It’s the week of the Diamond Jubilee! Not familiar? The jubilee is the U.K.’s gigantic celebration in honor of the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s ascension to the throne! To celebrate the occasion (and surely not at all because I only listen to Brit-pop and it’s convenient!), I’ve selected tracks from some of my favorite British acts of the moment. Well, and a Danish songstress. And the Scissor Sisters don’t really count, either. But otherwise…so British! Long live the Queen!
1.) Bright Light Bright Light, “Cry At Films”
U.K. electro-pop prince Bright Light Bright Light (or Rod Thomas, for short) has spent well over two years now slowly unveiling the makings of his sparkling debut record, Make Me Believe in Hope. At long last, it’s finally arrived across the pond on June 4 (and later this month in the U.S.).
Colored by pulsing ’80s electronica beats, early ’90s club rhythms and 21st century electronica, the entire record shines with sublime pop hooks, glittering synth-pop production and crushing lyricism. “Cry At Films,” one of my instant favorites from the collection (which features Del Marquis of the Scissor Sisters on backing vocals and guitar), finds the singer weaving a heartbreaking tale atop spaced-out disco beats, like a classic Robyn stomper. “So I cry at films, that show me a good life/That show where I want to be,” Thomas cries out on the gorgeous track — just one of the many brilliant moments on Mr. Bright Light’s (x2) debut. (See what I did there?!)
2.) Little Boots, “Headphones”
After unleashing her six-minute opus, “Shake” in November as well as the delicious early ’90s throwback “Every Night I Say A Prayer” in April, U.K. electro-pop star turned disco diva Little Boots returns this month with her third single, “Headphones,” from her as yet untitled sophomore record.
Produced by the reliably amazing NYC-based production duo The Knocks, Miss Boots’ latest banga fings her stepping into the discotheque for another joyous round of disco-pop bliss. And as it turns out, the party is entirely in her head: “I wear my headphones at the disco, so nobody has to know,” she happily croons throughout the bouncy track. With its catchy la-la-la post-chorus and bouncy disco rhythms, “Headphones” is like Miss Boots’ own funky, indie-pop rendition of Kylie Minogue‘s iconic earworm, “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.”
Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs Of The Week after the jump!
3.) Medina, “Boring”
Perhaps you’re already vaguely familiar with Medina, the Danish chanteuse responsible for “You & I” and “Addiction” — two Top 10 smashes on the Billboard Hot Dance Airplay charts back in 2010. It’s time to become reacquainted (and brush up on your Dutch while you’re at it), as the dance-floor goddess is back for another round of sizzling dance-pop cuts with Forever.
Her second English-language release, the album comes packed with powerful club anthems (“Forever”), saucy flirtatious (“Threesome”) and some rather straightforward tracks demanding your attention, like “Boring.” “If I told you that I f***ed your best friend, would you even listen or slap me in the face?” she ponders. Um…I’m all ears, Medina! With its delicious synthesizer stomps (a bit Robyn!) and hilariously blunt chorus (“Baby, you bore the s*** out of me!”) it’s unlikely you’ll find yourself yawning on the floor anytime soon.
4.) Scissor Sisters, “Self Control”
Oh, the mighty Scissters! Last week Jake Shears and his amazing troupe of disco-loving dudes and divas released Magic Hour, the band’s eclectic fourth studio album, which features cuts like the Azealia Banks co-penned “Shady Love” and the massive, Calvin Harris-produced “Only the Horses.”
Among the shiny new disco gems in the collection is one particularly dark, delicious treat: “Self Control.” Throbbing on top of a very early ’90s club pulse (think Robin S, “Show Me Love”), they grab the reigns and start barking orders: “Just keep staring at the ceiling/ Got to learn about the feeling,” he instructs. With its reverb-heavy bridges, stuttering moans and chilly beats, “Self Control” is undoubtedly the slinkiest selection from their new record.
5.) Florrie, “Every Inch”
As the drummer in British pop-perfection production troupe Xenonania’s in-house band, songwriter Florrie knows a thing or two about crafting a mean hook. The Late EP — her third (and final!) free EP, released ahead of her upcoming long-awaited studio debut, finds the gorgeous songstress providing endless hooks and robust synth-pop productions. “Every Inch,” one of the best tracks on the four-track record, is a tongue-twisting exercise in seduction above a swinging ’60s surf guitar and sizzling electronica. “You gotta earn every inch of my body, baby,” Florrie cautions. It’s her sassiest number yet, and the greatest Girls Aloud stormer the ladies never recorded.
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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