This week’s roundup features a backseat banga from the woman who runs the world, a huge electro-pop anthem for summertime sadness, and a phoenix-rising moment from a newly reformed girl group.
1.) Beyoncé, “Partition”
It takes a certain kind of bawse to drop an entire album of new material (complete with 17 music videos!) completely unannounced without a lick of promo, but that’s exactly what Beyoncé did at midnight on Friday night with BEYONCÉ. And, um, she kind of just shut down the entire industry.
One of the most killer cuts on her game-changing new record is “Partition,” a song dedicated to that moment when you’re riding ’round in your limo with your man and you think to yourself: “Well hey, this seems like an appropriate place to bang. Driver, roll up the partition, please!”
Split between two segments, the cut kicks off with a drop of bass and Yoncé grinding all up on a nasty tripping beat: “I sneezed on the beat and the beat got sicker,” Bey brags, “Yoncé all on his mouth like liquor.” And that’s just the first two minutes!
Then…DROP! The track segues into full-on erotica mode, as Beysus gets things poppin’ in the backseat — in ways that you never needed to know. Between the seductive, feminist French monologue midway through and the sexy electro stings, you’ll be Monica Lewinsky-ing all over the place. (She said it, not me.)
+ Listen to BEYONCÉ’S “PARTITION.”
Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs after the jump.
2.) Frankmusik, “Ephemeral Summer”
Electro-pop shapeshifter Frankmusik has continued to evolve in sound and style over the past few years, stretching his songcraft to glorious new heights.
“Ephemeral Summer,” the singer-songwriter’s latest creation, is perhaps one of his most gorgeous cuts to date. The electro-ballad builds slowly, as the speakers fill with more and more atmospheric electronica. Silence, and then — boom: “Ephemeral summer, I’ll miss you the most!” he belts out across the chilly, anthemic chorus.
+ Listen to FRANKMUSIK’S “EPHEMERAL SUMMER.”
3.) Danity Kane, “All In A Day’s Work (Live)”
The Danity Kane slayage is real: Last night, after months and months of comeback rumors, confirmations, meetings, recording sessions, and false starts, the Danity KWEENS of Danity Kane returned to us with a glorious House of Blues reunion show in L.A.
They kicked out all the D.K. Klassics — from “Damaged” to “Bad Girl” to “Show Stopper” — PLUS, a new track called “All In A Day’s Work.” You’re very much going to need a first aid kit handy, preferably one with some sort of burn cream, because the track (and performance) is hot fiya.
“I’m making this sh** look easy, easy, easy, easy!” the girls brag, stomping their feet to the nasty beat… which is something like a ’70s rock anthem mixed with trap? Amazing. Prepare to be Danity Slain in 2014.
+ Listen to DANITY KANE’S “ALL IN A DAY’S WORK (LIVE).”
4.) Nina Sky, “Overtime”
This twin sister act has been undoing a seriously major makeover in the past few years. After going indie and dropping The Other Side EP and their second studio album, Nicole and Natalie, Nina Sky have released a hot new track just in time for Christmas called “Overtime.”
Far from the reggae-tinged vibes of their debut smash, “Move Ya Body” or even the dance vibrations of their EP, the girls are in a #SomethingMoreUrban state of mind in 2013, dropping down low for a sleek, sexy electro-R&B temptation. “You can be the boss, I like it when you talk that talk to me,” they tease above a murky ambient beat and trap hi-hats. It’s a bedroom banga, straight up.
+ Listen to NINA SKY’S “OVERTIME.”
5.) Sam Smith, “Nirvana (Until The Ribbon Breaks Re-Imagination)”
Sam Smith‘s had a pretty great 2013: After the runaway success of “La La La” with Naughty Boy and his Disclosure collabo titled “Latch,” the singer’s been tipped by the BBC as one of the top artists to watch in 2014.
One of Sam’s most recent solo cuts, “Nirvana,” has just received a major makeover by up-and-coming U.K. producer-songwriter, Until The Ribbon Breaks. The re-imagination is exactly that, breaking down the original into a chilly, disjointed R&B concoction filled with tripping beats and stuttering vocals. It’s a wicked interpretation, flaunting Until The Ribbon Breaks’ seriously impressive remix skills.
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.