Photo credit – Bryan Kirks

The AI uprising is upon us. Alternative chart-topping and 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards Best New Artist (Alt & Rock) nominee Bad Omens and GRAMMY-nominated artist and multi-hyphenate Poppy have spun a gripping story straight out of your sci-fi horror nightmares on their collaborative new single V.A.N” via Sumerian Records.

Written and produced by Bad Omens’ frontman Noah Sebastian, the song is the first glimpse of what the band will be offering on their upcoming album, the CONCRETE FOREVER project also known as CONCRETE JUNGLE OST. The project is an experimental extension of Bad Omens’ hit LP ‘THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND’ and the soundtrack to their Concrete Jungle comic book universe.

“V.A.N” is an industrial metal masterpiece about an artificial intelligence entity set out on a course to destroy humanity. The track immediately captivates the listener with Bad Omens’ hypnotic production and Poppy’s angelic, whispering vocals as she takes on the role of the Concrete Jungle Universe AI character ‘V.A.N’. It then shock-transitions into a powerful onslaught of frantic drums, heavy guitars, and Poppy’s vocals evolving from otherworldly tones to aggro screams.

When asked about his approach to creating the single Noah Sebastian explained, “That’s a song that started just with the hook ‘Violence against nature’, and then after saving the project with the acronym and seeing it we realised it could be fun to think of ‘VAN’ as a name. Thus the rabbit hole of ideas began that led us to decide to write lyrics from the perspective of an artificial intelligence gone rogue.”

Playing off the AI concept of the track and taking additional visual inspiration from the video game Portal, the film Ex Machina, and Stranger Things, the story is brought to life by a visually stunning sci-fi thriller. In the mini film written by Noah Sebsastian, Poppy, and Garrett Nicholson, Poppy portrays a synthetic human being held captive and subjected to experiments in a laboratory, eventually escaping and embarking on a murderous rampage.

Bad Omens are coming off a wildly successful two years with the explosive success of their breakthrough third studio album The Death of Peace of Mind (2022). Hailed as “a stunning fusion of dark, Weeknd-esque pop and industrialised metalcore” (Revolver), the project has racked up over 940 million streams globally and surged Bad Omens catalog to over 1.5 billion streams.

The hardworking bands ascension was driven in part by the albums hit-single Just Pretend experiencing a viral TikTok moment that yielded a growing, dedicated fandom who catapulted them into the spotlight. Becoming the bands first RIAA-certified Gold single, “Just Pretend” reached #1 at US Alternative Radio and smashed multiple Billboard Year-End charts coming in at #1 on Hot Hard Rock Songs, #6 on Alternative Airplay Songs, #11 on Rock and Alternative Airplay Songs, #11 on Mainstream Rock Airplay Songs, #14 Hot Rock & Alternative Songs, and #23 on Hot Alternative Songs.

Gaining momentum online and over the airwaves, Bad Omens persistently surged ahead, captivating their rapidly expanding fanbase with electrifying live shows at numerous sold-out tours and festival performances worldwide. The band is already set for an intense touring schedule in 2024, recently concluding UK dates with Bring Me The Horizon, embarking on their CONCRETE FOREVER European headline run, announcing rescheduled US performances and unveiling a lineup of festivals throughout the 2024 season.

Originating from a dance background, Poppy’s first steps in the creative world began with performance art video vignettes. These vignettes evolved, allowing the unique, multi-hyphenate performer to dig deep visually and experiment sonically to create something entirely new. After initially signing to LA’s Sumerian Records, she released her album, 2020’s I Disagree, to much acclaim. Disregarding labels and genres, it tallied over 100 million streams, and the song “BLOODMONEY” earned a GRAMMY nomination for Best Metal Performance, the first ever solo female artist nominated in the category.

Poppy’s recent Zig is a reflection of an artist who has been in the public eye since her late teens coming into her own in her late 20’s as a woman who knows what she wants and who she is. Pairing immersive, roiling electronics with candy-coated vocals, songs on Zig bubble just under the skin. At times, the music’s cool lacquer gives way to Poppy’s own lacerating screamed lyrics, the perfect complement to dislodging the songs’ pointed pop edges. Since its release, Zig has earned over 12 million streams globally, launching Poppy to 663M streams globally. It also reached #8 on Billboard’s Current Alternative Albums Charts and #9 on Billboard’s Current Rock Albums Charts.