The Drop: Your Guide To New Music Friday Featuring Annabel Jones, Kissy, Laurel & Tsörf
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 Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop The Feeling” and probably heard Ariana Grande’s “Into You.” But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
It’s a particularly good week for lovers of bittersweet synth-pop. Annabel Jones opted for sassy over sad on “IOU,” the lead single from debut EP Libelle (out today), but she’s knee-deep in feelings on the ironically-titled “Happy.” This is easily my favorite track from the buzzed-about Brit to date. Prince Fox and Hailee Steinfeld are in a similar state of mind on “Fragile.” The delicate electro-anthem proves there’s more to the singer/actress than masturbation-themed bangers.
Still feeling emotional but not into synth-pop? I got you. Laurel first landed on my radar in March with the angsty “Life Worth Living.” She’s even moodier on the brooding, cinematic “San Francisco,” which sounds like a cross between early Chris Isaak and Ultraviolence-era Lana Del Rey. UK alt-pop outfit Anteros are similarly downhearted on “Blue” — a track they describe as “a cocktail of gin, depression and falling in love at the worst possible time.” Equally pained is Cobi, who sings about regret and accountability on “Darker Than Dawn.” The surprisingly catchy song reminds me of ’90s R.E.M..
After wading through all that downbeat-pop, you’re probably in the mood for something a little more upbeat. Kissy (real name Sasha Ortiz) leads the charge with “Killer Vibes” — a windows-down, summery lo-fi pop anthem that sounds like something Haim might cook up if they moved to Brooklyn, the Texas singer’s new base. Tiggi Hawke’s debut single “In The Wild” is gentler but every bit as euphoric. Think Ellie Goulding in a piano bar.
If you’re really in the mood to turn up, look no further than Danny L Harle’s freestyle-flavored “Ashes Of Love.” Featuring the airy pipes of Chairlift singer Caroline Polacheck, this is an intricately-layered banger with a massive chorus. While the London producer’s latest is a viral hit in waiting, Amsterdam duo The Him have already racked up millions of streams with “Feels Like Home.” The dreamy anthem gets an official release today and should proceed to cause considerable chart damage with that gnarly drop.
Looking for something a little calmer? There’s no better time to get acquainted with New Zealand’s Tsörf. The mysterious singer/songwriter made a splash with debut single “Can I Be Close 2U?” in 2015 and she follows it up with another chill-pop gem called “Know The Light.” At this rate, her debut EP is shaping up to be something special. The same could be said of Paperwhite’s debut album. They impress again with the airy, watercolor-pop of “Wanderlust,” the latest in a long line of very good singles. Last but not least is the ever-reliable Yuna, who teases 5th LP Chapters with shimmery electro-R&B anthem “Lanes.” Listen to it in our Spotify playlist below.