Sia – ‘Elastic Heart’
Despite having included ‘Elastic Heart’ on the soundtrack for the second Hunger Games film, Sia included the song on her album 1000 Forms of Fear. However, the version on the album didn’t feature the tones of The Weekend, rather it saw Sia take on the full song in all its glorious wonder. Now, taken as the next single from her album, ‘Elastic Heart’ has a typical Sia-esque video and features the fellow photography shy Shia LaBeouf and Maddie Ziegler, the phenomenal child dancer the personified ‘Chandelier’. Like said song and its accompanying visuals, the video for ‘Elastic Heart’ is emotive, daring and wrought with complex themes. This, coupled with the song’s scattering electronics courtesy of Diplo, makes for both enchanting and engrossing viewing. Sia’s vocals, as always, convey so much with no pretenses. This is powerful and moving pop music.
Bebe Rexha – ‘I’m Gonna Show You Crazy’
Bebe Rexha’s strain of pop music is one that we enjoy. From the almost demented production – built heavily in the bass, with scuzzy synths and tapping drum machines – to the brutal honesty in her lyrics, there’s something about this emerging singer that sits on the right side of deranged. This is perfectly exemplified in ‘I’m Gonna Show You Crazy’, a song about refusing to hide, or even flatten, your quirks. “So what if I’m fucking crazy?” Rexha asks, before launching into a smashing chorus: “Loco, maniac, sick bitch, psychopath, yeah I’m gonna show you…” This song isn’t subtle – it hits you hard in the chest. And, to be honest, sometimes we need just that.
Years & Years – ‘King’
Years & Years are the first act this year to unveil a song that is completely immediate. As you know, we’re huge fans of the boys here, and ‘King’ only stokes this fire of love. House-y, almost tropical beats and modern production glide effortlessly under singer Olly’s vocals. But it’s what Years & Years do so well – the melding of melancholy and beats – that keeps us wanting more. So many feels, so many moves and so much love.
Tropics – ‘Rapture’
With his latest track ‘Rapture’, Tropics takes some notes from Rhye. Rippling pianos, swirling electronics and chuffing percussion have an almost watery texture, like a bubble bath. But, like a warm bath, you might prune by the end as the song rather unnecessarily comes to a clattering conclusion. However, this won’t stop you wanting to take another soak in this gloriously rich song.
Ellie Goulding – ‘Love Me Like You Do’
Taken from the 50 Shades Of Grey soundtrack, ’Love Me Like You Do’ surely has to be Ellie Goulding’s best work. With production credits from Team Max Martin, and a co-write from Tove Lo, there’s no way this could be crap given its pop parentage. Goulding, who is sometimes accused of wispy over-singing, has reined it in, keeping her airy higher octaves to a minimum. That doesn’t mean that the song is boring, but rather that it’s instantly more pleasurable to listen to. In fact, the song bears similarities to the power ballads of Celine and Jennifer Rush. And that, dear friends, is no bad thing.
DJ Fresh feat Ella Eyre – ‘Gravity’
While it’s not quite clear where Ella Eyre is in her career, this track with DJ Fresh is sure to get airplay, making sure that if you didn’t know her before you will now. The video has a sort of Bonnie and Clyde vibe, as Ella and DJ Fresh drive around the desert basically causing trouble and mayhem. Yes, it may be a bit ‘D&B by-numbers’, but that doesn’t stop it being catchy. This is one to blow away those wintery cobwebs.
Krystal Klear Feat. Yasmin – ‘One Night Only’
It’s obvious when Krystal Klear was writing ‘One Night Only’ that the spirit of Whitney was in the room. From the double tapped kick drum to the glacial synths, the song acts as a proper homage to Whitney’s early work. Luckily Yasmin doesn’t try to emulate Whitney’s vocals, otherwise an homage would’ve become a parody. Instead, the song is a perfectly good, danceable club track, with all the ingredients of hit.
Black Coast feat. M Maggie – ‘Enough’
To us, ‘Enough’ sounds so much like the fantastic Tegan and Sara album that we’re almost disappointed that it wasn’t included on the tracklisting. However, that album came out two years ago, so we should probably get over. Regardless, this is perfectly romantic pop, with sweet sentiments and fantastic production.