Friday 4 July 2014

New Pop Roundup

Seven new tracks for your delectation and every one is a sure-fire future pop hit...

Craig David – Cold

Yes, you read that correctly: gym buff Craig David is back.  And Cold is exactly how you’d expect one of his tracks to sound in 2014.  His typical fast-paced wordplay is in full flow, with such drug influenced lyrics as “this girl’s an instant lover like a hit of MDMA” and describing his new lover as “cold hearted and deranged like a killer chick from a movie”.  Clearly Michael Jackson’s Dirty Diana is still alive and well.  Beneath it all is a guitar riff that harks back to his past and an ominous, buzzing bass line.  Taken from his forthcoming album ‘Following My Intuition’, Cold is slicker than your average and an unexpected but very welcome return.


Listen: Cold is a mere taster of the full album due out later this year.

Ariana Grande -  Break Free

Problem has barely hit the charts over here but Grande is already set to release its follow up.  And thank the gods, this one actually has a chorus.  Sure, Problem arguably has more personality, but Break Free proves that EDM can be brilliant – especially when it’s produced by Clarity hit-maker Zedd.  This is pop fluff done exceptionally well, with insistent beats, euphoric melodies and a powerful ex-bashing vocal belting “I’m stronger than I’ve been before”.  Once Grande’s full album hits later this year, expect it to be full of bangers on a similar level.


Listen: Break Free is taken from Grande’s album ‘My Everything’ due in August this year.

FKA Twigs – Two Weeks

There’s something deeply sensual about the music of London-based FKA Twigs.  Perhaps it’s her girlish sighs; or the throbbing electronic-R&B production; or the penetrating beats.  All three are present on her new track Two Weeks that, like her past material, features a video that thoroughly aids her artistic expression.  Dressed as some sort of Egyptian goddess, she directs a stream of water into the mouth of one of her dancers with her finger, in an image of raw sexual power that contrasts with the vulnerability she displayed in Papi Pacify and (more so) Water Me.  Deservedly cropping up in many a ‘one to watch’ list this year, the debut album from FKA Twigs is sorely awaited.


Listen: Debut album ‘LP1’ is released in August.

Imogen Heap – Run-Time

Everyone’s favourite quirky-pop songstress makes a long-awaited return this summer.  Run-Time bubbles and froths in typical Heap fashion beneath her trademark yearning, breathy vocals but then two thirds through it all breaks down for a pulsating final section.  Clearly Heap continues to bring bags of personality to her unique pop music.  And her forthcoming fourth album is due out on my birthday, just saying...


Listen: New album ‘Sparks’ is released on 18th August.

Ryn Weaver – OctaHate

Ryn Weaver is still yet to be signed to a major label but is garnering a lot of attention from this track, a collaboration between Michael Angelakos (of Passion Pit fame), producers Cashmere Cat and Benny Blanco, and Charli XCX.  Quite the team – with its percussive verses and glorious, pounding pop chorus it’s no wonder OctaHate has taken the internet by storm.  Expect plenty more from this 21 year old rising star.


Listen: OctaHate is Weaver’s only track at the moment and is yet to be officially released, but more is on the way.

No Devotion – Stay

From the fires of Lost Prophets come No Devotion.  The ex-band members have been joined by new frontman Geoff Rickly who used to front post-hardcore band Thursday, is a current member of hardcore band United Nations and handily owns his own record label, Collect Records, on which No Devotion will be releasing their material.  The gently pulsing (if non-eventful) verses give way to a hooky, beat heavy chorus with the honest lyric “there ain’t nothing I can do to make you stay” that separates the band from their collective previous work.  It’s a move away from their past towards a mainstream, pop future – judging by Stay it could well work out for them.


Listen: Stay is available now.

Florrie – Little White Lies

British singer Florrie has released three EPs since her introduction in 2010 (the first, funnily enough, called ‘Introduction’), but Little White Lies is her first big pop single.  Produced by Xenomania (those brilliant songwriters who pretty much made Girls Aloud’s career), this electro-pop track is typical of their style – it’s one of those songs that sounds simple but is full of pop sophistication.  Hopefully that sense of immediacy will aid in the radio airplay she’s bound to receive – pop stardom is sure to follow.


Listen: Little White Lies is released in August.