Friday, 9 October 2015

New Pop Roundup

It's been a while since I've done one of these and I'm sorry - the doors to Q4 have now been opened and a load of new big releases have hit our ears at once. There's the addictive Ed Sheeran diss track from Ellie Goulding (and another she's just released); there's Gaga covering Chic for Tom Ford; there's that dire Little Mix song that sees them living in a Motown past; and there's the appalling Naughty Boy & Beyoncé collaboration that not even she seems to give two sh*ts about. There's also Sam Smith's Bond theme that's really quite good (don't @ me).

But let's forget those and focus on some lesser-known tracks you may have missed that are worthy of your precious time...


Olly Murs - Kiss Me

Olly Murs - Kiss Me

Yes, ok, Olly Murs is hardly "lesser-known". But this track is out today and it's his best track in a while - even if it's a total rip of Nick Jonas. All we need now is a Tinashe remix...

Listen: Kiss Me is out today.




Tinashe - Player (feat. Chris Brown)

Tinashe - Player (feat. Chris Brown)

Speaking of which, Tinashe also has a new single out. Is this her best? Not quite - debut album 'Aquarius' was full of great R&B tracks (Bet and 2 On especially), not that too many people took notice. Player isn't quite a game-changer, but it indicates a more pop-focused sound that should bring a much wider audience. And don't fret - there's a version that thankfully omits Chris Brown's verse.

Listen: Player is out now.




Daughter - Doing The Right Thing

Daughter - Doing The Right Thing

The icy guitars may shimmer, the beats may clatter, and Elena Tonra's gentle vocal may haunt, but it's the raw storytelling at the heart of Daughter's sound that is so arresting. Doing The Right Thing, the band's first single since debut album 'If You Leave', is no different. "But she isn't coming back for me", Tonra sings of her mother, "she's already gone". Fittingly, the music is intertwined with a heart-wrenching, captivating video. Devastating.

Listen: Doing The Right Thing is out now.




Noonie Bao - Pyramids


Noonie Bao - Pyramids

Sweden's Noonie Bao first broke through in 2012 with Do You Still Care, but has since worked predominantly as a songwriter for the likes of Avicii, Clean Bandit and Tove Styrke. Now she's emerging on her own once more, Pyramids exemplifying her quirky, punchy, catchy style that's so far been criminally underrated. She's certainly strong enough to go it alone.

Listen: Pyramids is out now.





Erik Hassle - Natural Born Lovers

Erik Hassle - Natural Born Lovers

Another singer who's gone underrated outside of his native Sweden is Erik Hassle. Funky, summer jam No Words certainly boosted his profile this year, but the nightmarish R&B-pop of Natural Born Lovers is slick, sensual and a bridge to the darker, spectral sound of his previous work. 

Listen: Natural Born Lovers is available now.



Kyla La Grange - So Sweet


Kyla La Grange - So Sweet

Kyla's last album, the spectral electro of 'Cut Your Teeth', finally brought her music to a bigger audience. Or was that the Kygo remix? Either way, she's now returning with a stomping electro-pop track that should see her blooming into the popstar she was born to be.

Listen: So Sweet is out now.




Annie - Cara Mia

Annie - Cara Mia

Later this month Norway's Annie returns with a new EP produced by Richard X, from which Cara Mia and the Eurodance-tastic Dadaday are taken. The former is perhaps a little subdued, but it's a slow-burner that will soon weedle it's way into your head. Also, the artwork is quite something.

Listen: 'Endless Vacation' is released on October 16th.



Alexx Mack - Sunglasses


Alexx Mack - Sunglasses

Another artist with a new EP out is L.A's Alexx Mack - 'Like We're Famous' is out today. Sunglasses is the lead single, a sugary rush of synths and earworms, but its 80s electro sound is given a funkier spin on Bad and Retro Romance. From these tracks, let's hope Mack becomes more Gaga-superstar and less Betty-Who-fade-into-obscurity.

Listen: 'Like We're Famous' is out now.





The 1975 - Love Me

The 1975 - Love Me

Love Me sounds more like a Red Hot Chili Peppers track from 1995 than the work of Manchester's The 1975. Yet this is the sound of the band taking a risk, their jangling funk guitars now sounding abrasive against horn stabs and electronic wobbles in a stark soundscape. It stomps, it wails and it's all sorts of brilliant.

Listen: Love Me is out now.




Anna Of The North - The Dreamer

Anna Of The North - The Dreamer

'The North' in question is, of course, Scandinavia (Norway specifically). And as the title suggests, this is dreamy, evocative and atmospheric. That may just seem like typical Scandi-pop, but once the beat kicks in the pulse quickens into spine-tingling thrills. "It's not about you anymore" she chants, gaining uplifting strength with each repetition.

Listen: The Dreamer is out now.