It’s Tuesday! Time for another round of “5 Must-Hear Pop Songs Of The Week”!
This week’s roundup features the long-awaited debut from a moody R&B diva-in-the-making, some exciting new pop tunage imported from Norway, and a refreshing disco remix of one of the greatest girl group classics of all time.
1.) Tinashe, “2 On (feat. Schoolboy Q)”
It’s taken years, but we’re finally here: the major label debut of rising alt-R&B songbird, Tinashe! After delivering mixtape after mixtape of ambient mood music, the up-and-coming singer-songwriter dropped “2 On,” a decidedly more radio-friendly cut.
Produced by DJ Mustard of “Rack City” fame, the icy electro-R&B number sees Tinashe purring and teasing a bunch of in-the-club come-ons about getting faded, turning up, and getting ratchet above a hypnotic, minimal beat. (Think Cassie’s “Me & U.”) Later on, rapper Schoolboy Q comes in for a completely filthy assist, adding a bit of edginess to the otherwise smoothly crooned cut.
“2 On” is just the beginning of Tinashe’s exciting new music to come in 2014 — and it’s a very good place to start.
+ Listen to TINASHE’S “2 ON” FEATURING SCHOOLBOY Q.
2.) Destiny’s Child, “Bug A Boo (Borneland Remix)”
It’s been a minute or two since we last heard from the troupe, right? Enter Borneland, a rising Copenhagan-based DJ duo, to unearth a classic gem from the girl group and give it a sweet, 2014-ready polish.
The Borneland mix of “Bug A Boo” takes Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Roberson, and LeToya down to the disco, supplying a supple ’70s strut and breathing new life into the 1999 classic. It’s such an undeniably fierce, life-giving reboot, you’ll be breaking your lease, throwing your pagers (err, iPhones?) out the window, and having AOL (Gmail?) stop your emails all over again.
+ Listen to DESTINY’S CHILD’S “BUG A BOO (BORNELAND REMIX).”
3.) Maylen Rusti, “Heartmachine”
Norwegian songstress Maylen Rusti is a pretty new face to the pop scene, having just released her debut single “Changing” last summer. After working with Martha Wainwright’s husband/ producer, Brad Albetta, the singer teamed up with Norwegian producer Odd Martin Skålnes to craft big pop tunes, and “Heartmachine” is the latest result of that work together.
“You make my heart beat, don’t feel the need to sleep/ You’re my heartmachine,” she cries out above the shimmering, kicky-pop production, similar to the genre-blurring, big hook-havin’ pop of HAIM. One to watch in the new year? You bet.
+ Listen to MAYLEN RUSTI’S “HEARTMACHINE.”
4.) Nadia Ali, “Roxanne (Acoustic Cover)”
From “Pressure” all the way back to iiO’s “Rapture,” dance-floor diva Nadia Ali has one of the most distinctive voices in modern EDM. It makes sense, then, that she would decide to kick off the new year with a completely acoustic track that showcases her incredibly hypnotic pipes.
The song — a cover of the classic by The Police — sees the singer-songwriter crooning “Roxanne” above a single guitar and some atmospheric strings in the background. Nadia sounds amazing throughout, especially as she really belts it out towards the end of the track. Fingers crossed for an all-out remix explosion, because this one deserves to be (yet another) proper club smash for Ms. Ali.
+ Listen to NADIA ALI’S “ROXANNE (ACOUSTIC COVER).”
5.) Galantis, “Smile (Kaskade Remix)”
You might not immediately think you know of Galantis, but you probably do. The newly formed duo of Christian Karlsson (aka Bloodshy of Bloodshy & Avant and Miike Snow) and Linus Eklow (otherwise known as Style of Eye) have been responsible for churning out some of the biggest pop hits of the past decade.
Together, they’ve embarked on a new quest for dance-floor domination, and it begins with their latest release: “Smile.”
The track’s since been mixed and mashed by dozens of remixers, including Kaskade, whose take is being pushed out as the lead track from the remix package. The big-room reinterpretation takes the original and makes it even more bouncy and euphoric, inevitably positioning the track to become a staple at EDM festivals this year.
+ Listen to GALANTIS’ “SMILE (KASKADE REMIX).”
Bradley Stern is a writer from New York. In his spare time, he enjoys organizing his Britney Spears CD collection in reverse chronological order and writing impassioned letters to Congress urging that Madonnalogy be taught in all public schools. But most of all, he spends his time tweeting and musing daily about pop music on his blog, MuuMuse.
Photo credit: Big Beat, Gomillion and Leupold, Hashtag Management, Columbia, Martin Høye