It’s summer! Well, almost. To help ring in the rapidly approaching sunny season, we’ve got five feverish new tracks from the likes of Romanian superstars, Swedish chanteuses and fabulous Stateside dance-pop troupes to provide the soundtrack to your breezy beach days — or at least a temporary mental escape while you’re stuck in a cubicle. Dive in!
1.) Icona Pop, “I Love It”
When Adele gets mad, she sets fire to the rain and touches your face as it pours. When the girls of Swedish indie-electro duo Icona Pop get mad, they throw your s*** in a bag, push it down the stairs, crash a car into a bridge and watch it burn. Spot the difference? It’s subtle — just like their new single “I Love It.” And by subtle, I mean literally nuts o’clock.
Co-crafted by Patrik Berger (of Robyn‘s “Dancing On My Own”) and Swedish producer Style of Eye, “I Love It” is like a beefed-up, Swedish response piece to French producer Martin Solveig‘s pulverizing 2011 summertime smash, “Hello.” “You’re so damn hard to please, we’ve got to kill this switch/ You’re from the ’70s, but I’m a ’90s b****!” the girls shout aloud in the bridge. With its sledgehammering synthesizers, feisty vocals and “I don’t give a…” overall attitude, “I Love It” is destined to become a staple to the soundtrack of summer 2012. Don’t like it? I don’t care — I LOVE IT!
Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs Of The Week after the jump.
2.) Scissor Sisters, “Let’s Have A Kiki”
The Scissor Sisters have clearly been watching a lot of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” lately, because the latest cut off of their upcoming Magic Hour (released for free on Spotify over the weekend) is serving pure drag queen realness. Bouncing along an early ’90s club thump — think Vanity 6 meets RuPaul‘s Supermodel of the World — the group’s seductress Miss Ana Matronic spends a minute or so leaving a voice mail for someone named Pickles (brilliant) recounting the treacherous tale of carting her wig through the rain and taking the train to the club — only to find out it’s been shut down by the po-po. In short: She’s in dire need of a kiki! What’s a kiki? “A kiki is a party for calming all your nerves/ We’re spilling tea and dishing just desserts when it’s deserved,” Mizz Ana Matronic explains. Bid adieu to your ennui!
“Let’s Have A Kiki” is purely ferocious, scandalous (escándalo, as a certain former “Drag Race” contestant might say) and everything I need and more. Make sure to break out your flashlights before hitting the floor — it’s a shade shady! Serve, work, turn, honey!
3.) Marina + The Diamonds, “Power & Control”
OK, so yes: I’ve featured Marina + The Diamonds about a billion times in the past few weeks, but (1) there’s never enough Marina + The Diamonds in this world, and (2) there’s cause for celebration! Not only did her second studio album, Electra Heart, just hit No. 1 in the U.K. this week (Go, Marina!), but she’s now preparing for the release of the next single: “Power & Control,” my favorite track of the album!
Produced by Greg Kurstin, the damning, explosive number sees the Welsh songstress raising a fist and marching into war above a soldiering synth-stomp and rapid-fire electronica: “Women and men, we are the same/ But love will always be a game!” Shut ‘em down, Marina. Throw in an unbelievably incredible middle eight, which sounds as though Marina’s getting sucked into a vortex of throbbing synthesizers, and you’ve got one hell of an almighty act of defiance. “You can’t have peace without a war,” she reminds us during the song’s final few seconds. Weak? Um, hardly.
4.) Zowie, “My Calculator”
Rising New Zealand electro-pop songstress Zowie has been slowly churning out tunes from her upcoming debut, Love Demolition (out later this week), for more than two years now, including “Broken Machine” and “Bite Back.” The latest? “My Calculator,” a springy ’80s-inflected electro-pop anthem, crafted by the genius Swede-pop songwriter Henrik Jonback (co-writer of Britney’s “Toxic,” among other pop smashes). The punchy pop number finds our faithful Kiwi chanteuse getting lost in the numbers on her lover’s calculator: “1, 1, 1 and a 6, 6, 6 and a 2, 2, 2 and a 3, 3, 3 and a… that is not my number on your screen!” Zowie angrily declares above the song’s slapping electric pulse. Uh oh!
The math might be all shades of wrong for Zowie’s brainless beau, but carry the 5, subtract the 7 — yep, it all adds up to a smash to me. You’ll need to check out the accompanying video as well, which premiered just yesterday, to see Zowie pulling some serious shapes in front of a lot of zany patterns and zigzag designs–and of course, a whole lot of numbers.
5.) Inna, “OK”
After delivering single word-titled club smash after single word-titled club smash over the past few years — including “Hot,” Amazing” and “Wow” — Romanian dance floor sensation Elena Alexandra Apostoleanu (or, as we know her, Inna) returns yet again with “OK,” her latest killer club cut released just in time for summer.
Crooning above a delicious Mediterranean club-pop groove crafted by producers Play & Win, the Romanian chanteuse delivers the song’s semi-unintelligible chorus over and over again on repeat: “You say I wanna be okay, hey/ Don’t wanna be away, babe/ Away from my heart, I want you back!” With about a dozen or more hooks packed into the track (“Shake it to the beat now!”) and an infectious Ibiza-lite groove, Inna might very well be on her way to making another splash on the U.S. club scene. Fingers crossed, OK?
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.
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