dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

UK Chart: Mr Probz Bubbles To The Top With "Waves"

Mr. Probz' "Waves," in its Robin Schulz radio mix form, is the type of breezy jam that just feels like springtime (if not summer). So far, each successive dance track that tops the UK chart in 2014 is making for quite a nice playlist, no?



The UK Top 10:

1. "Waves (Robin Shulz Remix)" - Mr Probz *new* *1 week*
2. "Hideaway" - Kiesza
3. "Nobody To Love" - Sigma
4. "All Of Me" - John Legend
5. "Take Me Home" - Cash Cash feat. Bebe Rexha *new*
6. "Calling All Hearts" - DJ Cassidy feat. Robin Thicke & Jessie J *new*
7. "Welcome To The Jungle" - Neon Jungle *new*
8. "Touch" - Shift K3Y  
9. "Stay High (Habits Remix)" - Tove Lo feat. Hippie Sabotage
10. "Happy" - Pharrell

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

US Chart Roundup: Justin Timberlake Has Another Big Hit, Lana Del Rey Debuts Impressively

Justin Timberlake finally lands a decent-sized hit off The 20/20 Experience - 2 Of 2, with the album's third single "Not A Bad Thing." The song climbs four positions to #8 this week, giving Justin his first Top 10 single as a lead artist since "Mirrors" peaked at #2 last spring. (Jay Z's Timberlake-featuring "Holy Grail" also made it to #4 in 2013.) Prior to that, 20/20 - 2 Of 2's ho-hum singles "Take Back The Night" and "TKO" charted at #29 and #36, respectively.

Outside of the Top 10, Lana Del Rey's lead Ultraviolence single, the spectacular surf rock trash jam "West Coast, enters the chart at #17. This broad just keeps getting classier and classier.



Just below that, Australian rapstress Iggy Azalea and British singer Charli XCX climb to #18 with "Fancy." This trash is basically Eve and Gwen's "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" and "Rich Girl" re-fried, but I like the Clueless-themed video.



That leaves us with Calvin Harris' "Summer," which inches closer to the Top 40 (this week at #44), and Disclosure and Sam Smith's "Latch," a song that manages to catapult 20 spots to #59.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Happy" - Pharrell Williams *9 weeks*
2. "All Of Me" - John Legend
3. "Talk Dirty" - Jason Derulo feat. 2 Chainz
4. "Dark Horse" - Katy Perry feat. Juicy J
5. "Let It Go" - Idina Menzel
6. "Pompeii" - Bastille
7. "Turn Down For What" - DJ Snake & Lil Jon
8. "Not A Bad Thing" - Justin Timberlake
9. "Loyal" - Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne & French Montana
10. "Team" - Lorde

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lady Gaga's "G.U.Y." Was Remixed By Kiesza's Producer And It Sounds Totally '90s

Kiesza's current UK chart-topping single "Hideaway" was produced by Rami Samir Afuni, a guy who's now given Lady Gaga's "G.U.Y." the full-on '90s treatment via a housey remix. Fun stuff for the springtime.

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Katy Perry's "Birthday" Video: Here's a Preview Of What This Broad Has In Store

Looks like we're at the "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" point in the latest Katy Perry album, wherein she's gotta go completely over the top and pull out all the shameless stops for the video to keep people interested in buying singles off this whole shebang.

"Birthday" is the fourth single overall from the lackluster Prism (and "Walking On Air" had better be the fifth), and Katy's motto seems to be "if the song isn't quite up to scratch, at least we can fool people into downloading it by serving up a fun music video."

At least that's what it seems like, given the below preview of the clip. Who really knows. I'm hungry and going to eat breakfast, so fuck this.

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Giorgio Moroder Remixed Coldplay's "Midnight"

I'd been wondering if Giorgio Moroder would make much of a musical comeback outside of his feature on the Daft Punk album last year, because, quite frankly, the odd remix he'd done here and there wasn't really catching my ear. Then he went and whipped Coldplay's "Midnight" into a near-nine-minute masterpiece, with swelling synths, majestic piano chords and a classic, sneaky disco beat.



It's pretty perfect.

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It's Sky Ferreira's "I Blame Myself" Video

Some days you just wonder how Sky Ferreira's Night Time, My Time album is overlooked while the Frozen soundtrack is somehow #1 for 10 weeks — and how none of her singles have caught radio's attention, while "Turn Down For What" and "Talk Dirty" are happening.

Then you realize, oh, right — a lot of people are really stupid.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

UK Chart Post: Kiesza's "Hideaway" Rides The '90s House Comeback Wave To #1

It's always a personally satisfying when a thrilling pop song you champion claws its way to success, and this time around it's happened with Kiesza's indie deep house jam "Hideaway." The video premiered earlier this year, and seemed to be the least likely track to climb to the top of any country's chart. But here we are now deep into the spring, with "Hideaway" sitting at #1 in the UK.

The day I saw the "Hideaway" video in February, I reached out and requested that she come into the Idolator studio for a chat, which she did two weeks later. Turns out it was her first ever on-camera interview. (Watch it here.)

Anyway, none of this is about me. "Hideaway" is a fantastic track that typifies the comeback of '90s house in 2014's pop landscape, and is truly deserving of its placement at the top of the UK singles chart. Next stop: America. The song is available now on US iTunes. Get to buying that shit, Chyldryn!

Elsewhere, it's nice to see Swedish doll Tove Lo jumping up to #6 with the Hippie Sabotage remix of "Habits" (re-titled "Stay High"). With the big pop stars of yore floundering, the new crop of up-and-coming divas are flourishing quite nicely.



The UK Top 10:

1. "Hideaway" - Kiesza *new* *1 week*
2. "Nobody To Love" - Sigma
3. "Touch" - Shift K3Y *new*
4. "All Of Me" - John Legend
5. "The Man" - Aloe Blacc
6. "Stay High (Hippie Sabotage Remix)" - Tove Lo
7. "Happy" - Pharrell
8. "I Got U" - Duke Dumont feat. Jax Jones
9. "Fancy" - Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX
10. "My Love" - Route 94 feat. Jess Glynne

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Record Store Day!

My Kiesza Interview

I had been meaning to post this here for awhile now, but what better time than when Kiesza is set to debut at #1 on the UK chart tomorrow with her debut single, the '90s house throwback (and one of my hands-down faves of 2014 so far) "Hideaway."

I invited the Canadian singer to come in to the Idolator studio back in March, and lo and behold, it turned out to be the very first on-camera interview she'd done.

We talked about what got her to this point in her life and, of course, '90s dance jams. You can watch the interview below, and read the full piece here.

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My Sky Ferreira Interview

About a week and a half ago I interviewed Sky Ferreira for Idolator. I've been obsessed with her debut LP Night Time, My Time since it was released in October... but Sky has got a reputation for being a bit of a difficult one to pull out of her shell during interviews. That said, we had a pretty nice time talking about no less than the following: Nirvana, Kate Bush, Madonna, Stevie Nicks, bunny rabbits, American Apparel and, of course, her fantastic album.

The two video clips we did at Idolator for the interview are below. You can read the full writeup I did here.

Sky on Stevie Nicks, Instagram, Madonna & Nirvana:



Sky on her album, Miley Cyrus and Kate Bush:

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

US Chart Roundup: You All Need To Listen To (And Buy) Betty Who's 'Slow Dancing' EP

So the first seven positions in the Top 10 of Billboard's Hot 100 chart have remained the exact same for three weeks — a record in the chart's history. And that, chyldryn, is because not much new and noteworthy has come along in 2014. Hence the Frozen soundtrack topping the album chart for 10 weeks and counting. At this point, I'd like to shove an icicle up my icebox.

One new release you should all be checking out, however, is Betty Who's Slow Dancing EP. It debuted at #57 on the Billboard 200, and judging by the quality of the five songs contained here, it should be so much higher. It's the type of pop they just don't make anymore...and yet, here's Betty Who, doing it for the kids.



Let's hope she doesn't stop, and that this EP climbs higher as 2014 trudges on.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Happy" - Pharrell Williams *8 weeks*
2. "All Of Me" - John Legend
3. "Dark Horse" - Katy Perry feat. Juicy J
4. "Talk Dirty" - Jason Derulo feat. 2 Chainz
5. "Let It Go" - Idina Menzel
6. "Pompeii" - Bastille
7. "Team" - Lorde
8. "Turn Down For What" - DJ Snake & Lil Jon
9. "The Man" - Aloe Blacc
10. "Counting Stars" - OneRepublic

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

UK Chart Roundup: Sigma's "Nobody To Love" Is My New Jam, Despite The Kanye West Sample

British boy band The Vamps edge closer to having their first #1 hit on the UK chart with third single "Last Night," which goes in at #2. So far, all of the quartet's singles have charted at either #2 or #3, but alas, they were held off this particular week by dance outfit Sigma and their fantastic jam "Nobody To Love."



Of course, "Nobody To Love" is basically built around Charlie Wilson's vocal from Kanye West's "Bound 2"... and that song BLOWS. But with that soulful vocal bit slapped on top of a drum and bass beat, Sigma's re-working of the tune makes for a nice one-hit moment at the top of the chart as springtime sets in.

Enjoy your time in the sun, Sigma!

The UK Top 10:

1. "Nobody To Love" - Sigma *new* *1 week*
2. "Last Night" - The Vamps *new*
3. "The Man" - Aloe Blacc
4. "All Of Me" - John Legend
5. "Fancy" - Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX *new*
6. "I Got U" - Duke Dumont feat. Jax Jones
7. "Happy" - Pharrell
8. "My Love" - Route 94 feat. Jess Glynne
9. "Rather Be" - Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne
10. "Dark Horse" -Katy Perry feat. Juicy J

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MNEK's "Every Little Word" Is Pretty Great

MNEK's first legit single as a major label artist, "Every Little Word," is something you should all prick your ears up for. To me, it kind of sounds like mid-to-late '80s R&B-pop — the type of stuff The Jets or Lisa Lisa or Cameo would offer up. Then it gets all crazy when MNEK starts experimenting with the tempo change control on the chorus.



You might recall this guy's pretty rad cover of Kylie Minogue's 1994 single "Put Yourself In My Place" from two years ago. That all came full circle for MNEK when he produced Kylie's Kiss Me Once track "Feels So Good."

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

US Chart Roundup: This Top 10 Has Gotta Go

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The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Happy" - Pharrell Williams *7 weeks*
2. "All Of Me" - John Legend
3. "Dark Horse" - Katy Perry feat. Juicy J
4. "Talk Dirty" - Jason Derulo feat. 2 Chainz
5. "Let It Go" - Idina Menzel
6. "Pompeii" - Bastille
7. "Team" - Lorde
8. "Counting Stars" - OneRepublic
9. "The Man" - Aloe Blacc
10. "Turn Down For What" - DJ Snake & Lil Jon

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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

It's Kylie Minogue's Bright And Shiny "I Was Gonna Cancel" Lyric Video

And it's pretty much a straight-forward, neon lit affair for Kylie's Pharrell Williams-produced second single off Kiss Me Once. Have at it.

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Here's Lady Gaga's "Do What U Want" Minus R. Kelly, Christina Aguilera, Etc. Etc.

Remember a million years ago (or, seven months ago) when there was such hope for Lady Gaga's second ARTPOP single "Do What U Want"? And then, post-R. Kelly re-scandalization, that hope rose ever so slightly once more with the Christina Aguilera duet version of the song?

It turns out the solo Lady Gaga rendition, which has the same lyrics as the Xtina one, has leaked. It's a shame this wasn't originally be one and only, because "Do What U Want" really is a good jam. But hindsight, as they say...

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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Betty Who's 'Slow Dancing' EP Is Out Today

The first proper major label release from Betty Who was released today, in the form of her second EP, Slow Dancing. Current single "Heartbreak Dream" is on it along with four other tracks — though not included is "Somebody Loves You," which is iTunes' free single of the week (and clearly the most popular song by BW at the moment). Yes, it's all very confusing, but all good pop music, nonetheless.

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Ed Sheeran's "Sing" Isn't Really That Great & It's A Ripoff Of Rolling Stones' "Miss You" Anyway

If we're to go by Ed Sheeran's past catalog of sleep-inducing coffee house fare, sure, his new single "Sing" might be considered pretty exciting. (Probably not the right term for "Sing," but try telling that to the rest of the Internet.) But if you really stop shoving long plastic objects up your ass long enough to actually pay attention, everyone, you'll realize it's just a knockoff of "Moves Like Jagger," which was itself a knockoff of "Miss You" by the Rolling Stones.

Voila...



Et Voila...

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Monday, April 07, 2014

Kylie's Next Single Is "I Was Gonna Cancel"

This has been out there for a few days now, but Kylie Minogue's next Kiss Me Once single is going to be "I Was Gonna Cancel" (followed by, she hopes, "Beautiful" and "Kiss Me Once" — the latter of which I consider to be the best song on the album).

And of course the Kylie camp is going with the Pharrell Williams-produced track. "Happy" has been #1 for six weeks now, and it's pretty much sealed the deal by now as far as being just as big a hit as "Get Lucky" and "Blurred Lines" — two other Pharrell-featuring smashes — were. It'd be kind of silly to slap one Pharrell song on your album and not release it as a single, really.

Anyway, in case you've somehow not yet picked up Kiss Me Once, here's the song in question:

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Calvin Harris Sadly Doesn't Get Naked In His Music Video For "Summer," But Watch It Anyway

The "plot" of Calvin Harris' "Summer" video is something about drag racing (not of the RuPaul variety) in the desert just outside Los Angeles and women rolling around in bed while wearing sexy lingerie. At the end of the clip, there's a big party at someone's swank house at night.

I would have preferred to have seen Calvin get naked or at least shirtless, but at least we have some shots of his nicely-sculpted chest in a white tee while walking on a barren road. So enjoy that, friends.

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Sunday, April 06, 2014

UK Chart Roundup: John Martin Returns To The Top 10 By Going It Alone

The rapid succession of singles topping the UK chart continues as Aloe Blacc's "The Man," currently at Top 10 single in the States, bumps 5 Seconds Of Summer's "She Looks So Perfect" off the #1 position. In fact, the Australian boy band flizzle-flop all the way down to #10, so fuck them. 

John Martin, onetime Swedish House Mafia vocalist, strikes out on his own with debut single "Anywhere For You."



Not nearly as good as "Don't You Worry Child," of course, but if you dig anthemic dance jams, this should blow your skirt off.

Lower down the chart, Kylie Minogue's "Into The Blue" re-enters the Top 40 by moving up from #42 to #39 in its third week, following the finale of the The Voice UK, and the end of Kylie's short-lived stint on the series.

The UK Top 10:

1. "The Man" - Aloe Blacc *new* *1 week*
2. "All Of Me" - John Legend
3. "I Got U" - Duke Dumont feat. Jax Jones
4. "My Love" - Route 94 feat. Jess Glynne
5. "Changes" - Faul & Wad Ad vs. Pnau
6. "Happy" - Pharrell
7. "Anywhere For You" - John Martin *new*
8. "Rather Be" - Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne
9. "I'm A Freak" - Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull
10. "She Looks So Perfect" - 5 Seconds Of Summer

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Thursday, April 03, 2014

It's Betty Who's "Heartbreak Dream" Video

Betty Who is a stunning goddess who can do wrong. "Heartbreak Dream" is the lead single off her upcoming Slow Dancing EP, which is out next week (April 8). I'm still waiting for "Somebody Loves You" to take off at radio...and the world at large must hear and learn to love "You're In Love" and "High Society," off last year's The Movement EP.

But whatever — she's a peach.

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US Chart Roundup: Your Daughters (& Sons) Probably Wanna Get Fucked Hard By Rixton, America

The upper reaches of the Billboard Hot 100 remain pretty much the same this week, save for Beyonce's "Drunk In Love" finally getting bumped out of the Top 10 by DJ Snake and Lil Jon's "Turn Down For What"...which, by the way, have you seen the video for that trash? It might be the most fucked-up think you'll watch this year.



Looking elsewhere, Justin Timberlake's "Not A Bad Thing" slides up to #20 and becomes his 12th Top 20 single as a lead artist, his 20th overall as a solo artist (including all his features) and his 29th if we throw the *NSYNC jams in there.

Below that, Naughty Boy and Sam Smith's "La La La" inches up to #31, while Lady Gaga's third ARTPOP single "G.U.Y." debuts #76. That's gotta be based on YouTube views alone, because so far that song has yet to crack the top 100 on iTunes.



On a final note, the latest British boy band to come down the conveyor belt, Rixton, crack the stateside market with "Me And My Broken Heart," which goes in at #87. This is just kind of a knockoff of Cat Stevens' "Wild World," no?

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Happy" - Pharrell Williams *6 weeks*
2. "All Of Me" - John Legend
3. "Dark Horse" - Katy Perry feat. Juicy J
4. "Talk Dirty" - Jason Derulo feat. 2 Chainz
5. "Let It Go" - Idina Menzel
6. "Pompeii" - Bastille
7. "Team" - Lorde
8. "The Man" - Aloe Blacc
9. "Counting Stars" - OneRepublic
10. "Turn Down For What" - DJ Snake & Lil Jon

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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

It's Rita Ora's "I Will Never Let You Down" Video

Here's the latest single produced by Calvin Harris, with pop non-entity Rita Ora (Calvin's girlfriend, mind you) on vocals. This might wind up being big in the Jessie J "Domino" sense, but we all know what happened to her after — that's right: face down in some broad's thighs, with one hand on the flop button and the other on a tit. See ya.

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It's Katy B's "Still" Video

I personally wouldn't have opted for "Still" as the follow-up single to UK smash  "Crying For No Reason" off Little Red, but Katy B's label may think she needs to keep the power pop ballad winning streak going, so here we go.

Overall, lots of pretty white lighting that plays nicely off Katy's red weave, but nothing extremely groundbreaking with the song or the video.

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