”Written bySaien Benjamin
Internet Girl’s latest EP ”Parasocial Interaction” is Indie Pop for the internet generation
Since they arrived on the scene in 2020 Internet Girl have brought a truly fresh and unique sound to the South African Alternative scene. Mixing energetic Indie rock with elements of Pop-punk, Hip-hop, and Hyperpop to create songs that simultaneously feel nostalgic and yet different from anything you’ve heard before.
The Cape Town-based Trio has found a perfect sonic niche which has earned them a legion of devoted fans. Since I first listened to “asshole“, an angst-driven pop-punk track on their debut EP “the world i love” I can’t get enough of their music. Their latest EP “parasocial interaction” is yet another stellar outing from one of the best young bands in the country.
The First track “forever” finds the group bemoaning the struggle of wanting something deeper from a “situationship”, who isn’t interested in something more. The Indie Rock banger sets the tone perfectly and captured my attention from the get-go. The track also features a standout guest verse from frequent collaborator Hugo Pooe, I also really loved the segue into a glitchy Hyperpop sound towards the outro.
Punchy guitar riffs are complimented perfectly by eclectic, electronic production and frontman Ntsika’s fantastic vocal range, energy and trademark distorted vocals. One of my other favourite tracks is the last song “difficult”, a punchy pop track about unrequited love. Filled with catchy guitar riffs, hypnotising drums and Ntsika’s melodic vocals, it has been stuck in my head since the first listen. The cherry on top is a feature from American “Hyper-Punk” phenoms Poptropicaslutz whose tongue-in-cheek lyrics add lightness to a fairly emotional track. “Brokeboy” is another highlight on the EP, a Rock anthem for the ages about the pressure of trying to make it big and find success in the music industry, features soaring guitar riffs and another great verse from Hugo Pooe. There is also an inventive lyrical interpolation of Playboi Carti’s “Brokeboi” which was really dope. Internet Girl’s Lyrics about finding love in an era of casual hookups, the pressures of earning money in your teens and early 20s, and navigating the complex social scene of the 2020s will resonate strongly with Gen Z’s. It’s rare to find music that caters as much to the Internet generation in a South African Alternative music scene that often feels stuck in the early 2000s. With “Parasocial interaction” Internet Girl is providing exactly what is needed to revitalise the local Indie Rock scene, and I am all for it.
Ntsika, Griggs and Neese have a genuine rockstar attitude which is embodied by their charisma and stage presence when performing. I had the opportunity to see them live at Foulplay Presents “Moshpit” event last Thursday, alongside PHFAT, K.Keed and Hanna, and was blown away by how brilliant their set was.
Often a more electronic sound like theirs can be underwhelming live, but in Internet Girl’s case, they sound just as good (Possibly even better) performing live. They had the whole crowd singing along to hits like” dumb party” and “asshole” whilst also wowing the audience when they previewed tracks from their new EP which dropped the following day. As soon as the EP was released I had to give it a full listen, and have had it on repeat for the last few days.
Internet Girl was formed in 2019 by Ntsika “TK” Bungane, Matty “Neese” Burgess, and James “Griggs” Smith. Ntsika and Neese became friends in Grade 11 and began making music together soon after. Before the formation of Internet Girl, they made Trap music together. Initially, Ntsika was influenced by SoundCloud superstars like Lil Peep and XXXtentacion and rapped over beats that Neese produced. Eventually, they became bored and decided to form Internet Girl and venture in a new sonic direction. While they were working on their first Soundcloud project Cape Towninan producer/guitarist Griggs hit them up on Instagram and expressed his admiration for their music, and looking to work with them. They sent him unreleased tracks to work on and were so impressed by his production skills that they invited him to link up with them in Gauteng. They clicked almost instantly with Ntsika saying “At first, he looked crazy…kind of scary. But after we met him, we were like, ‘What a sweetheart’. Literally, four days later we asked if he wanted to be a part of the band.” The trio haven’t looked back since and have built up a cult following, particularly finding success with a US audience, since the release of their first track “The Other Guy” in 2019. In the years that followed they have accumulated an impressive 116 000 monthly listeners on Spotify, with their most streamed track “Bitter” racking up over 2.4 million plays. They have also been featured on numerous local and international Spotify playlists including Fresh Finds, SAlt, and Lorem. Their trajectory has been truly remarkable and they are showing themselves to be an irrepressible force with the potential to reach superstardom.
Internet Girl’s Lyrics about finding love in an era of casual hookups, the pressures of earning money in your teens and early 20s, and navigating the complex social scene of the 2020s will resonate strongly with Gen Z’s. It’s rare to find music that caters as much to the Internet generation in a South African Alternative music scene that often feels stuck in the early 2000s.
If you enjoy Indie rock, Pop-punk, or Hyperpop and are looking for something new and fresh I can’t recommend highly enough that you give “parasocial interaction” a listen ASAP! Drawing from a wide range of influences including Jean Dawson, Lil Peep, Beabadoobee, and Quinn(formerly P4ker) have created a distinct and unforgettable sound that is sure to stick with you.
Their trajectory has been truly remarkable and they are showing themselves to be an irrepressible force with the potential to reach superstardom. I am truly excited to see what direction they take next and watch them continue to grow as artists.