The Drop: Your Guide To New Music Friday Featuring St. Vincent, Uffie & AMWIN
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 avoid that tragic scenario with The Drop — a cheat sheet of sorts to get you through New Music Friday. By now, you’ve probably heard Charli XCX’s furious banger “5 In The Morning” and hopefully checked out Allie X’s typically amazing “Focus.” But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Let’s stick with the theme of alternative pop queens. Lykke Li has been drip-feeding us tracks from 4th LP, so sad so sexy, for the last six weeks and I love them all. However, “sex money feelings die” rivals “deep end” (she doesn’t believe in capital letters) as my favorite. This is the closest the Swede has come to a pure pop moment and it feels like she’s finally embracing her destiny. St. Vincent is in a similarly sunny mood this week. The MASSEDUCTION badass delivers an uptempo remix of “Slow Disco” called, appropriately enough, “Fast Slow Disco” and it’s absolutely blissful.
Another pop auteur blessing New Music Friday with a brilliant banger is Uffie. The “Pop The Glock” singer heralded her return a couple of weeks ago by teaming up with Galantis on “Spaceship.” She now backs that up with “Your Hood” and it’s the kind of slickly-produced pop/dance concoction that gets lodged in your head from the first listen. On the topic of underground queens, bow down to Big Freedia. The New Orleans legend’s 3rd Ward Bounce EP drops today and it’s jam-packed with jams that will make your ass cheeks clap. My fave is “Karaoke” featuring the equally flawless Lizzo. Play it loud.
The same goes for MNEK and Hailee Steinfeld’s “Colour.” The British artist/producer has crafted hits for everyone from Madonna to Beyonce, so it’s about time he got one of his own. I thought the sorely underrated “Tongue” would be hard to top, but this exuberant anthem is even catchier. “ANYMORE” is another collaboration for the ages. The highlight of Lil Aaron’s ROCK$TAR FAMOU$ EP features Kim Petras and sounds like something Cobra Starship might have released in 2009. Yes, it’s that good.
Let’s switch gears for a minute. Morgan Saint’s 17 HERO was one of my favorite EPs of 2017, so it’s nice to get something new from her — even if it is a cover. The singer/songwriter works her dreamy synth-magic on Cardi B’s “Thru Your Phone,” transforming it into something completely new and beautiful. While Morgan had one of the best EPs of 2017, Mallrat has one of the best of 2018. In The Sky is an oddball pop delight and “Groceries” perfectly distills the Aussie artist’s unique perspective and lyrical prowess. It’s also really cute.
How about some new blood? Stela Cole shakes up New Music Friday with her major label debut single, “You F O.” The 20-year-old certainly makes a memorable first impression with her feisty lyrics and unique sound, which is probably best described as retro-pop meets futuristic R&B. It kind of reminds me of Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!)” on steroids. Sweden’s AMWIN is similarly chill-free on “Living Mistake.” After catching everyone’s attention with “Uber,” the shoulder-pad enthusiast sings about being your own worst enemy on the catchy and relatable bop.
AMWIN isn’t the only Scandi-pop act with a hot new track. Norway’s Emma Jensen captured the attentions of blogs from Bergen to Boston with the mesmerizing “Closer” in 2017. She returns with a new single called “Rush” and it offers the same heady mix of mellow electro and bubbly pop. She is definitely One To Watch. That also applies to fellow Norwegians Jimi Somewhere and Hanne Mjøen. The singers, who are generating plenty of buzz on their own, come together for hazy, indie-pop gem “Fall Down.” There’s something about disjointed verses and a blistering Scandi-pop chorus that just does it for me.
Let’s wind things up with a couple of drowsy bops. Since changing the sound of dance-pop (and spawning a million rip-offs) with Kiiara’s “Gold,” Felix Snow has continued to make pop and EDM a more interesting place with his Terror Jr project and collaborations with artists like Era Istrefi. He teams up with ROZES on “Demons,” a warm and dreamy banger that begs for repeat play. Equally addictive is ayokay’s “Swing Swing.” The Detroit producer has been circling a crossover hit since breaking through with “Kings Of Summer” and he might just have one with this. Listen to it in my playlist below.