The Drop: Your Guide To New Music Friday Featuring Grace, MØ & Allie X
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 might have heard OneRepublic’s “Wherever I Go” and possibly checked out Ariana Grande’s “Everyday.” But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
It’s been a particularly good week for pop’s new wave of female artists. Australia’s Grace follows up breakthrough single “You Don’t Own Me” (watch it soar up the Billboard Hot 100 in the next few weeks) with another retro-soul anthem called “Hell Of A Girl.” It’s an obscenely catchy break-up anthem that promises big things for her debut LP. Another diva backing up a smash is MØ. The Dane landed the song of last summer as the voice of Major Lazer’s “Lean On,” but could have a hit of her own with tropical-tinged synth-pop gem “Final Song.”
Next up is the extraordinary Allie X, who is yet to release a less-than-perfect pop song. “Too Much To Dream,” the latest taste of CollXtion II, is a soaring ode to daydreamers and outsiders. If you haven’t delved into the Canadian’s discography yet, this is the perfect starting point. Speaking of flawless pop queens, “Never Forget You” hitmaker Zara Larsson lends her vocals to David Guetta’s Euro 2016 anthem, “This One’s For You”. It’s a massive club-banger with a bone-rattling drop and serious radio appeal. She is on one hell of a roll and this should only add to her momentum.
While the leading ladies of pop are on fire this week, the guys are holding their own. Jon Bellion finally gets around to releasing “All Time Low” today (you get it as an instant download when you pre-order his debut LP). With its relatable lyrics, soulful vocals and wonky synths, it’s no surprised that the viral track has already racked up 20 million+ streams. Another must-hear is Gemini’s (real name Thomas Slinger) cosmic “Do It For Love,” which effortlessly combines strings and dreamy synths to create the perfect chill-out anthem. Looking for something a little harder? Sebastian Ingrosso’s “Dark River” starts out like an Avicii track before the gnarly drop kicks in and things get decidedly twisted. This club monster is just catchy enough to crossover.
A number of new artists also made their presence felt this week. New Zealand newcomer Chelsea Jade leads the field with beautifully understated electro-anthem “Colour Sum.” Keep an eye/ear out for her. The new tunes are equally good cross the Tasman Sea in Australia. Producer Just A Gent teams up with Melbourne diva Melissa Ramsay for lovetronica (his term) bop “Loaded.” UK singer/songwriter Sody is only 15, but she’s already generating serious hype in the UK. It’s no wonder given the quality of “Wasted Youth,” a collaboration with Martin Luke Brown. She describes it as a power ballad with demented electronic production, and I think that sounds about right.
Hunting for something a little quirkier? Dawn Richard (now simply D∆WN) has been on a tear recently, dropping new content on a near-weekly basis. She returns with “Wake Up,” the lead single from her third LP, and it’s a boldly experimental dance anthem that confirms her status as the queen of avant-garde electro-pop. Speaking of experimental, South African weirdos Die Antwoord have a new track called “Dazed & Confused” — featuring God, no less — and it’s every bit as weird and wonderful as you would expect from them. Listen my New Music Friday playlist below.