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Tag: Pop (11-20 of 1130)

One Direction channels Journey, gets dad-friendly with 'Steal My Girl'

Did One Direction recently spend some time at the School of Rock? It’s possible—if the School of Rock happens to be headed by Journey.

For the boy band’s latest single, “Steal My Girl,” One Direction takes things in a new, ’80s classic rock direction. More specifically, the opening of “Steal My Girl” is enough to give any Journey fan a bit of deja vu, as the song sounds something like One Direction’s version of Journey’s 1983 hit “Faithfully.” One Direction’s mid-song “na na na na na” even recalls Journey’s mid-song “woah oh oh oh.” It feels a lot like One Direction is trying to make a new name for itself—and it’s not terrible.

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Watch The Juan Maclean's paint-streaked video for 'A Simple Design'

John Maclean got his start playing with the legendary (for the chaos they caused as much as the music they made) electropunk band Six Finger Satellite, but since the early aughts he’s been producing synth music under the name The Juan Maclean that incorporates abstract modern composition techniques alongside the heavy influence of early house and techno, resulting in recordings that are as good for producing a meditative mood as they are for dancing along to. Along the way he found a highly complementary partner in LCD Soundsytem vocalist Nancy Whang, who adds a human element to Maclean’s electronic compositions.

The pair just released In a Dream, their third LP together, on DFA Records that boasts a lead single, “A Simple Design,” that could be the catchiest thing they’ve ever made. The accompanying clip, directed by the Wilderness collective, gives the song an organic abstract paint job that’s as lush and satisfying as the song itself.

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Nabiha's 'Animals' is the best turn-up anthem you'll hear today

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Scandinavia has had a strong presence on the pop charts this year, first with Norwegian duo Nico & Vinz’s out-of-nowhere smash “Am I Wrong,” followed by Tove Lo‘s “Habits (Stay High),” which spent the summer steadily climbing the Hot 100. Next up is Nabiha, a Danish artist who splits the difference between hip-hop, R&B, dance music, and straight-up pop. Considering how closely this combination of genres resembles the makeup of the American pop charts these days, it seems likely that she might be able to find more success here with her newly released EP Mind the Gap than her 2011 track “Never Played the Bass,” which made it to No. 37 on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart despite the fact that it wasn’t officially promoted as a single.

Mind‘s second single could be the break she’s been looking for. “Animals” is a beast of a turn-up anthem, alternating between noisily minimal rap verses that sound like the hybrid offspring of Yeezus and Major Lazer’s “Pon Di Floor” and a sweeping, jumbo-sized melodic hook that probably has Rihanna biting her fist with envy. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself listening to it on repeat.

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Blake Shelton on his new 'Voice' costars Gwen Stefani and Pharrell: 'That's my competition'

Tonight’s premiere of the new season of The Voice features two familiar faces and two newcomers. Adam Levine and Blake Shelton are back once again, but they’ll be joined by first-time coaches Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani. The latter two are both new to singing competitions, and it’ll be interesting to see what kind of personalities emerge as the blind auditions roll on.

But neither Stefani nor Williams should look to their left for advice, Shelton tells EW: “I didn’t tell them crap,” Shelton said, laughing. “That’s my competition. We do these interviews, and Adam will get mad at me because I won’t help them. This is a competition, and my job is to try to win this thing. When I started on this show, nobody helped me!”

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Hear Estelle's club-poppy new single 'Something Good'

There are two basic sorts of breakup records: the heartbroken, mopey kind, and the kind where the writer digs through the wreckage of their relationship to find whatever lesson it has to offer and uses it as an opportunity to grow as a person. Estelle’s upcoming fourth album, True Romance (out Nov. 4) is firmly of the latter type.

“Something Good,” the album’s second single behind the anthemic “Conqueror,” pairs lyrics about picking up the pieces after a split with a piano-heavy house beat that synchronizes nicely with the current revival of ’90s club pop.

“‘Something Good’ is a feel-good song,” Estelle writes in an email. “A reminder that you’re dope and have something wonderful to offer life and yourself and the world.”

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Janet Jackson's 'Rhythm Nation 1814': Still dancing and dreaming 25 years later

Like serialized television and comic-book movies, R&B is in the midst of a golden age. As ambivalent as I am about Beyoncé’s work, her influence cannot be overstated, and her sequined coattails have been long enough to support an incredible wave of exceptionally provocative albums from next-in-line voices both female (Jhené Aiko, FKA Twigs, Tinashe) and male (Frank Ocean, Miguel, the Weeknd).

The roots of this form of modern R&B can be traced back to Janet Jackson’s landmark album Rhythm Nation 1814, which turns 25 years old today. Though it’s a quarter century old, Rhythm Nation has barely aged—it sounds as rich and vital as it did when it was first released, and stylistically as contemporary as anything on the Billboard charts. READ FULL STORY

Singer-songwriter Lowell talks about the messy origins of her debut LP

Elizabeth Lowell Boland, better known simply as Lowell, is a nomad. At various points, she has resided in Calgary, the Yukon, Toronto, Massachusetts, Georgia, and London.

Over the course of her travels, she’s accumulated a similarly broad range of work experiences, from stripping in Toronto to writing for the Backstreet Boys to playing in a band with one of the guys from Coldplay. After all this wandering, the 22-year-old singer-songwriter is finally releasing her debut LP Tuesday on the Canadian label Arts & Crafts. We Loved Her Dearly is both intensely catchy and emotionally deep, with songs that draw from her experience in abusive relationships, as well as a passionate political streak that comes through on her queer pride anthem “LGBT” that carries on Le Tigre’s legacy of mixing activism and dancefloor-friendly beats. The music is as complex as her subject matter, fiddling with contemporary electronic pop conventions with frequent nods to such diverse influences as Pet Sounds and Aphex Twin.

Before the album’s release, Lowell spoke to EW about its origins from a cab in Toronto, where she resides—at least for the time being.

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Superhumanoids share 'Flipping Out' and a beat-heavy playlist

Superhumanoids

You don’t find many electropop groups covering Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age, but that’s exactly the kind of thing that LA’s Superhumanoids excel in.

The band’s preferred tactic is to juxtapose singer Sarah Chernoff’s lilting, dreamy vocals against harsh electronic sounds, like the grinding synth bass on its otherwise intensely mellow new single “Flipping Out.” This adds an intriguingly rough edge to a track that otherwise conjures up images of languorous Californian decadence. If any music directors are looking to score a scene of good-looking young people swimming underwater in slow motion, they’re in luck.

Along with the single, the group has shared with EW a playlist that, like its music, blends hooky pop and ambitiously experimental electronic beats. Superhumanoids will be hitting the road shortly to open for electropop godfathers Erasure.

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Music supervisor for 'Revenge,' 'Arrow,' and 'The Fault In Our Stars' makes us a fall TV playlist

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The most important movie soundtrack this year was undoubtedly the top-shelf compilation put together by Season Kent for The Fault In Our Stars, and not just because it gave us Charli XCX’s inimitable “Boom Clap.” Kent has quickly become one of the go-to names in music supervision, and though she’s working on more and more film projects (she just got started working on the Magic Mike sequel), she has primarily made her bones on television.

This season, she returns to both Arrow and Revenge, and adds the brand new Arrow spin-off The Flash to her portfolio. In an effort to give our Shazam apps a rest during the forthcoming TV season, we asked Kent to make us a playlist of songs that we’ll eventually be hearing under our favorite dramatic moments and montages. Check out her picks and listen to the Spotify playlist below.

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Kiesza talks 'Hideaway,' '90s dance-pop, and her upcoming album

Kiesza

Back in January, an obscure Calgary-born singer named Kiesza quietly posted to her SoundCloud an immediately addictive dance-pop track that brings early-’90s diva-fronted club pop thundering back to life. Nine months, a viral music video, and one very impressive late-night appearance later, “Hideaway” is a hit (currently at number 55 after nearly two months on the Hot 100), anticipation for her upcoming album is reaching a fever pitch, and Kiesza has become one of the year’s breakout stars. EW reached her by phone on her way to perform at the iTunes Festival in London to talk about “Hideaway” and what we should expect from her upcoming full-length.

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