourn, dripping in the bouncy, bass-heavy beat with sneaker-squeaking top notes.
36. Flume, KUČKA, SOPHIE – ‘Voices’
‘Voices’ coils suspension, with sorcerous beat-shifts and spasms of sprightly vocals. It’s strangely atmospheric, telling of a cityscape in the future, yet the mutilated flute in its outro seem to root it in something archaic, an uncanny world of the past.
35. Alice Gas – ‘Ferrari’
‘Ferrai’ sounds like being trapped in a kaleidoscopic vacuum of time and space itself, before being vomited out into a black hole where you get curb-stomped by drum and bass and razor-sharp synth. It’s an acid trip for the ears.
34. Bladee – ‘Be Nice 2 Me’
While this beat twinkles like a fairy caught in a jar, Bladee, member of the Swedish art collective Drain Gang, could not sound more bored – and that’s not a criticism, either. He throws all sense of pace out the window, as he slopes behind the beat until time is just a sludge, kind of like the sonic equivalent of Dalí’s melting clocks.
33. osquinn – ‘i dont want that many friends in the first place’
“I’m just dumb obsessed with violence,” osquinn (formerly known as p4rker) sings – no joke. The artwork for ‘i dont want that many friends in the first place’ is hello kitty’s face getting mashed up by a pink bear. They confirm all a boomer’s worst fears about the internet through this cursed track, saturated to oblivion to an earworm trap beat.
32. Arca – ‘KLK’
Arca’s reinvents the street-party rhythms of Latinx music with their surreal sonic signature. Merging the offbeat with Rosalia’s blend of mainstream pop, ‘KLK’ tips us into a new, larger-than-life dimension.
31. Gupi – ‘Modest’
Try not to bounce along to this track – I dare you. Deluged in AutoTune, with easily one of the most contagious melodies on this list, Gupi polishes ‘Modest’ to be the next step in pop’s evolution, with a completely joyous, artificial sheen.
30. Alice Longyu Gao, Laura Les – ‘Ritch Bitch Juice – Laura Les Remix’
After this one, you’re going to have a complicated relationship with your speakers – and your ear drums, for that batter. 100 gecs’ Laura Les mutilates Alice Longyu Gao’s track to a pitch-shifted, blown-out banger to sip on while you watch Saturday morning cartoons.
29. Charli XCX – ‘Focus’
‘Focus’ is a billowing soap bubble of pop, with a choppy, vogue-inducing beat that gives Charli’s diva persona a dash of sugar.
28. Dylan Brady, Poter Elvinger – ‘Marlboro Man’
Dylan Brady was doing bits, even before 100 gecs. ‘Marlboro Man’ is a sinuous trap-infused banger, with ceaseless forward-motion of the animal brain. The bass is blown out to the max, a full body slam of a track.
27. Charli XCX – ‘claws’
‘claws’ makes pop a far meaner playground game. With its megabouncy, cling-clang beat, its danceability is off the charts.
26. d0llywood1 – ‘ihonestlymightjustgiveup’
17-years-old and ruler of the internet netherworld, d0llywood1’s tracks fixate on underground genres like chiptune and glitchcore, polished with a hip-hop sheen. With rippling melodies and a short-circuiting 808 beat, ‘ihonestlymightjustgiveup’ (with its artwork of a fluffy baby cow) is one of their finest.
25. EASYFUN – ‘Fanta’
Perhaps the most aptly named track on this list, ‘Fanta’ is a gulp of carbonated sunshine, shook up on a summer night. Listening to this is like an shot of effervescent Vitamin C.
24. SOPHIE – ‘BIPP’
‘BIPP’ has the distinction of being something of a quasi-ballad, where the vocals ring clear and bold with J-Pop finesse against the gloopy, popping-candy beat.
23. A. G. Cook – ‘Beautiful’
‘Beautiful’ is the sonic embodiment of kawaii – imagine Sanrio characters going head to head on Dance Dance Revolution on boss level. Every time you listen, your soul feels ten times lighter.
22. Tony Velour – ‘Do or Die’
This is a gateway drug into the hyperpop world for hip-hop loyalists. Tony Velour is a long-time collaborator with 100 gecs, appearing on their latest remix album. But it was the release of his own track, ‘Do or Die’, when rap and hyperpop merged – which, of course, was the heavens opened, the sea parted, and water turned to wine. That’s how perfect it was. It has Dylan Brady’s midas touch: a break-neck banger, where the two worlds collide.
21. Bladee, Mechatok – ‘Rainbow’
Named in honour of the finest racing circuit known to man, Rainbow Road, Bladee and Mechatok’s whirling disco beat is a strange inversion of big-tent EDM. It’s a surreal, offbeat banger with a lazy danceability that will catch you by surprise.
20. osquinn, blackwinterwells – ‘bad idea’
‘bad idea’ is the next step in SoundCloud evolution, melding the world of glitched-out hyperpop with the Lil Peep school of nihilistic emo in a way that captures an online world of anxiety.
19. Danny L Harle, Clairo – ‘Blue Angel’
Hyperpop isn’t always about doing the most. Clairo’s shy, honeyed vocals blend brilliantly with Danny L Harle’s twinkling production style proves that less truly is more.
18. slayyyter – ‘Mine’
This is the silkiest hyperpop you will ever have the good fortune to find. It’s true: everything Slayyyter touches really does turn to gold. ‘Mine’ is a 24-karat solid pop banger, complete with a fizzy disco beat and vocals that sound like a y2k dream.
17. 100 gecs – ‘hand crushed by a mallet’
Never mind a hand crushed by a mallet, it’s our ears that are lined up to be pummelled – but isn’t that just the 100 gecs charm? ‘hand crushed by a mallet’ is a weapons-grade cocktail of blown-out basslines and strobe-light EDM that would be primed for a mosh pit in the (hopefully) not-too-distant future.
16. SOPHIE – ‘Ponyboy’
SOPHIE has her industrial arsenal at the ready and pushes it to punishing levels. ‘Ponyboy’ pummels your ear drums into submission – the sonic equivalent of being stepped on in ten-inch heels.
15. Charli XCX, Kim Petras, Tommy Cash – ‘Click’
While ‘Click’ got a new IOS update on her latest record, ‘how i’m feeling now’, the original track set the standard. With a beat that grinds and whirs with industrial levels of chaos, Charli enlists Kim Petras and a verse from Estonian rapper Tommy Cash to temper the sound to mass-appeal, covering every base that makes ‘Click’ undeniably infectious.
14. Slayyyter – ‘Hello Kitty’
In a parallel (and far more preferable) dimension, the likes of Britney Spears and the chart-toppers of the 00s would have been turning out tracks in the only the faint hope of replicating this pure pop confection. Slayyyter’s signature is girly to the hilt: a lipstick kiss on a mirror, pink on Wednesdays, all topped off with Sanrio sweetness.
13. SyKo – ‘#BrooklynBloodPop!’
With the hypnotic beats of Dance Dance Revolution and the nightmarish distortion of a jump scare, ‘#BrookylnBloodPop’ is the underground anthem for the ultra-cute and ultraviolent.
12. SEBii – ‘BAFFLEdd’
With a bubblegum-sweet, elastic beat, ‘BAFFLEdd’ is the sound of it being fucking on. With the pace of a kid hopped up on E-numbers, this trap-indebted track will have you bouncing off the walls.
11. Boofbby – ‘online_v3!!! *BOUNCE BACK*’
With count-the-pixel cuteness, Boofbby’s vocals might be sugary whisper but the beat is not to be messed with. It’s a certified earworm that’ll have you feeling like you’re trapped in the fluorescent world of an Atari arcade game.
10. Iglooghost, Mr. Yote – ‘Mametchi / Usohachi’
This is hyperpop’s own ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, a chameleon-like track that hops frenetically from one sound to another – sometimes landing on more than one with an almost feral approach to experimentalism. It’s a sonic adventure from start to finish, taking twists and turns you never saw coming.
9. Charli XCX – ‘pink diamond’
Charli fires on all cylinders immersing us into a VR experience with thumping laser shots and snarling synths. “I just wanna go real hard”, she sings, like a militaristic AI bot. This is Charli’s game, after all, and she is unbeatable.
8. umru, Laura Les – ‘popular’
‘popular’ is Regina George crunched and carbonated. Every hair-twirling, bubblegum-blowing, eyelash-batting trope is amped up by 100 gecs’ Laura Les to perfection.
7. Rico Nasty – ‘IPHONE’
For this one, Rico Nasty brings out her weapon of mass destruction: 100 gecs’ Dylan Brady. ‘IPHONE’ is a pitched-up, screamo fusion pulling industrial sucker punches – yet Rico Nasty makes it addictively melodic.
6. Vince Staples – ‘Yeah Right’
The intersection of hyperpop and rap on Vince Staples’ 2017 record ‘Big Fish Theory’ was a beautiful moment for us all, where the ever-grinding teeth of hip-hop could at last be sharpened to an industrially sharp point. With SOPHIE’s boundary-breaking production, ‘Yeah Right’ was when rap got its bite back.
5. SOPHIE – ‘VYZEE’
‘VYZEE’ is the exploding plastic inevitable – a cheerleading rally to the hilt, popping frothing like a can of cola shaken to the limit.
4. Madonna, Nicki Minaj – ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’
When SOPHIE, Madonna and Nicki Minaj finally came together, they formed pop’s ultimate holy trinity. With its hyper-feminine, twirl-your-hair chorus which gives way to a whiplash-inducing outro of squeaky latex that makes your skin itch, ‘Bitch I’m Madonna’ was the passing of the baton from one pop anarchist to a new generation.
3. 100 gecs – ‘money machine’
The world did not know that it needed a ridiculously infectious, trash-talking banger, ripping into your “small truck”, mocking your tiny little arms and calling you a “piss baby” until 100 gecs dropped the track that tipped the world on its axis: ‘money machine’.
2. Charli XCX – ‘Vroom Vroom’
In the gospel according to Charli: “Vroom vroom, bitches know they can’t catch me.” It’s the hyperpop national anthem; a call to arms for a new wave of club kids from the dungeon to the dancefloor.
SOPHIE – ‘Immaterial’
Hyperpop is nothing without SOPHIE. Each of these tracks are merely planets in orbit around the star: herself. ‘Immaterial’, gleaming with promise and infinite possibility, defines the very essence of the genre itself: “I could be anything I want / Anyhow, anywhere, anyone, any form, any shape, anyway, anything, anything I want”.
Listen to all these songs in our HYPERPOP playlist