The Drop: Your Guide To New Music Friday Featuring Bonnie McKee, MAGIC! & Lemaitre
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 feature called The Drop — a cheat sheet (of sorts) to get you through New Music Friday. By now, you’ve probably heard Christina Aguilera’s comeback single “Change” and might have checked out Alicia Keys’ soulful buzz track “Hallelujah.” But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Given the events of the past week, I was tempted to post a bunch of depressing ballads and an Elliott Smith playlist. Instead, I’m going to focus on bright, cheerful, uplifting pop songs. Because I think we could all do with a burst of serotonin right now. Let’s start with Bonnie McKee. The songwriter behind “Roar” and “Teenage Dream” teams up with Vicetone for a club overhaul of Bombastic EP highlight “I Want It All.” I love the ’80s rock vibe of the original, but this is the perfect soundtrack to your next party or workout. Now it’s time for some (completely) new music, Bon!
Nothing puts on smile on my face quite like euphoric synth-pop and The Girl And The Dreamcatcher come through with “Make You Stay.” Comprised of Disney stars Dove Cameron and Ryan McCartan, the duo delivers sugary-sweet pop that promises great things for their upcoming debut EP, Negatives. Canadian diva Alyssa Reid also brings the good vibes with ruthlessly catchy new single “Rollercoaster,” while Norwegian duo Lemaitre join forces with The Knocks for disco-infused, whistle-filled banger “We Got U.” It’s impossible to listen to this with a frown.
How about some summery, reggae-tinged pop? I couldn’t quite get into “Lay You Down Easy,” the lead single from MAGIC!’s sophomore LP Primary Colours, but new buzz track “Red Dress” pushes all the right buttons with its flirty lyrics and big, bright pop chorus. Rozes explores a not entirely dissimilar sound on “Hangin’ On” — the breezy follow-up to her breakthrough collaboration with The Chainsmokers. With Sia’s dancehall-tinged “Cheap Thrills” racing up the charts, expect to hear a lot more Caribbean rhythms on the radio in the next few months.
How about a couple of soulful pop songs to calm your nerves? Rising Australian singer Grace, who has a worldwide smash on her hands with a cover of Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me,” teases her debut LP FMA with a new track called “Hope You Understand.” After dropping a handful of boisterous retro-soul bops, she takes a more contemporary approach on this infinitely relatable anthem. Meanwhile, Swedish diva Bishat cements her status as One To Watch with “Mine” — a soulful piano-driven groove in the mold of (very good) debut single “Sober.”
If you’re absolutely determined to mope, super producer Joel Little brings Jarryd James and Broods together for “1000x” — a (wonderfully) gloomy mood-setter for the shoe-gazing crowd. I’m obsessed with Charlotte Cardin’s English-language material (“Like It Doesn’t Hurt” is a must-hear), but the French Canadian takes it to the next level with enchanting/depressing piano ballad “Faufile.” Slightly more upbeat is Alexandra Savior’s must-hyped debut single “Shades.” Produced by Arctic Monkeys’ frontman Alex Turner, this tune clatters along on a bed of synths and jangling guitars. An outpouring of blog love seems inevitable.
If you’re looking to turn up, there are a couple of new dance anthems that demand your attention. Dutch DJ Tiesto calls on John Legend for “Summer Nights” (sadly not a Grease cover). It’s a little cheesy, but has plenty of crossover potential and will probably sound amazing after your third drink. Cash Cash rope in Fitz & The Tantrums for new buzz single, “Broken Drum.” It boasts a vicious drop and the dance outfit’s catchiest chorus since Bebe Rexha-voiced hit “Take Me Home.” That leaves us with Hayden James, who delivers the perfect after-party anthem with “Just A Lover.” Like breakthrough hit “Something About You,” this is seriously slick. Check it out in my weekly playlist below.