The Drop: Your Guide To New Music Friday Featuring Eves Karydas & Poppy
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 BTS’ iTunes-conquering “IDOL” and possibly checked out David Guetta, Jason Derulo, Nicki Minaj & Willy William’s “Goodbye.” (Am I the only one hearing a Gigi D’Agostino sample?) But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Let’s start with a double dose of girl-power. Jessie Reyez had me at the lyric about “dodging dicks” on “Body Count,” but the sex-positive banger just became even bolder with the addition of Normani and Kehlani. They turn a one-woman crusade into a movement for grown ass women everywhere. Newcomer Lauren Sanderson is also sick of the bullshit on “The Only One.” The highlight of the 22-year-old’s just-released debut EP, Don’t Panic, is a pop/hip-hop hybrid about a woman reminding a player that she has just as many options. She is definitely One To Watch.
In the mood for a little electro-pop? Kim Petras blesses New Music Friday with another impossibly catchy single. Produced by Cirkut, Dr. Luke and Aaron Joseph, “All The Time” finds the breakout star in pure-pop mode. Consider this the third part of a trilogy of candy-coated bops beginning with “I Don’t Want It At All” and “Heart To Break.” Another underground queen overdue for a radio hit is Poppy. She teams up with Diplo for “Time Is Up,” an apocalyptic pop anthem about the rise of the machines. It’s easily her best single to date.
The bangers continue with Kiiara’s “Gloe.” Co-written by Natalia Kills (it’s time to uncancel her) and produced by Stint, this whispy tune hits the sweet spot between electro-pop and the 23-year-old’s alternative leanings. After the success of “Gold,” it took the singer a minute to get her bearings, but this is very, very good. That also applies to Tove Styrke and NOTD’s euphoric “Been There Done That.” At this point, the “Changed My Mind” diva can do no wrong, while the Swedish production duo is shaping up to be a major force after the worldwide success of “I Wanna Know.”
While we’re on the topic of Swedish excellence, it would be remiss of me not to point out that Seinabo Sey is also part of this week’s New Music Friday lineup. And “Good In You” is the 27-year-old’s most joyous, instant single to date. Try to listen to this without a smile on your face. Clara Mae, on the other hand, is really going through in on “Rooftop.” The Swede, who broke internationally as the voice of KREAM’s “Taped Up Heart,” lays her emotions bare on this pretty synth-pop moment.
Australia also punched above its weight this week. Eves Karydas, formerly known as Eves The Behavior, has continued to impress since relaunching in 2017 with “There For You.” After earning her alt-pop chops with oddball anthems like “Couch” and “Further Than The Planes Fly,” she ups the pop ante on “Damn Loyal” to breathtaking effect. This could and should be her international calling card. The same goes for Ivy Adara’s “Rebels.” The Aussie singer/songwriter made huge waves with “Currency,” but this is a bigger, better song with the kind of chorus that lodges in your brain and refuses to leave.
Looking for something a little earthier? After dropping a string of brilliant singles leading back to 2016 (“Life Worth Living” and “San Fransisco” immediately spring to mind), LAUREL finally gets around to releasing her debut album, DOGVIOLET, today and it was well worth the wait. Take “Adored,” a sweaty rock dirge with punchy hooks and relatable lyrics about wanting to be worshipped. Similarly consistent and under-appreciated is CLOVES. It seems like she releases a slept-on soul-pop gem every other week, but something tells me “Hit Me Hard” is catchy enough to click. Her debut LP, One Big Nothing, drops on September 28. Bring it on.
Next up is a pair of buzz bands. LANY completely reinvented their sound on “Thru These Tears,” an explosion of synths and emo lyrics that wouldn’t sound out of place in a John Hughes movie circa 1987. The second taste of Malibu Nights arrived this week and “I Don’t Wanna Love You Anymore” is another perfectly crafted earworm. Nashville duo Nightly is similarly fond of synths and retro influences as the very-good “S.T.A.Y.” attests. I loved their debut EP, but this is tighter, punchier and crying out for a movie or TV sync. Play it loud.
Let’s wind up with a couple of feel-good bangers. Robin Schulz is one of EDM’s more reliable producers (think “Waves,” “Prayer In C” and “Sugar”) and he brings his A-Game to “Right Now,” a sultry collaboration with the newly-engaged Nick Jonas. This could return them both to the top of the charts. Equally catchy is Sofia Carson and R3HAB’s “Rumors,” a track that turns the whole good-girl-gone-bad trope on its head. Listen to the tables-turning bop in my playlist below.