Adam Lambert – ‘Ghost Town’
We realise that this Max Martin produced song has been ‘out there’ for a couple of weeks, but now it has a rather haunting video to go with it. Opening with a soft acoustic guitar and Lambert’s tender vocal he sings, “Died last night in my dreams, walking the streets of some old ghost town”, before the song changes drastically. Stabbing synths and pulsing beats build with an infectious whistle, giving the song a house-y vibe. The video, directed by Hype Williams, is full of flashing images of dancers pulling some serious shapes. It’s a departure for Lambert, but one that’s totally welcome. What a song.
Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea – ‘Pretty Girls’
It’s always an event when the Legendary Ms Britney Spears releases a new single, and this one is no different. Sitting just under three minutes, ‘Pretty Girls’ is, indeed, something more urban for the pop princess. Featuring Iggy Azalea and produced by The Invisible Men (the producers behind Azalea’s megahit ‘Fancy’), the song is full of chants, cute un-autotuned vocals and loads of attitude. It’s the most alive that Spears has sounded on a track for years, and you can clearly tell that she’s having fun, bringing some of those classic Britney adlibs that we haven’t heard since 2003. Even Azalea doesn’t grate, joining Spears on the chorus to sing that rather catchy hook. It might be a little basic, but it’s fun and bound to become this year’s summer smash. Anyways, basic Britney is better than bored Britney, right?
Brandon Flowers – ‘Lonely Town’
We’re getting super excited for Brandon Flowers’ new album The Desired Effect, and the latest promo track from the record is the best one yet. Building on Flowers’ dedication to the 80s, the song comes complete with gloriously spacious synths and power ballad-like percussion. A meditation on loneliness, the song’s lyrics speak of a childlike isolation transported to adulthood. The video has a certain voyeuristic quality, as we join a young girl dancing around her house alone. It’s both exciting and moving, and full of youthful exuberance.
Jason Derulo – ‘Cheyenne’
We’re not sure what Jason Derulo is up to, but instead of the usual fare he’s releasing some seriously brilliant pop songs. Arpeggiated synths and moody melodies build up the track, which has an ominous quality (not unlike Taylor Swift’s ‘Style’). The song’s longing lyrics tell a story of accidental love, a one-night stand turned into a romance. The production is solid despite the six (!) producers involved on the track, and Derulo sound genuinely into the song, showcasing his powerful falsetto. It’s a shame that Derulo is so often associated with crap lolpop, because when he puts his mind to it he can deliver some proper amazing pop songs.
Lany – ‘Someone Else’
If atmospheric, melancholic pop is your thing then Lany’s new song ‘Someone Else’ will be right up your street. Soft, sullen pianos lay underneath the warming synth, a sincere vocal tackling issues of adultery and a love that’s ending. It’s at times a little bit hipster, and that’s definitely Lany’s target audience, but there’s definitely some substance here that, we hope, will be built upon. But for now, we’re going to give this one another spin.