Zara Larsson – ‘Rooftop’
Zara Larsson made a name for herself after she won Sweden’s equivalent of Got Talent. But don’t let that put you off, as ‘Rooftop’ is the end of the summer jam that’s full of melancholic synths and the yearning of shortening evenings. Zara’s vocals sit somewhere between Robyn’s and Rihanna’s and that’s no bad thing, the lyrics filled with youthful lust and energy. We’re so on board with this it’s ridiculous.
One Direction – ‘Fireproof’
Former Wonderland cover stars One Direction are back with their annual album release. Over the past few years these have been getting better and better, and ‘Fireproof’ is testament to how much the boys have come along. With laidback guitars and strong hooks, this song is as adult as it comes, with the boys’ softly layered vocals providing a wall of harmonies. It’s brilliantly low key, and wonderfully catchy. If you hadn’t guessed it, we’re already firm Directioners already.
Nick Gardner – ‘Lose You’
For some reason, pop music is severely lacking in male solo stars. Yes we have Justin Timberlake, whose straddling of pop and R&B has made him one of the world’s biggest stars, but realistically men doing straight up pop are hard to come by. Enter in Nick Gardner, the YouTube star turned Interscope recording artist, and his debut single ‘Lose You’. Dark synths open up the track with moody vocoded vocals gliding in. The chorus features an increadible ‘ooh’ hook that is well worth sticking around for. It’s a mix between a massive 80s power ballad and a modern, radio friendly hit – that’s something to be excited about.
Becky Hill – ‘Losing’
The UK version of hit American reality show The Voice may be unable to produce a successful winner, but there’s been some talent come through those (ill)fated doors. Former contestant Becky Hill has already featured on a Rudimental track and had a number One featuring on summer smash ‘Gecko’. With ‘Losing’, Hill has roped in the production skills of friend MNEK, and the resulting track is massive. There’s a sort of gospel repetition to the track, the driving drum pattern push to the front of the production. However, light subtleties, both within the vocals and the backing track, create a song that’s varied, full bodied and worth repeated spins.
Betty Who – ‘Runaways’
Having already secured herself a dedicated following, New York based star in waiting Betty Who has some seriously good pop songs. ‘Runaways’ is the first track to be lifted from her debut album, and is probably a good sign of the direction the album is taking – sparkly, glittery pop aching for a dance. So string up the glitter balls!
Brolin – ‘Swim Deep’
While there’s an abundance of brilliant electronic music out there, very little manages to capture the different textures of emotions. With ‘Swim Deep’ UK based artist Brolin examines the tenderness of love, relationships and the early morning, perfectly exemplified through the stunning video. It’s lovely, low key and utterly spellbinding.
Kiesza – ‘No Enemiesz’
Kiezsa is one of this year’s breakout stars, her blend of pop sensibilities and throwback house music niggling into the ears of people around the world. Her new track, ‘No Enemiesz’ is a progression from her previous two tracks, while maintaining the same, solid formula. Throbbing synths high vocals and modern beats cascade together, as a staccato bass pops through the verses. Let’s just say we’re ready for an amazing dance routine, babe.
Childish Gambino – ‘Sober’
Laid back R&B is on the menu with Childish Gambino’s new track, ‘Sober’. Funk synths and soft electric pianos placate the hardest of moods, the light vocals mellowing the soul. And, regardless of the odd breakdown halfway through, this track is in smooth territory. Ahhh.
Alexa Goddard – ‘So There’
Despite premiering earlier this summer, this amazing pop ditty has been given the much-needed video treatment. For ‘So There’ Alexa Goddard pulls influences from India to the South, with country twags and sitar strings playing through out. It’s also catchy as hell! This is bubblegum pop for the 21st Century and we bloody love it.
Kwabs – ‘Walk’
Kwabs is probably one of the most distinctive male vocalists to emerge in the UK music scene for a few a while, and ‘Walking’ is testament to this. Epic drums and honey-like vocals somehow blend together to create something moody full with muscle. Brimming full of confidence, ‘Walk’ is Kwabs’ most sonically secure track yet.