In terms of bold, visionary, boundary-pushing pop music, 2013 pretty much belongs to the ladies. While the new albums by Lorde, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry are getting the big buzz, here’s a quick round-up of this Fall’s other essential new sounds.
EXCLUSIVE WORLD PREMIERE: EMMY WILDWOOD “Luxurious Problems”
Like much of the dance pop blog-o-sphere, POPDOSE has had Emmy Wildwood’s ‘Chick Chick Boom (Tired of Love)’ on constant rotation much of the summer. It starts out like the soundbed to a new iPad or Acrua commercial but quickly shifts into high gear. This Arizona-bred beauty who now calls Brooklyn home bridges the sonic gap between Sia and Cyndi Lauper.
On her new single, ‘Luxurious Problems‘, debuting on POPDOSE today, Wildwood melds a verse full of 80’s Cyndi snarl with a monster chorus that swirls the bombast of Arcade Fire, the mystery of Lykke Li and pop hook mastery of Charli XCX into one delicious stick of Fruit Stripe gum. For those seeking longer lasting flavor, Wildwood’s debut EP is scheduled to be unleashed on November 19th.
It’s easier to get news out of North Korea than it is to get new music from Fallulah out of Denmark. After capturing hearts around the world with 2010’s The Black Cat Neighborhood, her sophomore disc, Escapism, remains a mystery. It hasn’t been released in Europe or the States despite the fact she’s played shows just about everywhere. At long last, one track has Diana Nyad’ed it’s way across the pond: the insanely addictive single, ‘Dragon’. “Who’s got the keys to your heart? All I wanna do is tear it apart!” Mission accomplished.
Lovers — ‘Oh Yeah’ from the new album, A Friend in the World
I was too caught up this past decade listening to my Against Me! and Girls Aloud records to notice the many incarnations of Portland-based Lovers as it evolved from the musings of songwriter/singer/electro performance artist Carolyn Berk into a trio that also includes producer/performance artist Kerby Ferris and producer/percussionist Emily Kingan. I have some catch-up to do as their second album (as a trio) and seventh disc (under the moniker), A Friend in the World (released this week and on sale here) continues along its inevitable collision course with my year-end best albums list. Sinister synths and beautiful lyrics chart out fertile territory in the vast canyons between the Gossip, Le Tigre, Lykke Li and Ladyhawke. The first dozen or so spins, I pictured long-haired girls in vintage dresses, but their actual look is exquisitely tomboy. The music is a mix of captivating heart on your sleeve stories set to beats you can dance to. I dream of a world where the LGBT and S communities will live in harmony and can share universal stories of love, longing, union and heartache. If any album is going to get us there quick, this is the one.
Sweetwater and the Satisfaction — ‘Maybe Just Pretend’
Earlier this year, LA wild child Alana Sweetwater led our roundup of 13 Women to Watch (well, hear) in 2013. She’s back with a sizzling new single, ‘Maybe Just Pretend’ and a burning question — just how does a self-produced/self-released singer keep an eight-piece band on the payroll? She gets by with a little help from her friends, of course. Check out all of the perks on her just-launched Kickstarter campaign. Hell, if Amanda Palmer and Veronica Mars can do it, why not LA’s reigning rock goddess? ‘Maybe Just Pretend’ kicks off with the words: “You don’t gotta steal, what I’m already givin’ you for free. Why you wanna take back, what you’ve already given to me?” She has already given us so much, so this track — and more tunes to come — is available a donation perk, or you can buy it direct on iTunes. Give it an exclusive sneak preview spin here:
Caro Emerald — The FREE Acoustic EP
While POPDOSE adores Caro Emerald (check out our earlier interview), we’re a bit miffed at the moment because her #1 UK album, The Shocking Miss Emerald, has yet to reach these shores. We’re gonna cut her some slack because A.) She is “with child” (applause applause) and B.) She just gifted fans around the world with a free acoustic EP — get it here. Now I’ll admit — “acoustic” and “Caro Emerald” don’t naturally belong together since her thang is big, brassy, full-band stage shows. Case in point, this mesmerizing rendition of smash-hit ‘Liquid Lunch’ on Later with Jools Holland:
That said, the EP is a delicious listen — the perfect tempo to sing lullabies to your sweetheart, lover or precious bun in the oven. Who said there’s no such thing as a free (liquid) lunch?