rolling pop 2020

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7M1DPmfUi9g

"sugar" looks to be on its way to becoming brockhampton's first big hit single. are you mad about it? i'm not -- it's quite a nice, sincere-sounding song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAYG46w1SCA

soon to be graduating from tiktok vids to your 'local' top 40's playlist is "say so" from last year's doja cat album -- if the process happens slowly enough, maybe it'll be ringing out in public during the spring- or summertime that the song seems to embody. doja's "juicy" also just made minor inroads at pop stations and was quite a sizeable hit on the 'urban-leaning' ones. welcome back to radio, dr. luke

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izyZLKIWGiA

alicia keys's newest one, co-penned by ed sheeran and recently performed on the grammy broadcast w/ brittany howard, is getting a shot. you can almost imagine sheeran singing it, imagining himself to suitably represent the titular 'dog

if you all don't mind, i think 'll also post about some mainstream rap songs in here. tho the worlds of pop and rap were considered disparate and largely irreconcilable in the industry even recently, they're evidently on the collision course again, commingling, combining, turning it over. i didn't expect to hear "the box" getting played on my city's top 40 station until april or maybe late march, but here we are.

dyl, Tuesday, 4 February 2020 05:18 (five months ago) link

pop songs that aren't charting or well known at all ofc also welcome

dyl, Tuesday, 4 February 2020 05:34 (five months ago) link

still loving 'time machine' by Alicia. do not like this underdog song at all.

Thybulle on the Dash (Spottie), Tuesday, 4 February 2020 06:00 (five months ago) link

Dang -- that "Sugar" video needs an NSFW or trigger warning or something!

I'm allergic to Doja cat. The Alicia tune is nice, but not really my thing.

dad genes (morrisp), Tuesday, 4 February 2020 20:46 (five months ago) link

oops yeah, that one part is definitely a bit shocking/disturbing. presumably for that reason the video actually comes w/ the age-restriction warning on youtube but i guess that doesn't help when it's being accessed via embed. sorry!!

dyl, Wednesday, 5 February 2020 04:40 (five months ago) link

It’s OK, I kept it on the dl*... I was just like, !!

(*my phone initially autocorrected this to “dyl”)

dad genes (morrisp), Wednesday, 5 February 2020 04:59 (five months ago) link

i've come back to this a few times now. i'm not sure if hailee steinfeld will ever develop a real musical identity, but she knows how to pull out a good song when she needs one. one of the more convincing among its kin of weepy ballads recently.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncV1TlNl9B8

dyl, Wednesday, 5 February 2020 05:40 (five months ago) link

so happy 2020 has a pop thread!

sean gramophone, Wednesday, 5 February 2020 18:45 (five months ago) link

enjoying j0rdan’s new column https://www.vice.com/amp/en_us/article/z3b353/tame-impala-has-pop-aspirations-that-dont-make-sense

flopson, Sunday, 9 February 2020 04:54 (four months ago) link

yeah this one he wrote on today's shifting tides in pop was great too https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/7kz8xq/justin-biebers-yummy-struggle-to-hit-no-1-proves-roddy-ricch-is-a-new-kind-of-pop-star

dyl, Sunday, 9 February 2020 17:18 (four months ago) link

thank u guys

J0rdan S., Sunday, 9 February 2020 18:09 (four months ago) link

as far as tik tok crossover songs go, i think ant saunders "yellow hearts" is pretty dope. for the official single it looks like they've turned it into a duet but i think it's an improvement, the girl sounds rly good

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVKUW3cu_lY

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 12 February 2020 18:12 (four months ago) link

or maybe this is just another version... anyway good track

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 12 February 2020 18:14 (four months ago) link

definitely prefer that to arizona zervas or trevor daniel

dyl, Thursday, 13 February 2020 04:09 (four months ago) link

I think this is a nice/interesting track (Madison Beer - "Selfish"):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzUbjigZTpM

You have seen the heavy groups (morrisp), Tuesday, 18 February 2020 23:49 (four months ago) link

"Madison Beer" also an all-time great artist name, IMO

You have seen the heavy groups (morrisp), Tuesday, 18 February 2020 23:53 (four months ago) link

she could earn 1000 nerd hit points by titling her second album More Beer

You have seen the heavy groups (morrisp), Wednesday, 19 February 2020 00:00 (four months ago) link

whenever i see her name i think of the character from the bad-but-amusing teen thriller swimfan

dyl, Wednesday, 19 February 2020 05:50 (four months ago) link

What do you guys think of "Stupid" by Tate McRae? I heard it on a top 40 station yesterday. Haven't really focused that much on the songwriting but the guitar line interested me enough to stop and listen. The sound itself reminded me a little of In Rainbows-era Radiohead and the overall production has an interesting atmospheric quality. Apparently, she's a teenager from Calgary who works with Billie Eilish?

With considerable charm, you still have made a choice (Sund4r), Wednesday, 19 February 2020 14:11 (four months ago) link

"Selfish" was nice. The way the progression moves from the IV to the borrowed iv was interesting and reminded me a bit of some Beatles ballads. I like the ascending melody in the pre-chorus.

With considerable charm, you still have made a choice (Sund4r), Wednesday, 19 February 2020 14:41 (four months ago) link

This song is somewhat of a trifle, but the beat/vibe are sticky... it's a real "turn it up immediately" track for me:

Josie Dunne - Back To It

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnqX4ZbjGuQ

You have seen the heavy groups (morrisp), Wednesday, 19 February 2020 21:05 (four months ago) link

FYI, Josie's entire EP (where that track appears) has a similar sound, and is similarly good...

https://66.media.tumblr.com/1643d2639444771102422cdd0d82aeb8/b9d39cd930d41df4-9b/s500x750/e8380ec680d41e3717fe615200e8b39c548250cf.jpg

You have seen the heavy groups (morrisp), Wednesday, 19 February 2020 21:53 (four months ago) link

Loving the new Allie X album, Cape God. Previous releases showed potential, but it's fully realised here. Her voice (and sometimes the songs) reminds me a lot of Inara George / the bird and the bee.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-R4BMBJCKw

Jeff W, Friday, 21 February 2020 19:48 (four months ago) link

Sometimes I listen to that “Yellow Hearts” track posted above... the guy’s voice/“singing” is irritating to me (but I know it’s probably supposed to be). I like the part with the girl. It’s a nice, lightweight, pleasantly cheezy song for 15-yr-olds hanging at the mall, or whatever.

Ticket Tout (morrisp), Sunday, 23 February 2020 21:18 (four months ago) link

Also, doubling down on my rec of that Josie Dunne EP... I’ve played it soooo much. The songs hit some kind of sweet spot for me, and I like her singing a lot (and I usually don’t get into artists in that “style”).

Ticket Tout (morrisp), Sunday, 23 February 2020 21:23 (four months ago) link

Selena Gomez released a new single that doesn't appear on her (very) recent album(!) It's not great, but not bad:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Th0EwFmkLA

Murdered-Out Highlander XLE (morrisp), Tuesday, 25 February 2020 19:41 (four months ago) link

Thanx to “Yellow Hearts,” YT is now serving me up new songs by this guy... gotta admit, I kinda like this, too:

Ant Saunders - u know it’s real

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLHIVfVdKuI

Murdered-Out Highlander XLE (morrisp), Saturday, 29 February 2020 06:02 (four months ago) link

apparently there’s a whole mini-genre of this stuff... I guess it’s like, extremely chill music for clean-cut college kids in a beach town? sort of a Jack Johnson function, plus lite beats and minus the soulful grit? tidal can hook u up

Murdered-Out Highlander XLE (morrisp), Saturday, 29 February 2020 06:48 (four months ago) link

more like zoomers on tiktok

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Saturday, 29 February 2020 07:38 (four months ago) link

that one is a bit dopey for me but i like him generally

J0rdan S., Saturday, 29 February 2020 08:48 (four months ago) link

yeah the one rando i've seen irl queuing up "yellow hearts" et al does not fit that demographic description at all

dyl, Saturday, 29 February 2020 17:19 (four months ago) link

Well, college kids are Zoomers!

Admittedly my quick evaluation above may have been based more on “related” artists that Tidal was throwing up, such as “Ruel,” “Khai Dreams,” and “Thomas Headon.”

Murdered-Out Highlander XLE (morrisp), Saturday, 29 February 2020 17:50 (four months ago) link

The general vibe I’m getting is — “friendly preppy guy in your high school chemistry class; captain of the soccer team; maybe you’re friends with his younger sister,” etc.

Murdered-Out Highlander XLE (morrisp), Saturday, 29 February 2020 17:53 (four months ago) link

been digging this kid deaton chris anthony, this song "1999 she" is pretty hot rn... this is a goofy internet-y sorta track but if you peel it back a bit it's a dope play on 90s house

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9K6-M9gUjY

this rap song w/ clairo is also goofy but i find it charming

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMMshdy-0gw

J0rdan S., Saturday, 29 February 2020 19:24 (four months ago) link

Well, college kids are Zoomers!

Admittedly my quick evaluation above may have been based more on “related” artists that Tidal was throwing up, such as “Ruel,” “Khai Dreams,” and “Thomas Headon.”

― Murdered-Out Highlander XLE (morrisp), Saturday, February 29, 2020 12:50 PM (two hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

right yeah, this is just my suggesting that tidal is not really the source of this

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Saturday, 29 February 2020 19:54 (four months ago) link

hm i kinda like those two xp

dyl, Saturday, 29 February 2020 23:06 (four months ago) link

I dig this soapy, soundtracky tune:

Charlotte Lawrence - Joke's On You

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=532k3IdHSZ8

tamagotchi revival artist (morrisp), Thursday, 5 March 2020 00:33 (four months ago) link

two weeks pass...

^she is now one of several artists to announce a COVID-19 diagnosis :(

morrisp, Sunday, 22 March 2020 20:59 (three months ago) link

oh no! i interviewed her last year and she was very sweet.

maura, Wednesday, 25 March 2020 13:13 (three months ago) link

I confess I don't dislike this one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07RHI4MDQ-U

Nourry, Wednesday, 1 April 2020 19:10 (three months ago) link

ugh that cover looks way too much like covid 19 stock art

maura, Wednesday, 1 April 2020 23:49 (three months ago) link

not to judge a song by its etc but

maura, Wednesday, 1 April 2020 23:49 (three months ago) link

The Ant Man released an EP:

https://antsaunders.lnk.to/BUBBLE

morrisp, Saturday, 4 April 2020 18:33 (three months ago) link

He’s a very interesting interview subject, lol: https://www.idolator.com/7906247/interview-ant-saunders-talks-yellow-hearts-future-plans

morrisp, Saturday, 4 April 2020 18:36 (three months ago) link

i think it's fair to say that the tiktok hit pipeline is unrelenting at the moment

two of the earlier-breaking ones on the charts right now are lil mosey's "blueberry faygo" and surfaces' "sunday best." they're both trifles but the former has a pretty simple appeal to it imo -- and i can't help but appreciate the johnny gill "my, my, my" sample. the latter embodies the same energy as spring breakers in florida last month.

certainly the biggest of the most recent-to-break tiktok hits is megan thee stallion's "savage." while i'm glad to see her, talented as she is, scoring such a substantial success, i wish it had been with a different song -- like "b.i.t.c.h.", which is currently a hit at urban radio but running out of streaming steam. "savage" is not bad, but for me there's not a lot to it aside from the effortlessly catchy hook. i'm generally not one to be amused by dance challenges, but i did enjoy seeing a clip of the 'god warrior' dancing to it.

i appreciate that "supalonely" by new zealand singer benee at least sort of defies expectation as to what hits of this sort should sound like, but i'm not entirely won over by the song itself yet, and the dude on the track is nearly intolerable.

'in these uncertain times' (to use a phrase currently favored by advertising copywriters) it seems tiktok users are connecting with powfu's "death bed," a rap-ballad fantasy about dying young. the sample that comprises the hook is definitely the focal point: pitched up, distant-sounding, like a fading memory replayed in one's head. the song it's derived from, beabadoobee's "coffee," has been out since 2017 but now has a new music video -- perhaps someone is hoping it can be the "thank you" to powfu's "stan."

of course drake had to swoop in with his own. i'll be honest: i was fully prepared to be among the apparently many online bemoaning its crass cynicism, its lack of justification for existing beyond the potential to inspire predictable social media activity -- but oops, i actually like it, certainly more than some of the drake singles that critics have deemed classics, and more than any of the other songs i've mentioned in this post. i have a strange affinity for putatively upbeat 'party' records that have a touch of moroseness to them, and the sustained tones in this one's backing track push it into that territory for me. the synth noodling also has an inexact, uncertain quality that i find vaguely intoxicating; even paying the lyrics little attention, it's a track i can find myself lost in. those particular lines meant to inspire the inevitable dance videos are so brief and inconsequential, but i wouldn't consider myself above trying the steps if i found myself at a gathering, were it advisable for me to gather anywhere. it will probably crash in at #1 on the week after next's billboard charts and may remain there a while.

dyl, Sunday, 5 April 2020 03:27 (three months ago) link

Great post, dyl. I agree the Drake song is catchy (when I let him borrow my house to shot the video, I made him promise it would be a hit).

morrisp, Sunday, 5 April 2020 04:32 (three months ago) link

I remember that Surfaces video from the “Worst Music of 2019” thread. So it finally “broke through,” huh?

The “Supalonely” song has a nice sound, but the lyrics stink...

morrisp, Sunday, 5 April 2020 05:00 (three months ago) link

Several of the songs dyl mentioned are name-checked here (plus “our own” Glenn McD.): https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2020-04-07/benee-supalonely-powfu-deathbed-pop-songs-coronavirus

morrisp, Wednesday, 8 April 2020 01:45 (two months ago) link

i appreciate that "supalonely" by new zealand singer benee at least sort of defies expectation as to what hits of this sort should sound like, but i'm not entirely won over by the song itself yet, and the dude on the track is nearly intolerable.

it's a good song, but for all its idiosyncrasies it seems like a calculated attempt to create a meme: goofy adlibs, OTT autotune, self-deprecating sadboi-isms, prominent curse word in the hook to make the 12-year-olds feel edgy, trigger words (thinkin 🤔, drinkin 🍻) that lend themselves to tiktok hand gestures/dance moves. it reminds me of Superorganism in that respect even though they don't have much in common musically. I prefer Benee's first EP to her second because the novelty factor is a little less pronounced. Gus Dapperton's verse is awful and I really wish there was a version without it

anatomy of a buttless wonder (unregistered), Sunday, 12 April 2020 20:44 (two months ago) link

What do you guys think of "Stupid" by Tate McRae? I heard it on a top 40 station yesterday. Haven't really focused that much on the songwriting but the guitar line interested me enough to stop and listen. The sound itself reminded me a little of In Rainbows-era Radiohead and the overall production has an interesting atmospheric quality. Apparently, she's a teenager from Calgary who works with Billie Eilish?

― With considerable charm, you still have made a choice (Sund4r), Wednesday, February 19, 2020 9:11 AM (one month ago)

her 'I Wrote a Song' video and Clairo's 'Pretty Girl' refused to leave my youtube sidebar for what seemed like a month toward the end of 2017. Billie and Finneas wrote one of her songs ('Tear Myself Apart') but they haven't worked together directly, and Tate's own songwriting style owes more to Alessia Cara than to Billie. I like that song and 'Stupid' and 'Happy Face', but as a whole her EP is a little awkward: the production is all sparse reverby beats and ominous bass drops, which doesn't really suit all her artless confessions about crushes and backstabbing friends. but of course it's 2020 and teenpop is expected to be grimdark rather than just plain moody. fwiw she's probably one of the best competitive dancers in the world, so this is sorta the equivalent of Shaq having a music career on the side

anatomy of a buttless wonder (unregistered), Sunday, 12 April 2020 21:07 (two months ago) link

as misposted in the indiepop thread:
this comes via breastcrawl in the afro thread, where i would rather it didn't lie unnoticed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEI0U55rM-I

i feel like this should hit a lot of ILM's pop tastes dead-on. it certainly got me!

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Friday, 24 April 2020 01:55 (two months ago) link

yeah, that's great. I really need to lurk on the Afro thread more often

anatomy of a buttless wonder (unregistered), Friday, 24 April 2020 18:21 (two months ago) link

Lennon Stella - Save Us

hopefully this isn't too downbeat for the pop thread. really elegant interpolation of that one overplayed nineties hit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXYqNYwJuVI

anatomy of a buttless wonder (unregistered), Sunday, 26 April 2020 03:12 (two months ago) link

It’s a nice track, but I’m not sure about the strategy of reminding the listener of a better song as your song wraps up.

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Sunday, 26 April 2020 04:02 (two months ago) link

This country song was released nearly a year ago, but just recently stormed the charts (including the Hot 100):

Gabby Barrett - I Hope
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlPfN4heqBo

There's also a poppier remix feat. Charlie Pluth.

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Tuesday, 28 April 2020 05:11 (two months ago) link

this new yungblud song is actually pretty dope... it's like all american rejects trying to do a 1975 song. the production team behind it also did the poppy album from this year which has at least one amazing song on it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIWALAgvz2U

J0rdan S., Tuesday, 28 April 2020 06:35 (two months ago) link

This one's a bit of a rush

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qO-U2WlgroQ

abcfsk, Sunday, 3 May 2020 10:32 (two months ago) link

"somebody" is fine but it's funny that this sort of scandipop hasn't changed at all in the past decade

ufo, Sunday, 3 May 2020 11:06 (two months ago) link

Yeah I wasn't immediately struck by excitement over 'another one of those', but I guess there are turns and subtleties of melody and delivery here that just gets me

abcfsk, Sunday, 3 May 2020 11:47 (two months ago) link

New charity fundraiser single, I think it's pretty good:

Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber - Stuck with U

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE49WK-oNjU

I eat fast foods (morrisp), Friday, 8 May 2020 04:42 (one month ago) link

Long article on Dr. Luke. I don’t much care for “Say So,” but there you go: https://variety.com/2020/music/news/dr-luke-back-doja-cat-say-so-kesha-1234605151/

Inadequate grass (morrisp), Wednesday, 13 May 2020 16:35 (one month ago) link

Here's one I am fond of (very atmospheric):

NIKI - Switchblade

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQLbzyoQlUg

Inadequate grass (morrisp), Wednesday, 13 May 2020 17:56 (one month ago) link

I think Audrey Mika (from the "Yellow Hearts" remix) is limited as a singer, but this is a nice & "professional" track that should appeal to fans of Dua Lipa, etc.:

Audrey Mika - Just Friends

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBfEK320hVg

Inadequate grass (morrisp), Wednesday, 13 May 2020 18:17 (one month ago) link

truly abhorrent quotes coming from some of the interviewed a&r folks in that dr. luke piece

dyl, Thursday, 14 May 2020 01:22 (one month ago) link

i like "switchblade" tho!

dyl, Thursday, 14 May 2020 01:38 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

Victor Leksell's sappy, and not exactly inventive, but sweet 'Svag' is the undeniable monster hit of the spring in Sweden and Norway, currently #1 in both countries for the nth week in a row.

He did a performance with Norwegian popper Astrid S that was pretty clever -- the two of them sat on each side of the Sweden / Norway border. If she went over on his side she would have to be quarantined coming back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_PkXvkFBY4

abcfsk, Sunday, 31 May 2020 11:48 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

curtis waters - "stunnin"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qgduhk26sIw

this is a tik tok thing that is like a gen z chromeo song or something, i think it's pretty dope

J0rdan S., Thursday, 18 June 2020 05:31 (two weeks ago) link

that feels like a very deliberate attempt to write a tik tok hit but I love it regardless, very charming and the kind of thing it's difficult for a male popstar to pull off

boxedjoy, Thursday, 18 June 2020 08:00 (two weeks ago) link

pretty intoxicating production honestly. in a good way it also ~feels~ much longer than it actually is

dyl, Friday, 19 June 2020 04:48 (two weeks ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HqTDoScPI4

abcfsk, Friday, 19 June 2020 10:38 (two weeks ago) link

Those Surfaces doofuses did a track with... Elton John?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaDmrrlYNv4

OG Honeymoon Ave (morrisp), Friday, 26 June 2020 04:27 (one week ago) link

screaming at jason derulo catapulting himself back to relevance by becoming the world's thirstiest tiktok personality + putting lyrics over a preexisting tiktok instrumental hit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUci-tsiU4I

the original instrumental (jawsh 685's "laxed") is honestly entertaining in a kitschy/goofy way, the main synth sounds like something off an snes sound chip

dyl, Saturday, 27 June 2020 04:58 (one week ago) link

I like her voice:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrjvJxv5Ht4

(Angel Cintron - Hometown)

Pat McGroin (morrisp), Tuesday, 30 June 2020 04:21 (six days ago) link

This is a nice slice of bedroom pop:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-NmCipcL-M

(ELIO - LA in Two)

Pat McGroin (morrisp), Tuesday, 30 June 2020 04:41 (six days ago) link


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