Janet Jackson – No Sleep Feat. J. Cole
In 2013 we were led to believe that Janet Jackson had retired – “She’s gone. She married a billionaire”, a source told Showbiz 411. Bereft, fans of Janet, Miss Jackson if you’re nasty, went searching for someone to take her place on the throne as the new Queen of Pop. No successor was found and so in 2015 Jackson announced she would be returning with a new album, her own label and a new world-wide tour. This week she dropped the video for ‘No Sleep’ and added a few verses from J.Cole. This is Janet Jackson at her best (as if she’s ever delivered anything but the finest). Co-produced and co-written by Jackson and the legendary Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, this is a slow jam for the ages. It’s so good to have Janet Jackson back.
NERVO – The Other Boys
The internet, rightly, lost its collective mind when NERVO dropped this track. Featuring Kylie Minogue, Jake Shears and Nile Rodgers, “The Other Boys” is a match made in pop music heaven. The last time NERVO and Minogue teamed up they produced “Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love), so it was highly unlikely they’d produce anything less than sublime. This is a shameless slice of disco but far too much fun to be contained to the dancefloor.
Elohim – Xanax
L.A based Elohim has followed up “She Talks Too Much” with the aptly named track “Xanax”. Elohim has been compared to the likes of Purity Ring and Portishead, producing trippy, woozy pop while saying virtually nothing to the music press. “Xanax” will only add to her mystique – why would anyone producing such great music not want to bang on about it to anyone who will listen?
XYLØ – Afterlife
XYLØ have racked up an impressive run of singles, the latest one being “Afterlife”. The brother-sister duo specialise in making music about how exhausting life can be. Life’s a struggle but, as XYLØ prove, it can be the source for beautiful music. This track touches on everything from death to dentistry – heartache to toothache.
LCMDF – Procrastination 365
Had XYLØ listened to “Procrastination 365” before they went into the studio they might have produced something a bit cheerier. LCMDF describe the track as “in the spheres of PC Music, Taylor Swift and Scandinavian pop tradition, with a bittersweet chorus and quirked up verses.” In short, it’s amazing.
Austin Mahone – Dirty Work
Austin Mahone has been on the verge of being the “next-big-thing” for some time now. Seemingly created in a laboratory, he has all the attributes of a perfect pop superstar but is yet to achieve anything like the success of someone like Bieber – they’ve not only competed for chart success but also, allegedly, for the affection of Selena Gomez. This track tips a hat, probs a fedora, to the trumpet infused pop of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars and hints that if Mahone keeps making music as solid as “Dirty Work” he might, finally, be onto something good.