Ethereal, glacial, and wasted, Sweden’s artistic collective Drain Gang has spawned one of the greatest post-internet subcultures. Its cult followers, identifying themselves as “drainers,” celebrate its angelic auto-tuned vocals, introspective lyrics, and androgynous Y2K styles, pushing the once acquired taste into a global phenomenon. In March, member Bladee and Ecco2k released the surprise joint album Crest, continuing their exploration of spiritual and heavenly motifs. The ongoing world tour is seen as a pilgrimage, and the merchandise, holy relics.
Bladee produces music, paintings, and fashion items. His designs are characterized by spiky patterns and psychedelic, over-exposed images. While his earlier production was known to be eerie or even demonic, he began to play with angelic mythology and themes of the transcendental in recent works.
The group’s spacey aesthetic is comparable to hyperpop, which emphasizes on cuteness and gender fluidity. This is exemplary in the androgynous appearance of member Ecco2k. This pixie style has come to define an entire generation of e-girls and e-boys alike.
An enduring aspect of the collective is its humble origin story. Starting as mere Swedish teenagers who posted music online, the friend group connected with mutual friends such as rapper Yung Lean of the Sad Boys collective, and gained prominence together through various collaborations over the years.
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