WHOOOOAH! Hi. Look who’s back. Yeah, I know it’s been a minute—well, a little over 2 months but who’s counting? Lot’s of personal stuff has been going on (health, travel, job) but I’m back and ready to talk music. Let’s jump right in with some #PromisingPop that caught my attention in recent months. This batch of new-to-me-ICYMI earworms is all about the girl power. That’s right, I’ve got six catchy A-F tracks fronted by females. Let’s do it to it!
First up we have a new song from a talented Brit named Camden Cox. While this might be Camden’s first step up to the podium as a solo artist, her voice should actually sound familiar, ESPECIALLY if you’re following tastemakers like Ear Milk, All Things Go, Clash Music and more, thanks to her feature on a SMASHER of a song called “Dreamin‘” by London producer Embody. During my blog-absense “Dreamin‘” received regular spins on my Summer Madness Spotify Playlist (and still does to this day). The song has literally soundtracked my work commute for the past several months, so hearing something NEW from Camden Cox is very exciting indeed. The new song, “Focus” (which premiered on The Line Of Best Fit back in June) was produced by British producer/songwriter Barny B in his barn located in West Country (south west England). The song, which is chock-full of delightfully effervescent synths, a smattering of drums and enrapturing, Aluna Francis (AlunaGeorge)-reminiscent vocals is a weightless summer-ready bop SURE to take us straight through into Autumn. Give “Focus” a listen below.
Elle Watson is a gifted young singer/songwriter from Kent, just south-east of London. Her new single is the absolutely bewitching “Phantom“; a sweeping, genre-transcending ballad. Starting out with a wavering, staticky low hum, Watson’s full-bodied voice emerges crystal clear from the shadowy, minimalist production. As the song creeps along—much like the titular phantom—so too does the cloud-covered production and stunning vocal harmonies, both of which blanket her words in a thick coat of emotion leaving the listener completely hypnotized. Give “Phantom,” which is out now (Spotify), a listen below. Also make sure you listen to Elle’s first release, the equally stunning “Losing Any Sleep.”
Kiara Nelson is an 18 year old Finnish-Swedish-American singer, currently based in Helsinki. I don’t know much about her but I’m very into her first single, so ¯_(ツ)_/¯. “Cool My Rush” is the kind of pure, unadulterated dance pop only those Nordic countries could produce. The song is already a bonafide radio hit in Finland, with YleX (the Finnish equivalent of BBC) comparing her to both Dua Lipa and Zara Larsson—the former being a comparison—I can see it. The Dua Lipa comparison, however I don’t wholly agree with. Nelson definitely has some of that throaty rasp we get in Lipa’s recent floorfillers but her vocals are a bit softer and lighter, not quite as commanding. I’m hearing a less urban, more poppy version of early JoJo (circa “Not That Kinda Girl” era), which I’m totally fine with! Whatever, the song is über catchy! “Cool My Rush” was produced by Finnish producer Milos Rosas and is available now (Spotify). Listen below!
Italian-born singer/songwriter LILI N is an emerging pop singer/songwriter definitely worth a listen. With new single “Paper Heart,” LILI N becomes the latest in a string of Berklee College alums to release something catchy in the electronic pop-vein, following big names like St. Vincent, Betty Who and Kiesza (all of whom attended the prestigious Boston school). Born in Rome, LILI N grew up in a musical home; her mother an opera singer, her dad, an avid vinyl collector. While she enjoyed playing piano and singing as a child, LILI got her showbiz start as a voice-over artist, dubbing in Italian, the parts of Cindy Lou, Lilo and Lucy in animated features like How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Lilo & Stitch and Chronicles of Narnia. Produced and co-written by Stockholm-based production duo Hymer (with additional production from Sanford Livingston), “Paper Heart” is the first single off LILI N‘s forthcoming EP. The fresh, invigorating synth-driven production balances perfectly with the vocals, bolstering their almost ethereal quality. With her next single tentatively scheduled for the Fall, “Paper Heart” is available now (Spotify), as are LILI N‘s previous two singles—”4U” and “One.”
Scavenger Hunt is a Los Angeles-based duo, made up of producer & multi-instrumentalist Dan Mufson and singer/songwriter Jill Lamoureux. Their latest single (which premiered last month on Billboard), “River Runs Dry” is a radio-ready synthpop stunner with indie pop undertones, and one helluva chorus! Backed by guitar and ear-catching, echoey xylophone pings Lamoureux’s uplifting vocal and poignant lyrics shine through, contrasting with Mufson’s dark and stormy production. The origins of Scavenger Hunt can be traced back to 2013 when Lamoureux spotted Mufson performing in Hollywood. Syncing up in the studio shortly after, the pair became inseparable, thanks to a mutual affinity for 80s and 90s pop and R&B and a common love of Fleetwood Mac, Annie Lennox, Sade and Robyn. The duo saw early success with previous singles, “Lost” and “Dreamers,” earning features in campaigns for Estee Lauder, Virgin Mobile and Hollister, prominent synchs (including one in this year’s ‘Bad Moms‘ starring Mila Kunis and Kristin Bell) and opening slots on tours with Dragonette, Shura and Capital Cities. “River Runs Dry,” out now (Spotify) is the first single taken from their upcoming EP. Give it a listen below, and check out this new remix of the song by Dan Dan Noodle.
“Second Nature,” the latest offering from Warner Chappell‘s rising electropop artist, Stalking Gia has been stuck in my head for LITERALLY months following it’s premiere June 22nd (via Galore). What makes this song so catchy? Sure, Gia’s breezy vocal delivery, eases that infectious chorus into your brain but I think I agree with NOISEY when they call attention to the song’s “Laidback brilliant” bass line, comparing it to “Tame Impala‘s ‘The Less I Know The Better,’ or anything Metronomy’s ever penned.” The song’s got a bass line that DOES NOT QUIT. It’s as if this bass line was designed to turn casual walks to the corner deli into full-fledged, Naomi Campbell–FIERCE fashion show catwalk struts. One listen and your hips will be swaying, your shoulders will be shimmying and your lips will be giving their best duck face—GUARANTEED! “Second Nature” has already been featured on numerous prominent Spotify playlists, including New Music Friday, Pop Rising, and the U.S. Viral Top 50 Charts, resulting in over 1 million plays to date. I’m THRILLED I’m not alone in my love for this song! Be sure to check out the music video for “Second Nature,” (ABOVE) which was shot both in Waccabuc, Westchester County NY and in Brooklyn. Directed by Jesse DeFlorio (Halsey, Phoebe Ryan) & Seth Lillith, “the video creates a dichotomy between the late-night sleepless reality in Brooklyn and the surreal dream sequence where I am completely at one with the earth,” explains Stalking Gia. “Second Nature” is out now (Spotify).