This week’s roundup includes one of the bounciest cuts from an “X Factor” alum’s new album, some indie-pop revelry, and a solo go from one of pop’s most tried-and-true hitmakers.
1.) Matthew Koma, “Parachute”
Cherrytree Records artist Matthew Koma is rising rapidly — so much so that he might end up needing a parachute (see what I did there?). Striding across a bright piano chord and a tripping drumbeat, the talented singer-songwriter blends the melodic flow of Bruno Mars and the falsetto crooning of Adam Levine on his latest release: “Cut me loose, my parachute won’t let me fly/ I’ll survive, ’cause we got love,” Koma cries on top of the sparkling, lovey-dovey chorus, formally joining the ranks of fellow lovesick singers Ingrid Michaelson and Cheryl Cole (artists who’ve also made parachute references). Well, I mean, if you insist. Here’s hoping that love reaches 30,000 feet!
+ LISTEN TO MATTHEW KOMA, “PARACHUTE”
Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs after the jump!
2.) Leona Lewis, “Shake You Up”
Last week, Leona Lewis released her long-awaited, oft-delayed third studio record, Glassheart. It’s full of heartbreaking ballads and soaring pop numbers that allow Leona to show off those “X Factor” pipes, but it’s not all dramatics: Sometimes, Leona lets loose and sh-shakes it up. Case in point? “Shake You Up,” produced by Darkchild and co-penned by Bajan singer-songwriter, Livvi Franc. Providing subtle glimmers of “Thriller”-era Michael Jackson, the track finds Leona bouncing along an ’80s-encrusted synth beat, turning the tables on the man who did her dirty. The result? The perfect kiss-off track that plays as feisty as it does funky.
+ LISTEN TO LEONA LEWIS, “SHAKE YOU UP”
3.) Tegan and Sara, “I’m Not Your Hero”
Hot off the heels of their bouncy lead single, “Closer,” Canadian indie-pop sister act Tegan and Sara are back for a second round with “I’m Not Your Hero,” the latest cut from their upcoming record, Heartthrob. (Love that title!) Floating atop a skipping synth beat, moody guitars, and gorgeous harmonies, the girls temper expectations and give it their best on this honest anthem: “I’m not their hero, but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t brave,” the girls declare on the massively hook-heavy chorus. Infectious beats, thoughtful lyrics — I don’t know, girls. You sure sound like heroes to me!
+ LISTEN TO TEGAN AND SARA, “I’M NOT YOUR HERO”
4.) Ester Dean, “I Can’t Make You Love Me”
When pop scribe Ester Dean isn’t too busy stepping into the booth to pen the rudest of rude tracks for major players like G4L Princess RiRi, she’s busy crafting cuts for a long overdue LP of her own. After teasing out some tracks over the past few months, Dean’s back with “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” a storming, EDM-flavored cover of the classic Bonnie Raitt torch track. Full of searing pulsations, the reinvented track brings both David Guetta‘s “Turn Me On” and Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been” to mind — both of which Dean helped craft. I’m not sure if Bonnie ever imagined her song could soundtrack da club at 4 in the morning, but I’m still happy that Dean knew to take it there.
+ LISTEN TO ESTER DEAN, “I CAN’T MAKE YOU LOVE ME”
5.) Jenn D, “Lose It”
One of the newest acts in the U.K. dance-pop scene, Jenn D used to go by the name “Vela” until a Latin American pop star by the same moniker demanded Jenn change (I totally hate when that happens!). Regardless, the pop star’s been busy working in the studio with top producers, including the almighty Xenomania (of Girls Aloud fame), and “Lose It” is just the first taste of Miss D’s work. Crooning atop a ferocious “Cannibal”-esque jungle beat that would have Ke$ha licking her lips, the track quickly explodes into a noisy bout of gritty, grinding electronica with one rowdy declaration: “LOSE it!” It’s a hot tease that offers just the right amount of fierce energy to get us craving more. For now, we’ll be shaking our derriere.
+ LISTEN TO JENN D, “LOSE IT”
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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