I know that my pop roundups are usually all about girl power, but this week, we’ve ACTUALLY got girl power–the Almighty Spice are back with a new musical! Plus, killer cuts from a dance floor diva taking a dive into new territory, a Swedish producer carving out essential sad disco and a major solo attempt from an emo-rock frontwoman on hiatus. Zig-a-zig-HA!
1.) Wynter Gordon, “Stimela”
Wynter Gordon might be best known for her colossal club cuts like “Dirty Talk” and “Til Death,” but beginning on July 9, the immensely talented NYC-based songstress is about to take a breather from the dance floor and dive into some deeper tunes and unexpected genres with four brand-new EPs, beginning with Doleo (That’s Latin for “pain.”) And if “Stimela,” the first song from Doleo is any indication, she’s about to, as we in the industry like to say, snatch all wigs.
Floating above spooky, ambient electronica, the chanteuse evokes shades of Phil Collins‘ “In The Air Tonight,” The Weeknd and Florence + The Machine‘s witchy whimsy. “Save me with your powers/ shower me with your wisdom and truth,” Gordon begs on the track. Featuring a chorus sung entirely in Zulu and some almighty tribal drums, “Stimela” is one massive out-of-body experience, and one of the best, most jaw-droppingly amazing songs I’ve heard this year. Consider me thoroughly slayed.
Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs after the jump!
2.) Spice Girls, “Wannabe”
In case you haven’t already seen us shaking and crying about it forever, the almighty five of the Spice Girls reunited in London today, on the steps of the very same hotel where “Wannabe” was shot, to announce their upcoming musical, Viva Forever. WHAT?! Obviously then, some much-needed reverence was due in this week’s roundup. Aside from the fact that “Wannabe” is like one of the most important songs of our generation — it ushered in girl power, platform boots, Union Jack minidresses, pigtails and the bubblegum-pop frenzy of the ’90s — it’s still one hell of a perfect pop song, 16 years and counting. Viva forever, indeed!
3.) Orion, “In The End”
OK, so I don’t mean to stereotype or anything, but there’s something that must be said about the people of Sweden: They sure know how to cut some sad disco. Like Robyn, Lykke Li and all great Swede-pop legends, up-and-coming producer Orion is paving the way for himself with a sparkling, somber electronic debut. With vocal assistance by Swede-pop chanteuse, Marylin, “In The End” plays like a sequel to Kleerup‘s global smash with Robyn, “With Every Heartbeat.” “In the end, there is only us/ and baby there is time for us,” she mournfully cries above the blaring beats. Yep, you might want to go ahead and stuff a few tissues in your back pocket before you hit the dance floor.
4.) Marina And The Diamonds, “Power & Control (Michael Woods Remix)”
Right, OK–so I’ve already written about this song, but here’s the thing. One, “Power & Control” is one of the best songs of the year, and two — it’s remixed! Therefore, it’s like a whole new song and it counts! The newly debuted Michael Woods remix of Marina And The Diamonds‘ unbelievably major second single off of Electra Heart (out July 23), smooths the song’s damning vocals across a slow-building, dramatic build, and lets it slowly climb until a most killer payoff in the form of an EDM breakdown that’ll send the heart sticker flying straight off of your cheek. It’s a must, as with all things Marina.
5.) Cassadee Pope, “Secondhand”
After announcing a hiatus late last year, Hey Monday lead vocalist Cassadee Pope has opted to go the solo route in the first half of 2012, signaled by the release of her debut self-titled EP, a four-track collection of deliriously catchy pop-rock tunes. “Secondhand,” my personal favorite from the release, blends dramatic string sections and gorgeous, singalong-ready pop riffs, somewhere in between the singer-songwriter spunk of Cady Groves and the hook-heavy quality of Taylor Swift. “Don’t worry baby, ’cause it’s all my fault/ I’ll take the part that she doesn’t want,” Pope cries. From there, the song only gets infinitely catchier. The next radio earworm? Watch your back, Carly Rae. Just saying.
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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