8485’s software gore: A Twisted Take on Mainstream Pop Stylings

8485’s software gore twists mainstream pop stylings into a distorted mess in the best possible way.
The cover art for 8485’s EP software gore, released on February 1st, 2024.
The cover art for 8485’s EP software gore, released on February 1st, 2024.
Image/Graphics by 8485

Pop music has taken many different forms over the years. Bands like The Beatles use a more rock-focused approach to pop music while other artists like Dua Lipa twist pop music into these catchy tracks made for the dance floor. Both of these styles of pop music have so much merit and the diversity of things you can find within the pop genre makes it so interesting to me. My favorite kinds of pop music tend to twist the pop genre to its will. Somebody like underscores who uses pop genres to tell a fascinating story without sacrificing the listenability of the music. My favorite example of this in recent memory is found within 8485’s newest EP, software gore.

This EP is dense with so many of the different kinds of pop music within online music spaces. 8485 manipulates these sounds in a very unique way which ends up leaving me stunned after every listen. 

software gore is a short listen, only a little over nine minutes. From what I can tell, this EP is mostly from the perspective of a character. It opens with “goreblog”, a song mostly about death. Most of the lyricism within this song is very observant and while she is singing about these scenes from her life, it feels like she’s reflecting upon herself. The lines “I don’t like where I’m sleeping, but I don’t think I can leave now” make this clear to me. The repetition of the line “It is itself no longer” has so much gravity within the context of the song. It feels like a realization that at some point we all die and no longer live as ourselves. This sentiment is furthered by the line “We are ourselves no longer”. The life she currently lives isn’t the same as the life she used to live, and that is one of the scariest things a person can realize. What makes this sentiment of change and death feel so potent to me is the instrumentation behind it all. The background instrumentation is all distorted synths and abrasive noises. The song itself feels like it’s falling apart, almost like how she feels like her own life is falling apart. 

Track two is titled “Something bad” and is generally about bad habits. While “goreblog” feels observant, this song feels confessional. The repeated refrain of “I did something bad” sets the tone instantly. blackwinterwells (one of the many guests featured on this project) sings about how these bad actions our protagonist keeps doing are stepping further and further over the line. His verse ends simply with “My days wasted scrubbing the stained walls meant nothing” implying that all of the times he has tried to steer her in the right direction or clean up the messes she’s made haven’t resulted in any good from our lead herself. This song feels so defeated and discontent within itself and tells so much with so few words within the song itself. The instrumentation again features synths, but this time it is accompanied by subtle ambient interjections that give this song an ethereal atmosphere. “Something bad” has an almost dreamlike atmosphere while the final track feels more like a nightmare.

After a brief interlude, we get to our final track “ANTROPOL”. This song, like the rest of this project, is very cryptic and leaves much up for interpretation. The lyrics seem to be referencing our protagonist being interrogated by someone. This someone is never explicitly said, though the interlude “80906(081709)” implies that it is some sort of authority figure. This song ends with a repetition of the phrase “I have all the answers, you can ask me for answers”. It seems like whatever our protagonist has gotten wrapped up in, they have learned something generally meant to be hidden and they want to reveal this shocking revelation. The instrumentation in this song is more abrasive than the previous two tracks. Distorted synths and glitch effects are riddled throughout the song and give it a very anxious feeling. This mess of pop stylings is done exceptionally well just like the rest of the album.

software gore leaves much of its narrative up to interpretation. I have no doubt that I am wrong about some of the ideas here, but that’s what’s so special about art. It lets so many people find meaning in things that might not have even been intended and that’s very special to me. software gore is a fantastic listen front to back and with a runtime that’s a little under ten minutes, it’s well worth diving into and getting lost in its futuristic sound design and compelling story.

More to Discover