The Drop: Your Guide To New Music Friday Featuring chloe mk & Clairo
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 Ally Brooke and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s sultry “Lips Don’t Lie” and hopefully bopped along to VVAVES and Iggy Azalea’s fiery “Boys Like You.” But that’s still just the tip of the iceberg.
Let’s start with a trio of female artists dealing with (very different) matters of the heart. CYN is sky-high on the rush of new love on the anthemic “Holy Roller.” In fact, Katy Perry’s protege is so out of her mind that she likens the sensation to joining a cult. FLETCHER, on the other hand, is really going through it on “About You.” The “Undrunk” icon still hasn’t processed a breakup and is in full meltdown mode. Charlotte OC, however, can see things a bit more clearly on “Better Off On My Own.” This moody, intensely relatable anthem sums up the “forever alone” phase after a breakup. Which only ends when you meet someone like CYN’s cult leader.
Next up is a pair of newcomers with deafening buzz. Clairo has been DIY pop’s It Girl since going viral with “Pretty Girl.” Since then, the 20-year-old has dropped a killer EP and a smattering of collaborations. She now preps her debut LP, IMMUNITY (due August 2), with a heady dose of bittersweet, shoe-gazing pop called “Bags.” Carlie Hanson has also been tagged with Next Big Thing status since dropping “Only One” in 2017. And she continues to earn that praise with each new release. Take “WYA.” The latest song from her upcoming JUNK EP could the breakthrough hit that introduces her to a whole new audience.
How about a couple of feisty anthems to kickstart the long weekend? While the name chloe mk might not ring a bell, you will definitely recognize the powerful pipes of The Voice winner Chloe Kohanski. I liked “Come This Far,” but the 25-year-old wasn’t feeling her sound and went back to the drawing board. She reemerges today with a new moniker… and a new genre. And if “To Be Young” is indicative of the mercurial artist’s self-coined “internet-pop,” I’m very much on board. Hey Violet is also no stranger to reinvention. Since debuting as a pop/punk outfit, Rena Lovelis & Co. have drifted closer to pop without losing their edge. The delusional (and annoyingly relatable) “Close My Eyes” is a perfect example.
As usual, some of the week’s best pop comes from Scandinavia. Astrid S blesses New Music Friday with another achingly honest and instantly addictive electro-pop gem called “The First One.” The Norwegian pop star reveals that she was too bruised by her first relationship to let anyone else in. Denmark’s Theresa Rex is in a much happier place on “Like I Love You.” The breakout star, who recently lent her voice to Jonas Blue’s “What I Like About You,” takes it straight to the bedroom on her latest bop.
Over in Sweden, ionnalee (AKA Jonna Lee of iamamiwhoami) continues to churn out breathtakingly atmospheric, widescreen synth-pop. Her latest gem is called “Remember The Future” and it’s a sprawling, ’80s-evoking anthem that wouldn’t sound out of place in an episode of Stranger Things. Her similarly-titled LP drops on May 31. LOVA, on the other hand, is very much concerned with the here and now. The 21-year-old explored concerns like social anxiety and body positivity on 2018’s Scripted Reality EP and now drops a timely, feminist anthem called “I Can Do Better.” It’s also a total earworm.
How about a couple of (evolving) rock bands? 5 Seconds Of Summer landed their biggest hit to date with last year’s “Youngblood,” but “Easier” is even better. The Aussie hitmakers’ journey from pop/punk to pop/rock continues — albeit with synths now being added to the mix. Not only that, but the band also has more to say than they did in the glory days of “She’s Kinda Hot.” Namely, the best exit strategy from a toxic relationship. LA-based, NY-born rock duo The Score also switch things up on the vulnerable and uplifting “Stay” — a rollicking anthem about staying true to yourself.
Let’s wind up with some bangers to usher in the long weekend. Jax Jones teams up with Jess Glynne for the romantic, feel-good “One Touch.” This electro-house anthem has massive crossover potential. The same goes for Kygo and Chelsea Cutler’s “Not OK,” which is considerably less happy and loved up. If you would prefer a tune that focuses more on atmosphere and tone, then Ship Wrek’s melodic, oddly calming (given the title) “Energy” is the song for you. Check it out in my New Music Friday playlist below.