The Drop: Your Guide To New Music Friday Featuring Aura, Faarrow & Elias
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 heard Usher’s “Crash” and might have delved into the soulful pop of Nick Jonas’ Last Year Was Complicated album. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Pop siblings have been unusually prolific this week. The Veronicas cement their status as one of pop’s most consistently great duos with dreamy new track “In My Blood.” The Aussie twins eschew their usual pop/rock sound in favor of melodic deep-house and deliver one of their best singles to date. Across the Tasman, Kiwi brother/sister combo Broods tease sophomore LP, Conscious, with “Heartlines.” Co-written by Lorde, the carefully-crafted synth-pop anthem is a sweeping and cinematic affair. And then there’s Jesse & Joy — brother/sister superstars hailing from Mexico. They are angling for an English-language hit with “Echoes Of Love” — a gorgeous ballad with blanket-soft production and a heartstrings-tugging chorus.
As usual, some of the week’s best pop comes from Scandinavia. Swedish buzz artist Elias leads the field with dual singles “Down N Out” and “Makin Me Happy.” The former is a particularly glorious hybrid of twisted electro and rich, multi-layered soul. Signed to TEN Music Group (the home of Zara Larsson and Icona Pop), Benjamin Ingrosso takes a more straightforward approach on summery make-up single “Love You Again.” This week also marks the return of Danish diva Aura Dione, who landed a massive European hit with “Geronimo” in 2011. She drops her last name and swaps earthy, organic-pop for slinky, tropical-tinged house on ridiculously catchy “Love Somebody.”
While Scandinavia continues to roll out amazing pop stars at an alarming rate, the UK remains Europe’s production hot spot. London duo Kingdm, who previously appeared on The Drop with Kevin Garrett collaboration “Baby,” impress again with “Say It Again” — a melodic, mid-tempo piano ballad with unexpected splashes of tribal house. Looking for something a little more upbeat for the weekend? Toyboy & Robin team up with Finnli for very good garage-tinged banger “Can’t Love Me,” while Jaded’s “4000Hz” is a weird and wonderful electronic adventure that gnawed its way into my brain after the first listen.
Now for the homegrown tunes. The buzz around New York dark-pop diva Dominique will continue to grow with new single, “Good Girl.” It’s a breathy, atmospheric anthem that promises good things for her debut EP. Miami’s Teenear falls somewhere between Tinashe and Cassie on summery single “Streetlights” (obviously a good thing) and Toronto duo Faarrow make an auspicious debut with “Lost” — a defiant, soaring anthem with a massive chorus and world music twist that pays tribute to their Somali heritage. Keep an eye on these ladies.
Hannah Jane Lewis follows up debut single “Why Start A War” with dreamy, cosmic-pop anthem “Bend Or Break.” This is the perfect addition to your favorite chill-out playlist. As for the dudes, Lauv joins forces with Travis Mills on “Question.” It’s more accessible than viral hits “The Others” and “Reforget,” and pushes the rising star deeper into the R&B genre. Another singer/songwriter changing lanes is Alec Benjamin. The “Paper Crown” crooner embraces synth-pop on “End Of The Summer,” delivering a killer does of relatable-pop. Listen to it in my playlist below.