This week’s roundup finds a U.K. dubstep diva taking a soulful songstress to the dance floor, the latest smash from an “X Factor” alum, an R&B princess chopping up her latest ballad with some blazin’ beats, and a couple of up-and-comers gunning to be next in line for pop royalty.
1.) Melanie Amaro, “Long Distance”
It’s no secret that Miss Amaro has had a tough time gaining traction ever since she was first crowned the winner of “The X Factor” a year ago. But with her latest single, “Long Distance,” which she performed at the live show last week, Melanie may have just found the right pop formula for success. Produced by Christopher “Tricky” Stewart and co-penned by Bonnie McKee, the song has got all the trappings of a solid power-pop smash, bolstered by Amaro’s powerful, melodic chops: “I just want you to be more than a picture on my screen,” Amaro belts out on her almighty anthem dedicated to long-distance love. Alas, a digital romance. Wait… do I smell a perfect “Catfish” tie-in or what?
Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs after the jump.
2.) Ciara, “Sorry (Guy Scheiman Radio Edit)”
R&B-pop princess Ciara first CC’ed us back in September with “Sorry,” the lead track from her forthcoming Epic Records debut, One Woman Army. Now, she’s decided to revisit the single — this time adding a little mmmph to it with a full set of dance remixes just in time to Ci-prise her fans for Christmas. (Sorry, we’re not sorry!) The Guy Sheiman edit is just one of the blazin’ remixes of the single, and with a healthy helping of House pulsations, Ciara’s ballad transforms into a proper club thumper, perfectly prepped for some of her signature, gravity-defying back bends. (Don’t try them at home — trust us. We have the chiropractor bills to prove this.)
3.) Katy B featuring Jessie Ware and Geeneus, “Aaliyah”
Last year, Katy B quickly converted from an underground curiosity to overnight sensation as a fully-fledged U.K. grime/dubstep-pop princess. And now, she’s surprised us with a free four-track EP on her official website, entitled Danger. Featuring contributions by Wiley, Iggy Azealia, and Diplo, the small collection demonstrates the solid new direction Katy B’s heading in for her follow-up 2013 record. One of the brightest highlights from the bunch, “Aaliyah,” sees the young singer tag-teaming with soulful U.K. songstress Jessie Ware to tackle a no-good man-stealer in their midst: “Aaliyah, please: This is green envy/ Why must you taunt me, girl?” they croon above the early ’90s Inner City-esque House beats. Sounds to me like there’s only one way to solve this sticky conundrum: Dance-off.
4.) Myra Sky, “House of Cards”
Meet up-and-coming, independent pop songstress Myra Sky. The Egyptian-American singer, who also appeared on Season 3 of “The Voice,” just released her debut single: “House of Cards,” produced by Mario Marchetti (JoJo‘s “Disaster”). The uptempo breakup ode is a majorly breezy burst of power-pop energy, full of stabbing strings and bubbling electronica: “I’m gonna watch it fall apart/ like a house of cards!” Sky sings on the melodic, metaphor-heavy track, recalling tunes from the likes of Jordin Sparks and Carly Rae Jepsen.
5.) Queen of Hearts, “Warrior”
Back in May, up-and-coming U.K. synth-pop songstress Queen of Hearts released her fantastic double A-Side EP: “Neon”/”Tears In The Rain.” Now, she’s back with a new single just released last week: “Warrior.” Not to be confused with a certain dollar sign-loving pop diva’s glitter-tastic new record, “Warrior” is another beautiful moment of brooding synthesizers and heaven-sent vocals, as the Queen bravely leads her loyal army into war: “Let the guns fire/ let the drums beat/ Wave a white flag for me,” Queen of Hearts triumphantly declares. Who wouldn’t swear their allegiance?
Photo credit: Getty Images
Bradley Stern lives in New York City. In his spare time, he enjoys organizing his Britney Spears CD collection in reverse chronological order and plotting ways to marry into the Minogue family. But most of all, he spends his time tweeting and musing daily about pop music on his blog, MuuMuse.