The Drop: Your Guide To New Music Friday Featuring AURORA & Bishop Briggs
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 have probably heard Calvin Harris and Sam Smith’s disco adventure “Promises” and hopefully checked out Janet Jackson and Daddy Yankee’s breathtakingly good, “Made For Now.” But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Let’s start with a couple of bad-ass female artists embarking on new eras. Bishop Briggs excellent debut LP, Church Of Scars, dropped earlier this year, but she’s already moving on. And “Baby” is her most instant and arresting single since “River” stopped me in my tracks in 2016. Produced by John Hill, the rocker’s ode to bad boys is relatable, rowdy and very catchy. Those adjectives also apply to LP’s “Girls Go Wild.” After years of false starts, the singer/songwriter finally struck gold with “Lost On You” and is set to build on that momentum with this breezy, ballsy anthem.
Cat Power is another artist that has always marched to the beat of her own drum. The iconic singer/songwriter teams up with Lana Del Rey for “Woman” and it’s every bit as glorious as you would expect. A defiant, dreamy indie-pop/rock anthem with a distinctly West Coast twist, the lead single from Wanderer (due October 5) lingers in the brain. Speaking of rule-breakers, Christine And The Queens’ delightfully offbeat sophomore era continues with “5 Dollars.” As much as I loved “Girlfriend” and “Doesn’t Matter,” this gorgeous and very, very French ’80s throwback is even better.
The quirky gems continue with AURORA’s “Forgotten Love,” an ethereal anthem about letting go of grief. After veering close to commercial dance-pop on “Queendom,” the Norwegian hitmaker retreats to the widescreen, crystalline electro sound that made All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend one of the better debut albums in recent memory. While we’re on the topic of impressive debuts, Sophie Beem got everyone’s attention with her self-titled debut EP in 2016. The 19-year-old, who was discovered and developed by Beyonce, now blesses New Music Friday with “Stars” — a blissful bop that showcases her breathy vocals over 1st Klase’s intricate, pretty production.
Hungry for a blast of pure-pop? Jess Glynne comes through with the joyous, instantly uplifting “All I Am.” The British pop star embraced a warmer, more organic sound on “I’ll Be There” and this offers more of the same — albeit with a higher tempo and bigger chorus. At this rate, Always In Between (her sophomore album) is shaping up to be something special. That applies equally to Allie X’s intriguing Super Sunset project. She unleashes “Science” this week and, as usual, it’s a devastatingly original pop song that introduces a new persona known as Sci-Fi Girl. I want more.
If electro-pop floats your boat, TYSM’s feathery “Light On” is an absolute must-hear. Produced by Felix Snow, this relatable loner anthem wafts along over undulating bleeps and beeps, before the catchy chorus takes it to anther level. The Nashville newcomer hasn’t put a foot wrong yet. Now, where’s that EP? The same goes for Uffie. One of the best things about 2018 has been the return of electro-pop’s missing It Girl. I loved “Drugs” and “Your Hood,” but “Sideways” is even better. Bright, bold and sexy, this needs to be played loud.
Let’s wind up with some bangers. Marshmello’s winning streak continues with “Happier,” a collaboration with the always-great Bastille. Dan Smith’s unmistakable voice is the perfect compliment for the masked DJ’s radio-conquering brand of EDM. It’s not as instant as “Friends” or “Silence,” but I was hooked after the second listen. Next up is the “Cheerleader” reunion you didn’t know you needed. Felix Jaehn and OMI reunite on “Masterpiece” and it’s a loved-up, summery good time from the opening bar. Will lightning strike twice?
Like you bops a little darker? Baauer of “Harlem Shake” fame teams up with animated diva (yes, that’s a thing) Miquela on “Hate Me.” I wasn’t a fan of the Instagram sensation’s other musical endeavors, but this works. There might be something to this virtual pop star concept after all. Last, but definitely not least, is SG Lewis and AlunaGeorge’s “Hurting.” They find the perfect middle ground between their respective sounds to create something fresh and addictive. Check it out in my playlist below.