Monday, May 15, 2017

NMF Thoughts from May 12 - featuring FO&O, Felix Jaehn, and a man named JIM!!!!

FO&O made best song AND album of the week!

HAIM have released a promo track that was actually released a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately, "Right Now" is definitely worst song of the week, mainly because anyone could have made this and it makes the effervescent and charismatic HAIM sisters seem like the most boring singers in the world. 

Tegan & Sara pop up on the new Ingrid Michaelson EP. Too bad it's a mundane piano ballad...

The Paramore album is out today and all I can say is that it's fun bouncy pop music with guitars used for good instead of evil. The same can't be said for Harry Styles' debut album... Hopefully Liam shows us what ex-boyband pop is all about next week. 

Bleachers are teasing their new album with newest buzz track "Everybody Lost Somebody". It sounds exactly like Track 8 on an album, which is not very exciting but the album should be good so no worries. 

KWAYE's new single "Little Ones" takes a while to get going but it's a downtempo lounge sort of affair with an oversung vocal. Good raw material though. 

Another week, another mediocre Calvin Harris song. This time with help from Future and Khalid. At this point the Katy Perry feature is all I'm interested in for Calvin's new album.

R3HAB has come thru to remix the Bandit and Larsson song into an EDM track. It's a standard rework but at least the drop goes off. 

Paperwhite return to being amazing with their Spotify-esque tropical-tinged "Only Us". Normally I would hate something like this but it's been a while since trop-pop has been ruined so maybe I'm just optimistic. 

Wrabel has released a pretty good EP today that mixes his soulful male vocals with his signature electropop styles. "Bloodstain" remains his best song but there are bits and pieces to love on it.

In strange collab news, British indie band Blossoms has teamed up with drum and bass duo Chase & Status for an industrial pop song. Too bad there's no chorus but do people even make those anymore?

Polish petition-starting superstar Margaret is BACK! After last year's monstrous banger "Cool Me Down", she has returned with a 2017 radio hit "What You Do". It basically sounds like a Chainsmokers song but is significantly better than most of their discography. Hopefully we can get some tunes between this and "Cool Me Down" on her forthcoming album because Margaret could be the Rihanna of Eastern Europe. 

In the most Scandinavian news possible, Hanne Hukkelberg and Ingrid Helene HÃ¥vak have made a sinister pop song called "The Whip". Just from a marketing standpoint, it might be easier to just be Hanne & Ingrid right ladies?

Rico Nasty is, perhaps surprisingly, a female rapper whose single "Block List" sounds better than most hip/hop these days. 

Last week we had to listen about CAPITALISM and now it's time for a little "PHILOSOPHY!" from Baio. This time it's a chilled out subtlebanger that has some funky brass bits. 

The daughter of Swedish legend Neneh Cherry is named Mabel and has released a sexy "Bedroom" banger that matches her voice very well. Guess the pop runs through their veins because she's definitely got what it takes to be big. 

Kat Dahlia has made a delightful 70's influenced R&B jam called "Friday Night Majic". While she obviously can't spell, this is the kind of comeback single we always wanted from Janet Jackson

Apparently drum and bass producers are all making a comeback today. My personal favorite Sub Focus has an absolute monster of a somewhat tropical bop with "Don't You Feel It". ALMA deserves an award for those vocals. 

Kyla La Grange follows up the underwhelming "Love Harder" with a proper banger called "Violet Blue". This one sounds a lot like a mix between Kyla's current music and her last album and could very well be her signature sound. 

All right, it's time to talk about the new Miley Cyrus single. A guitar driven breezy melody takes over from the twerk-ready trap beats. "Malibu" has some pretty rough lyrics and some lazy songwriting but that beat is quite relentless and it marks Miley's best single since "Party In The USA". This era is going to be interesting to say the least. 

Kacy Hill has come back with two new songs that finally match all the hype that has surrounded her for the past couple of years. "Hard To Love" is a lovely subtle banger that explodes into a wonderful chorus and Kacy sounds great, much different than anything she's done before. Apparently Stuart Price was involved so that explains her new dance floor sensibility. Her other single "Like A Woman" is a minimal piano-driven slow jam. The lyrics on this one are much stronger in this one but "Hard To Love" is definitely the lead single Kacy needs. 

Danny L Harle is getting an EP ready and while his last song was the usual PC music cartoon-pop, his new single "1UL" is a proper pop banger that any female vocalist (though it sounds like Charli XCX) would be lucky to sing on. Regardless, Danny has always managed to make the often polarizing sound of PC music mainstream in the best way.

While JIM might have the most boring pop star name in the entire world (and he's Swedish for god's sake!) , his new song "Under Attack" is so full of pop hooks Max Martin would be jealous. AND THERE IS A PROPER CHORUS. His other song "On and On" is just as good so JIM could be the savior of pop we need in 2017. 

On paper, a Felix Jaehn collaboration with Hight and Alex Aiono sounds disastrous. But the result is a joyous and ridiculous funky pop song that everyone will need for the summer. The way Alex says "She's too Hot2Touch" is just wonderful and the trumpet bits round the whole thing out. It just goes to show you can never predict where good pop will come from. 

Felix, Oscar and Omar have casually made the best boy band album in 3 years as FO&O. After a string of forward thinking electropop songs last year and losing a member, they seemed to have lost track with their Melodifestivalen entry but their self-titled album puts everything into perspective. There are classic boy band tropes like guitars and emotive ballads but this album represents a futuristic take on sublime electropop that not a single boy band in the past 10 years would dare to attempt. This is showcased in what might be the best song on the album and definitely the best song this week "Loop". While the 1D boys scramble with their solo careers, enjoy the FO&O album because it is truly very special.

Here is a playlist of all the highlights of this week, with "Loop" 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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