Sweethearts Reed Fox and Jamie Nagode, aka Snarklet, each have their hands full with projects, but they still managed to collaborate on something special.
Fox, who overflows with creativity, psychedelia, joy and absurdity, is best known for his band déCollage and his deejaying. He’s also a member of Moon Hammer and Suspender Defenders; co-founder of Moon Magnet, a creative space and collective that launched back in 2013; and involved with the web series Cosmic Pineapple. And so far this year, he’s been dropping at least one new song — and sometimes an entire album — every couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, Snarklet makes films, plays synth, sings, teaches music lessons and is producing a secret absurdist-comedy web show with a handful of Denver comics.
So when Snarklet says that the couple's favorite project — at least for now — is their love child Bun Bun, that means something. They created the dance-music collaboration in January 2019, when they first fell in love.
The music nods to artists ranging from RuPaul to Devo to Bassnectar. It’s bouncy, femme and futuristic, with occasional heavy drops. “Bun Bun is a dreamy electronic glitter-pop house project with comedic commentary about the things we love, including computers, bees, narwhals, La Croix, spooning, curry, Casa Bonita and each other,” Snarklet explains.
Although they have written nine songs for the project, there's only been one Bun Bun release, “Urban Bee,” an irresistible, playful dance track about life as an urban-dwelling bee. It opens with a squeaky chant of “Bun Bun,” and then Snarklet starts riffing on life as a polite bee in the city. The character is surprisingly fleshed out for a candy-pop song — a tough-as-nails, hardworking yet mannerly bee who has been to jail (but just once, on a pollinating spree) and is now inviting her fellow bees to join her in raising their fists in the air.
This week, Bun Bun is dropping its second track, “We Love to Hack,” a sassy dance song built from samples of sounds from ’90s modems that opens with lamentations on the difficulty of recalling passwords while a chorus pays homage to WikiLeaks, the Illuminati and Anonymous.
When Levi Double U, a friend of the couple, heard it, he asked them to let him collaborate and they agreed, letting him help with the mix. “As a result, ‘We Love to Hack’ is weirder than we ever hoped it could be,” says Fox, “but not as annoying as Snarklet originally hoped it would be, which, overall, we are happy about.”
The song is all about hacking. With Anonymous stepping out of the shadows for the first time in years, threatening to bring down Donald Trump’s presidency with allegedly hacked documents; WikiLeaks securing its reputation as a beloved figure of the right, working to sabotage the Clinton dynasty (after years of being the hobgoblin of the right, dogging George W. Bush’s White House); and conspiracy theories flying and trolls trolling faster than the speed of light, now seemed like a good time to poke fun at all of this.
“The chorus of our song goes: ‘WikiLeaks...Illuminati...Anonymous...we love to hack,’ Fox says. “We don't have any affiliations with these groups, and the song is satire. It's not condoning any actions of these groups. For example, WikiLeaks is known for leaking government secrets, but also acts on biases that we don't align with. Anonymous is a decentralized hacktivist movement and typically fights for things we get behind. The Illuminati has a shocking history. It was a story made up by two people in the 1960s who wanted to spread misinformation because they believed the world was becoming too authoritarian. They invented the story about the Illuminati's history and spread it by sending in fake, contradictory letters from readers to magazines that ended up printing them about the secret society. It's fascinating to read about the spread of misinformation in the ’60s.”
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While they find humor in hacking, Fox and Snarklet appreciate its serious side, too.
“Hacking is subversive,” explains Snarklet. “Hacking is rebellious. Hacking is dismantling, and it's one way to topple a house of cards that never deserved to be there in the first place. That's what we love about it.”
Hear "We Love to Hack" at SoundCloud.
Correction, June 30, 2020: This story has been updated to clarify attributions and quotes.