Why The Veronicas’ Dark Pop On ‘Life On Mars’ Is Set To Dominate

Hey, space travelers! (That works, right? Just bear with me here.) I’m Sam Lansky, and this is my column “Pop Think,” where we’re getting intergalactic all up in this piece with anticipation of the Veronicas‘ upcoming record Life on Mars, which is one of my most-anticipated releases this year. Even though they’ve never been super successful in the United States, the Australian duo’s last two albums have been some of my fave pop records ever — and “Lolita,” the first single from their new LP, more than delivers on the exceptional promise they showed on their first two releases.

See, Lisa and Jessica have been away for a minute (they haven’t released an album since 2007′s Hook Me Up — that’s five long years, folks), but it’s looking like their time off was time well spent, as they’ve hooked up (see what I did there?) with some new collaborators like, oh, Billy freaking Corgan from The Smashing Pumpkins, as well as German songwriter and producer Toby Gad (he cowrote Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” among other hits). That first single is one of the best of the year, and given their superb track record, this album should be just as excellent.

SO PRETTY. The Veronicas prepare to take over with the release of “Life On Mars.”

Considering the fact that the Veronicas have been in the pop game for well over a decade, I’ve never understood why they haven’t gotten the Stateside attention they deserved. The girls’ debut single, the Max Martin/Dr. Luke-produced pop-rock anthem “4Ever,” is one of my Top 10 Songs Ever. (Yup, ever.) Their 2005 album The Secret Life Of… was a brilliantly precocious effort, crammed with sharp melodies and largely penned by the girls’ themselves; their sophomore release, Hook Me Up, was even better. Lead single “Untouched” earned the girls their highest U.S. chart position to date at No. 17 on the Hot 100, and later the song went platinum. The Veronicas’ sound has always been a little bit darker and edgier than many of their pop-chart contemporaries, but they have enjoyed moderate success in Australia with their lush, Ke$ha-penned midtempo track, “This Love.”

Find out more about the Veronicas’ new album and video after the jump.

After taking a lengthy hiatus to work on individual projects, the girls are finally back this year with their first single, “Lolita,” a Toby Gad-produced stormer that evokes the chilly synths of Ellie Goulding‘s “Lights.” In fact, just today the Veronicas dropped the track’s brand-new video, which explores the predatory connotations of the title “Lolita.” The girls grab their guns to fight a monster in some kind of dark pop militia, the result being gruesome but definitely not without staying power.

Given the Veronicas’ outstanding international career, my hope is that their upcoming album will have Stateside staying power, too. Life on Mars includes production from Nellee Hooper (best known for his work with No Doubt) and should continue in the vein of “Lolita” — that is, dark, melodically charged, and ingenious. If they keep this up, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t hit as well here as they do in their homeland — and that’s something worth celebrating.

THE VERONICAS “LOLITA” from Spencer Susser on Vimeo.

Photo credit: Warner Bros Records