Sky Ferreira – “I Blame Myself”
American electropop singer Sky Ferreira has had quite a journey getting to her debut album. Still, Night Time, My Time has finally arrived after teaser singles for an interminable three years. It is, sorry to say, a bit of a mixed bag, but “I Blame Myself” is pure pop perfection, featuring a crisp breakbeat and lyrics critiquing the audience for equating art with the person itself. A bold move for a debut album, but perhaps unsurprising given its long gestation. “I blame myself for my reputation” finds Ferreira hoisted by her own petard, and beautifully so.
Say Lou Lou – “Beloved”
Australian-Swedish duo Say Lou Lou have been bubbling under this year, releasing the well-received self-released single “Julian.” “Beloved” sees the duo breaking through with a new EP on Columbia with a floating new song that aims for the sweet spot between shoegaze and 80s prom slowdance pop. But where “Julian” promised devotion for a troubled beloved (“once we get across the border/I’ll mend your heart”), “Beloved” is all about the sadness of being in an unfulfilling relationship: “we ride together but I feel alone.”
VV Brown – “The Apple”
After an interesting if unsuccessful attempt at retro-styled rock-n-roll/soul, VV Brown returns with a whole new image–dark, mysterious. “The Apple” is a pulsing piece of Grace Jones influenced electropop, full of tension and desire. It’s hard to see this really working for a large cross-over audience, but it’s compelling and immensely listenable.
Tennis – “Mean Streets”
Husband-wife duo Tennis have been producing very pleasant, mildly-involving 60s-tinged lofi indie music for a couple of years now. “Mean Streets” doesn’t do much to change course, but it cruises along very nicely for a couple of minutes. Vocalist Alaina Moore’s lovely vocals float easily over a chunky groove. Perfect for the impending Southern hemisphere summer, or for those of you less fortunate on the weather front, for pretending it’s still summer.
Trouble Maker – “Now”
With the path-blazing work of “Gangnam Style” maestor Psy, Korean music has been making increasing in-roads into American and other Western markets. Acts like Big Bang, G Dragon and Girls Generation show the Korean scene is firing on all cylinders for cutting edge pop music. New group Trouble Maker have recently shot to the top of the Korean hot 100 with this pop number accompanied by a steamy Bonnie and Clyde video. I must admit, I have no idea what the lyrics are about, but it’s all very dramatic and hooky.