This week’s roundup includes a brand-new girl group from the U.K., a few dance floor favorites and an X Factor winner preparing for her grand comeback to the music scene.
Elephants? Killing boyfriends? Sweet, sugary metaphors about chocolate bars? Yep, sounds like another normal week in the world of pop to me.
Credit: Getty Images, last.fm
1.) Alexandra Burke, “Elephant”
It’s been just over a year since “X Factor UK” Season 5 winner Alexandra Burke released her last single, “The Silence,” as she’s busily been recording the follow-up to her No. 1 2009 studio album, Overcome. Now, she’s returning in a massive way (PUN!) with “Elephant,” crafted by acclaimed dance producer Erick Morillo (Reel 2 Real).
The giant-size (PUN!) dance-floor anthem finds Burke breaking against the pressure of a relationship on the rocks. “There’s an elephant standing in the room/Although we’re all alone, it’s not just me and you,” she croons off the top of the chorus. Packed full of scorching arena-size synthesizers, crystalline Auto-Tuned vocals, and early ’90s vibrations (no doubt Morillo’s influence), the production is fairly off-the-walls — but in a best way possible. While the song only hit radio last week, one thing seems fairly certain: It’s going to be big. (PUN!!!) + LISTEN TO ALEXANDRA BURKE’S “ELEPHANT”
2.) Natalia Kills, “Kill My Boyfriend”
When she’s not busy grinding axes or pouring hot wax on her prey, Cherrytree Records darling Natalia Kills enjoys spending some quality time with her boyfriend — and by that, I mean plotting the various ways to bump him off.
You see, she’s having some second thoughts about her beau of the moment: “I got a lover, I’m about to have a mother-in-law/And things are kinda perfect, but I know you’re f****** worth it/There’s only one thing I can do to break it off,” she sings on top of the deceivingly breezy pop-flavored tune.
But the dark-pop princess isn’t just going to go the standard route to exact the dirty deed: In the newly released clip for the song, Kills gets mighty creative with her weapon of choice. Warning: Not for the lactose intolerant. + LISTEN TO NATALIA KILLS, “KILL MY BOYFRIEND”
+ Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs Of The Week after the jump!
3.) Nadia Ali & Starkillers, “Keep It Coming”
Empress of the Dance Floor Nadia Ali has been serving up dozens of dance-floor masterpieces for a little more than a decade now, from her 2002 classic as iiO (“Rapture” — trust me, you’ll remember it when you hear it), to last year’s summertime smash with Starkillers and Alex Kenji, “Pressure,” to her new anthem to kick off 2012, “Keep It Coming.”
Once again teaming up with “Discoteka” producer, Starkillers, Ali’s latest finds the melodic chanteuse waxing pensive above throbbing house beats: “This is all I’ve wanted/Yet I keep on running and running/So why am I running?” she croons. As per usual with Nadia, the lyrics cut unexpectedly deeper than your standard “party hard” club cut. Emotional and danceable, per usual!
Oh Nadia, please do us all a favor and take the title of new track to heart… forever. + LISTEN TO NADIA ALI AND STARKILLERS, “KEEP IT COMING”
4.) Steve Aoki, “Ladi Dadi (feat. Wynter Gordon)”
To kick off the release of his debut studio album, Wonderland, electro-house producer Steve Aoki is coming har-har-hard with the release of “Ladi Dadi,” featuring my favorite rising dance-pop vixen, Wynter Gordon. Judging by the title, you’d think “Ladi Dadi” is a sugary-sweet little ditty, but don’t let it fool you: There’s nothing too cutesy about this hard-hitting dance floor stormer by the time it hits the chorus. “A little bit of talk, a little bit of pleasure/A little bit of making out and then we work it out,” Gordon yelps above the grinding, gritty dubstep-infused beats.
Oh, and the song’s not the only thing that packs a punch: Make sure you check out the brand-new video for the track, which sees Aoki and Gordon squaring off in a “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”-esque bloody battle royale. I won’t give anything away, but like “Degrassi,” it goes there. At least one thing’s certain: Steve Aoki’s searing beats with Wynter’s dynamic set of pipes? A knockout victory. + LISTEN TO STEVE AOKI FEATURING WYNTER GORDON, “LADI DADI”
5.) Stooshe, “Love Me (feat. Travie McCoy)”
Imagine if the Spice Girls and En Vogue got together to record soundtracks for the adult film industry: That’s an uncomfortable-yet-slightly-tantalizing thought, yes? Well, that’s Stooshe — the frisky girl group steadily rocketing out of the U.K.
The BBC-approved Sound of 2012 finalists are now preparing for their major label debut, kicking off with their second single in March: “Love Me,” featuring Gym Class Heroes‘ Travie McCoy. Originally titled something a bit naughtier (use your imagination!), the swinging ’60s surf-pop tune is nothing but pure soulful melodies and cutting pop hooks — even if the lyrics might have you blushing while you dance. “Do your thing and don’t be speaking/Not unless it’s dirty, dirty, filthy, dirty!” OH! + LISTEN TO STOOSHE, “LOVE ME (FEAT. TRAVIE MCCOY)”
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.