If you've seen my posts in the "What Are You Listening to Right Now" and "Official Music Topic" you'd know I like and listen to a lot of music. Also, if you've seen my posts there you'd know that I don't necessarily have the best taste in music. Regardless, in no particularly order, here is a list of the music I've been liking and listening to this year so far.
1. “Real Love” – Florrie
Florrie (English singer Florence Arnold) has been active in music for many years now and has released a lot of great, 80’s influenced, pop music, but her latest single “Real Love” (released just in time for Valentine’s Day) is her first song to be released by a major label serving as a first taste before her debut album comes out late this year. “Real Love” is an amazing pop love-ballad with good lyrics and Florrie’s usual stellar vocals. Just a side note, the song is just a little similar to Taylor Swift’s “Style” a song Florrie said she loved and has even covered.
2. “Hummingbird” – Kyla La Grange
An incredible electro-pop song about being, to quote Grange,
“…hovering between the different versions of yourself…about how having too many choices makes you dissatisfied because you always think you'd be happier if you'd chosen the thing you didn't choose, which usually isn't true…”
This has been one of my favorites since it came out in April and is a solid pick for one of the best songs of 2016. Give it a listen.
3. “In My Blood” – The Veronicas
The first new music to come from the Aussie rock/pop duo since their 2014 self-titled album. “In My Blood” is a different sound from what we’re used to from The Veronicas being the kind of dance pop you’d except to hear at night clubs or music houses, but regardless it’s an amazing dance song for the summer.
4. “Criminal + Dreamers” – Willa
A more obscure release from electro-pop Canadian new comer Willa (Ali Milner) who debuted her first single “Stay the Night” (Track 4) in 2014. This debut EP features 8 songs and overall makes for a very good listen; album opener “Swan” (which also has a radio edit at the EP’s end) is more rock-influenced with Willa belting out some defiant lyrics about not being eye-candy (I’m not a swan/pretty in the pond). The next two tracks “Criminal” and “Hey” as well as fifth track “Stare” are my favorites featuring some interesting and solid production and wonderful vocals from an artist who all fans of pop should keep an eye on.
5. “Hero” – Maren Morris
For whatever reason, most of my favorite LPs for each year are released in the second half of the year; which probably explains why this debut from Texas native Maren Morris is the only LP to be featured on this list. This is a solid country album with more to offer than just Morris’ breakout hit “My Church” (about the strong connection between music and driving) and follow up single “Rich”, which I would recommend particularly to fans of Kacey Musgraves. Favorite tracks include, “Sugar”, “80’s Mercedes”, and “Drunk Girls Don’t Cry”.
6. “Summer EP” – Cassadee Pope
I very much enjoyed Pope’s debut album “Frame by Frame” (2013) and eagerly anticipated her follow up album all of last year; whether the release of this EP is a sign the album is coming sooner or later is unknown to me. Either way, the four tracks presented here are all very good and very much what Cassadee Pope fans have been hoping for. Opening track “Summer” is a fun, upbeat, perfect for the summer song, but I personally prefer either “Piano” or “Alien” for their superior writing. Third track “Kisses at Airports” is the only genuine low point for me, but is still fine; a great EP overall.
7. “Bella Goldwin”
Another debut EP from a rising Canadian female pop artist; the really outstanding track here is opener “Higher Than Life”, which is a deeply moving, atmospheric song, about death and wishing to be reunited with a lost loved one. The performance here by Goldwin is absolutely amazing and is the heart of this incredibly sentimental and touching song. The rest of the EP also features the artist’s quality vocals (except for the third track, which is almost entirely instrumental) and good song writing; definitely worth a listen.
8. “Bubblebath” – That Poppy
This is a very good debut EP that features four very fun pop songs. My personal favorite is "Money" although like I said this all quite good especially if you're a fan of less-serious kind of bubblegum pop. All in all a solid EP, which is definitely going to put me on the look at for future music from this artist.
The marvelously talented band that defies genre description and released one of my favorite albums from 2015 (“Every Open Eye”) released a good song for the video game “Mirror’s Edge Catalyst” called “Warning Call” written from the perspective of the game’s heroine. They also just came out with a different version of one of the best tracks off their last album, but this time featuring none other than Hayley Williams the front woman for rock stalwart Paramore; both these songs our definitely worth a listen.
That’s what I’ve been listening to and loving so far this year, again like I said most of my favorite music is released in the second half of the year, but still I’m both pretty happy with the music that’s come out this year and also very optimistic for the future. Speaking of the future, I’m greatly anticipating three LPs in particular from pop stars Tove Lo and Charli XCX as well as from the amazing pop/rock sister band HAIM.