Sunday, April 23, 2017

NMF Thoughts from 4/21/17 - featuring Sigrid, Dua Lipa, Lana Del Rey and more!

Sigrid made song of the week!

This is a very fucked up NMF in terms of pop so strap in.

Remember Sharks? The amazing rainbow-haired girls that single-handedly saved pop with their "I Love It"-sized single "Wait"?!?! Well they have finally returned with new song "Money" that sees them go from Icona Pop to boring robots saying the same thing over a trance beat. Why do pop stars have to break your heart?

Unfortunately the new song is also a let down, especially when you consider the amazing people (Benny Blanco & SOPHIE) that helped write it. I can't help but wonder if "Final Song" was the final amazing song she has. Where is Noonie Bao when you need her?

Two Disney pop princesses have returned to the game today. The first is "Say OK" hit maker Vanessa Hudgens who pops up on Shawn Hook's "Reminding Me", a stadium ballad about heartbreak that is not super convincing, but it's nice hearing Vanessa's voice again. 

Keke Palmer has also come through with a twerking anthem full of curses called "Wind Up". The good thing is it does not sound like anything Keke has done before but it sounds very unfinished. We expect more from both of them next time around. 

Amtrac has teamed up with MELI on the acid trippy house track "Some Of Them" which takes a while to get going but remains hypnotic throughout. Apparently there is an EP of the stuff if this is your jam. 

Highasakite are Swedish and make alt-pop that sounds like a pop version of The Knife. The splendid lyrics on their new song "5 Million Miles" are at odds with its disappointing marimba-filled chorus. 

The new Texas album is a classic pop record that sounds like it's from a long forgotten time when people cared about melodies and rhythm. "Let's Work It Out" and "Great Romances" are a good way to get into them. 

The new Bleachers song actually features Carly Slay Jepsen this time. Unfortunately, it's not as magical as their lead single "Don't Take The Money". What a song that was. 

Justin Bieber randomly appears in Luis Fonsi's "Despacito" remix. His bit is actually quite nice and the way he says "Despacito" is very sensual. Maybe the Biebs comeback is closer than we think... 

Flor made one of my favorite songs of Q1 with the headrush-like "Hold On". They're back with the more subdued but still great "overbehind" that sounds like a Pnau song from 2011. I'd keep my eye on them if I were you. 

GOLDHOUSE's "Sex On Me" is the right kind of tropical house but that might just be me getting ready for the summer vibes.

Amy Shark has definitely beat Sharks in the pop game today. Her new EP Night Thinker came out today and it's pretty straightforward pop at its heart. Just how we like it. "Blood Brother" is a highlight for me. 

When you say icy Scandinavian electropop, one of the first names that I would say is Frida Sundemo. Having spent most of this decade making some of the most beautiful songs to every come from Sweden, she hasn't let the quality down on her newest track "It's OK", a more downtempo gem from Frida. It's B-side "The Sun" is another ethereal ballad. A+ from us Frida. 

Charlotte OC won't quit. After making one of the best albums this year, she appears on Wankelmut's "Almost Mine". It's a very bouncy track with country folk and techno influences that should not work but somehow do. Looks like Charli XCX isn't the only Charlotte in the pop game anymore. 

No Frills Twins have made a very cool pop track "Love Me Tender" that puts their sassy voices at the forefront. Fans of Allie X and Marina will love this. 

Youngr popped up on the scene last year with the incredible "Out Of My System" and has since been casually dropping pop singles and remixing pop ladies like Tove Lo and Dua Lipa. With "Monsters" he's 3/3 and it's nice to have another cool guy making interesting electropop. 

Pop singer FRANKIE has rereleased her single "Problems Problems" for some reason. I liked it a lot last year but it would be nice to see what she comes up with next. 

"About" by Beatrich starts off quite boring but stick it out because the chorus sounds like Tove Lo's "Cool Girl" !

Extraordinary gloom-pop duo Hurts have returned after 2 years since their amazing album Surrender. It's more of the same from the piano-stomper "The Beautiful Ones". Good thing the same tends to be 10/10 from Hurts. 

Paramore have gone full on pop this time around but haven't lost the guitar I see. "Hard Time" is the fun summer pop song that has enough quirks to make it not annoying. It's like 2007 all over again!

The former lover to pop goddesses Carly Rae Jepsen and Hilary Duff known as Matthew Koma has released a new song with his friend Jai Wolf. "Dear Ana" is a subdued electronic anthem that is quite lovely and pairs with Koma's unique voice well. Matt has good taste in music and women. 

Pop perfectionist Sofi de la Torre is having a great 2017. Her single "$" is one of the best songs of the year and she begins her new song "Views of You" prepares you for continued excellence with the opening line of "Fuck Me Up". Sofi has made tons of absolutely killer tracks over the years and could really shake up the whole pop game. 

Avante Black came out with one of the best and most unique singles of last year "Drug Money". They have returned with the cool and dark rock-pop treat "Make A Mess". Another one to watch this year. 

As if pop couldn't get weirder today, the new Charlie Puth song is quite good and does a perfect job at faking you out with two choruses. We'll have to forgive him for the "So Good" fiasco because "Attention" is something of a pop beast. 

This is ridiculous. The new Shawn Mendes song is great. That's all I have to say. Pop is wild in 2017. 

In another strange twist of pop fate, one of the best songs of today comes from ex-Outkast member Big Boi and Adam Levine. "Mic Jack" isn't your ordinary hip-hop track as it throws disco guitars and trance beats all over the place. Once again, 2017 is wild. 

Pop virtuoso Shura has remixed that brilliant Astrid S single. She has turned "Breathe" into an 80's Madonna-esque shimmering anthem that pairs well with Shura's "Nothing's Real". And there's a cowbell! It's been so long since I've heard cowbells in a good pop song. 

The Magnettes have taken Icona Pop and Sharks' place as the most fun girls (and boy!) on the Swedish block. They've already conquered 2017 with "Sad Girls Club" but they show diversity with the equally shouty and triumphant "Young and Wild".

The new Steps album is here and it's beyond everything you can imagine. Uplifting Disco has not had a place in pop for a while but Tears On The Dancefloor gives a glitter filled middle finger to the haters. Other than the earlier hits, "Glitter & Gold" and the ABBA cover "Story Of A Heart" are obvious highlights. Who knew that Steps would be the ones to release the gayest album of the decade?

As I've already made quite clear, the new Lady Gaga single might follow all of the radio trends of 2017 but considering Gaga has bucked trends for her entire career, the expected was the most unexpected move from her. "The Cure" deserves to be number one for at least 3 months

The excellently named Stockholm Noir has released a subtlebanger of epic proportions called "Hopeless Dreams". The "take me to the South of France" part is my favorite. 


The most Pisces song of this week comes from Stalking Gia whose woozy and echo-filled "Siren" has brilliant lines like "We got lips to ruin" and "Never trust love". 

Lana Del Rey has made the best song of her career since the Born to Die era. Thanks to The Weeknd and her newfound happiness, "Lust For Life" has all the bits that made us fall in love with Lana plus a new pop sensibility as seen in the chorus. It's nice to see someone thriving in 2017. 

DUALIPA. IS. BACK. With Miguel. "Lost In Your Light" is her 6th official single and the time off appears to have paid off. The rumbling duet is exactly the top notch pop we've come to expect from Dua. This album is going ridiculously brilliant. 

One of the best new talents in a while has returned with the best song of the week. Sigrid killed the game with her internationally renowned "Don't Kill My Vibe" and now she is 2/2 with the equally as massive "Plot Twist". Not only does it have an arena-sized chorus, social media themed lyrics (including the amazing "SHOTS FIRED" line) but also the cover art features Sigrid wearing a scarf that has the song title on it. 10/10 power pop move Sigrid.

Here is a playlist of all the highlights of this week, with "Plot Twist" as the finale. If you want to catch up with the best of the best, here is another playlist for 2017 pop hits!

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