Tag Archives: Icona Pop

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe. All my Songs of the Week are featured on my Top of the Poptastic playlist, along with the rest of my faves from 2017.

Ask any Scandi music fan about the reality TV format that the UK needs to import, and they’ll instantly answer: Så mycket bättre. The show, which is approaching the end of its eighth season in Sweden, is based on a Dutch series. Seven successful artists live together for eight days, takings turns to perform each other’s songs in front of the original performer. The cover versions are released as singles, and every year the show produces several hits – some of the biggest and best have included Mikrofonkåt by September and One Last Time by Miriam Bryant. This year’s line-up was particularly strong on current pop acts, including Eric Saade, Sabina Ddumba and Icona Pop. The latter provided the standout performances in my opinion, managing to make every song sound like something they would have released. I was particularly excited when indie-pop artist Moneybrother’s week came around and I saw they’d been given his only hit, the poptastic They’re Building Walls Around Us. This song brings back great memories of when indie-pop music was actually a going concern – and the best stuff was, of course, coming out of Scandinavia. The Icona Pop version of They’re Building Walls Around Us doesn’t have the same orchestral feel as the original, but their electro-pop take is just as anthemic, with an added dose of joyous bounciness. This will definitely appeal to any fans of I Love It and the girls’ other work.

 


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

I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of Cobra Starship before, even when they’ve collaborated with cool girls like Maja from The Sounds, but I thought I’d give them one more chance when they teamed up with Icona Pop. Surprisingly, in the words of Caroline and Aino themselves, I love it! And not just the Icona Pop bits. Never Been In Love is a really fun, catchy and anthemic pop song, complete with “na-na”s, “hey”s and “ooh-ooh”s, and a familiar sample. It’s the same piano riff sampled in Praise You by Fatboy Slim.


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

This week’s Future Hits playlist features five great girl pop songs, which could be big hits in the next few weeks.

Tracklisting:

  • Icona Pop – All Night
  • Katy B – 5am
  • Cher Lloyd ft. T.I – I Wish
  • Little Mix – Move
  • Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball

Posted in association with 4Music.

This summer has brought us big pop singles from all over the world. Here are some of my favourite hits of the season, plus a few upcoming releases I’ve been enjoying when the sun has popped up (and even more when I’ve been shut away indoors).

Icona Pop – I Love It

I have a high tolerance for shouty girl singers, so I was always going to be a fan of I Love It, but the fact that it also has a great pop melody and highly quotable lyrics meant the rest of the world fell in love with it too. The former members of Shampoo and Bow Wow Wow looked on with pride as it finally topped the charts in the UK a year after its original Swedish release, and went on to rack up over 40 million YouTube views.

Naughty Boy ft. Sam Smith – La La La

Naughty Boy launched his Hotel Cabana album campaign with one of the dullest songs of the year, Wonder, and his hit rate as a producer is pretty poor (how many of these are on your ipod?) but with La La La he finally earned a bit of respect. It’s incredibly infectious and I love the lyrical concept of singing “la la la” to block out words you don’t want to hear. Fun fact: This song was co-written with two members of Blazin’ Squad!

Katy Perry – Roar

I received shocked responses when I recently tweeted that Roar is only the fourth Katy Perry song I actively enjoy. Although I liked the Part of Me documentary, I have no particular connection or loyalty to her as a pop star. But she has been a vehicle for a few great songs and I think Roar is a strong comeback. It’s generic enough to feel familiar, and the quality of songwriting, especially the uplifting chorus, makes it an instant classic.

One Direction – Best Song Ever

I love an obnoxious song title and although I don’t think Best Song Ever is the actual best song ever, it is one of my favourites from One Direction. I love the metatextual concept of a song within a song, and the specific details such as “her name was Georgia Rose and her daddy was a dentist.” I’m still waiting for someone to write a song that goes “oh oh oh, yeah yeah yeah, ohhhh,” and claim it was the inspiration.

Neon Jungle – Trouble

I’m a little biased but it would be a lie to say I’ve listened to any song more this summer than Trouble by Neon Jungle. Amira, Asami, Jess and Shereen release their first single this weekend, and I think it’s the best girlband debut in years. I love that it’s less than three minutes long, like songs used to be in the ’60s. There isn’t a moment of filler: every second counts as the girls introduce themselves in a bright burst of energy.


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

Winter is nearly over, so it’s time to inject some pop fun back into the charts! Here are five songs I think could do just that.

Tracklisting:

  • Bridgit Mendler – Ready Or Not
  • Nelly – Hey Porsche
  • Icona Pop ft. Charli XCX – I Love It
  • Duke Dumont ft. A*M*E & MNEK – Need U (100%)
  • One Direction – One Way Or Another

The 5th Most Poptastic Single of 2012

Girls Aloud – Something New


Where’s something borrowed and something blue?

Released: 16th November
Writers: Brian Higgins, Wayne Hector, Tim Deal, Matt Gray, Carla Marie Williams
Trivia: I recently read Cheryl’s book My Story, and the section about her upbringing was surprisingly fascinating. One interesting fact from a bit later in the book was that Cheryl and Kimberley had planned to form a group even if they didn’t make it into Girls Aloud. If they had, which one of them would have ended up in Fanfair?
Best bits: 1. All I want is something new, something I can hold on to
2. Go girls, g-g-go go go, we girls gonna take controool… no no, we girls gonna run this!
3. We’re the leaders of the pack, tell me can you handle that?

The 4th Most Poptastic Single of 2012

Nicki Minaj – Starships


Parental advisory: Hideous gloves

Released: 14th February
Writers: Onika Maraj, Nadir Khayat, Carl Falk, Rami Yacoub, Wayne Hector
Trivia: It’s been a pretty good year for songwriter Wayne Hector: Two songs in my top five, and he got to collaborate with both RedOne and Xenomania, a feat only achieved by Kylie as far as I know (and her RedOne songs weren’t even released).
Best bits: 1. Starships were meant to fly, hands up and touch the sky
2. My name is Onika, you can call me Nicki
3. I ain’t paying my rent this month, I owe dat!

The 3rd Most Poptastic Single of 2012

Loreen – Euphoria


We could play noughts and crosses on her face

Released: 26th February
Writers: Thomas G:son, Peter Boström
Trivia: When this song reached no. 1 on UK iTunes, it was a very proud moment for me, proving the UK will be interested in a great Europop song if they are actually given the opportunity to hear it. Unfortunately the fun-hating music gatekeepers quickly pushed Loreen back out of the gate the public had sneaked her through, but at least we had our moment.
Best bits: 1. We’re going up-up-up-up-up-uhh-up!
2. Euphooooria
3. We’re higher and higher and higher, we’re reaching for divinityyyy-oh

The 2nd Most Poptastic Single of 2012

Icona Pop ft. Charli XCX – I Love It


Is that an Eiffel Tower tattoo?

Released: 9th May
Writers: Patrik Berger, Charlotte Aitchison & Linus Eklöw
Trivia: Icona Pop had been dropped from their UK label Mercury when they put out this track in Sweden, but have been re-signed by their rivals Atlantic off the back of its brilliance. Good pop saves the day!
Best bits: 1. You’re from the seventies, but I’m a nineties bitch
2. I crashed my car into the bridge… I don’t care! I love it! I don’t care!
3. I got this feeling on the summer day when you were gone


This week marks a year since the very first Future Pop mailer! In that time many of the artists, including Conor Maynard, Rita Ora, fun. and Carly Rae Jepsen, have become major chart stars, while others are currently speeding along to the highway to success. Here’s an update on their progress…

  • Gabrielle Aplin is currently riding high on iTunes with her cover of The Power of Love, featured in the 2012 John Lewis Christmas advert.
  • The Neighbourhood play their first UK gig this week. I’m very excited!
  • Haim signed to Polydor and are working on their debut album, which will be preceded by new single Don’t Save Me, their poppiest yet.
  • Loreen went on to win Eurovision, and had a hit all over Europe with Euphoria. Highlight of the musical year for me!
  • Azealia Banks led a new surge of female rappers, and performed in an aquarium. She may as well retire now, what else is left to achieve?

  • Icona Pop were deservedly saved from the dumper by Atlantic/Big Beat, who signed them after they were dropped from Mercury, and they just released a new EP.
  • Naughty Boy recently hit the top 10 with his single Wonder, featuring Emeli Sandé.
  • Angel also had a top 10 hit with a similarly named track, Wonderful, and appears on a new single for Children In Need with Stooshe and Fazer.
  • Jake Bugg had a no.1 album, but I regretted featuring him in Future Pop after he turned out to be a bit of an idiot.
  • Sam Adams is featured on the new single Finally Found You by Enrique Iglesias, and recently performed on 90210.

  • After American Idol, Jessica Sanchez signed to Interscope, featured on a new song Jump In by apl.de.ap and won a part on Glee. Yay! Preview one of her new album tracks Fairytale here.
  • Two Future Pop artists are soon to release a song together, L Marshall (who is now signed to Mercury) and Little Nikki.
  • Madeon is working with Lady Gaga on music for her new album, and I have decided he is my future husband (when he’s old enough) after reading this interview.
  • X Factor alumni Misha B and Amelia Lily both hit the top 10, but didn’t do as well as Little Mix or their mentor Tulisa, who both debuted at no.1.
  • Sam and the Womp and PSY also reached no.1 with their debut singles, but like Tulisa may have difficulty staying at the top. Can they be more than one hit wonders?

Future Pop is a weekly email featuring the hottest new pop songs and artists that you need to know about. Subscribe here then read on, listen up and make sure you tweet me @poptastic to let me know what you think of my picks!

Future Stars

 
 
Azealia Banks has hardly established herself and already there are several girl rappers on her heels, aiming for the same “indie kids who want to seem multicultural” market. Dominique is certainly following this route, with support from The Guardian and Stereogum – her latest video even premiered on This Is Fake DIY! She recently announced she's signed a worldwide deal with Sony, and with her colourful, fashionable look and animated, cutesy rapping style, she's definitely got what it takes to make an impact on the charts.
 
 
 
A few months ago it was rumoured that Swedish girl duo Icona Pop were close to being dropped from Mercury Records, showing why most alternative pop acts wait for breakthrough success before signing to a major, so they don't have to compete with acts with more obvious commercial appeal. I haven't had any confirmation from the label or act as to what happened in the end but if they were dropped I think Mercury may regret it, as Icona Pop's exuberant new single I Love It is rapidly winning over fans in the pop and indie worlds. If it gets the mainstream exposure it deserves, it could be a huge hit.
 
 
 
Following the success of Rudimental, their labelmates at indie label Black Butter, The Other Tribe have signed to Relentless (part of Sony, also home to Misha B) and could well have a summer dance hit of their own on the way. Within just a few months, their latest single Skirts has generated huge online buzz and earned them slots at festivals including Isle of Wight and Bestival. Their sound is creative dance music with bloke appeal and memorable lyrics that would fit perfectly on Radio 1, although their try-hard outfits and slight novelty factor makes me think they might not have that much longevity.

 

Future Hits

This week's playlist features five songs by international artists that I think could be huge hits if they were released and promoted in the UK:
 
 
Tracklisting:
  • Dab & Sissa – Life (Rule The World)
  • Hedley – Kiss You Inside Out
  • Kidd Russell – Are We Having Fun Yet
  • Michael Mind Project ft. Dante Thomas – Feeling So Blue
  • Simple Plan ft. Sean Paul – Summer Paradise
Thanks for reading – I'll be back next Monday with more Future Pop! In the meantime don't forget to email and tweet me with your thoughts on the songs and artists above, and any suggestions for next week. Plus it would be great if you spread the word about Future Pop to anyone you think might enjoy it and encourage them to subscribe for more.