We all thought Amelia Lily had an ace in her pocket when she teamed up with Girls Aloud’s hit-makers, Xenomania, for her debut album two years ago.
‘You Bring Me Joy’, which peaked at #2 in the UK, was a brilliant yet subtle introduction to the kind of pop artist Amelia could be but she eventually scrapped her album with Xenomania, putting an end to their three-single partnership.
Cue ‘California’, which is essentially Amelia Lily 2.0.
The one-time X Factor contestant, now signed to Warner, reveals a more confident and American radio-friendlier sound. Her musical idols P!nk and Kelly Clarkson sound like reasonable influences here but to be honest, ‘California’ sounds like something Robert “Mutt” Lange would produce for Shania Twain.
The pressure is on for British DJ and producer Duke Dumont. His last two singles have both topped the UK charts, so does ‘Won’t Look Back’ have what it takes to follow their fiery trail? My immediate response is a fervent nod.
‘Won’t Look Back’ sounds exactly like the sum of Duke Dumont’s finest and most precise commercial efforts. The new single plugs itself into the current 90s house pop revival that powered his previous hits.
There are urgent house pianos contrasted by big beastly soul vocals by a feature artist that has yet to be revealed. The singer lets us have it when she sings with searing, gospel-like conviction: “Your love it makes me stronger. No matter what we’re going through, I won’t look back! Won’t look, won’t look back!”.
We’ve only just met but emerging pop starlet Magalie is already making the first move with ‘First Kiss’. It’s a bit forward but frankly, who doesn’t like a bit of that?
The London-based artist counts Taio Cruz as a kinda mentor and has written songs with the likes of Guy Chambers (who has penned numerous hits for Robbie Williams) and Wayne Hector (who has worked with The Wanted and JLS).
Magalie’s debut single ‘First Kiss’ is a stroblit-driven synth pop mania a la Charli XCX. So, like a nod to 80s disco with a modern twist, if you will.
Bbz, I am so down for a new handclapping, foot-tapping anthem for curvy girls.
Check out Meghan Trainor’s new jam ‘All About That Bass’, a feel good pop tune about being confident in whatever size you are.
Yes, it slides across the line a little into novelty single territory but it’s so damn infectious, you can’t help but jiggly your jelly to it.
Beyoncé told us ‘Pretty Hurts’ and Lily asserts that it’s ‘Hard Out Here’ for a bitch. Now Meghan’s telling you to screw it and just embrace the bass. #EmbraceTheBass
He’s got a voice like liquid chocolate, which by default means Joel Compass can sing us the Argos catalogue and it would still sound like sex.
The 21-year old Londoner premiered his new single ‘Girlfriends’ this week – a follow up to his moody UK Top 40 hit ‘Forgive Me’, which is probably one of my Top 20 favourite songs of 2014 so far.
Unlike its predecessor, ‘Girlfriends’ is a buoyant dance track with cheerful melodies, chic house beats and funky ad libs.
Joel sings, “Got to get us one of those Kodaks, ’cause I picture you in my life”. Ugh, staaaahp!
We can always count on The Saturdays to get us out of our seats but ‘What Are You Waiting For?’ isn’t your regular call to the dance floor – it’s a bossy push.
The Xenomania-produced track is an urgent, bubbly club pop track with thrashing synths and hyperactive hooks. It positions The Saturdays back on the party line where they’ve clicked heels to well-worn hits like ‘What About Us’ and ‘All Fired Up’.
Sonically, ‘What Are You Waiting For?’ sounds like a craftily edited compilation of several massive pop tunes you’ve heard in the last 12 months, which might explain the sense of déjà vu in your first listen.
The Saturdays’ droning vocals in the verse followed by a shouty chorus recalls something Neon Jungle or Icona Pop have done.
The girls sing, “Cause the party ain’t over ‘til we party through! Saturday morning, Sunday afternoon!”.
Please say this is already your new favourite crying-at-the-discotheque tune. If not, kindly get with the program.
Kiesza shot out of nowhere as one of the hottest new acts in the country when her ‘Hideaway’ music video went viral six months ago.
Basically, I couldn’t go to a party without a friend whipping out his phone and playing everyone the glorious one-take dance video.
There is a real return to the 90s house music styles here in the UK and this multi-talented Canadian singer, songwriter and dancer rode that wave to the top of the charts. As it stands, ‘Hideaway’ is the third fastest selling single in the UK this year – so, no pressure for a follow up success, girl.
Cue ‘Giant In My Heart’, Kiesza’s second single and yes, breathe a sigh of relief, it is stupendously more amazing than its predecessor.