Conway – ‘Attack’
LA-based singer Conway is known for her no holds barred approach to pop’s over populated landscape, skirting on the edges of accessibility with punky, guitar driven precision; this girl doesn’t give a shit and is in complete control. The video for ‘Attack’, a collaboration with fashion brand AllSaints, is a black and white attack on the senses, with kaleidoscope effects that match Conway‘s expressive dancing. The pounding guitars and shouty chorus only add to this attack. This is only the surface of Conway, and she’s sure going to make you scratch it away.
Nathan Sykes – ‘More Than You’ll Ever Know’
Now that he’s free from the shackles of a boyband, Nathan Sykes is ready to show off what he’s really about. And what is that exactly? Powerfully assured vocals, funky horns and bags of sass. A clean aesthetic allows the song to speak for itself, allowing Sykes’ incredibly good voice to shine. Wonderland was lucky enough to hear some more of Nathan’s songs, and while this might not be our favourite it is definitely a good indication of where things are going. We’re calling it now: Nathan is this year’s Ella Henderson – great vocalist, powerful songs and a personality that’ll warm the hearts of a nation.
Jason Derulo – ‘Want To Want Me’
Being totally honest, we’re a bit disappointed that ‘Want To Want Me’ doesn’t open with the now iconic autotuned “Jason Derulo”. However, it seems that dear Jason wasn’t keen to stop name dropping himself at the beginning of his music, so instead has settled for a quiet whisper of “Derulo”. This slight whisper fits with the song with its grooving bass, guitar riffs and stabbing synths in the chorus. What’s more, the song is actually really good and has a chorus that’s so catchy it’s impossible not to bop along. Now that “Derulo” has dropped the Casio trumpets and meme-able lolpop, it seems that he’s letting the songs speak for themselves and ‘Want To Want Me’ does just that.
Aeble – ‘Better By Your Side’ feat. Tom Aspaul
Brighton based producer Aeble debut offering features Wonderland favourite Tom Aspaul, and is an end-of-the-night banger. Calm and reassuring, the live sound percussion adds breeziness to the track, while warm and rounded synths pitter-patter in the periphery. Aspaul delivers his usual chilled vocal; hints of melancholy mixed with harmonies so smooth that you’re likely melt. Balancing the chilled factor with house-y pianos and enough interesting production, Aeble may have just delivered the first summer smash without really realizing it.
Thomston – ‘Grey’
This is the third time we’ve featured Thomston on the Wonderlist, and you’d think we might be a bit sick of him, but when his music keeps delivering like this it’s hard not to pay attention. Unlike the woefully dark ‘Collarbones’, ‘Grey’ has more nuanced lyrics, expressing something cryptic and uncertain. The sinister, overbearing production matches this mystery, with swooshing pads and stark percussion spinning a world around Thomston’s vocals. It might be less accessible than his previous efforts, but this deviation shows another side to the burgeoning singer, one wrapped up in creating a pressured atmosphere in his music that not only questions the listener’s preconceptions but also takes you on a journey.
Phoebe Ryan – ‘Dead’
You might think the Phoebe Ryan is all green hair and no substance, but as her previous track ‘Mine’ proved she knows her way around a pop song. Now with, ‘Dead’, she’s dropped the cutesiness of her previous effort, embracing a breathier approach. The almost sluggish percussion is punctuated with energetic moments that bring you to speed with the lyrics, which tackle self-doubt and disbelief. The sonar-like electronics and low-slung synths wrap around the track, building in the chorus before faltering back into the verse. Ryan manages to take life’s positives and add a layer of reality to them, claiming that she must be “dead” for things to be as good as they are. It’s an interesting interpretation of the complexities of the mind, and one that’s matched with pop in its purest form. Yes some elements of the song sound a bit pastiche, but it’s not quite on Betty Who levels of bombast. Instead, ‘Dead’ is a subtle and well rounded track that’s getting us more excited to hear more from Ryan.
Shura – ‘2Shy’
Shura embraces her 80s influences, interpreting them differently and paying homage where it’s due. From the flecks of Prince in the melody to the Whitney-like drums, she’s able to capture nuances that others might not notice. With ‘2Shy’, Shura opens up even more, baring herself open. The song is almost an oxymoron, expressing her shyness in a romantic situation but delivering it with such self-assurance. It’s cute but not sickeningly so, rather capturing something rare and expressing it acutely. The hidden desire is almost played out by the water-like synths, while the loaded percussion before the chorus personifies a moment of courage, allowing for the realization that the object of affection and the protagonist could be more than friends. The sparse outro doesn’t answer any questions, instead leaving you guessing about what happened, eager to find out more.
Marina and the Diamonds – ‘Blue’
Taken from Marina’s upcoming FROOT, ‘Blue’ is drenched in regret, despite the almost exuberant production. The second verse sees Marina sing, “No I don’t love you, no I don’t care, I just wanna be held when I’m scared”, and shows more vulnerability than she lets on. Instead ‘Blue’ reads like the conversation you have with yourself about why you’re going back to an old lover, justifying it with excuses and avoiding the truth that you don’t want to be “blue anymore”. It’s what Marina does best, capturing those silent, unspoken moments and crafting them into joyously over-the-top pop tunes. For us, this our favourite froot to date.