This week’s roundup features some sweet croonage from an English up-and-comer, an emotional ode from a French supergenius, a springy electro-pop reimagining of Lana Del Rey, and a key cut from the Jackson family’s most underrated superstar.
1.) Jess Mills, “Sweet Love”
Up-and-coming English songbird Jess Mills has been delivering heaven-sent offerings for the past few years, including “Vultures,” “Live For What I’d Die For,” and “For My Sins.” Now, as she prepares to release her forthcoming debut, the songstress returns this year with “Sweet Love,” a luscious slice of warm, semi-melancholy longing that interpolates Anita Baker‘s mid-’80s single of the same time: “When can we just stop pretending/ that you’re just any guy to me and I am just any girl to you?” she sweetly croons, bringing nu-soul songstress (and fellow Brit) Jessie Ware to mind. It’s a shame Valentine’s Day already passed, because this song’s sentiment doesn’t get any sweeter.
Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs after the jump!
2.) Woodkid, “I Love You”
Woodkid is a wunderkind: As a music video director (Lana Del Rey‘s “Born To Die,” Katy Perry‘s “Teenage Dream”), graphic designer and musician, the super-talented French artist has been involved in almost all avenues of the creative world. Now, he’s preparing to unleash his long-awaited debut LP this month, The Golden Age. “I Love You” is an instant standout among the set — it’s purely romantic, devastating, and cinematic, sort of like Antony & The Johnsons meets Lana Del Rey meets Patrick Wolf. “Whatever I feel for you, you only seem to care about you/ Is there any chance you could see me too? ‘Cause I love you,” he croons above the galloping beat. We’re not the only ones noticing his genius lately, either — he’s been rumored to be tapped by none other than Brit Brit for her upcoming album.
3.) AlunaGeorge, “Attracting Flies”
As one of the BBC’s Sound of 2013 finalists, AlunaGeorge is under plenty of pressure to deliver this year. Lucky for them, their music only keeps getting better: “Attracting Flies” is the latest single from the English alt-electronica duo, and perhaps their most radio-friendly offering yet. “We can go off the rails and you can cry your eyes out, but everything you exhale is attracting flies,” Aluna sasses sweetly above the bouncy, bubbling beat. Sounds like these two need to find a resolution at once — or at least a breath mint.
4.) Monarchy, “Video Games vs. Phoenix Alive”
When Monarchy isn’t too busy getting devious and dirty-minded with the endlessly fabulous Dita Von Teese, the duo are drawing inspiration from another muse: Miss Lana Del Rey. Early last week, the U.K. electro troupe took on the “Born To Die” songstress’ debut single “Video Games,” layering Ra Black’s vocals atop the instrumental from their 2010 single “Phoenix Alive.” The result? Lana’s achingly lonesome lyrics layered on top of dreamy, otherworldly synthesizers. After hearing this, outer space might be a good place for Lady Lana to record her upcoming sophomore record — slow-twirling is even easier in zero gravity.
5.) La Toya Jackson, “Hot Potato”
No, this ain’t a new jam, but ever since La Toya Jackson premiered the teaser trailer for her upcoming OWN reality show “Life With La Toya” (the smartest business decision Oprah’s made in years), I’ve been hooked on all of Toy’s classic tunes. “Hot Potato” was the sassy third single from Jackson’s 1984 album Hearts Don’t Lie. It may have only just scratched the surface of the Billboard charts, but that doesn’t make it any less legendary! “Gonna drop you like a hot…hot potato, if you don’t stop messing around,” the feistiest member of the Jackson clan warns on the sassy kiss-off disco-pop tune. Don’t mess!
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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