Pop Goes The World: Pop Off With Adelen, 4Minute, Hayden James, Emmelie De Forest, Alex Metric & Jacques Lu Cont
Well, it’s been a minute, but we’re back with an all-new issue of Pop Goes The World, where I scour the globe (i.e., blogs written by other people in other countries) to bring you the best pop that’s popping up across the globe. Don’t call me a hero. I’m just doing my job.
This week, there’s a Spanish-Norwegian songbird giving me turn-of-the-millennium Mandy Moore realness, an irresistible K-pop girl group, the biggest dance record of the summer courtesy of Britain and Sweden (seriously!), an Australian producer who’s out-Daft Punk-ing Daft Punk and a Eurovision superstar with a subtle new single.
Adelen — “Baila Conmigo”
Norwegian-Spanish songbird Adelen launched in a big way with her huge club banger “Bomba,” and this Spanish-flavored Scandipop nugget has the same character. (Isn’t this exactly the type of thing that Jennifer Lopez should be singing right now?) The chorus is just nothing short of enormous. Penned by Ask Embla chanteuse Ina Wroldsen (whose voice sounds eerily similar to Adelen’s here), the pop songcraft is bulletproof. Get thee to Ibiza with the quickness. The party’s here.
4Minute — “Is It Poppin’?”
I’ve been sleeping on K-pop five-piece girl group 4Minute, partial as I am to the charms of 2NE1 and Girls’ Generation, but 4Minute are coming for the throne with “Is It Poppin’?”, a single so bright, breezy and sparkly it’s the sonic equivalent to a summer spritzer. English language purists need not fear: While much of the song is sung in Korean, there’s enough shout-along English bits (“G-g-goin’ crazy!”) that you won’t just be humming unintelligibly (as I tend to do with K-pop), and dang it if this video isn’t just the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
Alex Metric & Jacques Lu Cont — “Safe With You” (feat. Malin)
There are a lot of big dance tracks with cool female vocal performances hitting the clurb this summer, but “Safe With You” is a rare beast: Coming courtesy of British producers Alex Metric and Jacques Lu Cont (better known as producer Stuart Price to most), with vocals from Niki and the Dove songstress Malin, the song’s pummeling synths and euphoric melody make it a standout dance record in a sea of four-on-the-floor trash. Like Lucas Nord and Tove Lo‘s gorgeous “Run On Love,” it’s a twee-voiced Swedish songbird delivering sharp hooks over glistening house beats. I’m not going to argue.
Hayden James — “Permission To Love”
Hayden James was new to me as of this track, but there’s much to love here: “Permission To Love” is a groovy, lounge-y dance track from the Sydney-based producer that sits somewhere between Chromeo and Daft Punk on the cool-dance spectrum. It’s sexy and percussive but curiously effortless, a breath of fresh air amidst so much try-hard chill disco.
Emmelie De Forest — “Hunter & Prey”
Danish pop star Emmelie De Forest managed to win Eurovision this year with her single “Only Teardrops,” but that song wasn’t my favorite track of the competition — c’mon, Margaret Berger! That said, her follow-up effort “Hunter & Prey” surges and roars propulsively in exactly the right way — like Laura Jansen‘s “Golden” from a week past, it’s an epic in miniature.