This week’s roundup features sad, sad disco from across the pond, a slammin’ remix of one of the year’s most euphoric pop anthems, and a moody alt-R&B ode to miscommunication.
1.) Katy B, “Crying For No Reason”
Need a good reason to cry? Obviously. U.K. alt-dance diva Katy B has been churning out reliably gorgeous, ’90s house-leaning tunes for well over a year now — from “What Love Is Made Of” to “5 AM.” “Crying For No Reason,” the latest single off of her upcoming sophomore LP, Little Red, however, takes the songstress into the touchy territory of sad disco balladry.
The result is one of Katy’s most earnest, heartbreaking productions yet: “How can I walk with a smile, get on with my day/ When I deceived myself pretending it’s all OK,” Katy cries above the gorgeous, glittering pulsations — recalling a little bit of Robyn and Girls Aloud in the process. And then, when the track soars, and she starts belting out that devastating chorus at the very end? “Feel the tears roll down!” Oh no. Good luck getting through this one without a box of tissues on the dance floor.
+ Listen to KATY B’S “CRYING FOR NO REASON.”
Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs after the jump.
2.) Demi Lovato, “Neon Lights (Belanger Remix)”
Pop princess Demi Lovato is probably best known for supplying her powerhouse chops to pop anthems such as “Heart Attack.” With her latest single, “Neon Lights” from the album Demi, she’s decided to take all that adrenaline to the dance floor.
The track is really Demetria’s first true club anthem, so naturally, she’s serving up a bunch of bangin’ remixes to send out to DJs across the world. The Belanger remix of “Neon Lights” does a bang-up job of preserving the skeleton of the original while adding some dark, dramatic flourishes of ’80s-esque synthesizers, stuttering vocals and flashing lights. You’ll certainly be burning up like neon lights — LAYK NEAHN LAHHHHYTS!
+ Listen to DEMI LOVATO’S “NEON LIGHTS (BELANGER REMIX).”
3.) Betty Who, “Somebody Loves You (Jump Smokers Remix)”
By now, you ought to have heard rising pop diva Betty Who‘s stunning debut single “Somebody Loves You” — whether because you rode the Who Crew wave early on the blogosphere, or because you’ve seen that Home Depot marriage proposal video that went totes viral. In either case, there’s a brand-new remix by the reliably amazing Jump Smokers out this week, and it’s positively bangin’.
The re-rub takes the euphoric anthem, adds some twerk-tastic hand claps and scorching house synthesizers, and sends it rocketing into the speakers, perfectly suited for some proper booty-dropping in da clurb. Work it out, work it out!
4.) Aiden, “Fire & Ice”
Formerly “X Factor” U.K. finalist Aiden Grimshaw, the newly mononymous Aiden has undergone a fantastic reinvention in sound and style. “Fire & Ice,” the latest offering from the brooding pop crooner’s upcoming EP, slinks across the speakers with a kind of seductive Seal-meets-Scissor Sisters-meets-Ace of Base swagger.
“Lover, let me know, do you feel it when we’re close? We were burning ’til we froze/ Fire and ice, let me go,” he cries before breaking into a fast-talkin’ falsetto section above ’90s synthesizers. It’s really something that needs to be heard to be believed — and an incredibly promising taste of things to come from one of the U.K.’s most promising male pop stars.
+ Listen to AIDEN’S “FIRE & ICE.”
5.) Jarell Perry, “Braindead”
“Braindead,” his latest serving off of the upcoming White EP (out Dec. 10), sees the singer navigating relationship woes and miscommunication. “My heart knows what to do, but maybe I’m brain-dead,” he sadly croons across dreamy ambient noise and tripping drumbeats. The result, like the rest of his output this year, is a next-level serving of future R&B that ought to propel the singer-songwriter to superstardom next year.
+ Listen to JARELL PERRY’S “BRAINDEAD.”
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.
Photo credit: Sony Music, Hollywood Records, The Windish Agency, RCA, Columbia Records