Excerpt from the Winter 2022 issue of Dazed. You can buy a copy of our latest issue here
St Louis, Missouri is home to the longest mall in the world. Located just off Route 370, it was once a beacon of commerce: a multi-tiered metropolis of fast-food chains and fashion, an antidote to the gloom of suburban life. But, like thousands of malls across the country, decades of economic decline forced it to close in 2019. “There was nothing to do,” says Angel Prost, “so we stayed inside” . She refers to Lulu, her younger brother and the other half of pop duo Frost Children. Together they grew up in St Louis, nicknamed by locals as the shopping suburb of Missouri. But while other kids were hanging out at the mall, Frost Children found a new spiritual home: the internet.
Speaking on Zoom from their shared apartment in Ridgewood, Queens – “we use Lulu’s room as a studio”, they say – the couple are part of a new cohort of artists emerging from the downtown New York scene. Emerging from the pandemic, these extremely online creatives and tastemakers span the worlds of fashion, art and media, with savvy internet personalities spilling out across sub-stacks, podcasts and meme accounts. . “I’m definitely a hyper-online person,” Angel says. “I post a lot on my Instagram story these days; it’s almost like I’m writing down my every thought. Honestly, I don’t see any problem with that. His TikTok is also an extension of those daily musings, intermingled with the kind of grounded, tongue-in-cheek musings that are flourishing online. “These are real thoughts I have, it’s not like I’m dull and my brain is dying from hyper-posting. It’s just a way, like writing in a journal, but it happens on the internet.
Online and IRL, the downtown scene isn’t defined by style or sound, but rather encompasses an array of art, ideas, and cliques. With the micro-district of Dimes Square at its center, there is a self-sustaining ecosystem of artists willing to collaborate. Angel remembers meeting Blake Ortiz-Goldberg AKA Blaketheman1000, the rapper behind the highly publicized track “Dean Kissick,” by DM after reading one of his articles in the local paper. The Drunken Channel. Ortiz-Goldberg now co-manages the group, holding weekly meetings at Ming’s Cafe on Canal Street. “There’s an endless amount of scenes here: the Dare-Strange-Ranger-Porches world, the more ravey Rash-Club-Cringe-Heaven DJ stuff,” she says. “We operate simultaneously in both worlds. And they are really happening right now.
“The cycle of referential art is growing so fast in terms of music” – Angel
At the forefront of the underground electronic scene and the burgeoning indie revival, Frost Children’s music is hard to pin down. It’s the kind of terminally ill, culture-influenced remix sound that in 2020 would have been labeled hyperpop, but has since mutated into a fluid style that spans everything from synth pop to punk rock and music. hardstyle. “Lately, when people ask us what kind of music we do, we just say it’s confidential,” Angel says, “but other times we just say we’re up-and-coming pop artists.” Inspired in equal parts by YouTube’s golden age and 2000s kids’ TV shows like iCarlytheir titles are imbued with a playful Web 1.0 seriousness, with glitched soundbites and YouTube poop samples plunging the listener into disorienting states of digital disarray.
“The cycle of referential art is growing so fast in terms of music,” Angel says. “I saw a tweet, it said: who is going to do the hyperpop revival? [Like] “Wow this beat is so hyperpop 2020.” We all know what that means and what it looks like. But 15 years ago, it feels like this song is so three years ago. You would have had to be very high in the iceberg of pop production to know what that meant. I’m curious to see what will happen when he collides with himself.
The duo are already known for their loud concerts: it is not uncommon to see them strolling on stage with a gigantic pair of smileys, papier-mâché Mesaryth stars (the official emblem of the Frost Children) or donning inflatable costumes. of SpongeBob SquarePants and fight each other. as part of their side project, YourBoySponge. “I think our approach is that whenever you have the opportunity to do something, do it to the fullest,” Angel says. This is the case of the stage presence of the duo, which looks more like a big room DJ than an emerging pop group. They attribute this to years of watching EDM shows like UKF Dubstep and Ultra Miami. “Angel was Deadmau5 and I was Skrillex,” Lulu says smiling. Angel adds, “Those shows influenced our style in how we play like we’re on that stage, even though it’s a 200-person venue and we don’t necessarily play that kind of sound.”
Despite the fact that we are talking through a computer screen, the conversation does not seem awkward – it’s no different than talking to a regular internet friend. “Our stage persona is this thing in our heads that we can turn on and off at any time,” Lulu explains. Together, they have an almost hive-mind-like rapport, the kind that can only come from being close siblings. “We grew up together, we live together, make music together, play together, tour together. It’s always just cool,” Angel says. “But we had competitive YouTube channels at one point.”
Frost Children have been playing some of their formative shows while in quarantine, DJing at Zoom parties such as the LA-based subculture, and their hyper-online music is paired with a distinct URL aesthetic designed to crush and grab attention even smoothest brains. But making music that reflects the frenetic pace of the internet is no easy task. Trends move faster than memes and fall victim to eternal scrolling. It’s something the couple want to combat with their upcoming releases, SPEED RACE and FOYER ROOM. “It’s the arc that an artist has throughout their life, but compacted into two quick albums,” says Lulu, who says SPEED RACE is the album “the-pop-artist-big-ego-paparazzi” and FOYER ROOM is its “ego-death-lifestyle-displaced-upstate” companion.
That night, Frost Children play a show at the Zeitgeisty Perfectly Imperfect newsletter’s two-year anniversary party, alongside a cast of downtown faces, including indie darlings The Hellp and umru from PCMusic. The whole pair zooms in at lightning speed, a sensory overload of memorable ideas and catchy melodies that dig deep into your skull. “The musical project of a lifetime creates so many different vibrations, arcs and phases in a short period of time that it’s almost unfathomable,” says Angel. “It’s a really cool way to be a performing artist in the post-internet era.”
Hair LUCAS WILSON at DAY ONE, makeup JANESSA PARÉ at THE TOGETHER COMPANY, nails ERI HANDA for FACULTY at HOME, photography assistants PATRICK LYN, NICK GRENNON, styling assistant ASHLEY ZIELINSKI, digital operator XIANGYUN CHEN, CLM production
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