Hyperpop duo Frost Children and their frenzied beats are raising a generation of NYC scenesters
Frost Children were raised by many things: the internet; Skrillex; SpongeBob SquarePants; Edgar Wright’s 2010 film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World; pop punk; and damn good pop songwriting.
Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, the electronic sibling duo of Angel (24) and Lulu (22) Prost never felt quite like they fit in, so they retreated online and into a love for pop culture. Early on, that led to an interest in music, with both of them playing a lot of blink-182 and Weezer, but also existing in their own separate “12-year-old scenes.” Lulu, for instance, was in a Beatles cover band called the Termites that entertained crowds of parents in parking lots, and Angel performed Scott Pilgrim soundtrack songs with her friends in the group Permafrost.
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In fact, the first time she felt badass — and like she was on the right track creatively — was at a gig outside of a church’s fall festival. “I wanted to do a song from the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack where it’s like, ‘This is a song called ‘I’m So Sad, So Very, Very Sad,’ and the whole song is, ‘So sad,’" Angel says, singing and making drumming noises from the floor of her and Lulu’s shared apartment in Ridgewood, Queens. “The drummer’s dad pulled me aside after and was like, ‘No one wants to hear this. This is disrespectful to the people here.’ That was the first time I really felt punk. Like, ‘You guys don’t even know you want it! This is pushing the culture!’”
[Photo by Angel and Lulu Prost]
Into their teens, their punkish sensibilities moved toward even more madcap music, developing a love for electronics and artists like Skrillex, which Lulu says they would blast in their car on rides through suburbia. “In the Midwest, you really only get the mainstream expression of any cool sound, unless you’re really tapped in or have artistic parents,” Angel says. “Because of that, we have a really deep appreciation for the mainstream and can see how it can be subtly transgressive to have a radio hit because that’s what we heard growing up."
In the maximalist world of Frost Children, all of this makes sense. They may not be dropping renditions of Scott Pilgrim favorite “Black Sheep” nowadays — although their cult-like fans would probably lose their minds if they did — but their music is full of references (like the Netflix social experiment Love Is Blind on their recent single “FLATLINE” or the game Bop-It on 2022’s “FOX BOP”), it feels entrenched in meme culture, and features artfully chaotic production. But today, on the cusp of releasing their sophomore album SPEED RUN (out April 14 via True Panther Records), rather than solely being an amalgamation of their pop culture diet, now Frost Children are the ones raising an entire new generation of music and party scenesters in New York City.
In the past year, the Prosts have blown up in the Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn scenes, playing shows or performing weekly DJ sets at events that run the gamut of humble crowds at Lower East Side pool halls and gigs at beloved Williamsburg spot Baby’s All Right to New York Fashion Week parties. They’re part of a legion of artists rejuvenating the post-lockdown city, and after initially surfacing online during the pandemic, they’re more than thrilled to immerse themselves IRL.
“All the best stuff comes from just making it for its own sake,” Angel says, referring to the siblings’ first-ever release as Frost Children. In late 2019, they dropped two songs, including — of all things — a cover of Fall Out Boy’s 2003 Christmas song “Yule Shoot Your Eye Out,” which they made on a mic plugged into the USB of a 2012 laptop in their parents’ basement. “We weren’t like, ‘Oh, this is our project that we’re going to be making now,’” Lulu says. “We were really just doing it to kill time, which is why it was so fun.”
Shortly after, they both ended up back there again, as Lulu moved home from Nashville and Angel returned from the Bronx when the pandemic hit. They kept collaborating, but stress that they “definitely did not” imagine Frost Children becoming what it is now. So when they both wound up in NYC living together, any stipulations that their project was just uploading tracks to SoundCloud on a whim froze over. “Once I [joined Angel in NYC], it pretty quickly turned into us performing and working on stuff all the time,” Lulu says. “I didn’t know any shows or venues or names of anything, either. I was still figuring out which trains to take. It was like [two kids in a candy shop].”
Angel quickly quips, “Ever since, it’s been a weekend after weekend slay.”
A Frost Children show — even just a Frost Children track — is a slay. They make glitchpop at its sheeny, joyous finest, with some songs echoing the soundtrack of a children’s video game or cartoon or containing the bubbly energy of a hyper-caffeinated can of soda pop. And even when their songs evoke a metaverse nightclub or what’ll hit No. 1 on the charts in 2050, they explore themes of alienation (“LOSER,” “SNAIL’S PACE”) and gender dysphoria (“HARP + PONY”). To the Prosts, their project as Frost Children is themselves at their most free.
“We often put on a character when we’re writing a song — it’s maybe an exaggerated form of ourselves, maybe an escapist thing or maybe it’s a hyper-real sad moment — [but there’s no] change in vulnerability,” Angel says. After years of feeling like one of the only places they could let go was when Skrillex’s 2011 hit “Bangarang” blasted in their car, it’s fulfilling to have this “reflection” of themselves amplified as Frost Children, especially as they say they’ve become closer as a pair and feel no reservations in working together in the studio.
Even at one of their earliest gigs in NYC, they made the decision to always go for it. Lulu explains it came from a mishap in which the flash drive with their backing track on it wasn’t working, so Angel suggested they plug in Spotify on their phones instead. They ended up not playing at all. “Ever since then, I’ve always wanted to embrace every situation we have,” Lulu says. “I could have made a space for myself to feel comfortable onstage. I never want to walk away being like, ‘I could have done something.’”
It helps that the NYC scene is a place where they feel not only accepted, but like an integral part of it. “I don’t even really remember how it happened, but I remember all of a sudden being like, ‘Oh, I’m a nightlife person now,’” Lulu says. After skipping out on parties in high school and sticking to being a “producer kid” making beats at home in most of college, they say, “It wasn’t until I came here, until I really found a scene, that they accepted us, accepted me, and I felt accepted by.”
Being that Frost Children are their own entity in the New York music community, too, Angel and Lulu are excited by the fact that they don’t think their sound or what Frost Children could be is fully formed yet. In the music they’ve been working on, for instance, they’ve slowed down the BPM after DJing has taught them that there’s something slick about a beat with a slower groove to it, or what they envision as “evil nightclub” vibes. They’re even excited about making “Uber music” — the kind of pop song you get excited hearing as soon as you get into a taxi, harking back to their days playing mainstream hits growing up.
Now, they’re immersed in the dance worlds they were always quietly dreaming of. And, in turn, an NYC party right now really isn’t one unless the Prosts are there behind the decks — “pushing the culture” in a whole new way, but with the energy that rivals Angel playing Scott Pilgrim songs years ago.
“It feels like I am fulfilling this fantasy that I had as a child. I loved EDM and club music, but I didn’t really know what the purpose [of] it was,” Angel says. “It feels like I’m finding new ways to define this indescribable dream that I had as a kid.”
Their dreams are certainly filling the void for New Yorkers who had been itching to dance for years, and it doesn’t seem like a stretch to say that some very online, hyperpop-loving teens years from now will say they’re the children of Frost Children.
Frost Children appear in Alternative Press' spring 2023 issue. Grab a copy here or below.