If you dislike the word pop, stop here. The word pop gets used 10, maybe 20 time below...
Julie Bergan is a Scandinavian popstar which should surprise no one given that Arigato is an excellent pop song and 90% of the songs of that description come from there. Arigato has silky, sensual verses and a bridge that feels like blood rushing to the hood. Melodically, it ticks all the boxes a pop song should but it's also got some really innovative production which will make you stick around right until the finish.
BAMILY is a London-based quarter and this is their debut single Hello Stranger. It's an excellent entrance for the group - a slow-burning, funky song that's about as danceable as they come. If Pharrell and Justin Timberlake weren't setting the agenda on what "commercial funk" should be this is the sort of stuff that would light up the radio. It's a feel-good tune that'll stick in your head and float there for hours after your first play has ended.
Given the hashtag attached to the song, #2090, it's obvious that LA producer Venessa Michaels is trying to make pop music for the future and she's succeeding. Really Like is sugary dance-pop at its finest combing kitsch elements of PC Music with delectable, interesting electronic production. It's a sparkly, sunny tune driven by Effy's charismatic vocal and while it's instrumental is very busy, it achieves the many styles it sets out to.
Mixed Messages (Gemma Dunleavy)
Orlando Volcano is a Brooklyn-based producer who is prepping the release of his debut EP Complete Concrete on 24th June. Mixed Messages is taken from that record and it's a dancehall-flavoured piece of innovative electronica driven by a flawless pop vocal courtesy of Gemma Dunleavy. It's far too forward-thinking to ever light up commercial radio but that doesn't mean it's any less melodic or easy to devour. It's a pure delight from start to finish and it never tries too hard.
We've been enamoured by pretty much everything Kiwi vocalist Thomston has done over the past year or so but lately he's stepped up his game. His previous Wafia-featuring single Window Seat was gorgeous and the follow-up Float is an equally warm hug. He takes cues from Troye Sivan on this mellow piece of pop that floats effortlessly as the title would suggest. He's a great songwriter and Float is a genius, subtle pop song.
Anything Said (Feat. LOOP)
Kileco is a producer from Leeds who has been populating his Soundcloud with some pretty enjoyable instrumental work. For his latest drop Anything Said, he's brought on board vocalist LOOP and created what will surely be his most popular song to date. The verses are full of LOOP's endearing, buttery vocal and the choruses are Kileco's time to shine as he lays down groovy synths. It all makes for something quite excellent.
All I Want
It wouldn't be a piece about pop without including a Swede and we've left the best for last in Marlene's All I Want. All I Want is so damn enjoyable you'll smile until your mouth reaches your ears. It's got one of those verses that'll make you replay the song over and over just to hear the first one. That said, the chorus damn good too, boosted by layered vocals and some glitchy sampling work. Marlene is definitely one to watch this year, if you haven't already got your eye on her.