Number One Popstar Debuts New Single, “I Hate Running” | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, March 8th, 2021  

Number One Popstar Debuts New Single, “I Hate Running”

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Jan 15, 2021 Photography by Jenny Ryf
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Kate Hollowell certainly hates running just as much as most of us do. More than that though, she hates the diet culture and exercise industry that circles around the pastime. So for her second single under the moniker Number One Popstar, she’s making a pop anthem for everyone who has already quit their New Year’s resolution. 

Hollowell’s approach to pop is as glossy as they come, but there’s a firmly tongue-in-cheek satirical element that owes just as much to punk. It likely won’t surprise listeners that Hollowell also is the lead singer of the LA punk band Slut Island. After directing music videos for a number of artists, including SASAMI and Katy Perry, Hollowell took quarantine as a time to make a carefree, glamorous pop album as a platform for her videos. She says, "Coming from a visual background of photography and directing, I basically started making music with the visuals already in mind. In a sense, I reverse engineer songs starting with a visual and then slowly build a song around it."

That visual for “I Hate Running” casts Hollowell as a health cult leader, scamming followers with superficial self-help advice while crowned in cigarettes.  The irreverent lyrics satirize exercise culture with Hollowell sounding like an aerobic instructor on the refrain - “Up, down, side to side / Nothing matters, we’re all gonna die.” Aside from the blithe satire though, there’s also a legitimately catchy ‘80s pop throwback running beneath, with a danceable disco groove and pitch-perfect guitar solo. Coupled with Hollowell’s arresting visual flair, the song is a brilliant send-up of shallow wellness culture. 

Hallowell says of the song, "'I Hate Running' is a play on the constant pop-up health movements in our society that make us feel like we can never do enough to better ourselves.  The song explores facing the hard emotional work instead of the physical.  I really don’t enjoy running, and I wanted to troll the exercise industry and write an anti-motivational song.  Although in the end, I think a little reverse psychology and the 80’s inspired, manic-pace of the song might actually make you want to exercise.  Tricked you!” Check out the song and video below. 


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