The Drop: Your Guide To New Music Friday Featuring Cash Cash & Alice Merton
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 avoid that tragic scenario with The Drop — a cheat sheet of sorts to get you through New Music Friday. By now, you have surely succumbed to the country-disco bliss of Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus’ “Nothing Breaks Like A Heart” and hopefully checked out Christian Lalama’s surprisingly great “FrFr.” But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Let’s start with the week’s best bangers. New Jersey trio Cash Cash hasn’t cracked the Billboard Hot 100 since 2013’s Bebe Rexha-launching “Take Me Home,” but that’s about to change. The production outfit teams up with Nasri (of MAGIC! fame) for a euphoric, emotion-drenched dance anthem called “Call You.” It sounds like a hit. The same goes for Cheat Codes’ latest single. The LA-based hitmakers join forces with Kim Petras on “Feeling Of Falling,” and it turns out to be a match made in dance-pop heaven. Play it loud.
Next up is a pair of LA-based producers with a knack for producing atmospheric, expansive electronica. Gryffin is something of a regular on The Drop, but “Bye Bye” might be his best single yet. A collaboration with rising Aussie pop star Ivy Adara (I’m still obsessed with her Intraduction EP), this has serious crossover potential. Shallou opts for a sparser, more stripped-back sound on the icily beautiful “count on.” This is less pop-adjacent, but is destined to find a lot of love in the weird and wonderful world of chill EDM.
As usual, female artists dominate New Music Friday (not that you could tell by Spotify’s dude-centric playlist). Sasha Sloan leads the way with “Again,” one of the new songs on her magnificent Loser EP. The singer/songwriter is yet to put a foot wrong — a trend that continues on this heartstrings-yanking breakup anthem. I need a whole fucking album. That also applies to Germany’s Alice Merton. She broke big earlier this year with “No Roots” and cemented her status as One To Watch with a similarly-titled EP. The 25-year-old now returns with a new single called “Funny Business,” which is catchy enough to be another global hit.
The UK was particularly good to us this week with a bunch of Brits churning out top-notch pop. I’m delighted to see my old friend Katy Tiz (you will remember her from “The Big Bang” and “Whistle”) back in the mix. She switches it up on “Life” — a stripped-back, acoustic duet with singer/songwriter Ed Drewett. It’s the perfect soundtrack for a sunny Sunday afternoon. Gabrielle Aplin’s “My Mistake,” on the other hand, is more suited to late-night, solitary listening. The “Please Don’t Say You Love Me” singer bares her heart on this tender piano ballad, letting the feelings flow.
Slightly more upbeat is Charlotte OC’s “Satellite.” The Lancashire-born singer/songwriter won my heart with 2017’s Careless People LP (“Shell” is still that song) and she blesses New Music Friday with another exquisitely-wrought, soulful synth-kissed anthem via new label, Neon Gold. It’s good to have her back. Another Brit with an epic new tune is Nina Nesbitt. The 24-year-old is having a breakout year with viral hits “Somebody Special” and “Loyal To Me.” She might just land a third with “Colder,” the latest withering bop to escape her pen.
One of the most enjoyable things about New Music Friday is the opportunity to discover music from all over the globe. Australia’s Odette first appeared on my radar earlier this year with the soulful, addictive “Take It To The Heart.” Since then, she has continued to impress with songs from debut LP To A Stranger (due February 8), but takes it up a notch on the wistful “A Place That I Don’t Know” — a duet with fellow Aussie newcomer Gretta Ray. Keep an eye on them both. Moving on to Romania, INNA continues to teases songs from her first Spanish-language album. And, as expected, the self-penned “Iguana” is one hell of a bop.
A couple of fellas also made their presence felt this week. Leland’s massive 2018 continues with the impressively-restrained electro-pop of “Middle Of A Heartbreak.” After penning hits for Troye Sivan, Charli XCX, Ariana Grande and many others, it’s about time he had one of his own. And this could well be it. Another queer artist breaking the mold of what a pop star should look and sound like is Calum Scott. The deluxe edition of his Only Human album arrives today and the relatable “Need To Know” is the standout of the new tracks.
Let’s wind up with a couple of festive anthems. K-Pop queen Tiffany Young brings a little loving to the season with her playful “Peppermint.” After launching her US campaign with “Over My Skin,” the Girls’ Generation singer has become more confident and convincing with each release. Another Christmas tune well worth your $1.29 is Wrabel’s “First Winter.” This stripped-back, ukulele-driven love song is a real charmer. Check it out in my playlist below.