This week’s roundup includes a moody cut from an alt-pop princess, a Knowles family-approved remix, a killer cut from this year’s Eurovision winner, and at last, the return of the Almighty Aloud. Go girls, g-g-go, go, go!
1.) Girls Aloud, “Something New”
Three years after announcing a “yearlong hiatus” (the math there is a bit dodgy), the flawless fivesome known as Girls Aloud — the Almighty Aloud, if you will — have at long last returned to reclaim their position on the throne as one of the U.K.’s most successful girl groups ever. How so? With something new, of course. While the mammoth, synth-infused beats of their new single recall Calvin Harris and Lady Gaga, the Xenomania-penned track remains classic Aloud, like a mix between 10 of their hits. All the signature traits of the Aloud are there: Queen Nadine Coyle’s major diva-size pipes, Cheryl Cole‘s aggressive “street” tude, and Sarah Harding yelping wildly all over the place. “We’re the leaders of the pack!” the girls declare, confidently towering above the competition in their glittery stilettos. “Something New” doesn’t only play like one of the best songs of 2012, it completely lives up to the dreaded hype of a comeback… and then some.
Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs after the jump.
2.) Sky Ferreira, “Ghost”
Today, alt indie-pop provocateur, fashion darling, and brooding singer-songwriter Sky Ferreira released her brand-new EP, Ghost, her long-awaited follow-up to 2011′s As If EP. Included among the gems, along with the irresponsibly amazing Blood Orange-produced “Everything is Embarrassing,” the Shirley Manson co-penned “Red Lips,” and the Goldfrapp-esque “Lost In My Bedroom” (which we covered in demo form a while back), there’s the guitar-led title track, “Ghost.” The lonesome, slow-sauntering number sees the songstress skipping out the synthesizers in favor of country guitar plucks and lonesome yelping, at times recalling Lana Del Rey. “My voice is silent/ but my thoughts are loud,” Ferreira mourns. It’s yet another show of Sky’s versatility, as she continues to drift her way through different sounds and genres.
3.) Loreen, “Crying Out Your Name”
We already knew to anticipate great things from 2012 Eurovision winner Loreen‘s debut studio album because of her utterly gigantic winning number, “Euphoria.” But we weren’t at all prepared for just how good the album actually is: Full of moody, trance-pop anthems and almighty powerhouse vocals that would have anyone clutching their pearls in awe, the album is a stone-cold pop classic — and one of the finest pop releases of the year. “Crying Out Your Name” is but one of the many gems that finds the Swedish songstress crying out above heartbreaking strings, tripping beats, and Kleerup-esque synthesizers. “I’ll be crying out your name/ Drink through all this pain tonight/ I don’t even want to fight,” the distraught songstress yelps. Like any proper Swedish disco diva (hi Robyn!), it’s a purely tears-at-the-discotheque affair.
4.) Ellie Goulding, “Figure 8″
Two years after releasing her phenomenal release Lights, U.K. indie-pop songstress Ellie Goulding has reemerged with Halycon, a more organic follow-up to her sparkling debut. Album track “Figure 8,” however, sees the songstress dabbling in dubstep territory: “I chased your love around a figure 8/ I need you more than I can take,” she heartbreakingly croons above the dazzling, crashing synthesizer beats (inspired by BF Skrillex‘s work? Maybe so.) It’s a gorgeous and devastating addition to Goulding’s discography, and proof that the singer-songwriter’s soaring vocals are best served atop several scoops of electronica.
5.) Solange, “Sleep In The Park (Twin Shadows Remix)”
Yes, Solange Knowles‘ Blood Orange-produced “Losing You” is easily one of the best songs of 2012 — but have you heard the B-side, “Sleep In The Park”? Fun fact: It’s equally amazing! The Prince-esque jam is full of bouncy beats and funky claps. “We can’t survive on love, baby,” the indie songstress croons. And just to make an amazing track even amazing-er, Twin Shadow has just released his own remix of the track. Full of layered vocals, some sizzling dance rhythms, and a vocal assist by D’Angelo Lacy, the mix completely reinvents the track, turning it into an incredible mixture of icy, minimal R&B and throwback ’80s house beats. It’s an aural feast!
Bradley Stern is a writer from Connecticut. In his spare time, he enjoys organizing his Britney Spears CD collection in reverse chronological order and finding ways to marry into the Minogue family. But most of all, he spends his time tweeting and musing daily about pop music on his blog, MuuMuse.
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