The Drop: Your Guide To New Music Friday Featuring Phoebe Ryan, Anne-Marie & Jessica Sanchez
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 Celine Dion’s cover of “Show Must Go On” and possibly checked out Bea Miller’s new single, “Yes Girl.” But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
As usual, female artists lead the charge with sparkling new pop from Phoebe Ryan and Anne-Marie. The “Mine” singer finds herself in the grips of lovesickness on the feverish “Boyz N Poizn.” It’s more accessible than the songs on her killer debut EP, but every bit as acerbic. As for the rising Essex hitmaker? She comes for blood on “Alarm.” The follow-up to bass-heavy breakthrough hit “Do It Right” is a brilliant banger with an atomic chorus. Play it loud.
Another Brit to keep an eye/ear on is 17-year-old Liv Dawson, who makes a great first impression with “Tapestry.” The quality of her voice is palpable and there’s an understated soulfulness to her debut single that reeks of promise. Speaking of singers with golden voices, Jessica Sanchez reminds us why she won our hearts on American Idol with “Call Me.” This a sleek and sexy new sound for the very underrated diva.
It goes without saying at this point that some of the week’s best pop product hails from Scandinavia. Swedish newcomer ISA, who made waves with Melodifestivalen entry “I Will Wait,” enchants with R&B-tinged pop anthem “Ego.” She reminds me of a slightly edgier Zara Larsson, which is obviously a good thing. Across the border in Norway, Heidi Musum takes a softer approach on introspective pop anthem “Do You See.” She was recently signed to TEN Music Group, so expect to hear a lot more from her very soon.
While it was a great week for the ladies, the guys held their own. Dutch duo Klyne deliver soulful electro of the highest caliber with “Don’t Stop.” On the strength of this, easy to see why a cloud of hype is gathering around them. The same goes for rising Brit Huntar, who recently landed a viral hit with “SK1N.” His latest alt-R&B experiment, “4AM”, is every bit as intoxicating. If progressive soul is your poison, Brandyn Burnette drops his second excellent single in a row with “Karma.”
It’s also been a good week for pop(-friendly) outfits. The Temper Trap return to the widescreen, atmospheric rock of their debut LP on “Burn” and deliver their best single since “Sweet Disposition” — one of the best alt-crossover hits of the ’00s. Sweden’s Superwalkers come at pop from a very different angle on their dreamy “Lost (As I Am),” which sounds a Jacques Lu Cont remix of your favorite ’80s pop song – in other words, exquisite. M.O might have a terrible name (for so many reasons), but they exceed expectations on sassy, tropical-tinged gem “Who Do You Think Of.” A rebrand and more music, please.
In the mood to dance? I got you. British/Australian duo MAIZE, who made a name for themselves with a string of killer remixes, follow up the excellent “Remember To Lose” with moody electro-anthem “Out To Find Love.” If you love bittersweet, female-voiced house this is for you. As is Kaskade’s latest. He teams up with Felix Cartal and rising singer/songwriter Ofelia K for the very, very good “Fakin’ It.” This track is further proof that dance sub-genres have all but been erased, leaving artists free to do whatever the hell they want.
Last but not least is Swedish electro-punk newcomer Rein. I don’t know a lot about this diva, but “I Don’t Get Anything But Shit From You” is the ballsiest (not really but kind of) pop anthem I’ve heard this week. The switchblade-carrying babe basically screams about all the things she hates for three minutes over industrial dance beats. I’m in love! Listen to her poetic anthem in our playlist of the week’s best new tracks below.