It’s a real mishmosh of music this week: We’ve got a superb club cut, two anthems for the outraged and outcast, a lighthearted dance-pop ditty and a little bit of birthday self-indulgence to boot. It’s like the pick ‘n’ mix at the movie theater! Except with less germs. Dig in!
1.) Santigold, “Disparate Youth”
After unleashing her wild, M.I.A.-esque banger “Big Mouth” back in January, the genre-hopping Philadelphia singer-songwriter returns with “Disparate Youth,” an anthem for the disillusioned in a (post?) Occupy Wall Street world. Set atop a reggae-infused hip-hop beat and crunchy, disgruntled guitar licks (perhaps a little bit of inspiration from one of the album’s collaborators, Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ Nick Zinner), the song bounces between world-weariness and defiant optimism: “We now know we want more/A life worth fighting for,” Santigold declares on repeat.
Not only is it a killer cut, but it’s an empowering message to boot. Preach, Santi. Preach.
2.) Sato Goldschlag, “Mr. Mister (feat. Wynter Gordon)”
It’s a proven scientific fact: Wynter Gordon is incapable of producing music that can be categorized as anything less than amazing. And the diva’s latest dance floor dalliance, “Mr. Mister,” is certainly no exception to the rule. The song was released by Sato Goldschlag (such a pretty name — rolls off the tongue, right?), a mystery production troupe who wishes to remain anonymous, although they claimed to have worked with acts such as Beyoncé and Rihanna in the past. Hmm…
“Close the door/Don’t keep me waiting,” Gordon croons (laying on a bit of Celine realness in the process with those pipes — get it, girl!) before the Sato synths come surging in for a full-on fist pumping affair, resulting in one of the best House tracks of 2012 already.
So spill the beans already, Goldschlag: Who’s behind the producer’s table? The Freemasons? LMFAO? Blue Ivy? My money’s on the latter.
Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs Of The Week after the jump!
3.) Darin, “Nobody Knows”
Almost two years after the release of Darin’s 2010 record Lovekiller, the Swede-pop cutie pie is returning with the release of his brand-new mini-album, due out on April 2012 (with a second mini-album due out in August — never a dull moment!)
After having stepped into the studio with reliably amazing pop acts including RedOne (Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj) and Arnthor Birgisson (Britney Spears, Leona Lewis), Darin returns with “Nobody Knows,” a surging Scandinavian dance-pop production. “What’s love, tell me what’s love?” Darin cries out during the surging chorus, prompting the same question that’s been asked for decades — from Tina Turner with “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” to Jennifer “Jenny From the Block” Lopez in “(What Is) Love?” The answer, as it turns out: Nobody knows! But apparently, it involves a whole lot of dancing. I’m here for that!
4.) Jessie And The Toy Boys, “Runaway”
To help celebrate a federal appeals court declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional in California earlier this month, electro-pop darling Jessie And The Toy Boys has just released a new track (and video) called “Runaway,” a love song inspired by her teenage years.
The clip follows Jessie as she finds love in a hopeless place (well, California), featuring a cameo by Mollie Thomas, the first openly gay Miss California contestant. “The song is ultimately about breaking free and following your heart,” Jessie explained to fans.
Not only is the video a total win, but the song itself is absolutely gorgeous, recalling the icy sheen of Gwen Stefani‘s “Cool”: “Baby, we could runaway/Head in the clouds, got the radio loud,” Jessie gently croons above the twinkling, space-age synthesizers. Aside from my natural affinity for songs about running away with a loved one (this song truly ‘gets me’ y’all), “Runaway” a total pop knockout.
5.) Starshell, “Birthday Girl”
If you were out bouncing around in clubland two years ago, you might remember “SuperLuva,” the tropical Fernando Garibay-produced pop ditty crooned by up-and-coming dance floor diva, Starshell. Now, the talented singer-songwriter, who’s helped craft tracks for Kanye West (“Love Lockdown”) and Mary J. Blige (“Stronger With each Tear”) is now preparing to unleash her own upcoming debut record Liberation, beginning with the first official single, “Birthday Girl.”
Rather than dabbling in the hectic dance-pop club sound of late, Miss Starshell’s kicking back and getting into the groove on her debut cut, riding against a funky, infectious Danja-produced beat: “It’s my party/ I’ll get fly if I want to/Cry if I want to/ Kiss who I want to,” Ms. Menzies declares, not at all unlike the feel-good sound of Beyonce‘s “Party.”
Time to blow out the candles and dance the night away: Happy birthday, Starshell!
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 musing daily about pop music on his blog, MuuMuse.
Photo credit: Getty Images/ www.darin.nu/ Picture Group/ jessieandthetoyboys.com