After months of fervent online speculation, Lady Gaga finally confirmed this morning that Dawn of Chromatica: The Remix Album will be hitting fan’s ears this Friday, September 3rd (it’s just one of many, many projects Gaga is working on this year). But the project isn’t merely your typical remix album full of big-room bangers reworked by the usual suspects to appease Gaga’s existing fans on Saturday nights in Hell’s Kitchen or West Hollywood clubs. Instead, as the featured names on the tracklist confirm, this is basically Gaga’s full-on embrace of the very online, very Gen Z, and very queer Hyperpop movement.
You know when you see one of those memes that has been screenshotted, saved, and reposted so many times they start to look distorted, with noticeable glitches? That’s basically what Hyperpop sounds like. The genre takes notable hallmarks of mainstream pop, turn of the century pop-punk, hip-hop, and electro—then pushes that to its maximalist extremes with a digital DIY gusto. The PC Music genre exemplified by Charli XCX and Sophie has a notable influence, and overlaps with the poppier end of the spectrum (XCX is something of the genre’s fairy godmother), while MySpace-era electro-screamo’s influence can be found in the works of bands like 100 gecs. It’s quickly become a defining genre of Gen Z (particularly among the generation’s queer members) but has yet to have a true breakthrough moment in the mainstream.
Apparently, Dawn of Chromatica will prime it for that chance.
XCX herself will appear alongside PC Music honcho A. G. Cook on the “911” remix. Ballroom and Baltimore Club-influenced producer LSDXOXO handles the “Alice” remix. Shygirl, currently a Burberry favorite, will jump on “Sour Candy” alongside existing guests Blackpink. Brazilian drag sensation Pabllo Vittar tackles “Fun Tonight,” while Dorian Electra remixes “Replay.” A few artists who pre-date the Hyperpop movement proper but certainly have influenced it also appear: Arca will remix the album’s biggest single “Rain on Me,” while Planningtorock will remix “1000 Doves.” The full tracklist is below.
It’s certainly a full creative 180 from her other current music project, the Tony Bennet duet album Love For Sale, still due in early October. One is for an audience that has their default iPhone text size set to 42. The other is for those who have turned auto-caps off.
This news also begs the question—who, exactly, is this remix album meant for outside of a few dozen people who live off the L train in Brooklyn? There may be some overlap between Gaga’s existing fans and the Hyperpop faithful, but the reality is, there are still a lot of Gaga fans who will react to this album by thinking, “I don’t know, I’ve never really liked that Grimes shit.” But Dawn of Chromatica is just one of Gaga’s many projects this year—and why not do something full-out weird before the release of that jazz album and the promotion (and possible Oscar campaign) for House of Gucci? Lest you think Gaga is getting just a bit too respectable, she will bust out an Ashnikko collab real quick. Anyone who doesn’t like it can just go back and listen to the official Ben Platt cover of “Yoü and I” from earlier this year.