This week’s roundup features a psychedelic twist of New-Wave dance-rock, some sensual, autumn-ready chills from The Weeknd’s new tour buddy, and the return of an early-aughts pop star who’s about to give us more life than ever.
1.) The Ceremonies, “Land Of Gathering (Psychemagik Remix)”
The Psychemagik mix of the band’s debut single, “Land Of Gathering,” smooths the production to a hypnotic chill, as the U.K. production duo sends lead singer Matthew Cook’s luscious vocals floating across a cool dance floor strut and chilly ambient sound. It’s a spooky (and danceable) touch — begin prepping your Halloween playlist accordingly.
Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs after the jump.
2.) London Grammar, “Strong”
Take the chill of The XX‘s guitar-strummed lullabies and add on the dramatic delivery of Florence + The Machine or Claire Maguire, and that’s what you’ll find with London Grammar, one of the U.K.’s most exciting troupes to debut this year. Not only did the trio top the U.K. Albums Chart at No. 2 with their debut record, If You Wait, but they’re currently rounding out their first-ever U.S. tour right now. (You might also recognize singer Hannah Reid’s vocals from Disclosure‘s “Help Me Lose My Mind.”)
“Strong” is one of the many highlights from their debut, a gorgeous production filled-out by a lonesome guitar instrumental and Reid’s commanding vocals: “Excuse me for a while, while I’m wide-eyed and I’m so damn caught in the middle,” she declares. It’s… well, strong.
+ Listen to LONDON GRAMMAR’S “STRONG.”
3.) BANKS, “This Is What It Feels Like”
If any new artist should usher in October, it’s BANKS. The Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter (currently out on tour with her brother-in-brooding, The Weeknd) provides just the right mixture of weird, dissonant sounds and chill-inducing vocals to properly soundtrack the season.
“This Is What It Feels Like” off of the LONDON EP sees the singer working against a windy, spook-hop background throb (that wouldn’t sound entirely out of place on Justin Timberlake‘s The 20/20 Experience — 2 of 2), going back and forth endlessly with her mixed signals-providing beau: “When you said you felt the same, you pulled away/ Started acting like being with me was too hard,” she aches. If this is what it feels like, let’s hope that the relationship never stops.
+ Listen to BANKS’ “THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE.”
4.) Sam Sparro, “Fascism”
Soulful electro-prince Sam Sparro has bravely blurred the lines between ’70s disco and ’80s electro-pop on his past studio albums. With his latest release, Quantum Physical, Volume One, he’s trekking deep into early-’90s House — but with a distinctly 22nd-century feel.
“Fascism” is a four-on-the-floor blend of funky beats and deliciously serious-face lyricism. “I just want to do what I want to do/ Don’t you want to do what you want to do?” he croons on the killer track. It lies somewhere in between a classic Pet Shop Boys track and Kiss‘ “I Was Made For Lovin’ You.” Good luck getting this one out of your head anytime soon.
+ Listen to SAM SPARRO’S “FASCISM.”
5.) Stacie Orrico, “(There’s Gotta Be) More to Life”
It has been exactly one decade (OMG) since singer-songwriter Stacie Orrico ruled the airwaves with the über-catchy singles ”Stuck” and “(There’s Gotta Be) More To Life” from her self-titled second studio album. Now, seven years after her last disc, Beautiful Awakening, the songstress has returned — in the form of a YouTube announcement.
According to Stacie’s brand-new vlog, she’s back in the studio working on a brand-new record and planning a live-stream showcase for fans in early November. To celebrate the already amazing comeback, we’ve been bumpin’ “More To Life” nonstop, reminding ourselves once again to stop chasing down every temporary high. At long last, there is indeed more to life. #PRAISE
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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