My 2017 Heavy Rotation

2017 was surprisingly great for pop music, while there was a lot of schlock to wade through, there ware some great tracks that were so good that they stayed in my rotation from their release up til now.

‘OMG’ – Camila Cabello (Feat. Quavo)

This single was released at the same time as ‘Havana’ but didn’t gain the traction that it deserved. I realized in the club that you can’t really dance to ‘Havana’ whereas ‘OMG’ was made for dancing to. The heavy base, angelic choir on loop and that sticky staccato is everything. There’s something really Charli XCX about this mid-tempo banger, which considering she was a co-writer with Noonie Bao makes sense. Camila has really made steps to release quality music this year and make her debut an event to not be missed. With her pre-release singles all showing great promise, I can’t wait to hear a full body of work from her.

‘Rockets’ – Lion Babe (Feat. Moe Moks)

Lion Babe have been on my radar, since their debut Begin and their collab with Disclosure ‘Hourglass’ however, it was the release of ‘Rockets’ that made me really listen to their stuff this year. It’s almost like elevator music in it’s realxed approach production-wise and Jillian Hervey’s ethereal vocals, but that melody is an addictive earworm that is is intriguing on first listen. The lyrics are essentially nonsensical but the whole package is like walking through a room filled with blunt smoke. The best way to describe it is… Delicious.

‘Normal Girl’, ‘The Weekend’ and ‘Go Gina’ – SZA

First off, all of CTRL is amazing, this is one of the best debut albums that i have heard from anyone in a long time. It’s so cohesive in its artistic unity and the themes of love, pain, growing up and being twenty-something are so clear and well articulated. These three songs, are the ones that spoke to me personally. As someone in their early-mid twenties I just have never has music that so bluntly spoke to the experience of being a young, messy woman. Also, SZA is everything.

‘Boys’ and ‘Baby Girl’ (Feat. Uffie) – Charli XCX

After the drastic pivot of last years Vroom Vroom EP, Charli found a middle ground with the Number 1 Angel Mixtape. It’s  a really strong body of work that I think was a great antidote after ‘After the Afterparty’ which undermined everything that Vroom Vroom put in place. Charli XCX’s strength is catchy, off-centre pop that explores different genres. ‘Baby Girl’ stood out on the record for me because of that Uffie verse, it’s a WTF moment that kind of stops the record and you have to listen to again just because of her delivery. ‘Boys’ is just a jam and it lives in its simplicity.

‘Disco Tits’ – Tove Lo

Only Tove Lo would name a song after her tits, a performance trademark. This funk tinged track about getting high and dancing until you’re dripping with sweat. I love pop songs that don’t try to complicate the premise, ‘Disco Tits’ is an infectious pop song that plays with levels of intoxication through the layers of production i.e. that affected voice that mutters “I say hi, you say hi, we stay high, you look so pretty yeah.”

‘Heatstroke’ – Calvin Harris (Feat. Young Thug, Pharell & Ariana Grande) and ‘Hard To Love’ (Feat. Jessie Reyez)

Is summer back? Funk Wav Bounces Vol.1 is was my album of the summer, I killed this record even when it got colder because the production is beautiful. ‘Heatstroke’ is sweltering, it is summer captured in a song. The production of this track is so perfectly done, that from the first five seconds I need an ice lolly. ‘Hard To Love’ is the slightly cooler summer evening. Jessie’s blunt, honest lyrics work and sweet voice contrast so perfectly with that groaning, male voice in that loves just beneath her vocals it gives a sadness to the production that ends the record on such a bittersweet note.

‘End Game’ – Taylor Swift (Feat. Future & Ed Sheeran)

This song shouldn’t have worked for me. 2017 has been the year of Ed Sheeran, a long year that overwhelmed me with Ed Sheeran songs that all started to meld together. Never-the-less, the hook ‘big reputation’ is such an earworm that the first few times i listened to this I didn’t even know that Taylor had a verse because I kept rewinding to hear that hook. It’s a standout from Reputation, this track is the best from this record for me. The texture that Sheeran and Future bring and the bombastic production are icing on the cake of an almost perfect pop record.


Troye Sivan & Dua Lipa cover Mark Ronson’s ‘Somebody to Love’

Two stars on the radar Troye Sivan and Dua Lipa performed a cover of the 2010 Mark Ronson song ‘Somebody to Love, which originally feared vocals from the legendary Boy George.

Premiered by Rolling Stone at the last stop of Sivan’s Surburbia Tour in Atlanta in November, the duo cover the tropical dance track while strutting around in a shrowd of blue and purple lights while singing to each other.

This seems like a perfect way to end the year for the smoky-voiced Lipa as she posted the video yesterday on her Instagram  as she hears up for her debut release in February following the success of ‘Hotter Than Hell’ and ‘Be The One’ this year.

Ariana Grande Knows Better in new Soundcloud Remix

Ariana Grande surprised fans with a late night update to her Soundcloud profile. The new track “Knew Better Part 2” is a funky remix/update the original track that appeared as a mini-track on her latest album Dangerous Woman released earlier this year. The original track was a two minute song, that is treated like an interlude to the shimmery “Forever Boy”, however this version drops the shimmer and becomes a fully realized track on it’s own which I dare say is an upgrade.

An ode the lady who has been treated any less than she deserves, Ari casts any ideas of getting back together with this sassy ‘Screw You’ to her ex “I don’t fuck with your energy”, while ushering in the “new boo” with the sassy line “this is what you’re soulmate looks like, I look good right?!”

The track also unveils a new talent from the 23-year old powerhouse, she is a pretty capable rapper. Considering Ariana’s rumoured new “boo” is rapper Mac Miller, his influence is definietely felt on this track.

Check it out!

Christine & the Queens – Chaleur Humaine

Christine & the Queens have been a well kept secret considering this album came out in France two years ago after three successful EPs and a slot opening for Lykke Li. The first time I heard of Christine was her amazing performance of ‘Tilted’ last November on The Daily Show where Trevor Noah praised her for being “absolutely amazing” and “weird”. Her performances came after a Pitchfork article a few months before that gives more insight into the woman and the thought behind some tracks such as ‘iT’ and some background on the self proclaimed Freak-Pop artist, born Héloïse Letissier.

Chaleur Humaine (Human Warmth) was completely in French and has been partially re-recorded in English to make it more accessible on some tracks. I have a confession to make, my working knowledge of French is stunted in year 8 and yet the transition from English to French is so seamlessly done you won’t notice until it’s already happening. The songwriting is restrained yet undifficult and poised. The synth pop record plays with r&b, trap and electronica in a unique way, weaving them into the fabric of this aesthically Pop album. The first thing that stands out during this record is how well produced it is. The electronic glitches, sweeping synths and Letissier’s smooth French-tinged crooning stays on side of nuanced and inviting.

Where the record really shines is when Lesissier is subverting the narrative and exploring a gender less identity such as on the grandstanding opener ‘iT’ where she professes “I’m a man now and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.” evoking the idea that she will not be restricted by the notion of gendered narrative and yeti later verse gives away “she draws her own crotch by herself but she’ll lose it because it’s a fake.” 

Another highlight of the record is the intergalactically bouncy ‘Science Fiction’ that creates for the listener how Christine experiences going into public with her partner.

A standout track on the record is ‘Paradis Perdus’ a track that interpolates ‘Les paradis perdus’ by Christophe and ‘Heartless’ by Kanye West. She encapsulates the atmosphere of a song that is iconic for West and make it truly her own creating a moody, familiar moment that stands apart.

Ultimately, Chaleur Humaine is a perfect antidote to the pop that currently dominates the charts. It’s intelligent and intricate without being intimidating. If you’ve seen the adverts for the album and like what you see then definitely check out Christine and the Queens’ YouTube channel a heck out her stunning dance moves for yourself. 


Here is the video for ‘Tilted

4 Unmissable Debuts of 2015

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.