Song of the Week: Tula – Another Kind of Red

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Spotify can be a brilliant place to discover new music, but you have to skip through a lot of generic, half-hearted electro-pop to find a gem. Luckily, this does mean it’s easy for those special songs to stand out. That’s exactly what happened with Another Kind of Red. I had never heard of Tula, but was excited by this track as it reminded me of several of my most beloved Swedish artists, including Hello Saferide and Robyn. It turns out that not only is Tula a Swedish band (though they’re based in Berlin), but the song is actually produced by Robyn’s regular collaborator Klas Åhlund, who worked on many of her best songs (Be Mine!, Handle Me, Call Your Girlfriend etc.). His influence is very evident, but Another Kind of Red also has a distinct identity which gives me great hope for Tula’s future. You may know their previous single Riveror their Wicked Game cover, but this new release signifies a step in a much more promising, poptastic direction.

Future Hits: Don’t be surprised, I will still rise

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

Tracklisting:

  • Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber & MØ – Cold Water
  • Katy Perry – Rise
  • Snakehips ft. Zayn – Cruel
  • 5 Seconds of Summer – Girls Talk Boys
  • Lee Walker & DJ Deeon ft. Katy B – Freak Like Me

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

Future Stars: Oliver Nelson (Polydor/Perfect Havoc)

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I first heard of Oliver Nelson, a 26-year-old DJ from Stockholm, when he transformed Kim Cesarion’s initially uninteresting single Undressed into a disco-pop triumph. Although the track wasn’t a big hit, it was Oliver’s first step towards becoming a Soundcloud star. His first viral moment was his uplifting How Will I Know remix, showcasing his ability to liven up a song without destroying its original structure and qualities. Now Oliver has had an impressive six no.1s on the Hype Machine, and has been called upon to create official remixes for acts including Zayn, Blonde and Mikky Ekko. With a record deal with Polydor in place, he’s now releasing original tracks. New single Changes, featuring the sweet vocals of British singerRiver (who also appears on the rival version of Fast Car by Tobtok, which lost out to Jonas Blue earlier this year), clearly states his intentions to hit the charts with a very current, quirky dance-pop sound.

Future Stars: EDEN (Astralwerks)

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From listening to Irish electro-indie artist EDEN, you’d never guess he was the latest protegée of the team behind Justin Bieber. But in some ways, he weirdly fits the bill – he’s a young, talented male artist with a striking look and a fast-growing online following. EDEN, formerly known as The Eden Project, is 20-year-old classically-trained musician Jonathon Ng (or Jonathon Lei Ming as he is also sometimes known), who was raised in Dublin and Hong Kong. He caught the attention of the music industry when he moved from dubstep and drum and bass to a more alternative sound with 2015 EP End Credits, like a gloomier Bastille. He’s also known for his dark and brooding cover of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean. His songs soon built up millions of plays on Spotify and Soundcloud, which led to a sold out Spring 2016 tour, and he’s now promoting his next EP with a series of single releases. The first of these new songs, titled Sex, attracted praise from Lorde, befitting EDEN’s edgy, introverted style.

Song of the Week: Sing Street – Drive it Like You Stole It

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Even if you’re a fan of musicals, you might not have heard of Sing Street, as it has pretty much flown under the radar. The Irish film was released in cinemas earlier this year, written and directed by John Carney (the man behind Once and Begin Again). It’s very low key and simple, quite the opposite of musicals like Grease and Hairspray, but it’s fun and charming in its own way. The story focuses on a teenage boy who starts a band to impress a girl, and I loved how throughout the film they changed their look and sound to reflect different trends, inspired by various bands of the time. It was a nice way to symbolise how teenagers try on lots of different identities before settling on their own. The songs overall are pretty good, but there was one which particularly stood out, the catchy upbeat number Drive It Like You Stole It. I’m sure this wasn’t the intention at all, but the song combined with the video really give me flashbacks to A1’s Ready or Not (that’s a good thing). It also sounds like my favourite Stevie Wonder song Part Time Lover.

Future Hits: You feel a little younger and you begin to wonder

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

Tracklisting:

  • Olly Murs – You Don’t Know Love
  • Møme ft. Merryn Jeann – Aloha
  • Becky Hill & Matoma – False Alarm
  • Calum Scott – Dancing On My Own
  • Tinie Tempah ft. Wizkid – Mamacita

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

Future Stars: Against The Current (Fueled by Ramen/Atlantic)

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Against The Current is an American pop-rock trio fronted by YouTube star Chrissy Costanza. The 20-year-old singer uploads beauty videos and vlogs to her personal channel, and regularly collaborates with hugely popular YouTubers Alex Goot and Kurt Hugo Schneider. As a group, they’ve also uploaded lots of fun rocked-up covers of pop songs, such as Shake It Off and I Really Like You. The group is from New York, but so far they’re biggest in Japan, where they’ve duetted with local singer Taka and performed on Japanese TV. After releasing several singles and EPs, they signed to top pop-rock label Fueled by Ramen last year, joining acts like Twenty One Pilots and Paramore on the roster, and released their debut album in May 2016. Now with a major label, their sound and videos are stronger and more commercial, and new single Wasteland is their most impressive yet. I’ve featured many female-fronted rock bands here, because I’m always pulling for them, and acts like PVRIS and Dorothy have done well, but never had mainstream chart hits. If anyone can finally make that leap, it could well be Against The Current. Last year they played London’s O2 Islington, and they’ll be back in October for a full UK tour.

Future Stars: Tayler Buono (Unsigned)

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Of all the YouTube stars, Tayler Buono isn’t the most popular. Her video for new single Technically Single has only had 20k views in 10 days. But what she has that most YouTubers lack is the potential to be more; to make waves outside of the YouTube fan community, and to be heard on the radio and in the charts. Case in point: the single has already passed a million plays on Spotify and topped the US viral chart. Its appeal reminds me of Daya’s song Hideaway, as both express a very relatable feeling in a simple, youthful way. Tayler’s track, about an undefined relationship, was inspired by text messages and a chat with a friend, and it shows in the song’s conversational feel. Although she has clear teen appeal, Tayler is 22, and this isn’t her first brush with fame. She was mentored by Joe Jonas on reality show The Next in 2012, and released a music video for single I Like. She’s since moved from Florida to Nashville, and developed a much cooler look and sound. After deleting her old videos, she started afresh with a new series of slick, stylish covers, and hit the jackpot with her ballad version of Justin Bieber’s Sorry, which has over four million views. Now the challenge is to achieve the same success with her original songs.

Song of the Week: Montaigne – Because I Love You

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Getting bored waiting for Marina and the Diamonds to release new music? This new Aussie pop song should fill the gap, and to borrow a phrase from Montaigne herself, this isn’t boring. Because I Love You is a bouncy tune with witty lyrics and a generally jolly yet edgy vibe. The young Sydney singer, born Jessica Cerro, has previously released the popular singles I’m a Fantastic Wreck and Clip My Wings, and is also known for featuring on the no.2 hit 1955 by rap group Hilltop Hoods. Her debut album Glorious Heights comes out next month, and as Because I Love You represents a step in a much poppier direction, I’m very intrigued to hear it.

Future Hits: Middle fingers up, put them hands high

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:

  • Demi Lovato – Body Say
  • Rihanna – Sledgehammer
  • Cheat Codes & Dante Klein – Let Me Hold You (Turn Me On)
  • Beyoncé – Sorry
  • Bob Marley ft. LVNDSCAPE & Bolier – Is This Love

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