While her debut Touch was all kinds of sweet french kissing over a droopy beat, follow-up Just Once is the melodious pop song that does follow the intro-chorus-bridge kind of rules in pop. Shura does it with a certain charm many of today’s acts lack though; it almost sound like she sampled her beating heart and wrote a poem on it (beat poetry, anyone?). “Have you ever been lost / we could get lost / I wanna get lost” she praises - let’s get lost together.
Fryars' tone is a lot more positive towards love in his new single Prettiest Girls Fly Highest compared to his contribution to Rae Morris’ Cold. Yet again it’s pop on his very own terms, packed with auto-tune and other anti-pop pop things. The groove is slightly more playful than his earlier tracks (especially compared to the demo), which could be courtesy of the Jimmy Douglas (Blood Orange, Pharrell, Justin Timberlake) mixing efforts - whatever the rhythm, Fryars is set to definitely re-shape pop’s playground with the forthcoming full length Power (out on November 17 via Fiction).
Now SOHN has his debut under his belt, he’s lending out his production abilities to other vocalists - after his more than successful pairing with Banks, Laura Doggett is the next in line to do her thing over his shivering beats. The growl in her voice is aggressive yet magical, which result in a soothing, slow-burning beauty - the lyrics match that atmosphere: “From the ashes grow / dark sun lights a silhouette / cradling the flame till the fire beds / Phoenix gonna rise from the ash again”, with the final bit being repeated like a mantra for about the last minute or so.
Rae Morris and Fryars offer the most depressed but beautiful love song you’ll hear all year with Cold, which now has a perfectly synchronized video too. It’s all love gone wrong in the song with lyrics like “your hips never wave when you walk” and “your voice isn’t kind when you talk” - the heavily auto tuned part of Fryars in Cold perhaps presents the cold distance that can come between two former lovers and contrasts perfectly with Rae Morris’ high voice.
Berlin greyhound and DFA darling Dan Bodan wants to sing the kind of stories you read in your older sister’s diary on long-awaited debut LP Soft (out in October on DFA), which is mostly messy love stories. First single Soft As Rain is true songwriter craftsmanship and sees the singer give a while new spin on the sleepless techno he grew up with - turning down the BPM’s, he offers an introspective view on his love life.
Vaults have found their musical pace in this void between drama and pop, drifting right there where you just wanna close your eyes and sway your arms with big, dramatic gestures. New single Lifespan, their first one post-signing to Virgin, confirms three’s a charm: with every song they’ve tuned down the layered (and beat-heavy) production to this swirling, pulsating beauty that just hits all grand songs markers.
Perfume Genius recording proper glam rock was supposed to happen someday - that day finally came and it’s even better than you dreamt it would be. Queen is about gay panic, the feeling some people experience when they encounter gays and are deafened with a sudden fear: Perfume Genius perfectly captures the silliness of it all with Queen, in which he pretends to be the “sea witch with penis tentacles” those kind of people pretend. It comes with an equally spooky video directed by none else than the like-minded SSION. Queen is a first taste off his new record Too Bright which was recorded with Adrian Utley (Portishead) and out on September 22.
We were expecting a big debut single from Becky Hill after the Rudimental, Wilkinson and Oliver Heldens features - and of course she delivers just that. Caution To The Wind comes with another fresh breeze of blips and beeps from magic man Two Inch Punch and sees the The Voice semi-finalist taking her hunch at solo pop stardom. It’s more than a hunch actually, as it perfectly fits in this entire wave of UK pop that’s buzzing right now. “I wear my heart on my sleeve / but not for show / and I find it hard not to leave / and let go” - she’ll eat up the charts.
Mike, Jesse and Sarah are Mt. Si., the internet’s first buzz band that are selling a corrupt hard drive containing all of their recordings for just $1,000. They managed to save two songs from total extinction (not really though, probably) that perfectly encapsulate their Bandcamp tags (electronic / desert / mountain / dance / LA). It’s klittering, harmonious pop that comes with early co-signs from the likes of Classixx, RAC and Kisses (maybe it’s Mike from Classixx and Jesse from Kisses, who knows) and is destined to become big.
Enigmatic duo Majid Jordan emerged from the Toronto shadows with their feature and production credits on Drake’s Hold On, We’re Going Home; we’ve had their Afterhours EP on repeat the weeks after that, and today we take another splash in their lush, soulful r&b pop sound. A Place Like This is the title track of the boys’ forthcoming EP on OVO and of course the video comes with half-naked people in bed (it doesn’t turn out like that, though). This is high-budget sex, and for once it’s the boys bringing out the guns.
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