Pop Goes The World: Electric Lady Lab, Helena Paparizou, A*M*E, KT Tunstall, HAERTS

Sam Lansky | May 27, 2013 6:30 am

Another week, another round of Pop Goes the World, where I travel the globe (from the comfort of my New York office, obviously) to bring you the best tunes that are, well, popping around the world. Down with nationalism! Up with globalization! Whatever.

This week, there’s some fresh Danish electropop, a Greek-Swedish superstar with a rollicking big comeback single, the next Nicki Minaj (maybe), an unexpected downtempo delight from a name you already know, and a Brooklyn pop collective with German roots. All aboard!

Electric Lady Lab, “Touch Me”

Danish duo Electric Lady Lab had one of my favorite singles of 2011 with the swirling, luminous “Touch Me,” and they’re back with a new tune, “Broken Mirrors,” that’s almost as good. (Almost — I could do without the disposable Sukker Lyn rap, but that’s a minor quibble.) A high-pitched squeak of a sample (think Kanye West‘s “Through the Wire”) plus a skittering beat that evokes Icona Pop‘s “Manners,” accompanied by an appealingly weird video, makes it a hit. In Denmark, at least.

Helena Paparizou “Save Me (This Is An SOS)”

Oh my God. This song. So it’s the new single from Greek-Swedish icon Helena Paparizou (she’s big in Europe, just go with it), and everything about it is just a triumph: That twangy instrumentation and tribal beat; the obliteratingly massive chorus; the fact that it sounds like a huge Shakira single produced by RedOne at his peak, with a dash of Jennifer Lopez‘s “On the Floor,” plus an anonymous Ibiza dancefloor banger you fist-pump to at two a.m. Bring this stateside, please.

A*M*E, “Heartless”

A*M*E has been about to pop for a minute — see her excellent video for “Play the Game Boy” for more — but “Heartless” is a big proper pop smash that sounds like Nicki Minaj at her poppiest, a huge filtered chorus and this brilliant hook: “Don’t you leave me in the darkness / No, don’t you be so heartless.” As long as it’s managed right, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which this would not snag A*M*E a UK smash, if not a global one. Remixes from MNEK (amazing) and Fear of Tigers certainly don’t hurt.

KT Tunstall, “Feel It All”

Rediscover KT Tunstall, who got unfairly relegated to the annals of adult-contemporary pop-rock flash-in-the-pan history with “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” and “Suddenly I See” — but yikes, her new song “Feel It All” from her upcoming LP Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon is a rare gem. Organic and classic-sounding, with jazzy instrumentation that creates a folksy alt-country mood, it’s a gorgeous slice of (however ironically) Americana.

HAERTS, “All the Days”

I’m cheating a little bit here, since HAERTS are based out of Brooklyn — but they call themselves an “international collective” and they’re at least part German, so it counts. Anyway, who cares: Their new single “All the Days,” produced by St. Lucia, roars and surges and twinkles, with lead singer Nina Fabi‘s haunting vocal floating in and out under waves of ’80s instrumentation. You just have to hear it.

What’s your favorite song from Pop Goes the World? Sound off in the comments, then tell us on Facebook and Twitter.