April 2015 in pop music: most notable releases

Lianne La Havas Blood

The fourth month of 2015 already passed. As time flies, good pop music keeps coming our way as well. I listed the most notable releases and best songs released in April.

Lianne La Havas – Unstoppable
It is so good to hear the gorgeous voice of Lianne La Havas on new material. The singer unleashed ‘Unstoppable’, the first single of her second record, called Blood. After the impressive debut called ‘Is Your Big Enough?’, she goes for a fuller and bigger sound on the new single. The laidback vibe and her soulful vocals feel like a warm bath. The production sounds rich but never pushes her voice to the background. This pleasant track easily matches the highlights of her career so far and if ‘Unstoppable’ is anything to go by when it comes to the quality of her sophomore record, I am beyond excited.

Brandon Flowers – Still Want You and Lonely Town
The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers is in midst of promoting his second solo album called The Desired Effect out in May. He launched the amazing first single ‘Can’t Deny My Love’ full of retro eighties sounds last month and in April, he treated us to two new singles. First there was ‘Still Want You’, a catchy pop tune with a soulful vibe, that relies heavily on backing vocals in the chorus. ‘Lonely Town’ is a track that takes some time to build, but when the chorus comes on you probably are sold if you weren’t already bopping along to the eighties synths.

Katéa – That Ain’t Love
This is some fresh talent from Finland. Katéa, who is already being compared to the greats like Lana Del Rey and Florence + the Machine, just released her debut single ‘That Ain’t Love’ and it is a convincing piece of pop music. Her voice is strong and full of emotion, the production is bombastic with handclaps and choirs and most of all, the chorus is undeniably strong. This single proves Katéa is definitely one to watch.

Mariah Carey – Infinity
Mariah Carey is back with a big and bold break up anthem. As we all know, she divorced Nick Cannon, the father of her twins, last year and now she releases a song on how she is over her ex and wants to move on with her life. As she puts it, in the end nothing is forever and lasts to infinity. The track is quite a catchy and soulful ballad with Mariah’s typical high vocals (that she probably can’t pull off live anymore), but I can’t really see this becoming the big hit she needs after songs like ‘The Art of Letting Go’ and ‘You’re Mine (Eternal)’ failed to make any impact. The track is the single for her upcoming compilation album. Although ‘Infinity’ might not become her next hit, it still is good to have her back and the song serves as a nice but not very memorable addition to her impressive repertoire.

Erik Hassle – No Words
This Swedish pop star has been active in the music industry for quite a few years now. The singer-songwriter has quite a few great tunes in his back catologue already and his new single ‘No Words’ absolutely belongs to the highlights of his career. On ‘No Words’ Erik does what he does best and that is combining emotive lyrics with catchy melodies and soulful vocals. ‘No Words’ has a funky guitar that makes the song swing throughout and the chorus shows how he is capable of writing hit songs.

Caro Emerald – Quicksand
It has been quite a while since we heard something new from Caro Emerald. After the success of the albums Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor and The Shocking Miss Emerald she is preparing the release of a third record and the song ‘Quicksand’ is the first taste. Of course, Caro did not change her signature sound radically and we still hear the lovely retro vibe we fell in love with when she first emerged. At the same time, she added some electronic elements in ‘Quicksand’ to keep it all fresh and exciting. This sounds exactly as catchy and swinging as you would expect. I am curious to see how this will work out on the new album.

Rihanna – American Oxygen
Rihanna recently started the new era R8, which she opened with the new singles ‘FourFiveSeconds’ and ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ which were both disappointing to say the least. In April she released the new single ‘American Oxygen’ on Tidal and later it was premiered on Vevo as well. This is by far the best song she put out recently. Finally a strong melody with an interesting message with her take on the American Dream, American history and the ‘new America’ as she calls it. Some serious pop music right there and this brings back hope for her new album. By the way, you can hear Rihanna in cinema at the moment in the movie Home which features her voice and a few new songs recorded for the movie, including the beautiful ‘Towards The Sun’.

Ella Eyre – Together
Ella Eyre is back. After the succes of ‘Gravity’, her collaboration with DJ Fresh, she is about to try it on her own again. ‘Together’ might be her most radio friendly single so far, although it doesn’t sound as personal as her former singles ‘If I Go’ and ‘Comeback’. Her strong vocals work extremely well on the full drum and bass sound and explosive chorus. This might be her first big solo hit.

Lucy Spraggan – Unsinkable
Everyone who watched X Factor UK in 2012, will remember Lucy Spraggan. The singer-songwriter auditioned with ‘Last Night (Beer Fear)’, a song she wrote herself. Her comical lyrics and delivery made her an early favourite but during the live finals she had to quit because of illness. She released an album a year later and now she is back with the upcoming release We Are. ‘Unsinkable’ is the first single and introduces us to her grown up and mature new sound. The ballad has personal lyrics and a powerful message. Good to see Lucy found herself musically! Read more about her album on A Bit of Pop Music soon.

Earlier this month I already published reviews about:
Adam Lambert – Ghost Town
Clean Bandit feat. Marina & The Diamonds – Disconnect
Florence + the Machine – Ship To Wreck
Giorgio Moroder feat. Sia – Déjà Vu

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