The Drop: Your Guide To New Music Friday Starring Terror Jr, OKENYO & Andie Case
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 circumvent that tragic scenario with a new feature called The Drop — a cheat sheet (of sorts) to get you through New Music Friday. By now you’ve probably checked out Calvin Harris & Rihanna’s “This Is What You Came For” and hopefully given Zedd & Kesha’s emotional “True Colors” a spin. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
If you’re looking for a sickly sweet pop treat, there’s no better place to start than Terror Jr’s “Sugar.” The outrageously catchy banger sounds like Kiiara (with severe hyperglycemia) by way of PC Music. Which shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise given that two thirds of the trio (Felix Snow and Campa) produced the her breakthrough hit, “Gold.” Slightly less demented, but every bit as good, is OKENYO’s serotonin-raising electro-experiment “10 Feet Tall.” The Australian singer serves sparse synths, intricate rhythms and a soaring chorus on one of the year’s better debut singles.
While it’s a great week for emerging talent, a couple of familiar faces dropped new music. Estonian bubblegoth goddess Kerli shows admirable restraint on delicate synth-ballad “Blossom,” while Hannah Georgas explores dark themes on the achingly beautiful “Don’t Go.”
Looking for something a little more upbeat? Kyla La Grange takes another step on her journey from folk singer to fabulous pop diva on “Hummingbird” — an shimmery synth-pop song with a suitably epic chorus. Speaking of instant hum-ability (I know that’s not a real word), Ingrid Michaelson teases her seventh LP with irresistible lead single “Hell No.” This picks up where 2014 hit “Girls Chase Boys” left off. With a sing-along chorus and hugely relatable lyrics. Those qualities also shine through on Andie Case’s ruthlessly catchy “Coming Around.” Look for her to be the next YouTube star to make the leap to pop stardom.
As usual, some of the week’s best new pop hails from the UK. The always-brilliant Izzy Bizu, who recently lent her honey-dipped vocals to Honne’s “Someone That Loves You,” throws us a curve ball by covering Inner Circle’s 1993 smash “Sweat (A La La La La Long).” The X-rated (when you pay attention to the lyrics) bop transforms into a smooth lullaby in her capable hands, which is nothing short of an act of alchemy. Also releasing new music this week is UK soul legend Beverley Knight. Her latest album is inspired by the rich musical history of Memphis and it’s shaping up to be a real return to form if excellent lead single “Middle Of Love” is any indication.
While female artists dominate The Drop again this week, a couple of fellas hold their own. Let’s start with Greyson Chance. (Yes, the kid from The Ellen DeGeneres Show). He’s now 18-years-old and is making very good music. “Back On The Wall” begins soulfully, before taking an unexpected turn into ’80s synth-pop. Coleman Hell also defies genre expectations on “Fireproof,” which proves the success of viral smash “2 Heads” was no fluke.