Batten down the hatches, there’s a strange storm brewing this week. Another monumental one; prepare for the classically excellent Swedish drops, the best of the best dream-pop and basically a whole bunch of artists that sound confident instead of anonymous. Relish in it. It’s a great, great week. Here’s the top picks:
HANNE MJOEN / STRANGERS
‘Strangers’ treads mightily close to Hanne’s previous single, ‘Sounds Good to Me’, but in that case it’s an exercise in just how to improve on perfection. The warm pulsating synths are like heaven, coupled with a very timid Gomez-esque vocal delivery. It’s the kind of thing Carly Rae Jepsen should have been chasing for her latest album. Perfect melancholic cry-dance pop.
DEVON BALDWIN / UNDERWATER
Nobody is making music like Devon Baldwin right now, and that’s absolutely to her credit; it’s slightly operatic but intimate, minimal and yet sprawling, dreamy and yet piercing. ‘Underwater’ is stunning in all of its atmosphere – truly summoning that drowned world she sings about. Do yourself a favour and plug in some earphones, listen to those subtle gated synths and hums…. let it just carry you away.
A R I Z O N A / NOSTALGIC
Nostalgia is a minefield of material that every artist has worked away on at some point, so it’s refreshing to see a song directly address the nostalgia. Personally it’s always these sprawling dreamy electro-bops that summon some kind of nostalgia for me, to a bright and happy Summer, and ‘Nostalgic’ bathes in exactly that. It’s the Summer banger we deserve with a beautifully charged melancholy threaded throughout.
DAYA / LEFT ME YET
Unfortunately many of us will be able to relate with this: the displaced disposition of loving someone but not yourself. “I’m surprised you haven’t left me yet” she confesses piercingly. This isn’t a ballad though, and the spritely production hides the emotional almost too well, so let’s hold out for the inevitable acoustic version which I will cry to.
ANNA BERGENDAHL / HOME
Part of me recognizes just how Melodifestivalen-by-the-numbers this is, but considering the Swedish Eurovision veto process typically plucks out some of the best pop songs of the year I’ll allow it. Anna’s Shakira-esque husk pushes through at times and instills it with character it desperately needs, just as the guitar does, but ultimately its the chorus that lets this stand out.
What with this being such a heavy week, make sure you’re checking out the rest of this dedicated playlist or you’ll miss out on some more GREAT releases like…
Zara Larsson‘s return to form, ‘All the Time’.
Alma‘s queer love tragedy epic ‘Lonely Night’.
Kiesza‘s reverb filled ballad comeback smash.
Shawn Mendes attempt to woo Latin America.