If you notice your computer or smartphone running hot recently, it may be because the internet is currently on fire after the release of “Bang Bang,” an en fuego team-up between Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, and British pop star Jessie J. Written and produced by much of the creative team behind Grande’s “Problem,” including Swedish pop warlock Max Martin, “Bang Bang” is a floor-shaking pileup of soulful horn stabs and detuned kick drums. It sounds like the hyperactive love child of Amy Winehouse and DJ Mustard with a three-way battle between the vocalists to see who can go the hardest. It’s tempting to call the contest for Nicki just on general principle—bonus points for her “Queen Nicki dominant, prominent” line—but Grande’s performance, which feels like she’s determined to jump through your headphones and physically tackle your eardrums, offers some serious competition. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Pop (21-30 of 1103)
Erotica may have been the first Madonna LP since her debut not to reach the number one spot on the Billboard albums chart, but in retrospect it’s her strongest album — produced at the peak of her power and provocativeness during the same burst of creativity that yielded the Sex book and tour documentary Truth or Dare and helped elevate her from mere pop star to an era-defining icon. Over the years demos for that album, referred to by superfans as “the Rain tapes,” have made their way online, mostly as snippets, along with a lot of fakes.
Yesterday two full tracks purporting to be Erotica outtakes were posted on Soundcloud: READ FULL STORY
OK this is getting ridiculous. Aside from a few songs trading positions and one relatively drastic two-slot drop for Jason Derulo and Snoop Dogg’s “Wiggle,” the Top 10 is exactly how it was last week, making it a solid month since there was anything close to a shakeup at the top of the Hot 100.
Luckily, for those of us who prefer an active and exciting pop chart that isn’t being smothered by the unstoppable combination of “Fancy” and “Rude,” help may be on the way, in the form of a few could-be hits waiting for ignition.
Pharrell Williams’ “Come Get It Bae” just released its video yesterday, and its Miley cameo and “women of all shapes, sizes, and colors are beautiful” theme have already earned it over a million plays. The clip is already on its way to “Blurred Lines”-style popularity, so while this week it’s only at No. 60, down four spots from last week after nine weeks on the chart, a viral boost from the video could give it the momentum to turn things around and make its way toward the Top 10. It doesn’t hurt that the song’s stripped-down, clap-happy beat brings back some of the original Neptunes flavor that made Williams a star in the first place.
Kiesza’s “Hideaway” video has been out since February, racking up over 60 million views in that time, but it’s just now cracked the Hot 100 with its debut at No. 97. The fact that it’s still gaining popularity nearly half a year later bodes well for it, and its hooky amalgam of pop and house, redolent of early ’90s club-pop divas like Cathy Dennis, is at the bleeding edge of current retro tastes, if that makes any sense. Plus its video is the type of shamelessly corny fun that’s hard to deny, even if you’re the type of hipster who’s supposed to be mad that they shot it in Williamsburg.
Jenny Lewis’ excellent new solo album The Voyager doesn’t officially arrive until this Tuesday, July 29, but you can currently stream it in its entirety over at Amazon Music. It’s a remarkable album, full of sweet summertime memories and vivid storytelling.
Several of the tracks from The Voyager have already been released, including the Hollywood cross-dresser assisted “Just One of the Guys,” the breezy “She’s Not Me,” and the stark, heartbreaking title track. READ FULL STORY
For the first video from her forthcoming sophomore album, The Other Person Is You, singer-songwriter Lara Meyerratken, aka El May, took to the streets of New York City with director Yaara Sumeruk. The Australian musician brought along a pair of headphones and an iPhone loaded with her bouncy, dancehall-infused single “I Played a Role” and captured the reactions of people on the street hearing the track for the first time. Like Meyerratken, the song and the video’s conceit are fun and more than a little cutesy without crossing over into full-blown twee quirkiness.
“The train scene was our dream come true,” Meyerratken, who resides in L.A., writes in an email. “We had imagined a best-case scenario, where our journey around the city over the two days coincided with some amazing subway dancers. At the end of the day, headed to our final locations, exhausted on the J train, we heard the famous call: ‘SHOW TIME!’ So we approached them… it turned out to be a real highlight!”
The Other Person Is You, which features contributions from indie rock royalty like the Vaselines’ Eugene Kelly and Britta Phillips and Dean Wareham from Luna, is out Aug. 26.
Broods are a brother and sister—Georgia and Caleb Nott—based out of Auckland, New Zealand. Geographically inclined pop listeners will note that this is where zeitgeist-dominating teen pop phenomenon Lorde also lives, and the two acts have more in common than just a hometown–Broods’ upcoming album, Evergreen, was produced by Joel Little, who also helmed Pure Heroine, and they share a common goal of uniting radio-friendly pop hooks and the cool-toned minimalist aesthetic that’s been dominating hip-hop during the Drake era.
Recently they released the first single from Evergreen, “Mother & Father,” and with its sweeping hook and up-to-the-minute production it’s already looking like it has a good chance of continuing the Kiwi takeover of the American pop charts. (Their upcoming tour with Sam Smith should help as well.) EW got on the phone with Georgia Nott to discuss it.
Twenty-six years ago, Neneh Cherry turned the pop world on its ear with her single “Buffalo Stance,” which whipped pop, R&B, punk, and two genres—hip-hop and dance music—that at the time had just started to emerge as distinct musical movements into an addictively danceable froth. The song made it almost all the way to No. 1 on the Hot 100, thanks to its infinitely catchy chorus—a sneak diss at a materialistic ex—but mainstream listeners didn’t know exactly what to do with Cherry’s experimental ways and protean identity. She followed up her debut, Raw Like Sushi (which “Buffalo Stance” made into an unlikely hit) with an album where she collaborated with both Michael Stipe and the Notorious B.I.G., and a confused public quickly bailed.
Cherry maintained an underground following, though, and they stuck around while she spent over a decade in semi-retirement. In 2012, she re-emerged with an energetic collaboration with the Scandinavian free jazz combo The Thing, and earlier this year she released Blank Project, recorded alongside the British electronic duo RocketNumberNine and dance music experimentalist Kieran Hebden (aka Four Tet), that felt like a quieter, more mature continuation of the work she did at the beginning of her career. At the same time, that early work has become more influential than ever as a generation of young artists have rediscovered Raw‘s brilliant genre-blindness and made it their own.
Over the weekend, Cherry performed at the Pitchfork Music Festival, and afterward EW sat down with her to talk about her legacy, her comeback, and the process that drives it all.
Rapper and burgeoning pop star Chippy Nonstop resides in Los Angeles, but it might be more accurate to say she lives on the Internet, where she’s amassed an army of fans on Twitter and other social networking platforms through virally popular singles like “Money Dance” and “Kicked Out Da Club.” The latter single perfectly sums up both her sound (club rap with an emphasis on regional styles like Bay Area hyphy) and her philosophy (which is YOLO to the extreme).
Her latest single is called “Peeka,” which pairs a buzzy, bass-heavy beat with pitch-shifted vocals that use the name of the most popular Pokemon character as a euphemism for a very non-G-rated act. She says that it was recorded in just one day, and that, “I want my fans to have this song for the summer time to dance outside their homes in the sprinklers in.” As I write this, those fans are feverishly posting memes in anticipation of its release, so without further ado, here it is.
Globetrotting DJ/super-producer Diplo was one of the first big artists to give Lorde a co-sign, and judging by their social media presences, the two have remained buddies throughout her rapid ascent into pop’s A-list. Today the two took their friendship to the next level with the release of “Diplo’s Andre Agassi Reebok Pump Mix” of “Tennis Court,” the opening track from Lorde’s breakthrough album Pure Heroine.
The original (currently at No. 78 on the Billboard Hot 100) juxtaposes huge vocal hooks, a gothy minimalist synthesizer arrangement, and some precociously over-it lyrics. Diplo being Diplo, his remix splashes neon light over Lorde’s brooding pop with pitch-bending keyboard arpeggios that candy ravers will go cuckoo over.
You may not recognize Salme Dahlstrom’s name, but it’s very likely that you’ve heard her song “C’mon Y’all” in a commercial (for everything from Special K to Subaru), a movie, a TV show, or a video game. Or you may have heard another song from her 2008 album The Acid Cowgirl Audio Trade somewhere, since she managed to license every single track on it, Moby-style.
The follow-up to Acid Cowgirl, titled Pop Propaganda Volume 2: Retro Funk Soul Junction, comes out September 16—and if the lead single, “Pop Ur Heart Out” is any indication, she won’t have problem selling these songs either. “Pop”—which Dahlstrom produced herself, like all her material—is relentlessly hooky and ridiculously accessible, with bits of hip-hop and dance music floating around in a matrix of straight sugar pop. Expect to see it in about a million more commercials.
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