The Veronicas FINALLY return to our lives with 'Lolita.'
Waiting for Australian girl group The Veronicas to release new music has been like, as the great American poet Selena Gomez once famously said, a year without rain. Except JK, it's been even worse than that, because it's been FIVE YEARS since Lisa and Jessica dropped their flawless sophomore LP Hook Me Up. But we can all stop crying now. The sonic drought is officially over now that they just dropped their new song "Lolita," and it's safe to say that it was worth the wait.
Listen to The Veronicas' "Lolita" after the jump.
Estelle is living a 'Wonderful Life' in her latest single.
Estelle may be best known for her love affair with an "American Boy," but in the video for new single "Wonderful Life," the British chanteuse is taking us all around the world -- and we'd be lying if we claimed it was anything but a totally uplifting globetrotting journey. Sure, Pitbull still gets to claim the title of Mr. Worldwide (straight to L.A., New York, Vegas to Africa -- and don't forget Kodiak, Alaska!), but Estelle's living large in Sweden, Russia, Jamaica and a whole lot more in her new vid. It looks like it's a thoroughly multicultural experience. We're a little jealous of her wonderful life, to be honest.
Watch Estelle's "Wonderful Life" video after the jump.
Hey Pop Thinkers! I'm Sam Lansky, OG Making the Band Stan, and this is my column,"Pop Think." This week we're going back through time to meditate upon the legacy of The Most Important Musical Group Of All Time (besides Pussycat Dolls) -- the inimitable girl group Danity Kane, the members of which have since scattered to various corners of the sonicverse with varying degrees of success.
But things are looking up for several of Danity Kane's members, with Aubrey O'Day wrapping up production on the video for her refreshingly strong single "Wrecking Ball," and an out-of-this-world gorgeous new track from Dawn Richard -- plus a recent club banger from D. Woods. The legacy of Danity Kane lives on, y'all, and my heart may be damaged without them, but they might just turn out to be more powerful as solo stars than they were as a band.
Danity Kane in the glory days of 2006, the way I like to remember them.
Confession time, you guys: I miss Danity Kane. And I know I'm not alone in this sentiment. The girls, who were dazzling and ephemeral as fireworks in the night sky (this is emotional for me, OK?), may have only released two albums before they broke up in 2009, but they still get a ton of play 'round these here iTunes. (Anyone who doesn't think that "Damaged" is one of the best pop songs of the last 10 years needs to see a doctor.) But even if their music never commanded a ton of critical respect, the girl group formed on MTV's "Making the Band 3" had attitude and showmanship for days, and that's paying off now that the girls have gone their separate ways.
Read more about the vital importance of Danity Kane after the jump.
Sky Ferreira blows us away with her 'Red Lips.'
We love pretty much everything about Sky Ferreira. We love her enormous voice, which can go from haunting and ethereal to growling and ferocious with extraordinary ease. We love her it-girl style (um, hi, just try to keep up with her at Paris Fashion Week). And of course, we love the fact that everything she records, from the crashing teen-angst battle cry of "17" to the twinkly electropop of "One," is solid pop gold.
Listen to Sky Ferreria's "Red Lips" below.
JoJo gets freaky, and we're fine with it.
Turn the lights down, boys and girls: Queen JoJo is back with "Demonstrate," a new cut that's some of the swooniest, sultriest bump-n'-grind slow-burning R&B ish we've ever heard. Shall we demonstrate the ways?
First off, the track is produced by Noah "40" Shehib, a frequent Drake collaborator who's also worked with Lil Wayne and Alicia Keys. 40 (is it too informal if we call him that?) also produced JoJo's gorgeously bitter viral cover of "Marvin's Room," and he lends that same fine-tuned sonic sparsity to "Demonstrate." It's a dramatic departure from the spunky guitars of her last single, the anthemic pop-rock gem "Disaster," but it's also a smart move given the rising popularity of R&B minimalism (see: Kelly Rowland's "Motivation," Robin Thicke's "Sex Therapy," and Usher's "Climax" for more).
Listen to JoJo's "Demonstrate" after the jump.
Young Money singer Shanell: Nose chain swag for days, y'all.
It would be enough if Young Money chanteuse Shanell were solamente the baddest chick we've ever seen rocking a ear-to-nose-ring chain. Which she is. But, as it turns out, she's also churning out some of the chilliest, coolest dance music this side of Cassie. Shanell's new track, "Just for the Night," is taken from her upcoming mixtape Nobody's B**** (also the likely title of our autobiography. But this teaser track gives a nice taste of what to expect from the urban-pop songbird, who started her career as a dancer for Ciara before writing tracks for Melanie Fiona, Ne-Yo and Jennifer Hudson.
+ Listen to Shanell's "Just For The Night" after the jump.
Jai ho! I'm Sam Lansky, honorary member of the Pussycat Dolls (on the weekends), and this is my column, "Pop Think," where I report on the most important goings-on in the world of pop music -- and there's no news this week that's newsier than reports that PCD mastermind Robin Antin debuted the second incarnation of the group over the weekend at her Las Vegas birthday bash. And as per usual, the new crop of Dolls are unstoppable glamazons with some serious vocal chops. And even though the last iteration of PCD tended to be perceived as more of a visually engaging, provocative performance act rather than as a proper band of vocalists, their music gave hope to those of us who have been starved for girl group music on Stateside shores over the last decade. And now that boy bands are back, it's my sincere hope that PCD 2.0 will do the same. Who's ready for doll domination -- again?
The history of the Pussycat Dolls is an interesting one. They were founded as a Los Angeles burlesque and dance group in 1995 by creator and entrepreneur Robin Antin, who later envisioned the group as a global enterprise and negotiated a record deal with Interscope Records in 2003. PCD's foray into the world of music always felt explicitly commercial. But that didn't stop them from having extraordinary commercial success, selling 15 million albums and 37 million singles worldwide. Four of their singles went platinum in the U.S, and many more set records worldwide.
Pussycat Dolls are back! So everybody gets cake!
And ultimately, I don't know that PCD ever got the praise that they rightly deserved for tracks that transcended their crasser origins. Sure, "Don't Cha" was a big, sultry R&B smash, and "I Hate This Part" remains a maudlin yet irresistibly radio-ready ballad. But they could be surprisingly innovative. Their unexpected cover of "Jai Ho!" transformed the Bollywood authenticity of the original into a galloping storm of melting-pot dance-pop. And the Darkchild-produced "Painted Windows" (which SHOULD HAVE BEEN A SINGLE) is blatantly inventive. You could always trust PCD choruses to get stuck in your head, for better or for worse.
+ Read more about the Pussycat Dolls' new lineup after the jump.
Ellie Goulding dropped 'Hanging On' with Tinie Tempah, and it has us, well, hanging on for her next album.
Ellie Goulding's breakout single, "Lights," has had a slow rise to the Top 10, even though it's now gone double platinum in the U.S. (hey girl hey!). So for those of us who've been hooked on the alt-pop chanteuse's haunting vocals and glittering synth production for a minute, it was an unexpected little gift to find that Ellie dropped a gorgeous new track, :Hanging On," via SoundCloud yesterday. Better still? She teamed up with fellow U.K. crossover superstar Tinie Tempah for the collaboration. (For those keeping track, that's a double "Hey girl hey!" as far as we're concerned.)
Listen to Ellie Goulding's "Hanging On" featuring Tinie Tempah after the jump.
Frank Ocean teams up with Andre 3000 on "Pink Matter." It's like Christmas in July.
The Internet pretty much exploded when singer-songwriter Frank Ocean surprised us all by dropping his hotly, hotly, hotly anticipated (we can't stress that enough) debut LP, channel ORANGE, on iTunes a week in advance, which means we get to drown ourselves in the expansive gorgeousness of Marvin Gaye and Prince's love child earlier than expected. But separate from that release, Frank also posted a stream of one of the standout tracks from the record -- his collab with Outkast's Andre 3000, "Pink Matter." Genius, meet genius.
+ Listen to "Pink Matter" after the jump.
Meital Dohan leans back, puts it 'On Ya.'
Can we come back as Meital Dohan in our next life, please? The Israeli multi-hyphenate (singer, actress, playwright, author, comedienne and overall person with a more impressive résumé than ours) has been nominated for the Israeli equivalent of an Oscar (twice!), hooked up with Andy Botwin on Weeds (dream man!), and picked fights while in the buff in the video for her last single, "Yummy." Did we mention that she's smokin' hot? Because that's the truth. Sean Kingston even says it in her new single: "Shorty is a dime." (In all fairness, he may have dropped that line before.)
But since we can't, in fact, become Meital Dohan, we'll have to settle for going H.A.M. all summer to her new single "On Ya," a sultry, fizzy pop number with a propulsive beat that evokes all your fave David Guetta dancefloor smashes. Produced by Brass Knuckles with Brian Cid, "On Ya" is an immediate party jam -- and the generous guest spot from Kingston lends it some urban flavor, too. Not that a sexy, summery single from an award-winning Israeli playwright needs any additional street cred.
Meital's debut album, I'm In Hate With Love, (LOL!) drops later this summer, so don't be surprised if you hear it blowing out speakers from Tel Aviv to Miami. She's global like that.
+ Listen to Meital Dohan's "On Ya" featuring Sean Kingston.