The Drop: Your Guide To New Music Friday Featuring Phoebe Ryan, Maty Noyes & Tor Miller
Fridays can be overwhelming for pop fans. Every week you’re bombarded with a glut of new music, which can lead to ear candy falling through the cracks. I’m hoping to circumvent that tragic scenario with a feature called The Drop — a cheat sheet (of sorts) to get you through New Music Friday. By now, you’ve probably heard Jennifer Lopez and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s iTunes-conquering charity single “Love Make The World Go Round” and possibly bopped along to John Newman’s “Olé,” which may or may not shade Taylor Swift (it was written and produced by Calvin Harris). But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Let’s start with a trio of rising female pop stars. Maty Noyes seemingly came out of nowhere to land a feature on The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind The Madness closer “Angel” last year and then backed it with a handful of killer buzz tracks (not to mention a massive Kygo collaboration). The 18-year-old returns today with “In My Mind” — a brooding mid-tempo pop song with intricate production and a deceptively catchy chorus. You’ll be hooked after the second listen! Next up is Phoebe Ryan, who is turning into something of a regular on The Drop. She follows up “Boyz N Poizn” with “Dollar Bill,” which finds the singer/songwriter nudging into hip-hop/pop territory with a little help from Kid Ink. It’s smart, inspiring and very radio-friendly. And then there’s the ever-brilliant Allie X, who continues her run of impeccable pop releases with “All The Rage.” Bring on CollXtion II!
It’s also a pretty good week for underground, pop(-adjacent) divas. Brooke Candy releases another impressive single from debut LP, Daddy Issues. She has been slowly moving away from the twisted white-girl rap of “Opulence” in favor of moody electro-pop songs like “Nasty” and “Happy Days.” Her latest, “Paper Or Plastic,” is an unusually restrained mid-tempo groove that showcases her versatility. A quality Neon Hitch has in spades. I feel like she’s dabbled in every pop sub-genre since arriving in 2011 with the still-brilliant “Get Over U.” The Brit doesn’t quite match those heights on “Please”, which sounds more like a mood-setting buzz track, but it promises good things for her long-overdue debut LP.
Neon Hitch isn’t the only rebellious Brit with a hot track. The Drop favorite GIRLI returns with another bitingly sarcastic tune. Like “Girls Get Angry Too” and “Too Much Fun,” “It Was My Party” is another sing/talk gem with an unexpectedly epic chorus. At this rate, she could just bundle her buzz tracks together and release one of the year’s better EPs. Need more pop mayhem from the UK? Pillow Person, the amazing pseudonym of Hot Chip drummer Sarah Jones, experiments with bubbly PC Music beats on “Go Ahead.” It’s an auspicious debut.
While the ladies had a banner week, a couple of gents held their own. The Fault In Their Stars actor Ansel Elgort kicks off his pop career with the surprisingly not-awful “Home Alone.” The self-produced anthem is an emotional future-bass banger with a giant drop and sing-along chorus. Jacob Whitesides takes a decidedly different approach on “Focus,” the low-key lead single from debut LP Why?. It’s perfectly-executed guitar-pop with an emotional vocal and memorable chorus. The obvious comparison is Shawn Mendes, but this is good enough to stand on its own.
If you like your dudes a little edgier, New York-based singer/songwriter Tor Miller continues to impress with new single “Always.” The second taste of debut LP American English sounds like a cross between Talking Heads and James Bay. Which is a surprisingly good thing. Another act taking inspiration from the ’80s is Clean Cut Kid — a four-piece band from the UK, who give WALK THE MOON a run for their money in the synth-driven rock/pop stakes with “We Used To Be In Love.” I want to hear more from them.
In the mood to turn up? Look no further than Thomas Jack’s killer collaboration with teenage dance queen Jasmine Thompson (Felix Jaehn’s “Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better)” and Robin Schulz’s “Sun Goes Down”). They serve pop-centric, club-friendly vibes on tropical-tinged “Rise Up.” Miami DJs/producers GTA also deliver a perfect weekend anthem with new single “Get It All,” which defies easy categorization into a dance sub-genre. How about a throwback? Rising latin star Momo samples C&C Music Factory’s “Boriqua Anthem” on the irresistible “Si Tu Boquita.” This bound to get your feet moving. Check it out in my playlist below.