Pop Goes The World: Globetrot With Oh Land, Margaret Berger, Sinead Harnett, Lancelot & Kate Boy
Ahoy! Let’s go around the world, shall we? As per usual in this week’s round-up of Pop Goes the World, I’ve lassoed some Scandinavians (no surprise there) — the lovely Oh Land from Denmark, Eurovision contestant Margaret Berger (spoiler alert: she didn’t win; spoiler alert 2: she’s amazing) and Swedish alt-popsters Kate Boy — as well as the ultra-hip Sinead Harnett (via the UK) and an Australian DJ named Lancelot who’s positively royal.
Passports out? Cool. Let’s do it.
Oh Land, “Renaissance Girls”
Fans of Robynesque Scandipop are probably already familiar with Denmark’s Oh Land — her single “White Nights” was even on Girls! — and her sound is sharper than ever on her new single “Renaissance Girls,” which feels more whimsical than her earlier work; there’s even something about it that evokes Marina and the Diamonds. Either way, it’s really good. Come along, if you will.
Margaret Berger, “I Feed You My Love”
Oh man, what a song this is! Norway’s Eurovision entry, courtesy of Margaret Berger (who’s released some killer tunes in her native land but had never crossed over internationally prior to this song), is aggressive and ferocious, with a chorus that’s huge and loud. Penned by Karin Park (herself a star in Sweden), it’s a gloriously pummeling pop track that’s as weird as it is infectious. Replay it over and over again. You probably won’t have a choice.
Sinead Harnett, “Got Me”
To file alongside Mutya Keisha Siobhan and Katy B: UK chanteuse Sinead Harnett has teamed up with Rudimental and MNEK on big collabs in the past, but her solo effort, “Got Me,” is more a gloomy slow burner that hinges on a bouncy house beat. Her vocals are emotive, with lots of lovely quivering (it’s eerie how much she sounds like Siobhan Donaghy), and the production is modern in the way modern things sound right now: That is, it’s gorgeously ’90s.
Kate Boy, “The Way We Are”
If done right, Kate Boy could be to brilliant Swedish pop duos in 2013 what Icona Pop was to 2012. The way that bass thuds is ingeniously animalistic, and the dark sensibility of the production evokes The Knife at their poppier — but no matter how alt it skews, there’s a pop songcraft that shines on the chorus: That “The way we are” hook could only be Swedish.
Lancelot, “You’ll Never Be Mine”
Australian producer Lancelot is doing exceptional things on his new two-track EP (which is just a single, I think), You’ll Never Be Mine — and the title track, which features a well-utilized sample of SOS Band’s “Just Be Good to Me,” is the type of trippy disco number that’s kinda chilled-out (in a Fred Falke sort of way) but too engaging to be straight-up lounge music. Fans of Daft Punk will find much to be excited by here — I certainly did.