Poppy’s ‘Choke’ Is a Soundtrack to Mayhem


Photo: Gianennio Salucci

Moriah Rose Pereira AKA Poppy is an electronic pop/rock icon from your worst nightmares. The singer/songwriter and actress' latest Choke EP sounds like if Electra Heart was influenced by metal and hardcore music in 2019. Choke is comprised of five haunting tracks, three of which were released as singles, with two new songs: "Meat" and "The Holy Mountain." With the use of blown-out heavy basses, Poppy's electric vocals, and twisting electronic effects and sounds, Poppy has created a badass soundtrack to chaos. 

"Choke," the first taste of the EP it is named after, is a futuristic track of purgatorial dismay. Poppy sings the chorus, a repetition of the word "Choke," in an almost whisper voice that leads into the yelling of the word at the end. It's a creepy track that truly sets you in the right headspace for the rest of her EP. "Voicemail" follows, and it is the first of the three singles that led to Choke. The track features a blown out bass paired with robotic squeals. Poppy uses vocal effects on her voice to add shrill sounds, making this track one that's hard to forget. These tracks lean more towards the horror level of Billie Eilish's "bury a friend," but are just a small taste of the sounds and edge Poppy can tap into. 

"Scary Mask" is a trip and a half. The song, featuring rap-core group FEVER 333, hits different levels of sound that stand out compared to the other songs on the EP. "Scary Mask" begins with Poppy's sweet sounding voice behind gentle synth sounds and simple drums… then it cuts to a heavy metal guitar. The track sounds like falling down a dark tunnel. With thrashing vocals offered by FEVER 333's Jason Aalon Butler on the chorus contrasting Poppy's voice against slow instrumental in the verse, it's like a rollercoaster you can't get off even if you wanted to (and for some reason you don't want to). 

Watch the terrifyingly elegant video for "Scary Mask" below:

The last two songs on Choke are the latest tracks from the theatrical artist. "Meat" is a descriptive song with beautiful vocals from Poppy between spoken word from male voices. As a vegan, Poppy has created a song about the world's heavy consumption and lack of respect for the Earth. The song's lyrics are thick with details from the perspective of someone being bred and kept to one day be slaughtered and eaten. The song is humbling to say the least.   

"The Holy Mountain" opens with Poppy's angelic vocals paired with a powerful organ. On the chorus, a ticking beat is added, with not much high-energy to the track - it's like a soft farewell, yet a warning. "The Holy Mountain" is a slow, hauntingly lovely song about humanities lack of sympathy towards other living things, and that people need to be willing to change for a better Earth and a better human race…or else. This track closes the EP, and captures recurring themes that Poppy discusses in her music such as humanities failures. 

Check out the genre-blending ride that is 'Choke' below. 

For more from Poppy, including a Q&A with the loveably odd pop star, you can click here