Quite possibly the strongest New Music Friday in months. Whittling this one down to five highlights was hard y’all, and I’m pretty sure in any other week others would be near the top. As it stands, the highlights are complete best of 2020 contenders.
EMILY BURNS / HELLO
Burns has gone out of her way to express her scandi-pop influence with that quintessential British charm, and honestly, she’s not way off the mark. ‘Hello’ basically picks up where Cher Lloyd once picked up with an absolutely stunning melody. However, it’s that little whiney synth that makes this a standout. Truly a masterstroke.
GRACEY / GONE
Often I wonder just how much impact Charli XCX has had on pop music considering her somewhat lack of chart success in contrast to her consistent status in pop music. Then I hear songs like ‘Gone’ and I can practically feel her bleeding through. ‘Gone’ is strong enough on its own merits, yet another stunner from Gracey, but that Charli-esque GONE GONE GOWAN is the one.
CALL ME LOOP / DOWNHILL FROM HERE
I wonder if I’ll ever stop featuring Call Me Loop on this blog? Considering her consistency, I wouldn’t bet on it. Keeping with her delicious pop appeal, ‘Downhill…’ doesn’t try to change the formula, but it does continue to show another side to her – just as she did with The Pussycat Dolls’ ‘React’ – that keeps me constantly looking forward to whatever she puts out next.
LOVE HARDER, JULIE BERGAN / OUTTA MY HEAD
At this point Bergan’s name is becoming a stamp of approval. Anything she features on just bounds with character, drips with cool. ‘Outta My Head’ would be in every gym around the country if there was any justice, and easily has one of the best ‘da da da’ sections since Kylie.
PURITY RING / STARDEW
Okay, so I did say this was a strong week, and this was where it got hard. Ultimately the return of Purity Ring deserves an entry every time. Atmospheric electro-pop is chronically underappreciated but somehow they’ve always managed to maintain a cult like status. ‘Stardew’ goes on to prove why – there’s always heartbreaking emotion behind the fizzing production.