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

Syco have been trying to launch their next big pop group for a while, and several projects seem to have fallen by the wayside over the past couple of years, but this one has real potential. Pretty Much are a new five-piece boyband based in LA, formed by label scouts and recently signed to a joint deal with Syco and Columbia. It’s ironic that the only company that has managed to create a viable boyband that isn’t a rip off of One Direction is 1D’s label. They’ve taken on the challenge of reinterpreting *N Sync for a new generation, and although their success will hinge on the quality of their music and marketing, the raw materials are all present and correct: dance skills, vocal harmonies, charisma, style and chemistry. They lack a strong lead singer, as their voices are generally indistinct and a little weak, but that’s my only criticism so far. The band is made up of Austin Porter (19), Brandon Arreaga (17), Edwin Honoret (18), Nick Mara (19) and Zion Kiwonu (17). They’ve been posting dance videos and acapella covers on social media, and have grown a large following on Instagram (where some of the members had an existing fanbase), but nowhere else. Nonetheless, the fan engagement is plain to see, and they’re already leaving rivals such as Island’s underwhelming Citizen Four in the dust.