This week’s roundup features yet another solid serving of urban pop from one of the year’s most exciting new pop princesses, a space-age dream team rock collaboration, and some lush dance tunes from across the pond. Let’s go!
1.) Zendaya, “Butterflies”
OK, so it’s officially official: Zendaya‘s self-titled debut album is one of the best-kept pop secrets of the year. Seriously, every song, including this summer’s “Replay,” is a certifiable smash! If you’re in the market for some slickly crafted urban pop, then the reigning leader of the Zswaggers has you covered. (And if you’re not in that market, then what market are you even in?!)
Take, for instance, “Butterflies,” a fierce slice of emotional self-doubt in which Princess Z declares “I don’t want to say forever, it’s just another now or never./ So, heart, don’t let me trust these butterflies” before leading into a killer, stuttering post-chorus dance break. Grab your dancing shoes, and dance, butterfly, dance!
+ Listen to ZENDAYA’S “BUTTERFLIES”
Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs after the jump.
2.) Charlie Brown, “Bones”
Let’s get it out of the way now: Yes, his name really is Charlie Brown. The London-based singer-songwriter has been making inroads into the biz for years now, having already collaborated with acts like Misha B, Tinchy Stryder, and Professor Green. Now, as a solo artist, Charlie’s making waves with his brand-new single “Bones,” due out in October.
The tender, piano-tinged track quickly shifts from desolate ballad to full-on banger as Charlie croons: “I’m starting to feel like you can heal these broken bones.” Full of The Wanted-like arena-size chants and big synthesized pulses, there’s really no reason why Charlie can’t break out as a superstar in his own right.
+ Listen to CHARLIE BROWN’S “BONES”
3.) Katy B, “5AM”
Katy B, the purveyor of all things amazing dance-pop, has been slipping in under the radar over the past few years with her throbbing dance floor offerings. “5AM,” Katy’s newest single, provides a dark, killer four-to-the-floor throb as she desperately seeks some sedation: “I need somebody to calm me down/ A little loving like Valium,” she coos. A grand romance over chemical fix? Yeah, we’ve got to support that habit too.
+ Listen to KATY B, “5AM”
4.) Luxury, “J.A.W.S.”
Blending infectiously springy rhythms with throwback ’90s house sound (typical Disclosure!), the cracking, throbbing track plays like a sweet, sweet love letter to the dance floor. Vocals are reduced to a few coos and short melodies along the way, allowing the track’s euphoric energy to speak for itself.
+ Listen to LUXURY’S “J.A.W.S.”
5.) The Killers, “Shot At The Night”
Talk about a dream team collaboration! To celebrate a full decade in the industry (we’re all old, what else is new?), the new wave revivalists of The Killers teamed up with M83‘s Anthony Gonzalez to craft “Shot At The Night,” a new track for their upcoming greatest hits album, Direct Hits.
The result is a dreamy, space-age production that sends frontman Brandon Flowers‘ vocals floating across lush sonic waves. “Give me a shot at the night/ Give me a moment, some kinda mysterious,” he cries out above a chorus that’s big enough to fill any ’80s rock ballad. It’s part cinematic, part arena-rock anthem — and entirely essential.
+ Listen to THE KILLERS’ “SHOT AT THE NIGHT”
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.