The Drop: Your Guide To New Music Friday Featuring Elley Duhé & Juke Ross
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 Meghan Trainor’s bubbly “All The Ways” and possibly checked out Florence + The Machine’s gripping “Big God.” But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Pop music doesn’t always do the best job of covering big issues, but two artists bucked the trend this week. Demi Lovato opens up about her ongoing struggle with addiction on the raw and brutally honest “Sober.” Not only is this an emotional sucker punch, it’s also the perfect vehicle for the hitmaker’s powerhouse vocals. The same applies to Daya’s “Safe.” Produced by Joel Little (Lorde’s “Royals”), this a depressingly timely tune about the psychological effect of school and festival shootings on young people.
Moving on to (slightly) lighter topics, Maty Noyes celebrates the intoxicating chaos of not having your shit together on “Spiraling Down.” Think of this of an anti-bragging anthem, although it does contain the iconic lyric: “At least I’m pretty and I get that good dick, I got a roof over my head and I can do shit.” She’s due for a breakout hit. That also goes for Elley Duhé. The newcomer, who is riding a wave of buzz thanks to viral hits “Fly” and “Immortal,” delivers her best song to date with the moody, relatable “LOST MY MIND.”
How about a desperate tale of unrequited love dressed up as a breezy love song? Laura Jean Anderson caught everyone’s attention with, “Silence Won’t Help Me Now,” but she takes it to the next level on “Love You Most.” On the surface this sounds like the perfect addition to a wedding playlist, but all is not as it seems. “[It’s] about someone I loved who was with someone else,” the newcomer explains. “Though the song feels light-hearted, as if happily in love, it is actually a reflection of deep heartbreak and denial.” Ok, then. Wet’s “Maybe You’re Right” sounds similarly happy and loved-up, hopefully without the dark underbelly. Produced by Rostam Batmanglij, this is the group’s most instant song to date. I can’t wait for their sophomore LP.
While female artists were really going through it this week, the guys were in better spirits. Synth-pop duo St. Lucia returns this week with dual singles, “Paradise Is Waiting” and “A Brighter Love.” I’m obsessed with both, but the sparseness of latter really sets it apart. As usual, there’s a vaguely ’80s feel to the song — an influence that is also present on Charles Fauna’s dark and drowsy electro-pop anthem, “Wait To Come Over.” It’s the latest cut from the New Yorker’s debut EP, Eulogy, which is shaping up to be a must-listen.
If you’re looking for some singer/songwriter goodness with a soulful twist (and who isn’t?), look no further than Juke Ross’s “Fresh Roses.” Hailing from Guyana, the smoky-voiced crooner picks up where he left off on debut EP, Grey — with an intimate, hopeful love song that demands multiple listens. He is definitely One To Watch. Speaking of breakout stars, Tom Walker is enjoying a global hit with “Leave A Light On.” The Brit follows it up with “My Way,” an equally gritty track with an unexpectedly massive chorus. His debut album is shaping up nicely.
After taking a break to recalibrate his sound, Alec Benjamin resurfaced last month with the gut-wrenching “Let Me Down Slowly.” The 23-year-old keeps the momentum going with the equally hard-hitting “Boy In The Bubble,” which delivers the perfect mix of introspection and pop. Songwriter JHart also gets it right on debut single, “Put It To Bed.” While the path from songwriter to pop star is well trodden at this point, many stumble due to their vocal shortcomings. That certainly doesn’t apply here. James can sing as this vocal showcase attests.
This has been an unusually emo edition of The Drop, so let’s lighten the mood with a couple of bangers. Jax Jones has the Midas touch when it comes to crossover dance-pop songs (“Breathe,” “You Don’t Know Me” etc.) and he has another smash on his hands with “Ring Ring,” a fiery collaboration with Mabel and Rich The Kid. While R3HAB is better known for his remixes and club fare, “Wrong Move,” has a palpable pop sensibility — largely due to a star-turn from Disney diva Olivia Holt. This bop goes hard.
Let’s wind up with a pair of atmospheric floorfillers. Los Angeles-based producer Gryffin sure knows how to make a dreamy dance anthem (“Feel Good” and “Nobody Compares To You,” for starters). As with those songs, he finds the perfect foil in Norwegian singer, Iselin. She lends a warm, human quality to the bleeps and beeps. If you prefer old-school house, Kungs and Stargate — yes, the legendary production duo — serve retro vibes on the soulful “Be Right Here.” Again, this benefits hugely from the presence of GOLDN. check it out in my playlist below.