Music is forever moving. Never stopping. Day after day, month after month, year after year. The public – that’s you and I – are simply bombarded with new music from new and old artists. Hype is built up. Radio stations play music they think the public want to hear and a ‘star’ album is released and following a week or two where it seems everyone wants or needs to listen to that album, it quietly disappears as fewer singles are released – probably getting worse and worse chart positions as time goes on – until the artist returns to the recording studio, ready to do it all again.
With this in mind, it’s high time you need an update on what I personally think are the 12 (Top 10’s are getting far too mainstream) songs that you need to listen to right now. Some of them are literally new songs out that you can buy (yes, buy, via a mainstream media download service thanks) right now, some are songs that you can’t buy yet (so listen to them on YouTube or whatever video sharing website takes your fancy) or some are songs that have been out ‘for a while’ and are some way connected to the news.
1. Saturday Night – Natalia Kills
Natalia Kills is a brilliant yet cruelly underrated popstar. This is the truth. Kills’ dark-dance-pop debut, ‘Perfectionist‘, did little damage on the world’s charts but it did gain her lots of new fans and some very unhelpful likening’s to the Lady of Gaga. Moving on from the ‘Perfectionist’-era with style and subtle genre change, Kills has now become the Bad Girl of pop. First buzz single Controversy was a Peaches-inspired track with a hip-hop heavy beat in which Kills mulled over all things controversial. Proper first single Problem is the epitome of bad girl pop; electronica lyrics and rock-heavy guitars but for the second single from her upcoming album ‘Trouble’, Kills has yet again gone in a different direction. Saturday Night is a melancholy, nostalgic glam-pop-rock track in which Kills reveals her tormented childhood as a bad girl coming from a violent household. Producer Jeff Bhasker’s signature tribal drums rumble over Kills’ raw, personal voice over the track which may just be the best Natalia Kills track since her debut, Mirrors. The video is not for the faint hearted.
2. Music To Make Boys Cry – Diana Vickers
Remember Diana Vickers? Weird barefoot singer on the X Factor turned chart behemoth when the fabulous Once dropped a few years ago. Since her debut album also went in at number one, many expected Vickers to be a chart presence for many years. Until she left her label (‘creative differences’) and is now releasing her second album, ‘Music To Make Boys Cry’, on indie label So Recordings. All that aside, the title track from Vickers’ sophomore effort is amazing. An 80’s beat, luscious vocals and a chorus so good that you may cry listening to it, Music To Make Boys Cry may not become a chart topper, but it certainly deserves to, Mesmerising.
3. Flatline – MKS
Mutya Keisha Siobhan – or MKS to just shorten it and make it easier for everyone – are the original three Sugababes who all got back together when they had subsequently left – i.e. got kicked out – of the band in which they had formed. It’s been near on two years since they got back together and only now are they finally showcasing some ‘tunes’ which will be included in their debut album, set for release in 2014. Now I will warn you; this song is a grower. You might first listen to it and think “Hmm it’s good but it’s not ‘About You Now’ good. It needs to be faster.” But then you listen to it again. And again. And again. And before you know it, you’re hooked. There’s no doubt; MKS’ voices blend absolutely beautifully. Siobhan’s haunting vocals, Keisha’s pop and versatile singing style and Mutya being simply one of the greatest and most distinctive voices of her generation; this is brilliant stuff.
4. Trouble – Neon Jungle
Girl group alert. Before you click off this, let me just warn you; Neon Jungle aren’t your regular girl group. They’re the kids your mother warned you about; they’re the bad girls that make Little Mix look like puppy dogs. Their brilliant debut song, Trouble, may just be the best song of the year. Channel an infectious beat, great ‘I Love It’ style vocals and an absolute banger of a chorus and you have a hit. Welcome Neon Jungle and let’s all hope they fill the Girls Aloud-shaped hole in all our lives.
5. American Girl – Bonnie McKee
You may not have heard of Bonnie McKee but you have absolutely heard some of the songs she’s written for such artists like Katy Perry and Taio Cruz. Teenage Dream. How We Do (Party). Wide Awake. Dynamite. All brilliant pop songs all co-written by this wonderful woman. It’s not often you see a songwriter make it as a fully fledged popstar but McKee’s got the foundation; a great song. Out-and-out pop, American Girl, celebrates all things American and although you could argue McKee’s pop persona is a post-modern satire on the views society has on America, you could also argue this song is a triumph.
6. Hurricane – Bridgit Mendler
Ready Or Not warbler Bridgit Mendler returned earlier this year with this song and an album. I don’t care much for the album but this song is amazing. Much like Flatline this song is a grower in the strongest sense of the word. When I first heard it, I thought it was terrible. I thought the speaky-bits were just embarrassing and the death of pop music. But then I heard the chorus playing in Swansea and I fell in love with this song. A proper summer song. Mendler may be a Disney star failing to make herself into a popstar but a nice song or two down the line is nice of her isn’t it.
7. Boys Will Be Boys – The Dolly Rockers
Most of you will probably not know who The Dolly Rockers are. They are a girlband. They appeared on the X Factor ages back and one member left, one joined, one got kicked out and the one that left came back and basically that’s that. The ‘original’ The Dolly Rockers had a song a few years ago called Gold Digger which was alright but this, Boys Will Be Boys, was going to be their second single. They were dropped because the single flopped but make no mistake; this song is amazing. Dark, brooding, guitars, harmonies this song is amazing. The ‘new’ The Dolly Rockers were signed to RedOne (of Bad Romance fame) and his label but I think that’s gone wrong so they’re on the X Factor again this year. Which is a shame. This single is amazing, as is a new song they chucked online a few days ago – One More.
8. One Touch – Mini Viva
Mini Viva were brilliant. Yes, they ‘were’ because they split up like 3 years ago. But let’s not dwell on that shall we? You probably know their debut single, Left My Heart In Tokyo, as, let’s face it, it was amazing and it was played absolutely everywhere. But then they put off their single releases for a bit, it all went downhill and they sadly split up. But let’s not dwell on this. It is, after all, all about the music. And this song could be described as utter perfection. Produced by the geniuses at Xenomania – Girls Aloud’s main producers – the song is a stomping 80’s inspired disco-pop smash with a chorus that would make Lady Gaga shake in her meat-drenched stilettos.
9. About A Girl – Sugababes
Since the ‘old’ Sugababes have now really got back together again (all windows in all toilets of every restaurant will be barred to make sure Siobhan can’t escape again) there was a bit of a kerfuffle when it turned out that Jade Ewen – the girl who sang at Eurovision and did a really good solo single and got recruited in to replace Keisha – thinks the Sugababes won’t be getting back together again. Now they may have, in recent years, got their reputation trampled upon with the below-par albums and the changing members but let us remember that these ‘new’ babes weren’t so bad after all. They did sing this song – About A Girl. And it is, for all intensive purposes, amazing. Amazing beat. Amazing singing. Amazing chorus that Keisha, bless her soul, probably couldn’t have sung on; so thank you, Jade. Anyway. RIP Sugababes – let’s just forget about Get Sexy on the ‘Greatest Hits’ shall we?
10. Little Nikki Says – Little Nikki
Newer than new music alert, everyone. Little Nikki used to be part of a girlband but now she is not. Now she is a solo singer who has made the brave choice of naming her debut solo single after herself. And I used to only think Chico could pull this kind of stunt off. But don’t be fazed by the (kind of cheesy) name – this song is amazing. You may have heard it on that new BooHoo advert. If not, turn your telly on and wait for that advert to come on. You will be loving it.
11. Crazy Chick/Call My Name – Charlotte Church
Only the other day Charlotte Church announced that she had been considered quite recently for a spot on the X Factor judging panel but had declined because the producers didn’t want to give her any sort of ‘creative control’ over the contestants. Which isn’t really fair is it? But, this got me thinking; didn’t Charlotte Church used to be a really good popstar? Well, the answer is yes. Yes, she did. Of course, Crazy Chick should have been number one and its amazingness still stands tall today but upon my re-discovering of Call My Name (no, not that Cheryl ‘Cheryl’ Cole song), Charlotte Church’s brilliance as a popstar returns.
12. We Can’t Stop – Miley Cyrus
Because it’s always nice to hear what a number one single sounds like isn’t it?
Have a listen to them and get back to me if you think they’re good (they are).
Related Article: The 10 Songs You Need To Hear