This week, we’re giving some shine to some of my favorite rising pop stars on the brink of breaking out, a wavy synth-pop vixen, and a talented industry veteran getting sexy right now.
1.) Sky Ferreira, “Lost In My Bedroom (Demo)”
You know when you’re home feeling all alone on a Friday night, just writhing around in your bed listening to pop tunes while spacing out and staring at the ceiling above? No? Just me and Lana Del Rey, then? Nope! Sky Ferreira gets it, too!
“Lost In My Bedroom” is one of the album tracks off of the gorgeous indie-alt-whatever you want to call it-pop songstress’ much-anticipated debut LP, Wild At Heart, due out later in 2012. Packed full of gritty, hazy synthesizers and reverb-happy vocals echoing above, “Lost” sees Sky getting carried away in her own thoughts, playing like Goldfrapp and Body Talk-era Robyn got stuck rolling around in a kaleidoscope.
Does that make any sense? No, there’s no way it could. But listening to this song, all the dots will connect as soon as Sky starts drifting deep into her own world. Now, go get lost — in your bedroom.
Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs Of The Week after the jump!
2.) JoJo, “Sexy To Me”
“I don’t need nobody ’cause I’m sexy to me!” JoJo proclaims off the top of the chorus of her brand-new track, “Sexy To Me.” Damn straight, Miss Thang!
Released as a promotional single to tie-in with the 21-year-old Boston-bred vocalist’s current role as a spokeswoman for Clearasil (Have you seen the commercial yet? She wears an incredible hat!), the Danja-produced banga finds the Boston-bred chanteuse getting sexy, strong and in control on top of spacey electronica blips and bumpin’ 808 drum beats.
Pouring shots all around and hitting up the DJ booth, JoJo just doesn’t give a damn what you think about her tonight, ’cause JoJo’s feeling JoJo. Put it this way: Imagine if Britney recorded a self-empowerment anthem à la Pink‘s “Raise Your Glass” while recording Blackout, and there you have it: “Sexy To Me.” Get it? Got it? Good.
3.) Rita Ora, “R.I.P. (feat. Tinie Tempah)”
Rihanna? No, Rita Ora! But close, sort of: Here’s why. Like RiRi, Rita was also signed to Roc Nation by Jay-Z. And like RiRi, Rita’s been bangin’ out smashes in the studio with the likes of Norwegian duo Stargate, The-Dream and Ester Dean. But unlike RiRi, the Kosovo-Albanian songstress is only just now preparing to debut in 2012.
Oh, and Rita’s not just debuting Stateside — she’s going international: In the U.S., Rita just dropped “How We Do (Party)”, a power-pop punch of guitar strumming goodness à la Katy Perry and Jessie J (and a distinct whiff of Ke$ha’s “The Harold Song” in the chorus).
In the U.K. however, she’s launching with a track of all-star proportions: “R.I.P.,” penned by Drake, produced by Chase & Status, and featuring quick-spitting London-based MC, Tinie Tempah. “R.I.P. to the girl you used to see/ Her days are over!” Ora triumphantly declares. With the versatility and vocals displayed on both of Ora’s debut records, it’s hard to provide a good dissenting argument.
4.) Tinashe, “Stay Afloat”
I’ve written about rising pop starlet Tinashe several times now: From her club cut with Orange Factory Music back in September (“Artificial People”) to her brand-new self-released mixtape, “In Case We Die,” the talented 19-year-old songstress has only continued to impress me with her versatility and talent.
Earlier this week, Tinashe launched a track for free on her website. “Stay Afloat” is a bonus cut left off of her recently released mixtape. Much like the rest of the spooked-out R&B collection, the song dabbles in tripping 808 drum patterns, scorching synthesizers, and of course, Tinashe’s melodic, sensual vocal stylings.
Tackling haters and naysayers alike, the singer croons about working full-time at a music career at such a young age. “People get so scared when they hear that/ Why can’t I be young and independent?” she fires back. And watch for that deliciously catchy bridge (“Try to stay afloat, but the river’s so deep”) — it’s infectious.
5.) Nadia Oh, “Slapper (Ayye)”
Nadia Oh is kind of a pop enigma. After the release of such heavily vocoded synth-pop smashes like “My Egyptian Lover” and “N.A.D.I.A. O.H.” back in 2008 (as well as her delicious 2011 sophomore record, Colours), Lady Gaga producer Space Cowboy‘s mysterious protégée Nadia Oh returns to the scene in 2012 with “Slapper (Ayye),” a virtually melody-less (yet entirely infectious) beat backed by unintelligible babbling in the background.
“Shaved hair, don’t care/ It’s a celebration/ Bad b*tches, vacation,” Nadia brags. Think of a very stripped down version of Ke$ha‘s “Sleazy” or Uffie’s “Pop The Glock” being crooned by a Speak & Spell beamed in from 1985. And as for the beat? Well… it’s a slapper (whatever that means).
Miss Oh is either a genius purveyor of trashy-yet-amazing Moombahton (that’s electronic reggaeton — and yes, it’s a real subgenre of dance) who’s completely in on the joke, or Space Cowboy’s been putting a wig on an Auto-Tune machine for a few years and pulling a fast one on us. Either way, it should never, ever stop… Space Cowboy, just play that track.
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/TinasheNow.com/NadiaOh.com