A brilliant week for pop queens.
12. SZA & Justin Timberlake – The Other Side
This is only on here because you should hear it simply to cure your curiosity. Not nearly as annoying as Timberlake’s previous ‘Trolls’ hit Can’t Stop The Feeling, it’s a very ok disco song, completely ruined by his presence. SZA looks like a popstar in the video and maybe that’s enough.
11. Mabel – Boyfriend
Mabel wants a boyfriend. She wants a man that can take the heat. He can’t be too sweet but he must be a ‘ride or die’. We’re not sure if she’ll find it exactly but she will find a hit here.
10. Ren – I Drive Me Mad
Ren is becoming a purveyor of fine dark pop and she’s delivered with I Drive Me Mad. It packs so much rage that she lets out sporadically, holding it back in the verses and then letting it all go in the punchy chorus. Interesting production touches take this to the next level.
9. J Balvin – Rojo
Balvin keeps rolling strikes with the material off his forthcoming album COLORES. Rojo is the latest and it sounds like Post Malone-meets-reggaeton. That sounds awkward but it’s a flavorsome, melodic moment that only Balvin could pull off convincingly.
8. Lianne La Havas – Bittersweet
It’s been a while but one of the classiest voices in the biz is back. She’s off to a slow start on Bittersweet wrapping those brooding vocals around a rich, jazz-infused backdrop. We can’t wait for more.
7. GRAACE – Hard To Say (Feat. I.E.)
One of our favourite Aussie pop girls GRAACE is back with her best yet. Hard To Say is a glassy, melancholic pop song elavated by some gorgeous vocal work. Upcoming rapper I.E. comes through with an equally gentle and heartfelt verse. It all just works.
6. Miiesha – Twisting Words
Miiesha is fast becoming the most important new artist in the country. Every song hits the spot with Twisting Words tapping just that little bit more. It’s a rich, soulful moment with a chorus that has the depth of Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black.
5. 100 gecs – ringtone (Remix Feat. Charli XCX, Kero Kero Bonito & Rico Nasty)
The Charli XCX remix of 100 Gecs‘ Ringtone has finally emerged and it also features Rico Nasty and Kero Kero Bonito. This version of Ringtone sticks to the melody of the song but gifts the hook to Charli. It’s easy to see the song at home on a Charli record whereas Rico Nasty’s verse feels like something new from here. She delivers a startling verse over a flurry of synths making us feel as if we need some Nasty produced by Gecs.
4. Diana Gordon – Rollin
We already know that Diana Gordon is an A-grade songwriter and she’s delivered some really interesting work since adopting her real name as her artist name. Rollin, however, is the best thing she’s done. It’s a hip-hop-meets-grunge moment full of crunchy guitars and hard-hitting vocals. She’s found her lane.
3. Lady Gaga – Stupid Love
We’re all pretending we haven’t heard this before because if pop Gaga wins we all win. Stupid Love feels nostalgic in the way that it incorporates the EDM-pop of Born This Way. The vocals, however, are right at the forefront, sounding organic and natural like the Gaga of late. It’s not perfect but it’s good to hear her over a beat once more.
2. Christine & The Queens – La Vita Nuova (Feat. Caroline Polachek)
Christine & The Queens has always been good but it feels like she’s leveled-up with her recent material. Her surprise drop EP is brilliant from top to bottom but La Vita Nuova is a particularly special moment. It’s an ‘80s-tinged moment that sees her open Prince’s playbook. It’s also elevated by a heavenly Polachek appearance.
1. Jessie Ware – Spotlight
Jessie Ware’s forthcoming fourth album What’s Your Pleasure? is taking us back to the dancefloor she introduced us to on Devotion. Spotlight is an excellent entry point. It’s a decadent disco track that commands movement with the subtlest of touches. We could listen to that string-laden intro all day.
Hear all of our current faves in our Top Tunes playlist: