The Drop: Your Guide To New Music Friday Featuring Pink, Andy Grammer & Sabrina Carpenter
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 Jason Derulo’s “Kiss The Sky,” which was co-written by pop diva Bonnie McKee, and possibly bopped along to The Chainsmokers and Halsey’s bouncy collaboration, “Closer.” But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Let’s start with the ladies. Sabrina Carpenter is in the process of reinventing herself after being positioned as Disney’s country-pop princess. She got the ball rolling with “Smoke And Fire,” but really comes into her own on new single “On Purpose” — a deceptive little gem that starts off as a mid-tempo piano ballad, before exploding into a synth-pop anthem. I’m into it. Another songstress in the throws of a sonic metamorphosis is Christian-pop star Britt Nicole. The “Gold” diva mixes it up on “Through Your Eyes,” delivering what could well be the first tropical house-tinged song of worship. And then there’s the always-great Ofelia K, who backs up “I Love My Lawyer” with another quirky alt-pop offering called “Killing Me.” If you’re into Lenka or Kimbra, you’ll love this.
Pink also drops a new track this week. She teams up with country superstar Kenny Chesney for “Setting The World On Fire.” I feared this was going to be a snooze like the pop/rocker’s folk side-project You+Me, but it turns out to be her best single since “Try.” The nostalgic ballad finds the pair reflecting on their younger, wilder days without overdosing in sentiment. It pushes all the right emotional buttons and is going to be massive. (Just look at iTunes). Another hitmaker with new material is Andy Grammer. He introduces us to album number three with “Fresh Eyes,” which boasts a fittingly fresh sound. The 32-year-old has his sights set on pop radio this time around with a track that’s begging for a deep house remix. Someone call Robin Schulz!
As usual, some of the week’s best new pop arrives via the UK. Melanie C — yes, Sporty Spice! — gets her tropical house on with a little help from Sons Of Sonix. This sounds dubious in theory but I’m very much here for “Numb.” The track veers towards Kiiara’s brand of minimal electro while still sounding warm, summery and fuzzy. Put your preconceptions aside and check it out. While it’s hard to compete with a rejuvenated Spice Girl, Anna Straker makes a great first impression with “How We Are.” There’s something about the combination of sparse electronica and sugary pop that just does it for me.
Brighton-based pop outfit Fickle Friends first appeared on my radar last year with shimmery retro-synth anthem “Say No More” and the ’80s remains their point of reference on “Cry Baby” — a flawless pop experiment that incorporates the best elements of PC Music (bubble synths and a candy-coated chorus) into their neon-drenched soundscape. If La Roux didn’t completely drop the ball, they might be making music like this. That takes us to London duo KINGDM, who has previously appeared on The Drop with “Say It Again” and “Baby.” They really up the ante with “Superman” — an uplifting R&B anthem with multi-layered electronic production. This could well be the commercial breakthrough they’ve been working towards.
While the Brits had a banner week, there’s also some great new pop from the rest of the world. Dutch DJ Martin Garrix gets it very right with dreamy Bebe Rexha collaboration “In The Name Of Love” (this is a genuine contender for Song Of The Summer), while Matoma and Christopher deliver an all-star Scandinavian collaboration with “Take Me Back.” Australian boyfriend/girlfriend duo Jess & Matt hold their own with “Bones” — a bouncy synth-pop anthem produced by DNA. It taps into the mid-tempo dance craze that started with The Chainsmoker’s “Roses” and has since taken radio and iTunes by storm.
That leaves us with a couple of legendary divas. Barbra Streisand teams up with Hugh Jackman for “Any Moment Now” — a ballad from an unproduced Marvin Hamlisch musical called Smile. I’m obsessed with the dialogue, which finds Wolverine bitching about his dinner not being cooked. You’ll know if this is for you before pressing play. Last but never least is Dolly Parton, who is seriously dickmatized on “Outside Your Door.” It’s about time someone recorded a bedroom anthem for senior citizens! Check it out in my playlist below.