While Lady Gaga and Katy Perry were hibernating in 2015, new artists emerged to battle for the pop crown. A debut album is often years in the making, makes or breaks an artist and can catapult them into stardom faster than they could ever hope. The new generation of pop is less about ‘loving you girl’ and more about the authentic human experience.
Halsey – Badlands
19 year old Halsey aka Ashley Frangipane is truly a child of mixed musical heritage. An album with the swagger of Biggie, the melancholy of Johnny Cash (she actually covers ‘I Walk The Line’) and the bubbling personality of Robyn, Badlands is like the younger, messier sister to Lana Del Rey’s Born To Die. Halsey’s lyrics are raw and yet her voice I sweet and implies innocence, a great example of this is the opening lines of ‘Ghost’ one of the singles “Want them wearing leather / Begging, let me be your taste test”. This LP is more than it’ds first hit ‘New Americana’, Badlands is a stunning ode to reckless youth.
Troye Sivan – Blue Neighbourhood
Troye Sivan’s critically acclaimed debut is a heartbreaking piece of art. After a long build up from his first single ‘Happy Little Pill’, the Australian youtuber has delivered Blue Neughbourhood, a stunning and emotionally mature album at 20. This LP is simple, evocative and catchy, everything that makes a great debut stick.
Hayley Kiyoko – This Side of Paradise EP
Hayley Kiyoko marked her first hit with the queer synth jam ‘Girls Like Girls’. Her lyrical honesty, and provocative visuals show that Kiyoko has got the talent to be a great pop artist. Another songwriter to emerge from girl group The Stunners – the other being Tinashe – to make honest pop music. The Other Side of Paradise is simmering pop road trip through California, it’s dreamy, airy and romantic. Kiyoko makes a clear point to explore sexuality without exploiting, a talent that a lot of stars are unable to control. She is definitely someone to watch in 2016.
Dumblonde – Dumblonde
Dumblonde is a reincarnated duo of Aubrey O’Day and Shannon Bex, previously of Danity Kane fame. The duo is dynamic, both aurally and visually. Their self-titled debut shows a striking balance of power within the group and a love of good quality dance music in the 2010s. These two woman show have pumped out some great club-bangers such as ‘Dreamsicle’ and ‘You Got Me’ as well as some synth heavy love jams such as ‘White Lightning’ and the trance like’ Tender Green Life’. A nice change from the repetitive EDM boring slosh of the charts, Dumblonde breathe fresh air into a well worn genre.