October’s shaping up to be a major month in pop land: This week’s roundup features two of America’s biggest superstars, two major UK pop acts and one incredibly talented songwriting duo responsible for penning hits for just about… well, everyone!
And away we go!
Credit: Getty Images, Fredrik Solstad
1.) Beyoncé, “Countdown”
Even though she’s got a bey-bey on the way, nothing’s going to stop Beyoncé from releasing the next single off of her latest studio album, 4: “Countdown.” After unleashing a slew of ballads and baby-making slow jams like “Best Thing I Never Had,” “1+1″ and “Love On Top” (they worked, apparently!), the powerhouse vocalist’s latest release is about to bring Bey right back into the clubs when the song officially hits radio today, Oct. 4.
Sampling the countdown from Boyz II Men‘s 1991 hit “Uhh Ahh,” Bey runs down the clock on her Shea Taylor/Cainon Lamb-produced track with a checklist of things she’d just love to do with her man. (“He pick me up, we 8/Make me feel so lucky 7/He kiss me in his 6/We be making love in 5!”) Sounds better than my Friday nights.
Bey’s been busying herself so much that she’s even shot a video for her horn-heavy club banger already, which we got a 30 second tease of yesterday. Judging by the close-cropped ‘do and head-to-toe turtleneck and slacks, Beyoncé’s serving pure Audrey Hepburn “Funny Face” ’60s-era realness. Watch for the full video to premiere this Thursday on MTV! + LISTEN TO BEYONCE, “COUNTDOWN”
2.) Lady Gaga, “Marry The Night”
It looks like “Yoü & I” are about to take it to the next level: According to the reliable fan mecca GagaDaily (as well as whispers from stylist Nicola Formichetti outside his fashion show in Paris last week), the next single off of Lady Gaga‘s monstrous second LP, Born This Way, will be “Marry The Night.”
Produced by Fernando Garibay (“Dance In The Dark”), the surging synth-pop album opener finds the woman of many lobster hats singing the praises of her beloved hometown — you guessed it, New York City! — while channeling her inner Whitney Houston-goes-Bruce Springsteen. It’s an all-out explosion of good ol’ American whiskey drinkin’ revelry, euphoric belting and even some of Gaga’s signature stutter-heavy phrasing (“muh, muh, muh, marry!”), all set to one major sledgehammering beat.
And as for an upcoming video? No details for now, but something tells me Madame Gaga’s going to show up in something more than a pretty white dress. + LISTEN TO LADY GAGA, “MARRY THE NIGHT”
+ Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs Of The Week after the jump!
3.) Cher Lloyd, “With Ur Love”
Bratty British superstar-to-be and former “X Factor” finalist Cher Lloyd spent a good chunk of her summer kissing off haters with her noisy love-it-or-hate-it No. 1 debut single “Swagger Jagger,” but now she’s suddenly found herself hopelessly swept right off of her feet.
“With Ur Love,” Lloyd’s second single off of her upcoming studio debut, finds the 17-year-old singer flirting alongside “Please Don’t Go” crooner Mike Posner in a breezy, RiRi-like mid-tempo that recalls “What’s My Name?” or “Rude Boy.” “Used to always think I was bulletproof/But you got an AK, and you’re blowing through,” Lloyd concedes with all signature swagga-fied delivery during her lovestruck second single. “First date, first base/Second date, second base/Third date…you’re looking at me funny,” Posner teases during his rap.
“With Ur Love” a supercute, swoon-y lil’ love ditty, and undoubtedly the stuff of high school Facebook statuses for months to come when released in the UK on Oct. 30. + LISTEN TO CHER LLOYD FEATURING MIKE POSNER, “WITH UR LOVE”
4.) The Saturdays, “My Heart Takes Over”
Hot off the stiletto heels of their massive club hit “All Fired Up,” the ladies of the UK’s The Saturdays are back with a brand-new single, and this time, they’re going straight for your heartstrings. “My Heart Takes Over,” the band’s first real power ballad single since 2009′s “Issues” (which, in retrospect, isn’t even really a power ballad…so it’s their first ever!) find the girls crushing hard on a love unrequited.
The song was produced by power-pop king Steve Mac, the same producer responsible for most of UK boy band The Wanted’s radio smashes, and co-penned by Norwegian song-scribe Ina Wroldsen. “Baby, you should know that this is where my heart takes over,” the girls cry out on the chorus, recalling all the best of producer Ryan Tedder’s massive pop ballads, including Leona Lewis‘ “Bleeding Love” and Kelly Clarkson‘s “Already Gone.”
The Sats’ chilly heartbreak ballad will be released on Nov. 13 (a week before their third studio album, On Your Radar), which makes “My Heart Takes Over” the perfect accompaniment to every Christmas blues playlist. What — oh, this? No…that’s not a tear! It’s just, um…a snowflake! Yeah. Just a snowflake. + LISTEN TO THE SATURDAYS, “MY HEART TAKES OVER”
5.) Ask Embla, “Winter”
Ina Wroldsen isn’t just responsible for penning today’s hottest pop for some of today’s biggest acts including Britney Spears (“He About To Lose Me”), Cobra Starship (“You Make Me Feel”) and The Saturdays — she’s also one-half of indie-pop unit, Ask Embla.
Formed along with Swedish producer Arnthor Birgisson, the same man responsible for such classic ’00s earworms as Jessica Simpson‘s “Irresistible” and Janet Jackson‘s “All Nite (Don’t Stop),” Ask Embla is a brand-new side project for both Wroldsen and Birgisson. They’ve already put five songs up for streaming on SoundCloud so far, and the results are nothing less than (predictably) amazing Swede-pop.
“Winter,” one of the newest offerings from the duo, is a gorgeous moment of sad disco. “How can this illusion fight when everything dying around us?/Here comes winter,” Wroldsen sadly repeats as the song’s pulsating club beats pour into the speakers. Although “Winter” could easily fit onto any dance floor playlist, it’s the mournful melodies and heartbreaking lyricism that make this track a cut above the rest of the dance floor fluff. + LISTEN TO ASK EMBLA, “WINTER”
Bradley Stern is a writer from Connecticut. In his spare time, he enjoys organizing his Britney Spears CD collection in reverse chronological order and plotting the various ways in which he will bring down Katy Perry to become Rihanna’s best friend. But most of all, he spends his time tweeting and musing daily about pop music on his blog, MuuMuse.