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Tag: Pop (41-50 of 1131)

Dance-floor queen Kiesza goes acoustic to cover Nirvana

One of the most delightful singles of this summer is Kiesza’s “Hideaway,” which has been steadily climbing the charts off the strength of its very accurate emulation of the kind of club-pop that ruled radio in the early ’90s. It’s a great sound, and a great point in the retro revival cycle to specialize in it, but the Calgary-born singer appears to have more range than the average dance-floor diva.

For her installment of British music mag NME‘s Basement Sessions video series, Kiesza covers Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box,” an unexpected choice made even more surprising by the sparse arrangement of bluesy vocals and flamenco-inflected fingerpicked guitar that she brings to it.

Maddie and Tae give Nashville a shakeup with 'Girl in a Country Song'

Ever notice how every country song on the radio kind of sounds the same? So did Maddie Marlow and Tae Dye, a teenage country duo who are currently storming up the charts with the single “Girl in a Country Song.” Built around the same drum-loop-kissed, honky-tonk hop that dominates the country airwaves, Maddie and Tae stick it to all the clichés that drive the problematic subset of the mainstream Nashville sound dubbed “bro country.”

“We were going into a songwriting session one day, and we had just been in the car listening to country radio like we do every single day, because we love these songs and we love these guys,” explains the 18-year-old Tae. “We were laughing, because all these lyrics were very similar, and there were a lot of clichés in them. So what we did was we made this checklist, and on the checklist it had bare feet, cutoffs, tanlines, tan legs, but the most important one is the girl.” READ FULL STORY

Get on Tkay Maidza's level with the gleefully noisy 'U-Huh'

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Eighteen-year-old Australian Tkay Maidza is the closest thing we have right now to a reincarnation of early M.I.A.—that is, M.I.A. as she was before the massive record deals and truffle fries and Madonna co-signs, when she was making a big racket out of sounds collected from around the world with the chaotic but innocent glee of a toddler smashing toy trucks together. Over the past year, she has released a string of singles that mix together glitchy electronic noise, hip-hop’s rolling rhythms (not to mention its unabashed swagger), and some truly uncanny natural pop instincts—and in the process, she has become a cult star in the increasingly influential antipodean EDM scene.

READ FULL STORY

Watch Charli XCX slay 'I Want Candy'

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Between her assists on massive singles by Iggy Azalea (“Fancy”) and Icona Pop (“I Love It”) and her own chart-scaling single “Boom Clap,” Charli XCX has earned herself a well-deserved reputation as a go-to performer of potently exuberant, candy-colored pop songs. There are few songs in the modern pop songbook that fit that same description as well as “I Want Candy,” originally performed by an ad hoc group called the Strangeloves in 1965, but thoroughly owned by Bow Wow Wow since they recorded a cover in 1982. So it’s not unexpected that Charli covering “I Want Candy” would work out pretty well.

What is surprising is how raw and–to use a shudderingly uncool word–rocking it is. Charli has been touring in front of a crack power trio, and “I Want Candy” is a much better showcase for their skills than acoustic versions of “Boom Clap.” Their version is just a little too fast and just a little too loud, and it’s pretty ragged around the edges, which is to say pretty much the ideal way of tackling this particular song. (Thanks in part to the usual lack of practice time before promotional duties like covering songs for internet TV shows, probably.) If Charli ever decides pop stardom isn’t for her, she and her girls could probably find a home making noise on the DIY punk circuit without much trouble. READ FULL STORY

Pop phenomenon Meghan Trainor talks her viral hit 'All About That Bass'

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With its throwback soul beat, its body-positive message couched in a cute metaphor, and its dance-filled, candy-colored video, Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” couldn’t have been better designed to go viral. Two months after it was quietly released online, “Bass” has become a straight-up pop phenomenon—racking up YouTube views, inspiring an untold number of online tributes, and rocketing up the Hot 100, where it’s currently sitting at a respectable number 28.

The genre-mashing 20-year-old songwriter—an avowed fan of Caribbean music who’s written for country megastars Rascal Flatts—talked to EW about her overnight success, the inspiring responses she’s been receiving from fans, and where she’s going from here. READ FULL STORY

Hear Brooklynn's disco-fied new single 'Wild Game'

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Despite what her name might suggest, the pop singer Brooklynn is based out of Atlanta, where she’s been developing a musical identity that pulls from a respectably diverse range of influences—Johnny Cash, Madonna, Guns N’ Roses, and Howlin’ Wolf among them. Working with Lady Gaga’s former musical director, Nico Constantine, she’s recorded an EP that comes out later this fall. It features one song, “Wild Game,” that sounds like Emotional Rescue-era Stones fronted by Donna Summer, which is a pretty seriously great thing to sound like.

Watch Katy Perry's pop-art video for 'This Is How We Do'

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In a new Rolling Stone interview, Katy Perry complains about being accused of cultural appropriation—thanks to the big-bootied mummy dancers on her recent tour and the geisha outfit she wore at the American Music Awards. From now on, she says (presumably no small amount of sarcasm), “I guess I’ll just stick to baseball and hot dogs, and that’s it.”

Neither baseball nor hot dogs appear in the video she just dropped for her YOLO anthem “This Is How We Do.” There are, however, plenty of vivid colors and retro styling that references the early days of pop art, not to mention pizza and watermelon. She also rocks a “ratchet” getup with cornrows and a friend listed in her phone as a “thot…” so those cultural appropriation charges will probably keep rolling in. READ FULL STORY

Kiesza does 'Hideaway' (and its outdoor dance sequence) live on Kimmel

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“Hideaway,” by Calgary, Alberta’s leading house music diva Kiesza, has grown into a breakout hit slowly and organically, entering the Hot 100 last week nearly half a year after its video was released. The video, with its impressive one-take dance sequence on the streets of Williamsburg, deserves a lot of the credit for the song’s success, but after racking up over 60 million views on YouTube it’s now paradoxically both a hot new viral hit and (for her house-music-loving base who latched onto it months ago) old news.

Kiesza and her camp have figured out a clever way to put “Hideaway” in front of a whole new audience while freshening it up for its pre-existing audience, and that’s by repeating the video’s choreography, this time in LA, in a single shot for Jimmy Kimmel Live. Impressively, she, her dancers, and the camera crew made it down a stretch of the most tourist-packed sidewalks in the city without any of them ruining the shot—which is almost as impressive as the dancing.

Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj team up for the fiery 'Bang Bang'

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

Two purported 'Erotica'-era Madonna demos make their way online

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

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