Thursday 19 June 2014

New Pop Roundup

There's plenty of new music around at the moment, least of all the return of Jessie Ware on her sublime Tough Love.  Here's the best of the rest:

Broods – Mother & Father

New Zealand’s brooding Broods are back to brood in their new single – and it’s an absolute stunner.  A meditation on life on the road, vocalist Georgia Nott sighs “ever since I left my mother it’s much harder to know how to make my own life here, how to make my own home” before soaring into the sad-pop chorus “I don’t wanna wake up lonely, I don’t wanna just be fine”.  Production-wise this is part Lorde (the duo share producer Joel Little) and part CHVRCHES: melancholic synths and clattering beats with a clear pop sensibility.  Full album ‘Evergreen’, due later this year, can’t come soon enough.


Listen: Mother & Father is available now, with album ‘Evergreen’ due later this year.

Chloe Howl – Disappointed

Another hot new act with an album due this year is Chloe Howl.  Disappointed is another of her signature synth pop gems fuelled by honest lyrics – disappointment is always a more difficult emotion to deal with than anger or frustration.  It doesn’t hit quite as hard as the bitter sounds of No Strings or Rumour, but at least Howl is getting some proper videos now.  This one sees a roller skating team turning against their male coach: hoorah for feminism.


Listen: Disappointed is released on 27th July.

Little Daylight – Mona Lisa

Brooklyn’s Little Daylight are yet to make much of an impact here in the UK, but Mona Lisa is their most accessible track to date.  The opening builds layers of syncopation, the synthy middle eight hypnotises and the chorus sparkles even more than previous single Glitter & Gold.  This is bright, breezy indie pop that’s perfect for the summer weather.


Listen: The band’s debut album ‘Hello Memory’ is due out on July 15th.

Nicole Scherzinger – Your Love

TV personality Nicole Scherzinger has finally returned to what she does best – being Nicole Scherzinger the popstar.  Thankfully Your Love is not your typical EDM pop banger.  It’s percussive, with little electronic sparkles and it all breaks down in the final third for a very danceable change of pace.  It’s in drastic need of some bass though, and the “do do do” chorus hook is more annoying than catchy.  It’s no Don’t Hold Your Breath, but it’s a hell of an improvement on Boomerang.


Listen: Your Love is released on July 13th.

Alt-J – Hunger Of The Pine

Alt-J have done little since winning the Mercury Prize in 2012, besides selling a lot more albums than anyone expected and losing a band member.  But sampling a Miley Cyrus track?  That’s something nobody could have predicted.  “I’m a female rebel” she chants, taken from her track 4x4, amidst meditative electronica and falsetto vocals.  It’s a far cry from her own work and the injected sample feels a little forced, but it’ll be interesting to see if the band pursue a greater pop focus in their forthcoming second album.


Listen: Hunger Of The Pine is available now, whilst album 'This Is All Yours' arrives on September 22nd.

Indiana - Heart On Fire

It's fair to say that the success of Indiana's debut Solo Dancing took everyone by surprise.  Heart On Fire is more than a worthy follow-up.  Where the former track was a quiet slow-burner, this new track is a slice of melancholic disco perfection - you can cry to it ("don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge") or you can dance to it.  Basically Indiana's on the verge of out-Robyning Robyn and there's nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition.


Listen: Indiana's debut album is due on August 11th.

Ferras - Legends Never Die (feat. Katy Perry)

So Katy Perry has started her own record label.  Whilst this may come as a shock, what's no surprise is that her first signing has a slushy debut single that might as well be one of her offcuts.  In fact, she even sings on it herself - and it sounds far better when she joins in.  That's not to say Ferras is a bad singer, but he's got a ways ahead if he's going to differentiate himself from the pack rather than jumping on Perry's success.


Listen: Legends Never Die is available now.

Psy - Hangover feat. Snoop Dogg

This is a thing. HOW IS THIS A THING?


Listen: Only if you must.