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

Thursday, September 18, 2014

US Chart Roundup: Nick Jonas' "Jealous" Is My Jam

Meghan Trainor continues to gyrate her bass at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 this week, while Charli XCX yo-yos once again and jumps back into the Top 10 (at #10). Meanwhile, Calvin Harris and John Newman's "Blame" debuts at #31, marking the fastest-growing single (so far) for either of those two in the States. In the UK, "Blame" is at the top of the singles chart.

Outside of the Top 40, Dutch rapper-turned-crooner Mr. Probz climbs to #58 with the Robin Shulz remix of his song "Waves." And that brings us to Nick Jonas, who sees his very first solo single chart on the Hot 100 (minus features and songs that didn't have an official single release) with "Jealous," at #78. And, I have to say — "Jealous" has totally become my jam over the past week, so I completely approve of his Jonas-ing.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "All About That Bass" - Meghan Trainor *2 weeks*
2. "Shake It Off" - Taylor Swift
3. "Anaconda" - Nicki Minaj
4. "Black Widow" - Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora
5. "Bang Bang" - Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
6. "Stay With Me" - Sam Smith
7. "Break Free" - Ariana Grande feat. Zedd
8. "Maps" - Maroon 5
9. "Rude" - MAGIC!
10. "Boom Clap" - Charli XCX

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

It's Kiesza's 'Sound Of A Woman' Album Cover

Well, the first great album of 2014 is finally getting a release on October 21.


Shayne Ward X Mike Stock Album Update: February Release, Song Titles, Etc.

Shayne Ward and producer Mike Stock have gotten underway with recording Shayne's fourth album, and while Shayne posted the above photo on Twitter earlier this week, Mike put forth the following bit of info about the sessions on Facebook:
This week Shayne and I were in the studio to record 8 brand new songs for his upcoming fourth studio album.
'Too Much To Lose' and 'My Heart Would Take You Back' are two songs due to appear on the forthcoming album out in February.
Stock also tweeted that the album will be out in February, with an official announcement coming on Friday.

Bottom line: Shayne Ward, still a hot piece. And possibly one of the best voices Mike Stock has worked with, as far as range goes?

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Kiesza's New Single "No Enemiesz" Is Perfect

"Hideaway" is a single whose crossover appeal was evident from the beginning, despite the house track's low-key, indie sensibilities. And Kiesza's (European) follow-up, "Giant In My Heart," felt a bit like more of the same. It was good, and it kept the sound established with "Hideaway" going...it just didn't really move things up the road much.

But last night Kiesza's new single "No Enemiesz" premiered on Annie Mac's BBC radio show in the UK. (Actually, if you've caught the Canadian singer live in the past five months, you'll have heard her belt this one out.) And, good news: It feels like it's her first proper song.

You could plunk down at a piano or strap on an acoustic guitar and strip this one down into a nice "unplugged" number, or crank it up and blow the fucking windows out. (I prefer the latter, myself.)

"No Enemiesz" in its live form had a bit more of a Madonna "Vogue" feel to it, especially with the house piano intro and, well, Kiesza stepping on stage and voguing.

Anyway, Kiesza's debut LP, Sound Of A Woman, can't get here soon enough. It's out on October 21.


Friday, September 12, 2014

It's Calvin Harris & John Newman's "Blame" Video

I've watched Calvin Harris and John Newman's "Blame" video twice now and I'm still not able to fully wrap my head around what's going on.

Overall, it seems like an excuse to parade a bunch of scantily-clad broads around in Victoria's Secret's finest. I guess if you scratch the surface, John (and, briefly, Calvin) are supposed to be emotionally troubled over said ladies, who, by the end of this whole shebang, leave the club they've been hookin' in, jump into a puddle of water and resurface in some far off land.

Maybe it's the land where this trash has a plot. Oh, well — still a decent jam, "Blame" is.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

US Chart Roundup: Meghan Trainor Thankfully Kicks Taylor Swift To The Curb

Oh, look — here's a nice, grainy picture of me with "All About That Bass" chanteuse Meghan Trainor, who now has the #1 single in the country. I interviewed her in the lobby of the Ace Hotel here in New York City last month, and you can read that particular gem over at Idolator.

As for stuff on the Billboard Hot 100 this week that doesn't involve the #1 single, British pop act Clean Bandit climb to a new high of #12 with "Rather Be," while Swedish songbird Tove Lo also reaches a new peak of #18 with "Habits (Stay High)".

And if you never saw the interview I did with Tove Lo...

You can watch that right here.

And that brings us to the one and only Kiesza, whose "Hideaway" squeaks up four positions to #51 this week. Oh, look...

Well, you know.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "All About That Bass" - Meghan Trainor *1 week*
2. "Shake It Off" - Taylor Swift
3. "Anaconda" - Nicki Minaj
4. "Bang Bang" - Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
5. "Black Widow" - Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora
6. "Stay With Me" - Sam Smith
7. "Rude" - MAGIC!
8. "Break Free" - Ariana Grande feat. Zedd
9. "Maps" - Maroon 5
10. "Chandelier" - Sia

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Monday, September 08, 2014

Pet Shop Boys Announce They'll Start Working On A New Album In November

Pop kings the Pet Shop Boys are somehow still trekking around the globe on their Electric Tour (which just had its 100th show), but over the weekend on their official site, it was announced that the pair "are planning to start work on a new album in November."

Their last LP was the Stuart Price-produced Electric — which, if you've not yet heard it, you should first punch yourself in the dick, and then hit up Spotify or iTunes or Amazon or a CD bin and do so immediately. It's literally their best (and highest charting) album since 1993's Very.

Anyway, a new Pet Shop Boys album possibly being released in 2015 is an exciting thing.


Sunday, September 07, 2014

UK Chart Roundup: Duke Dumont Just Misses Out On His Third Consecutive #1

Is Duke Dumont's "Won't Look Back" an homage to or a knockoff of Black Box's "Ride On Time"? Oh, who cares. Black Box were shady as fuck themselves. The important thing is that now Dumont has let it be known that the vocalist on the track is Yolanda Quartey.

"Won't Look Back" flies up the UK singles chart to #2 this week, thus becoming Duke's third Top 10 single, but first to not reach #1.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Prayer In C" - Lilly Wood & Robin Shulz *2 weeks*
2. "Won't Look Back" - Duke Dumont
3. "Superheroes" - The Script *new*
4. "Black Widow" - Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora
5. "I'm Not The Only One" - Sam Smith
6. "Shake It Off" - Taylor Swift
7. "Lovers On The Sun" - David Guetta feat. Sam Martin
8. "Maps" - Maroon 5
9. "Rude" - MAGIC!
10. "Am I Wrong" - Nico & Vinz

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Saturday, September 06, 2014

My Gorgon City Interview: Watch

As mentioned last week, Matt and Kye from Gorgon City stop by the Idolator studio recently, just ahead of their (canceled because of weather) appearance at Electric Zoo.

The resulting video interview wound up being one of my favorites ever. Up there with Kiesza, probably. And actually, Kiesza factors into this one, too. It turns out she co-wrote the track "Go All Night" — aka the one Jennifer Hudson features on — for Gorgon City's upcoming album Sirens (out October 7), and she even was meant to be the vocalist on it at one point.

Anyway, you can read the full writeup I did here, and watch the video below.

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Mary J. Blige's Disclosure & Sam Smith Collab "Right Now" Is Here, And It's Pretty Great

If you've yet to read the Guardian's big piece from last weekend on Mary J. Blige spending a month in the UK making new LP The London Sessions with the likes of Disclosure, Naughty Boy, Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith, then you'd best hop to it — because the first fruit of all their labo(u)r is here.

"Right Now" is a track co-written by Smith and produced by Disclosure, and it falls somewhere between the latter duo's branded house sound (think "Latch" and "White Noise") and branded R&B sound (like their Nile Rodgers & Sam Smith collaboration "Together"). Actually, it probably leans more toward R&B, but with house flourishes.

Anyway, as mentioned, it's pretty great. I didn't realize music from this project would be coming so soon, so here's hoping the album is out before the end of the year!

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