Friday, September 14, 2012

New Music That Doesn't Suck - September 2012

Once again I've acquired some new music over the last month or two that's not terribly objectionable, and my mother taught me to share. Here's a sampling, and there's a Spotify playlist at the bottom.

Video Still
Kat Deluna gets high.
Queen of Hearts -  "Only Love"
Take a so-so whiny alt-rock ballad by Ben Howard and transform it into a refreshingly original electronic glamfest far superior to the original? All in a day's work for the Queen. Five and half minutes of pure heaven.

Frenchie Davis - "Love's Got a Hold On Me"
Possibly the coolest contestant ever to be kicked off a Fox reality singing competition (show those boobies, gurl!) and a phenomenal advocate for the gay community, the fabulous Frenchie Davis finally has put out a debut single, and it's a doozy. Davis' unique vocal quirks manage to shine through the solid techno production, and the lyrics to the chorus are particularly on point: "Falling in love day by day/I'm feeling lost but not alone."

Ultraviolet Sound -  "Neon Child"
This envigorating dancefloor blitz is easily the best tune yet from the quirky electrodance duo that brought us the Billboard Dance Club Songs hits "Girl Talk" and "Suck My Kiss." An uplifting celebration of discovering one's inner rave god(dess) - and singer Sarah Hudson even pulls off a Ke$ha/Karmin middle eight rap without sounding like a poser.

Alanis Morissette - "woman down"
Alanis hasn't been the raging nineteen year old who brought us "You Oughta Know" for over a decade and a half now, but she can still pull a solid pissed-off track two when she feels so inclined. This one, from recent album havoc & bright lights, is about sexism, which is unfortunately all too topical nowadays. (More on havoc & bright lights, featured on this month's Popologist Panel)

Taylor Swift -  "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"
Shamelessly derivative? Yes. Unabashedly formulaic? Sure. Dr. Luke AGAIN? Check. Insufferable artist? You betcha. But the damned thing about the "surprised face" pioneer's first #1 single is that despite all its faults, you can't stop listening to it. Like ever.

Erica Gibson - "That Girl" (Snapd Remix)
The undiscovered gem from Jersey behind this year's perfect pop tune "I Don't Want You Back" shoots another bullseye with this refurbished tune about that girl - no, not the one in the Noisettes song, this one. With its irresistably singable chorus, "That Girl" might be a horror, but this girl is the real deal.

SIRPAUL -  "Glow"
The grungylectro New York electropoprocker channels Prince, Depeche Mode, and Georges Michael and Boy on this surprisingly current greasy club groove. It's a sleazy gay leather bar in audio form.

Kat Deluna - "Wanna See U Dance (La La La)"
Kat Deluna is one of those reliable artists who may never change the world but always delivers quality shit. Like most KDL jams, this one hits like a sonic tidal wave, but it's a fun ride!

Elle Varner -  "Oh What a Night"
The R&B rookie has several excellent tracks on her recent debut album Perfectly Imperfect, but this one should resonate most with the pop consumers at large. It's R&B at its Katy Perryest - and that's a good thing. (More on Perfectly Imperfect, featured on this month's Popologist Panel)

Karmin - "Hello"
This new Ke$ha-jocking duo (and sickeningly attractive real-life couple...I know, get out your knives) can be aggravating, but there's no denying the allure of their fabulous breakout single "Brokenhearted." "Hello," the title track from their first EP, is at least a worthy followup, a little grungier than its predecessor with an unfortunate dependence on an audience that hasn't heard Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" ... but, it doesn't suck.

Cher Lloyd -  "Oath" (feat. Becky G.)
I hesitate to include "unobjectionable" titles on this list of non-suckage, but August was a pretty bleak month, so this perfectly okay bestfriends4-ever❤ anthem from the UK breakout (featuring the chick Dr. Luke is trying to make happen) makes the cut despite being far out of the league of US breakout hit "Want U Back" or the stellar debut single "Swagger Jagger."

PSY - "Gangnam Style (강남스타일)"
This song has been done over and over and inside out countless times as far back as "Cha Cha Slide," but this time it's the embodiment of a K-pop zeitgeist and I'm a fervent champion of Asians in US pop music so I'm on board. Sure, it's all in Korean, but think about it this way: with three English words in the lyrics, that's still one more than "Barbra Streisand."

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