The Drop: Your Guide To New Music Friday Featuring Sigrid & Kim Petras
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 The Drop — a cheat sheet (of sorts) to get you through New Music Friday. By now, you have probably heard Eminem and Beyonce’s introspective “Walk On Water” and possibly checked out Taylor Swift’s polarizing Reputation album. But that’s still just the tip of the iceberg.
Let’s start with a trio of female artists that specialize in bops. Sigrid established herself as one of the breakout artists of 2017 with viral hit “Don’t Kill My Vibe.” The Norwegian diva returns with “Strangers” and, if anything, it’s an even more explosive pop moment. This is her best song to date. That also applies to LPX’s “Slide.” The MS MR singer got her solo project off to a flying start with “Tightrope” and “Tremble,” but this is a bigger song with much wider appeal. That takes us to Kim Petras, who is generating all kinds of buzz with the outrageous “I Don’t Want It At All.” She switches it up with “Slow It Down,” a slinky mid-tempo anthem.
Next up is pop’s greatest pairing. Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull don’t have a new song together (unfortunately), but they both grace New Music Friday with potential hits. Let’s start with J.Lo. The ultimate triple-threat has a crossover sensation on her hands with the Wisin-assisted “Amor Amor Amor” — a song that gets lodged in your brain from the first listen. Mr Worldwide can relate. He teams up with The Stereotypes, the producers behind Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” and “That’s What I Like,” for “Jungle.” It’s a funk-heavy banger with a monster chorus.
Need a fix of gloomy indie-pop? Look no further than Bastille’s “World Gone Mad.” The first single taken from the Bright soundtrack is miserable, epic and timely in equal parts. This could follow the UK band’s still-great “Pompeii” to the top of the charts. Less political but equally glum is Pale Waves’ “New Year’s Eve.” The Manchester quartet’s debut single, “There’s A Honey,” is one of my favorite songs of the year and this isn’t far behind. Who can’t relate to anthem about spending the year’s designated party night alone and miserable?
While new music from the UK is steeped in darkness, there’s a lighter vibe emanating from the Southern Hemisphere. Since landing a worldwide number one hit with Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know,” New Zealand’s Kimbra has veered further and further away from the mainstream. She returns with a typically quirky bop called “Top Of The World.” The multi-layered, chant-heavy song was co-produced by Skrillex. Equally enchanting is Empire Of The Sun’s “On Our Way Home.” The rejuvenated Aussie duo do dreamy electro-pop better than anyone as they prove yet again on their catchiest single since “Walking On A Dream.”
How about new music from two of pop’s proven party-starters? Jason Derulo follows up global hit “Swalla” with “Tip Toe.” As usual, the 28-year-old delivers an atomic club anthem with sexy lyrics and obscenely catchy hooks. It also boasts a feature from French Montana, who pulls double duty this week on Taio Cruz’s “Row The Body.” The disappearance of Brit after landing major worldwide hits like “Dynamite” and “Break Your Heart” is one of pop’s biggest mysteries, but he’s on the right track for a comeback with this furious banger.
Sam Martin takes a very different approach on “It’s Gonna Get Better.” The songwriter, who has penned hits for everybody from The Chainsmokers to Maroon 5, is now focussing on an artist project. Given his regular collaborations with David Guetta, you would be forgiven for expecting a club song, but his latest is actually a soaring ballad. Noah Kahan takes a similarly introspective on “Hurt Somebody”… well, on the original version. The acoustic track has been lovingly overhauled by Matoma and it now floats along on fluffy dance beats. It’s one of those weird genre clashes that just works.
Let’s wind up some bangers to ease you into the weekend. Austin Mahone teams up with UK producer Codeko for catchy house anthem “Say Hi,” while Oliver Nelson joins forces with Australian hitmaker Guy Sebastian for the soaring “Feel Alright.” Another Aussie with a killer club collaboration is Conrad Sewell. The “Firestone” singer lends his soulful pipes to Cedric Gervais’ furious floorfiller, “Higher.” Listen to it in my playlist below.