New Pop Alert: Jake Bugg, Bim, Baiyu, Krewella, Parralox featuring Ryan Adamés, Kim Smith, Pip, and Nick


Jake Bugg “Two Fingers”

Though he’s already had a #1 album in the UK, I’m hoping for big things in North America for 19 year old folk/rock singer Jake Bugg.  He recently performed several showcases at SXSW and his self-titled album will be released here in April.  Ahead of this is a clever lyrics video for “Two Fingers”.  There’s an interesting contrast between the lyrics and the two children in the video, though there is a worthy theme of putting things behind you and moving on to something better that drives the song along.  Jake’s voice stands out in a crowd, his songs are catchy and one-of-a-kind, and I think he should be headlining some club dates in North America during the year.


Bim “Stop You”

UK duo Bim, one of my 13 Performers To Watch For ’13, continue to be on a roll with the songs that they are releasing in anticipation of a full sophomore album.  The ride hasn’t stopped since last Fall’s Lifelines EP release.  Following their recent astute and different interpretation of Chris de Burgh’s “Lady In Red” comes more gripping and emotional pop that they perform so well with “Stop You”.  Rebecca and Denmark have amazing connection that few other duos possess, which always makes their songs such a treat, even if they sometimes send you on a rollercoaster ride, you come back feeling all the better for it!  “Stop You” will be available as a free download from Bim’s website


Baiyu “Surface”

Another of my 13 Performers to Watch For ’13 is New York chanteuse Baiyu.  She never fails do deliver a quality song, and continues to release something new for free download each month.  “Surface” is aggressive mid-tempo EDM along the lines of the title song of her last mixtape Hunter.  That she continues to mix it up style-wise shows her diversity and desire to appeal beyond a traditional pop audience.  If these top notch recordings continue, they will take Baiyu and her amazing voice to the next level.


Krewella “Alive” (Pegboard Nerds Remix)

Chicago dance trio Krewella are out to conquer with their latest release as they make their way across North American slaying audiences in concert.  “Alive” is one of the most boisterous rock/EDM songs to come along in 2013 that looks like it will also be a proper pop crossover hit.  The video of this vibrant remix is nothing short of joyful unbridled chaos.  Watch below.



Parralox featuring Ryan Adamés, “Silent Morning” 

I already wrote about “Silent Morning”, the mid 80s freestyle pop hit by Noel, as covered by Aussie duo Parralox, back in January.  What will now be the official release of the single features handsome L.A. singer Ryan Adamés in a pairing sure to cause intense dancefloor bliss.  In fact you can catch Parralox and Ryan performing in Miami tomorrow night at Twist Sound Beach to launch this sparkling rework.


Kim Smith “Jealous Out Of My Head” (Midi-D’s Bootleg Mashup)

It’s a brilliant idea – blend New York-based Aussie singer Kim Smith’s pop-savvy “Jealous” with “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” by fellow Aussie Kylie Minogue.  The Vibe Kings remix is every so deserving of big city club play, but so is this mashup, which will keep heads spinning while feet dance merrily away into the night.

Cue two more inspired cover versions!


First up, we have season two contestant from The Voice, 20 year old Pip, who has his ear to the radio and provides a beautiful soulful edge to his version of none other than Chris Wallace’s “Remember When (Push Rewind)”.  He and his band mates take a few liberties with some of the choice of instruments they use to support Pip on the song, but the spirit of the song is more than intact.  Good on you, Pip!  Pip’s 6 song EP No Formalities is currently available on iTunes.


Second, I get to post this the day before the official release of The 20/20 Experience by Justin Timberlake.  There’s no one better suited-and-tied (hence an older pic of him above) to cover “Suit & Tie” than sweet-voiced Nick, in anticipation of his own upcoming project.  I’m actually hoping that JT himself gets to hear this version – even though it sounds a bit rough in spots, Nick’s vocal finesse (including the rap) just nails it and the man himself would be proud of that.

Autumn Popervescence #1 featuring Girls Aloud, Rogue, Matthew Koma, Pip, Gentlemen Hall, Lawson, Alphabeat, Tao Hypah, and Ruby Rose

GIRLS ALOUD, “Something New”

It’s interesting that after the solo success of Cheryl Cole and the critical acclaim received by Nicola Roberts for her record that the English-Irish five have reunited for their 10th anniversary, with a new hits compilation called Ten on deck. But perhaps with some improvements to their vocals over the years along with some contemporary creativity, now is the time to reinvent Girls Aloud. And they’ve done just that with “Something New”, a plush-sounding house-influenced song (also, by the way, a charity single for Children In Need) that is pretty much irresistible, this coming from someone who has been hard to convince that these gals were more than just Spice Girls-lite. “Something New” puts all of those thoughts aside and North American attention should be more than forthcoming this time around. Kudos to the gals and their team for going big, hard and international this time!

ROGUE, “Girls Anthem”

You take a look at Girls Aloud nouvelles and then see another UK foursome called Rogue knocking on the same door, and you wonder what Rogue might sound like in 10 years. “Girls Anthem” is a great start because it comes on huge from the get-go, both with sound, vocals, and personality. And that’s pretty critical when this gal-pop sound can sound so similar from group to group. Watch below and be convinced.

MATTHEW KOMA, “Parachute”

In the guy-pop department, New York’s Matthew Koma has it made in spades. Outside of a number of Swedish male vocalists, Matthew is the go-to-guy for a captivating featured vocal on electronic dance songs like Zedd’s massive “Spectrum”, Fedde LeGrand’s “Sparks”, and Alesso’s “Years”. But that’s not enough, because aside from these rich productions, the music of Matthew Koma is rooted in pop, and “Parachute” is Major Pop 2012, a fantastic Fall love song that should be all over radio in the coming months. You can also get another delight as a free download from Matthew’s website called “Neon Red” when you subscribe to his mailing list. This is one singer headed for superstardom.

PIP, “Who Cares”

I’m quite convinced that while the TV show “The Voice” is a great showcase for new voices, too many singers get sabotaged by song choices that don’t focus on their real vocal appeal. I’m interested to see how this affects this season’s crew, but last year fine singers like Brian Fuente, Jamar Rogers, and Pip among others did not go perhaps as far as they should have. Pip (aka 20 year old Phillip Andrew Arnold from Georgia), he of the trademark white suspenders, bowtie, and sneakers, arrives with a soulful and punchy song with a smart lyrical video called “Who Cares”. It’s a real ear-opener for those who enjoyed his performances on “The Voice”, and perhaps the untied bowtie is a sign of some great and unexpected flavour to come.

LAWSON, “Standing In The Dark”

In these days of global accessibility to music, I just don’t understand the barriers with releasing music, at least in the western part of the hemisphere. So this week we see the long-awaited UK release of the album Chapman Square by UK quartet Lawson, who have already had significant success in the UK with “When She Was Mine” and “Taking Over Me”. But despite opening for The Wanted on some US dates earlier this year, Chapman Square does not appear slated for North American release. And while the band deserves high UK chart debuts, they don’t deserve the quick vanishing acts from the charts that might characterize them with an overly loyal fanbase like other UK acts such as McFly and Busted. “Standing In The Dark” is another refreshing slice of pop that shows that Lawson is a tight unit with a great way with words, and whose music has broad appeal, more like Graffiti6 or Lifehouse for example. Watch the video below.


Since catching Gentlemen Hall in concert earlier this year, they have become one of my most-played bands with their diverse harmonies, thoughtful lyrics, and astute musicianship. “Golden Age”, now available to hear on Soundcloud, joins “Makes Me Feel Alive” in whetting your appetite for the Boston sextet’s next release. This one has progressive rock trappings mixed with electronic pop, with lots of room for a flute solo/breakdown midway – a kind of out-of-nowhere mix of styles that truly draws you in and keeps you listening. Listen below and keep your eyes on their Soundcloud page for more new songs.  This song will be large and in charge in live performance.


Danish electronic collective Alphabeat have been finding many fans since 2007, but to me their music seems to be coming into its own at last with the release of “Love Sea”, from their forthcoming third album Express Non-Stop. It’s a precious blast of happy pop to brighten up your Autumn, boosted by an entertaining travelogue of a video featuring many of my favourite places that I’ve visited over the years. “Love Sea” is also available for free download in various remixes by the likes of FrankMusik, Android Orchestra (a sunny “tropical” mix), and Sound Of Arrows, who tackle the songs in some quite unanticipated interpretations. Overall this is splendid pop deserving of international success.

TAO HYPAH, “Play The Girl”

Raj at EQMusic Blog has unmistakeable great taste in music and has been touting Amsterdam-based singer Tao Hypah for some time now. After appearing on the essential This Beat Is…Poptronik Volume One compilation earlier this year with “Celeb” (which got to #3 on my chart), Tao Hypah is back with the highly provocative “Play The Girl”. And it’s not just the gender-bending lyrics which will grab your attention. The well-directed video below with all of its colours, style and choreography, along with the melody which has a positively massive hook, leave “Play The Girl” embedded in your head so that multiple viewings and listens are required. In some ways it reminds me of Kyle Brylin’s equally suggestive “Everything I’m Missing” from last year – no matter what your personal preferences, you can’t help but listen and watch. This is a great showcase for the talented Tao Hypah – can’t wait for more!

RUBY ROSE featuring GARY GO, “Guilty Pleasure” (Young Skeeter remix)

Australian VJ, model and singer Ruby Rose is in the process of recording her debut album, and our introduction to it is “Guilty Pleasure”, featuring versatile UK singer Gary Go, he of 2009’s gorgeous “Wonderful” and last year’s Grammy-winning Benny Benassi collabo “Cinema”. Their voices create a lovely bit of vocal foreplay here before the song bursts wide open into spun-out dancefloor bliss. Listen below and play loud.