Pop Goes The World: Pop Off With Broods, Frida Sundemo, Avec Sans, Ballet School & Josef Salvat
Ahoy! It’s a brand new day for Pop Goes The World, which is headed on a major sonic expedition this week: There’s new pop headed your way out of New Zealand (courtesy of Lorde‘s producer, no less), a Robyn-esque tune from Sweden, London synthpop, a Berlin trio channeling early Madonna, and a new Australian crooner who’s definitely one to watch.
With global pop this good, give me one good reason to buy American.
Check them all out below.
Broods — “Bridges”
Alt-pop duo Broods (born Caleb & Georgia Nott) have more than a few things in common with Lorde: They’re from New Zealand, they worked with producer Joel Little (who helmed Pure Heroine), and Nott even sounds like her, a little bit, with high, haunting vocals. But those comparisons aside, it’s equally deserving of praise: “And we’re burning all the bridges now” makes a hook every bit as infectious as “We’ll never be royals,” and the rich production trades sparsity for vibrancy. (The video’s pretty, too.)
Frida Sundemo — “A Million Years”
Comparisons to Robyn and Lykke Li come immediately with Sweden’s Frida Sundemo, the latest in a long line of icy Nordic songbirds making perfect electropop tunes with a sublime mix of euphoria and melancholy. The pulsating beat and pristine production provide an excellent frame for that chorus melody — “Oh, I could stay for a million years!” she sings — and it’s no surprise that Sundemo has been touring with Charli XCX, since they share a glorious pop sensibility, captured wonderfully on this, “A Million Years,” for which Sundemo just unveiled a video. Sweden remains on top.
Avec Sans — “Shiver”
London-based duo Avec Sans (otherwise known as vocalist Alex Fox and synth dude Jack St. James) have generated a lot of buzz with their new single “Shiver,” which manages to be both bubbly and icy — like shades of CHVRCHES but even fizzier, and crystalline with those synths and high, lovely vocals. The glitchy middle eight is just an added bonus. They’re now a few singles in with this project, and the tunes just keep getting better.
Ballet School — “Crush”
Berlin trio Ballet School have been making delicate synthpop numbers all year long, but this was their first song to really grab my attention — and it really is a winner. It’s sparkly and spunky, evoking — at once — ’80s Madonna and HAIM and The Cocteau Twins in a gorgeous, joyful little pastiche. Also, there’s enough blue hair in this video to make even MS MR jealous. Not a bad thing.
Josef Salvat — “Every Night”
Australia-by-way-of-London singer-songwriter Josef Salvat generated some major buzz earlier this year, but it’s his new song “Every Night” that’s particularly commanding to these ears: With vocals that evoke Morissey and a sort of gloomy faux-doo-wop vibe permeating the track, there’s a lovely, twangy chorus with nice falsetto that contrasts with the husky verses. It doesn’t sound like much else out there, and that’s probably why it’s so great.
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