Song of the Week: Aura – Indian Giver

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It’s been a few years since Shakira has released anything poptastic, but luckily Danish pop starAura is here to pick up the slack. Formerly known as Aura Dione, she released a series of very enjoyable songs in the early 2010s, including Geronimo and Friends. Now she’s back, simply as Aura, with another brilliant single. Indian Giver appears on the latest New Music Friday playlist on Spotify, and is expected to appear on her forthcoming third album, along with recent single Love Somebody. Indian Giver has Aura’s distinctive style, but combines it with the Euro-Diplo sound of 2016. Oh, and that bit where it sounds like she’s singing about someone called Roy in the chorus? Well, she actually is! Yes, this song includes the lyric: “Tell Roy and his trusty old trigger I’m an Indian giver.” Gotta love those quirky Europeans.

Future Hits: If you’re feeling me put your five high

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My weekly playlist features five tracks I predict will be future hit singles in the UK.

Tracklisting:

  • Nevada ft. Mark Morrison & Fetty Wap – The Mack
  • Gavin James – Nervous (The Ooh Song) (Mark McCabe Remix)
  • Fifth Harmony – That’s My Girl
  • Disciples – Daylight
  • Kent Jones – Alright

For more Future Hits, subscribe to my  Spotify playlist, updated weekly with the next big thing.

Future Stars: Lil Yachty (Capitol/Motown/Quality Control)

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His name may sound like something from Jimmy Kimmel’s Lie Witness News, but Lil Yachty really is a hot contender for the next big thing in hip-hop. The 19-year-old rapper, singer and songwriter from Atlanta first came to my attention in May when he collaborated with Kylie Jenner (it was basically clickbait… songbait? She wasn’t actually singing). He’s also connected to her brother-in-law Kanye West, as he modelled for the Yeezy fashion line in February. Since then he’s signed to Universal (in partnership with independent label Quality Control) and had a couple of breakthrough moments. He features on the US top 20 hit Broccoli by D.R.A.M, while the trippy video for his own single 1Night has over 25 million views. Both songs feature Lil Yachty (aka Miles Parks McCollum)’s distinctive sluggish, autotuned vocals, totally tuneless but somehow catchy – much like the mystery of Fetty Wap. He’s already collaborated with Post Malone and Chance the Rapper, and I suspect he may be among the most sought-after featured artists for the rest of 2016.

Future Stars: Liv Dawson (Method Records)

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It’s almost October, which means it’s time for the PR machine to kick in for the artists hoping to make the BBC Sound of 2017 and Brits Critics Choice lists. 18-year-old British singer Liv Dawson is a definite contender. Although she released her first single through Method Records only three months ago, Liv has been building up to this moment for much longer. She’s been in development with Rocket Music management since 2013, and playing live since the age of 13 – she even released a single through an independent label in 2012, though I doubt it’ll make it onto her Wikipedia page. Unfortunately this dress may take a little longer to fade into internet obscurity! She’s still independent now, but her label Method Records is owned by Disclosure, and she’s working with top producers like Jimmy Napes and SG Lewis. Liv’s new music showcases her pure vocals, thoughtful lyrics and a subtle sound that is mature beyond her years. Latest release Reflection is her most commercial yet, and I believe we’ll be hearing a lot about Liv in the coming months, but I do fear she may end up in the same place as artists like Frances and Jones, stuck in the gap between Radio 1 and Radio 2.

 

Song of the Week: K.I.D – Errors

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If you, like me, spent a lot of last year listening to Best Coast’s poptastic sell-out moment,Feeling OK, you’ll certainly enjoy Errors by Canadian duo K.I.D. It’s strikingly similar in style (grungey garage-pop) and theme (quarter-life crisis). The singer also sounds very much like Lady Gaga, which means it could count as a preview for the rumoured indie sound she’s going for on the new album. The near-ungoogleable band (even searching for K.I.D Errors brings up stuff like this… an admittedly enjoyable distraction) is made up of Kara Lane and Chris Rabba. They are signed to Columbia US/RCA UK, and Errors is the lead single from their forthcoming debut album. They had a previous life as The Boom Boom, then finally made a breakthrough with 2014’s catchy guitar-pop tune I Wish I Was Your Cigarette, and now they’re working with Wolf Alice/The 1975 producer Mike Crossey on their album. Pop singer/songwriter Allie X is also credited on numerous tracks. They’re playing a free gig in London next month, so if this has intrigued you, I’ll see you there.

Future Hits: You give me the whole damn zoo

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My weekly playlist features five tracks I predict will be future hit singles in the UK.

Tracklisting:

  • Calvin Harris – My Way
  • Emeli Sandé – Hurts
  • Aminé – Caroline
  • Hailee Steinfeld ft. Grey & Zedd – Starving
  • James Arthur – Say You Won’t Let Go

For more Future Hits, subscribe to my  Spotify playlist, updated weekly with the next big thing.

Future Stars: Raye (Polydor)

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Rachel Keen, aka Raye, is a cool pop artist making cool pop music. Some of her tracks are even quite enjoyable to us uncool pop fans. I’m not convinced she’s the future pop star that the music industry seems to be anticipating (let’s chat again when she has at least one Twitter fan account and a song they might play on Capital), but I am intrigued to see what her campaign is building up to. Is there a chart-friendly tune at the end of all this careful positioning, or in other words, does she have a King? The 18-year-old Londoner studied at the BRIT School, and first made an impact in 2014 with the Hype Machine hit Hotbox. Rather than jumping into a record deal, she kept releasing new songs on Soundcloud, and fortunately the hype didn’t die down – she signed a deal with Polydor a few months later. Her music is electro-R&B, with 90s references, yet still somehow futuristic. Recent single I, U, Us was co-written with talented Swede Noonie Bao and Charli XCX, who also directed the video. It’s featured on her EP, Second (yes, it’s her second EP), along with another track that’s worth a listen, Shhh.

 

Future Stars: Gallant (Warner Bros.)

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When I heard Gallant’s song Bourbon for the first time last week on Radio 1, it sounded so commercial and polished, I assumed it was a big comeback single by an established male R&B star like Usher, The Weeknd or Miguel. I then made the surprising discovery that the song was by a new artist, and had been around for 6 months already. I quickly had to catch up on everything Gallant, so concisely I can tell you his name is Christopher Gallant, he’s 24, based in LA and he released his debut album Ology in May to great critical acclaim (again, how did I miss all this?). He also made a passionate performance on Jimmy Fallon that earned him a standing ovation. He takes influence from R&B and alt-rock, resulting in his alt-R&B sound, and clearly wants to appeal to a broad range of music fans as he’s toured with indie blogger fave Sufjan Stevens and EDM artist Zhu (with whom he shares management), and released a cover of Foo Fighters’ Learn To Fly. He was in the Live Lounge today – it hadn’t happened yet when I was writing this, but you people in the future should be able to watch/listen to it here.

Song of the Week: Adiam – Immaculate

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One of my favourite artists of 2009 was Adiam Dymott, who released songs including the brilliant Memory Loss and Miss You. She had some success in her home country of Sweden, but sadly faded into obscurity soon after. I was very excited, therefore, to discover earlier this year that she was not only back with new music, but had actually signed to Capitol Records in the US. As yet her new album Black Wedding, released simply under the name Adiam, hasn’t had much recognition. She’s moved on from the sassy, grungey indie-pop of her debut album to a more current sound that verges on electro-R&B, but Black Wedding showcases the same beautiful voice and songwriting style I always loved. It’s a really strong album (working best as a whole, much like her debut) but the immediate standout was Immaculate. It begins with majestic strings, leading into dreamy vocals and catchy hooks. There’s something special about this girl, and I’m so happy to have her back.

Future Hits: I am the greatest, hey this is the proof

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

My weekly playlist features five tracks I predict will be future hit singles in the UK.

Tracklisting:

  • Sia ft. Kendrick Lamar – The Greatest
  • Lady Gaga – Perfect Illusion
  • Craig David & Sigala – Ain’t Giving Up
  • Nick Jonas ft. Ty Dolla $ign – Bacon
  • Wilkinson ft. Karen Harding – Sweet Lies

For more Future Hits, subscribe to my  Spotify playlist, updated weekly with the next big thing.