This week’s roundup includes the return of the Queen of Norwegian Pop, promising efforts from some rising British singer-songwriters, and some dubby, downtempo dance courtesy of the “Milkshake” songstress herself. Read on!
1.) Ralph Myerz featuring Annie, “Take A Look At The World”
She’s all but disappeared since 2009′s Don’t Stop, but now Annie (the same songstress behind “Heartbeat,” “Chewing Gum,” “I Know Ur Boyfriend Hates Me,” and the Italo-disco masterpiece “Anthonio”) is back — and just as brilliant. Norwegian producer Ralph Myerz enlisted the Scandinavian pop goddess to provide vocals on his brand-new single, “Take A Look At The World.” A shimmering electro-pop creation co-crafted by the legendary Röyksopp, full of unbelievably catchy chants (“Oh-ah-oh-ah-oh!“) and pounding electronic beats, “Take A Look” plays like a cross between the sleek, stylish shimmers of Girls Aloud, Mini Viva, and Dannii Minogue — and maybe a bit of big room EDM influence too. Much like Annie’s thirst to step beyond her city limits, the track deserves to go on a trip all around the world. It’s massive. Really, though: Annie and Röyksopp? Who’s surprised it’d be this good, honestly?
Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs after the jump.
2.) Charlee Drew, “Somebody Else”
Charlee Drew is not a well-known British pop act just yet, but with his forthcoming EP, he may well be. After releasing You Did Me A Favour late last year (which got some love from the BBC), the British singer-songwriter returns in 2013 with a new collection: Past The Distraction. “Somebody Else” is the unbelievable standout, a heart-wrenching and guilt-ridden anthem (not thematically unlike Rihanna‘s “Unfaithful”): “I’ll stand right here and listen while you yell/ ‘Cause I can’t deny, it’s all been ’bout myself,” he confesses above overdriven guitars. Charlee’s hair-raising vocals are utterly arresting — and those lyrics hit hard. The result is a masterful, Ryan Tedder-esque confessional pop record that cuts deep.
3.) Zemmy, “Brittle Pieces”
Zemmy is a Nigerian-born, Londontown-based songstress. She’s been floating around the U.K. music scene since the late ’00s, and “Brittle Pieces,” an utterly lush slice of soft coos, gentle piano melodies, and jazzy vocals, is Zemmy’s latest output. (Plus, isn’t her name fun to say?) The track floats along with the breathy quality of an acoustic Imogen Heap record, as the singer sorts out her broken heart: “Don’t you know you are my pinnacle, my universe?/ But today, you are my wrecking ball, my loneliness,” Zemmy croons. It’s breathtaking… and heartbreaking.
4.) Little Boots, “Broken Record (Ossie Remix)”
The countdown is on until U.K. disco diva Little Boots finally lifts the veil from her upcoming record, Nocturnes. In the meantime, she’s been teasing fans with some rather tantalizing remixes, including her latest — the Ossie remix of her current single, “Broken Record.” The chilly reimagining of the track sends Victoria’s vocals stuttering through dreamy subspace, treading across spooky ambient sounds and tranced-out vibrations. It’s completely different from the original tune (as any good remix should be), and frankly, only adds more anticipation for that new album. C’mon Boots — give us the goods already!
5.) Don Diablo featuring Kelis and Alex Clare, “Give It All”
What do you get when you merge producer Don Diablo, “Too Close” singer Alex Clare, and Flesh Tone chanteuse Kelis together on one track? As it turns out, something spacey, soulful, and slick. “Give It All” is the trio’s unlikely collaboration, a fiery electro ballad dedicated to embracing the moment: “What would you do if I said we only have 24 hours left to live,” Kelis ponders. “Live fast, die young/ I’mma give it all,” Clare later responds above the stuttering, gritty beats. Even with a grimy dubstep breakdown thrown in, it’s still one of the most thoughtful club records to come out in a long time.
Bradley Stern is a writer from New York. 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 and musing daily about pop music on his blog, MuuMuse.
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