It's Tuesday! Time for another round of 5 Must-Hear Pop Songs of the Week!
We've got plenty of sounds to play with this week, including an angst-rock songstress on the rise, an award-winning Australian indie singer-songwriter making a serious splash Stateside and a throwback alt-pop goddess with one of the best albums of 2012. I'm on genre overload!
1.) M.I.A., "Bad Girls"
"Live fast, die young, bad girls do it well," M.I.A. declares on her anthemic new single, "Bad Girls." Originally released exactly one year ago on the U.K. MC's irresponsibly good mixtape, "Vicki Leekx," back in January 2011, the Danja-produced (Britney Spears, Timbaland) badass banga finds Miss Maya flexing her muscles, getting bossy and brag-alicious: "My chain hits my chest while I'm bangin on the radio," Maya boasts.
With its speaker-breaking bass and slick rhymes, "Bad Girls" might be M.I.A.'s most radio-friendly number since "Paper Planes." Plus, since the song's release is perfectly timed to coincide with her upcoming performance with Madonna and Nicki Minaj at the Super Bowl this Sunday (yay marketing!), M.I.A.'s new cut could become her biggest song yet. + LISTEN TO M.I.A.'S "BAD GIRLS"
2.) Gotye featuring Kimbra, "Somebody That I Used To Know"
Australian crooner Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra)" is not a new song -- in fact, the Australian singer-songwriter's international smash tied with Savage Garden's 1997 masterpiece "Truly, Madly, Deeply" in 2011 after staying atop Australia's ARIA Charts for a record eight weeks in a row.
But like Pocky and Cheryl Cole (one day, one day...), all good things eventually cross over to America. As it stands, "Somebody" now sits in the Top 20 on iTunes and midway up on the Billboard Hot 100 -- and it's only continuing to rise each week! If you haven't yet, latch on NOW before the song gets played to death on U.S. radio. Oh, and the newly released remix by rising production duo, 4FRNT? Absolutely sickening! ("Sickening" as in "amazing," obviously.) + LISTEN TO GOTYE FEATURING KIMBRA, "SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO KNOW"
+ Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs Of The Week after the jump!
3.) Meg Myers, "Monster"
In case you haven't heard, rock is making a serious comeback. Well, '90s alt-rock, anyway. (AKA: THE BEST KIND.) From massively anticipated return records from the likes of Garbage, Fiona Apple and No Doubt, to rising goth-pop sensations like Skylar Grey and Charli XCX, gritty guitars and industrial noise are getting some serious lovin' again. Doesn't that just make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?
One of the newest faces on the scene? Meg Myers, a Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter. On her debut track, "Monster," Myers tears into her lover with all the quivering rage of Alanis Morrissette at her most scorned: "It aches, and it aches/You make me want to die/I got to kill you, my love," Myers agonizes across a crashing guitar and lonesome strings. But it's not all venom and vitriol: "My love too much, your love, not enough," she sadly quivers. So don't be too scared -- she's just a girl with a heart on her sleeve. Well, and some blood. + LISTEN TO MEG MYERS, "MONSTER"
4.) Lana Del Rey, "Radio"
Today, the husky-voiced bad girl drops her debut record Born To Die, a rich collection of throwback love stories with a dark edge, set atop hip-hop beats, cinematic strings and lonesome plucks of a surf guitar. "Radio," one of the album's many standouts, sees the songstress happily recalling how much her life has changed now that she's finally found, well, you. "Now my life is sweet like cinnamon, like a f****** dream I'm living in," Del Rey dreamily purrs on the album's soaring, orchestral chorus. Is it a new man? A new sound? Or is it you she's happy to see? Who knows, really? I'm just happy you're happy, Lana!
As her album rocketed to the No. 1 spot only minutes after its release on iTunes earlier this morning, it looks like Del Rey was right all along about her naysayers: Not even they can stop her now. + LISTEN TO LANA DEL REY, "RADIO"
5.) Coco Morier, "Ambulance"
Over the past five years, Nicole Morier has quickly become one of the most desirable go-to girls in the industry: Her supreme pop-penning skills have resulted in killer cuts from some of our favorite pop princesses, including Brit Brit ("How I Roll"), Sky Ferreira ("99 Tears") and Selena Gomez ("Whiplash").
But when the L.A.-based singer-songwriter isn't working with other artists, she's busy churning out tunes on her own. As a result, Coco Morier was born, a moniker from a childhood nickname. Recently, she released the coco morier ep, a crunchy collection of left-of-center pop tunes filled with spacey blips and bleeps and dagger-sharp hooks. "Ambulance," one of the best tracks of the bunch, was penned alongside Ferreira and Miike Snow (otherwise known as Bloodshy & Avant). "Took the anesthetic, but I can still feel," Morier drearily coos above the song's textured ambient beat. Who knows? With songs this well-crafted, Morier might just be stepping out from behind the scenes as a superstar in her own right. + LISTEN TO COCO MORIER'S "AMBULANCE"
Bradley Stern is a writer from Connecticut. In his spare time, he enjoys organizing his Britney Spears CD collection in reverse chronological order and plotting the various ways in which he will bring down Katy Perry to become Rihanna's best friend. But most of all, he spends his time tweeting and musing daily about pop music on his blog, MuuMuse.