This week’s roundup features promising up-and-comers and established international pop royalty alike, including my favorite Mexican pop princess, some R&B flirtations from Ne-Yo’s rising star, and the almighty comeback of a Swedish girl group member gone solo.
1.) Little Boots, “Motorway”
Little Boots has some big news this week: She’s back with a brand-new album in May! And to briefly satisfy our endless hunger for the new record, the U.K. electro-pop princess has graciously uploaded “Motorway,” a new track off of Nocturnes. “Motorway” is a moodier selection than the past few cuts from the collection (including “Shake” and “Every Night I Say A Prayer”), which sees the songstress evoking shades of Saint Etienne and Kylie Minogue. “Meet me on the motorway/ Together we can make our great escape,” she croons along the atmospheric track, full of dramatic piano chords and hypnotic, tranced-out pulsations. Another tantalizing tease of what’s to come? You bet.
Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs after the jump!
2.) Belinda, “En la Obscuridad”
After dazzling us with the hypnotic “En El Amor Hay Que Perdonar” last year, Belinda returns in 2013 with “En la Obscuridad,” another track off of her upcoming fourth studio album, Catarsis. The sparkling dance-pop cut is full of sparkling Euro-dance pulsations and euphoric shouts of “Dame un poco más!” which the flaw-free Mexican pop princess demands throughout. (That’s “give me a little more,” non-Español speaking friends!) It’s basically all about living in the moment, taking off all your clothes, and regretting nothing. Ah, YOLO: The universal language of love.
3.) Alexis Jordan, “Acid Rain”
The last time we heard from Roc Nation sweetheart Alexis Jordan, she was busy cooing shimmering, StarGate-produced dance-pop tunes like “Happiness” and “Good Girl.” Now, she’s readying her return in 2013 with “Acid Rain.” Once again produced by StarGate, the Sia-penned (and therefore, objectively perfect) production sees Jordan getting a little bit edgier above a progressive house beat and a Bingo Players sample. “It’s like acid rain in a hurricane/ Might hear your call to bring me cover,” Jordan yelps across the chorus, bringing Sia’s enormous David Guetta collabo “Titanium” to mind. With yet another soon-to-be club smash in her hands, that Alexis Jordan rain — err, reign — just won’t let up anytime soon.
4.) RaVaughn featuring Wale, “Better Be Good”
Up-and-coming R&B songstress RaVaughn might be new to the music scene, but she’s not new to the game. “Lord have mercy, keep you thirsty/ I’mma need you to prove you’re worthy,” she challenges on her supremely infectious R&B flirtation “Better Be Good,” a cut off of her forthcoming debut LP. Conjuring shades of Keyshia Cole and Mary J Blige, the songstress confidently takes her man to task, along with a supersmooth assist by Wale. The slick track is a promising start for the Columbia Records starlet, who was originally discovered by Ne-Yo. Hope that guy she’s singing about really is good — ’cause RaVaughn most definitely is.
5.) Janet Leon, “Heartstrings”
Once upon a time, there was a Swedish girl group called Play who knew a thing or two about chasing the boys. Those days are (sadly) long gone now, but the memories still carry on — in the form of solo careers. Take onetime member Janet Leon, for instance, who found herself on the stage of this year’s Melodifestivalen (that’s the Swedish prequalifying round for Eurovision) performing her brand-new comeback track, “Heartstrings,” a gloriously over-the-top dance-pop smash. Full of “na-na-na!” chants and almighty synthesizer blasts, the song simply screams Eurovision gold. Sadly, Leon got the boot just before the final rounds, but the song’s legacy — just like that of Play — will live on in our hearts forever.
Bradley Stern is a writer from Connecticut. In his spare time, he enjoys organizing his Britney Spears CD collection in reverse chronological order and writing impassioned letters to Congress urging that Madonnalogy be taught in all public schools. But most of all, he spends his time tweeting musing daily about pop music on his blog, MuuMuse.
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