Columbus producer Galen Tipton – aka recovery girl – has, for some time now, been a force in the wave of musicians pushing the boundaries of electronic music. Through various projects and collaborations, Tipton has crafted hyperactive music that tips the scales between sweet and sour sounds. It almost feels like biting into an apple and finding nothing but candy inside; there are sonic surprises around every corner. NAUSEA POP vol 3, their latest release under recovery girl, is a continuation of a series of some of the most compact music that Tipton has released to date.
On the Bandcamp page for the album, it’s written that these NAUSEA POP releases were inspired by “ringtones, jingles, grindcore, powerviolence, radio DJ mixes, beat tapes, and viral TikToks.” It’s definitely all there, in a glorious splatter of terse, choppy sounds. Even though you cannot find this specific release on Spotify, the first edition of these tapes was partly inspired by making the songs just long enough so that they could qualify for revenue on the streaming platform. Most of the tracks on vol 3 come in at just over 30 seconds and last no longer than a minute, sans “final boss” and “pixie cup lichen.”
An element that stands out the most on vol 3 is the straightforward menage e trois of drowned-out, lovelorn vocals (“glue trap blues”), violent synth hits (“blood steam”), and shuffling, bouncy footwork (“decorated time”). “ghost cicada” comes in with some funk, with a jazzy horn and flamboyant computer bloop accompaniment that continues to push the boundless boundaries of recovery girl’s music. The line, “Lip gloss bite marks,” on “glue trap blues” even recalls ringtone-era songs such as Lil Mama’s “Lip Gloss,” aligning with recovery girl’s vision for these three volumes of work.
In NAUSEA POP’s short existence, recovery girl tampers through a plethora of emotions in a seven-minute sprint. “cross eyes” is one of the best examples of this. Although most of these songs will have you running to the dance floor covered in blood, “cross eyes” hits on an existential, optimistic level of brooding. The upbeat piano that pops up throughout the track somewhat juxtaposes this, to remind you that this is still very much a grindcore and powerviolence-leaning recovery girl release. If you reach the end of the tape craving for more, there are – as the title suggests – two preceding volumes of NAUSEA POP mayhem. Warped video game-antics and radio show mixes are heavy in the first release, while the second is a conglomeration of lovesickness.
Something I often think about is how hyperpop is a form of Girl Talk erasure. When I want to go down a waterslide of nostalgia, throwing on a Girl Talk mix is typically my go-to. The short, always-evolving snippets would actually help me focus at work, instead of getting lost in a five-minute Portishead track or something of that nature. These recovery girl NAUSEA POP songs have the same Girl Talk effect, where it’s easy to get lost in a track but also as attainable to snap back into reality once the song switches over.
What I love about these NAUSEA POP releases is how readily made they are to springboarding listeners into a good mood. The sugary glitz of these tracks will have you biting down for more, that’s for sure.