Best in Pop - Hot New Releases
This month’s edition of Best in Pop features; a luscious, melancholic alt pop song with old Hollywood levels of glamor; a song that feels like stepping into a glittering psychedelic bath; DIY dream pop that plays to you from a hallucinogenic meadow; a funkalicious disco remix of an infectious 2000s style pop song; alt pop with nostalgic rock textures that deals with longing; and more.
Featuring Elliot Lee, Stalking Gia, Roskamala, Jackie Lipson, Party Nails, Boy Sims, 10pmtoclose, Emei, Waterbaby, and the scary jokes.
Beautiful Disease - Roskamala
I love the rich visual world that exists behind the music of Roskamala; these visuals add a dyed in the wool cinematic feel to the artist’s music. Her newest release Beautiful Disease (featuring singer Ivy Marie) is about being slowly consumed by the venom of a fantasy. The music video is divine, set in what looks like an old theater, with glittering red curtains, parlor palms and a table of mannequins. The chorus is lush and mournful - and although it deals with an upsetting subject, there is something deeply glamorous at the core of Beautiful Disease.
On the track, the artist says "Beautiful Disease" is about the fact that "too much of anything will make you sick.’ From Disney movies and Hallmark classics, we often develop idealized views of love. When love morphs into idealization and obsession, it can become like an addiction and lead to toxic relationships, extreme jealousy and revenge. The song and music video portray the story of a woman who travels down this dark road which turns her reality into a nightmare"
Waterbaby - Satin
This is like stepping into a psychedelic bath in a surreal fairytale.
Taken from the album 22° Halo, we open with birdsong, glittering synthesis, with hypnotic alien-like vocals luring us into a trance, transporting us to a shimmering green, magical garden. The vocals and lavish electronic backdrop fuse together to form something otherworldly and transcendent. Treat your mind, treat your ears.
the scary jokes - Our Murderous Descent
the scary jokes is back!! This song is taken from their new album Retinal Bloom (the album sounds as lush as the title suggests). Our Murderous Descent is DIY dream pop with gorgeously psychedelic touches, the vocals coming from a glittering purple cloud in the sky. This sounds like a kaleidoscopic meadow you came across in a hallucinogenic trip. This whole album is a journey down the rabbit hole, and it is a work of genius.
Euphoria - Stalking Gia
This is the most recent release from New York based alt pop artist Stalking Gia. Rock textures blend with glittering pop vocals; the sensation of longing running throughout. The chorus has some early noughties vibes, it is lavish, it is nostalgic; taking place somewhere between the surreal radiance of night time in Manhattan and a lucid dream.
On the track the artist says: “It is about the desire to find a deeper connection with someone and the fear of losing them. The lyrics describe the struggle to break free from the monotony of everyday life and the search for something more…. A longing to escape the mundanity of their current situation and reach a new level of intimacy”
Fun - Elliot Lee
The newest release from LGBTQI+ artist Elliot Lee fully lives up to its title; blasting you with a mix of pop and nu disco textures. The infectious beat draws you in immediately, the strings in the pre chorus are just gorgeous, the chorus giving slight ABBA vibes - everything you could ask for in a song, and I love it. The lyrics are beautifully written, speaking about neurodivergence, on which the artist says “Fun is a song about neurodivergence masquerading as a song about wanting to be famous. In a way the two feelings share a very similar space in my chest, so I wanted to capture that overlap—and while fame and neurotypicality sound nice on the surface, I also know how much I'd lose if l ever achieved either.”
Chemicals - Jackie Lipson
Dark piano chords, rich vocals, with reverb drenched shimmering instrumentation in the background; artist Jackie Lipson bears their soul to us. The chorus is Lana Del Ray levels of epic; the lyrics of the song reach out to you, making you feel less alone.
On the track the artist says “I want the listener to understand and connect with the feeling of helplessness and the lack of control of untreated mental illness. The pre-chorus ‘call me the pharmacist, I’m making my own medicine. Or just a narcissist, stuck inside my head again’ describes imposter syndrome, a state where it becomes difficult to trust your own experience and, in this case, begin to believe that your anxiety and depression are in fact just narcissism in disguise.”
Like U - Party Nails, Boy Sim (10pmtoclose Remix)
This was released alongside Party Nails’ fantastic new song Bull In A China Shop (which you can stream here). I first discovered artist/engineer Party Nails earlier on in the year, with the release of Like U, the 10pmtoclose remix being a deliciously retro disco take on the early 2000s flavored rave track. The most funaklicous beat you have ever heard in your life descends upon you (bringing to mind the likes of Breakbot), the instrumentation shimmers with sunshine, Party Nails and Boy Sims’s perfect vocals glistening in the background, you will not be able to stop listening to this.
Emei - Irresponsible
This newest release from artist Emei is about constantly messing up in young adulthood. The lyrics draw you right into a slightly chaotic, albeit fun day “Left my head back in the diner/think my keys are right beside it”. An infectious chorus displays fun vocal chopping and sampling, showing excellent production skills. This brings to mind a quote I heard in an episode of the podcast Your Wrong About, in which hosts Sarah Marshall and Michael Hobbes are talking about The Stepford Wives, in which one of the characters Joanna expresses the joy of seeing women who “were rushed and sloppy and irritated and alive”, I think in some way, we all feel the same way. Another fantastic release from Emei!
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