The Drop: Your Guide To New Music Friday Featuring Charlotte OC & Sigrid
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 Louis Tomlinson’s heartbreaking “Two Of Us” and hopefully checked out Ava Max’s empowering “So Am I.” But that’s still just the tip of the iceberg.
Everyone knows that Scandinavians do pop better, but those pesky Norwegians really show out this week. Let’s start with Emma Steinbakken, a 15-year-old newcomer who positions herself as a pop-centric Billie Eilish with “Young.” It serves mild teenage rebellion (“I wanna dance in front of strangers at McDonald’s”) over squelchy synths and brutal bass. I’m obsessed. The same goes for everything Sigrid does. I haven’t had a chance to really dig into Sucker Punch (out today), but “Mine Right Now” stands out as an instant favorite. This needs to be her next single.
Next up is the reinvention of Daya. The 20-year-old took a little break after releasing her debut album to find herself (and overhaul her sound). She now joins the New Music Friday lineup with “Insomnia,” a hook-filled electro-pop banger produced by Oscar Görres. It’s easily her catchiest song to date. That also applies to Charlotte OC’s “Boyfriend.” I still have “Satellite,” the Brit’s first single after signing to Neon Gold, on high rotation, but this is a little more uptempo and fun. “Boyfriend” is also essential listening for anyone ready to get off the dating merry-go-round.
How about a couple of R&B-leaning bops? You might not be familiar with the name Tayla Parx (yet), but, chances are, you own at least one of her songs. After penning hits for Ariana Grande (“Thank U, Next” and “7 Rings”) and Panic! At The Disco (“High Hopes”), she is ready to unleash one of her own with “I Want You.” Her debut album We Need To Talk drops April 5 and, if this is any indication, it’s going to be good. Exploring a similar sound, believe it or not, is Sabrina Carpenter. The Disney diva got in the studio with Oak and “Pushing 20” is the unexpected, but rather wonderful result.
If you prefer your pop with a jazzy twist, I’ve got you covered too. Like Tayla, Delacey first cut her teeth as a songwriter and her list of credits is equally impressive (Halsey’s “Without Me” and Zara Larsson’s “Ruin My Life,” for starters). She now makes one hell of a good first impression with the smoky, silky smooth “My Man,” which is a modern take on the scenario presented by Dolly Parton in “Jolene.” Haley Reinhart, on the other hand, is in no mood to play. The American Idol alum is ready to kick her no-good man to the curb on the deliciously retro, “Honey, There’s The Door.” She has really found a unique niche in the pop world.
While The Drop is largely dedicated to female artists this week (in celebration of International Women’s Day), a couple of fellas brightened up New Music Friday too. LA-based trio Wallows hasn’t put a foot wrong in their still-nascent career. Every song from Nothing Happens (due March 22) has been excellent and that trend continues with the hazy, lo-fi “Sidelines,” a love song that positively oozes West Coast cool. On the other end of the pop spectrum is Jai Waetford. The 20-year-old pivots into dancehall-influenced terrain on “Honestly” and it’s honestly very good. Pay attention to the verse from Carmouflage Rose, who is also One To Watch.
One of the week’s happiest surprises was the return of Robyn. The Swede lends her iconic voice to Kindness’ “Cry Everything,” an emotional electronic anthem about healing and renewal. Of course, they previously collaborated on 2015’s “Who Do You Love?” and Honey highlight “Send To Robin Immediately.” They need to get together more often. The same goes for Dagny and Steve Aoki. The Norwegian might just land the breakthrough hit she has been edging towards with the hook-heavy, club-friendly “Hit Your Heart.” It’s destined to rack up huge streaming numbers.
Let’s wind up with some bangers. At this point, Marshmello can do no wrong. The bucket-headed DJ rolls out another anthemic pop/club hybrid every couple of weeks and “Here With Me” is no exception. I’m thrilled that my beloved Chvrches, who feature on the track, will finally dent the Billboard Hot 100. What a time! Hopefully that also applies to Audien and Echosmith’s “Favorite Sound.” Best known for his remixes, the producer finds the perfect muse in the alt-pop trio’s Sydney Sierota. This could be big for them. Last but not least is Lost Frequencies. The Belgian DJ is one of the most consistent hitmakers in EDM and “Recognise” sounds like another club monster. Check it out in my New Music Friday playlist below.