All Your Exes
Julia Michaels

Ever had whiplash in the course of a song before? Well, you’re about to - courtesy of the song you have to hear today, Julia Michaels’ territorial ‘back off bitches, he’s mine’ anthem.

Starting out as a quaint acoustic number with sparse backing and yearning lyrics, you’d be forgiven for thinking we were in for three and a half minutes of gentle balladeering - but you’ve been misled. The bridge sees the production start to amp up somewhere in the distance, but it is after a brief pause that the song turns entirely on its head and a new beast is born.

‘I wanna live in a world where are all your exes are DEAD’ Julia spits - a dark sentiment over a deep thrashing of electric guitar, no more pretty acoustics in sight. Consider those metaphorically smashed. Like a pretty pussycat who was all sweetness and light to begin with, Julia is soon peeing to mark her territory and clearly not afraid to use her claws.

We all understand the heart dropping feeling when an ex gets brought into conversation, and Julia is not afraid to make her feelings on it known (‘I’m confident I’ve got them accurately demonised’) in a song that builds and builds, drums upon production upon guitar until it is entirely unrecognisable from how it began.

‘You tell me not to worry, I’m the only thing you see - well yeah I fucking better be!’ she sings as the song launches into its biggest and loudest chorus yet (feat some beautiful harmony work). This is a song with very obvious purpose, big backbone energy and absolutely zero shyness. And if you predicted where it would end up from where it began… then can I have the lottery numbers?

As catchy as it is risk tasking, this will be in your head for days… but your ex lovers better not be.

For fans of: Pale Waves, shapeshifting tunes with a real air of unpredictability, letting your man know he better not even THINK about them, honey!

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Dance For The Hell Of It

With a title that offers some sage advice for how to lift your mood in these difficult times, today we recommend to you Swedish powerhouse LOVA - you have to hear her guitar-pop ROMP of a new single.

Energetic and pacy from the off, the song deals with the issues of fitting in and the rituals we all go through in trying to get in with the ‘in crowd’ and find our place. Spoiler alert: don’t dim your own light or sacrifice your own uniqueness to be what you think you need to be - just be yourself, a theory LOVA backs up.

Boasting a voice with a grit in it’s deepest parts and a beautiful break in it during the falsetto moments, even her voice seems to lend itself well to the songs message of leaning into your uniqueness, and is a commanding presence as the song charges on. The breakdown moment with the spoken word ‘f**king hate this place’ provides a laugh and is a standout moment too. LOVA has character, can be brash, but also offers beautiful vocals and all of this is apparent across the whole Grown-Ish record.

Any song saying ‘just let loose and be yourself’ is a victory in our book but it helps that this is a catchy, hook led, guitar pop monster!

For fans of The Veronicas, saying ‘f**k it’ and doing it anyway, realising the cool kids don’t stay the cool kids forever.

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This Is Heaven
Nick Jonas

Looking for a chilled out chunk of pop music that will have you with your hands in the air at the same time? Well, you have to hear the newest aural treat from the youngest (famous) Jonas Brother.

We all appreciate Nick as a fine hunk of man but we absolutely think he deserves more credit for his musical output - the likes of Teacher, Champagne Problems, Find You, Remember I Told You and Numb all deserve praise - and that’s without even considering his actual hits. So we know he can come correct - and he’s done so again here.

Nick’s new single is slinky and chilled but absolutely packs a punch, particularly in the gospel-tinged chorus. It’s a musically FULL production with a heap of layers that give us a strikingly detailed final product.

What is particularly striking about this is that - although there is no doubt about who is the lead artist - other players are allowed to shine, with Nick’s backing singers getting a chance to show off their vocal prowess, as well as an extensive (and sexy!) saxophone solo. The harmonies shared with the backing choir are highlights, and Nick allowing them to ‘outsing’ him is a sign he a) knows his own and their strengths and b) isn’t insecure about that.

It’s sunny, it’s bold, it’s also restrained when it needs to be, it’s laidback, it has confidence in its pace - and it sticks to it. We love it.

For fans of: Years & Years, poolside music that will also take you to church, hearing about other people’s happiness.

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Long Distance

More upbeat pop for you today from LA’s JORDY, whose wish to find real love - even if it’s over the pond on the other side of the world - rather than a neighbour with no real interest is today’s song that you have to hear

The song does a few things we really enjoy - firstly, it’s proudly queer from the off, JORDY singing within the first five seconds ‘met a guy on the internet last week’ - and that’s refreshing. Maybe it shouldn’t be a point of note but it still feels special to hear artists using their authentic voice and stories. Second - it utilises intricate music and lyric to deliver quickfire verses with really satisfying rhyme schemes set to truly catchy melody (‘that it was useless - but the truth is, it was just another one of his excuses’) - construction that feels like it took real time and thought.

Thirdly, the production remains interesting throughout, sometimes just sparse bleeps, claps and bloops (official terminology), to the occasional DOUBLE CLAP (always a pop song hero) through to much fuller computerised backings that build as the song progresses. At times it sounds like it’s come from the future and could certainly never be accused of being generic.

JORDY’s voice is a sweet treat throughout, delivering strong falsetto on the onomatopoeic ‘loooooong distance’ and - though we hate to be unprofessional, we’re forced to be - he’s very easy on the eye too. A true new pop crush. The harmony moments are super cute, and the post chorus ‘I would rather be distant with you’ breakdown is the height of catchiness.

It’s a story we can relate to - being unluckier in love than we are in the Lotto, jumping on a plane at the first sniff of a hint of something special, and being prepared to take a punt if there’s ANY chance of something better than a local lad armed with nothing but excuses. We wish you well JORDY, both on the quest for love and with this bubbly pop banger!

For fans of: LAUV, knowing all the boys in your hometown are a no go, songs that sound like cotton candy.

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On & On
Sam Pearce

Are you ready to become acquainted with a new pop prince? Ready to replace ‘bing, bang, bong’ in your head every morning, noon and night? Well today you have to hear London based LGBTQ+ artist Sam Pearce’s highly catchy new single that’ll give you a shot of joy - sonically - and frustration - lyrically - for your Thursday evening.

The colourful explosions of Sam’s cover and background aesthetics are mirrored in the sounds here - big pop synth moments over deep, bassy production and percussion, paired with quieter more thoughtful moments. It’s a song that always feels upbeat but takes its chances to breathe, which allow the explosive moments to shine even brighter.

Lyrically it’s about the loop of making the same mistakes and never quite breaking the hold somebody has over you (‘I have learned my lesson…. but you’re still here somehow’ is both the best lyric and the best melody moment for us). That even though the person in question might be gone physically, doesn’t meant the same mentally - though Sam does vow to put himself first in the end.

There are so many lovely vocal moments - both Sam’s and otherwise. The depth in his tone as he sings the final verse (the tracks quietest moment) is a lush contrast to the choir of angelic female falsetto voices that sing us out, and Sam’s own foray into the higher ends of his voice on the lines ‘Do you need my attention?’ hears him uncover a gorgeous, quite unique tone that still packs the punch of a belt.

For a new independent artist, everything here is wildly impressive. From song, to production, to visuals, everything looks and sounds completely professional, impeccably thought out and expensive, honey and considering we are struggling to make a solid cup of coffee in the morning right now, we aren’t quite sure how he’s achieved that. But it is surely a sign of very bright things to come!

For fans of: Tom Aspaul, queer pop artistes taking over the world, taking the reins in your life back from some punk who tried to ruin it.

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