2015 has been a great year for popular music! We saw a lot of amazing artists come back and new talents making their way to the top. It’s that time of the year again where we decide what were the best pop moments in 2015. This is A Bit of Pop Music’s Top 50 of Best Singles of the Year where we go from The Weeknd to Jess Glynne and Adele to Justin Bieber! Continue reading
Foxes shows emotional side on new promo single British pop singer-songwriter Louisa Rose Allen, better known by her stage name Foxes, has released a brand new promo single called ‘If You Leave Me Now’. Foxes is currently preparing the delayed … Continue reading
Foxes unleashes another strong pop jam
The release of Foxes sophomore album called All I Need was postponed to February 2016, but no doubt about the fact that this is shaping up to be a great second record. The British pop artist, born Louisa Rose Allen, launched her debut album called Glorious in 2014 and returned in 2015 with the single ‘Body Talk’, that should have been an international chart topper, but god knows why it wasn’t (yet). Anyway, Foxes was quick to move on with the release of ‘Feet Don’t Fail Me Now’, another pop banger for an H&M commercial. Now she is back with the official second single, called ‘Better Love’ and it’s co-written by Foxes herself, Johnny Harris and Bastille lead singer Dan Smith.
After her literally Glorious debut to the pop scene, all sorts of ‘oh my, there is good pop music coming our way’ alerts go off in my head when British singer-songwriter and pop starlet Foxes announces a new single. Just over a year after her first album full of perfect pop tracks like ‘Let Go For Tonight’ and ‘Youth’, she premiered the first track of her still to be titled sophomore album, ‘Body Talk’, on BBC Radio 1. I didn’t think it was possible after that hooks driven debut full of monumental choruses, but she went in an even more pure pop direction!
British pop girls ready to take over
We all know there are quite some British female pop singers that have been very successful over the past few years. Think about Ellie Goulding, Florence + the Machine, Marina & the Diamonds and of course the likes of Amy Winehouse, Adele, Jessie J and so on. I listed seven pop girls that released a single recently and will try to be the next British sensation. Some of them we have seen before, other are rather new, but all sound fresh and promising!
Foxes previews debut album in Amsterdam
Although Foxes does not have a debut album out yet, the singer has been making a name in the music industry for quite some time now. Her album Glorious will be released in May and to get her name out there, she decided to go on a small European tour. Sunday night, she played a gig at Bitterzoet in Amsterdam. Foxes performed quite some singles her fans already knew, but also introduced some new tracks that will be part of the album. Foxes definitely has got a lot of potential as a pop star with big pop tunes and a charismatic stage presence.
Foxes opened her show in Bitterzoet with a new track called ‘Talking To Ghosts’. It will be the first track on her album Glorious as well. After playing the catchy album tracks ‘White Coats’ and ‘Night Owls, Early Birds’, she performed her first official single ‘Youth’, about the struggles she faced with other people from the moment she decided she wanted to have a career as a singer. The great beats and production of the song get a lovely live arrangement by her drummer and keyboard player.
After a vocally very strong rendition of one of her best songs to date, ‘Echo’, she mashed up ‘Monster’ by Eminem and Rihanna and ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ by Drake. Here, all the attention went to her voice, which is absolutely powerful live. Right before the album release, Foxes will launch new single ‘Holding Onto Heaven’, a bombastic pop song with a big chorus. Stylistically it is quite close to ‘Let Go For Tonight’, her most recent single. Foxes played both songs at the end of the gig and especially during the latter, the shy audience danced around for the first time. On these songs, her sound is somewhat similar to Florence + the Machine, although less dramatic.
Of course Foxes also played her biggest hit to date, the dance track ‘Clarity’ by Zedd on which she features. With a little help of some taped backing vocals, she gives a strong performance. As an encore, she plays an acoustic version of the track ‘Beauty Queen’, sonically comparable to Marina & The Diamonds’ first album. She closes with ‘Right Here’, a collaboration with British formation Rudimental. It became clear tonight that Foxes is more than a good featuring artist. She has some great pop tracks that could be released as her own singles. The release of the album Glorious could well be the big break she deserves into major pop stardom.
Concert Recensie: Foxes in Bitterzoet
Foxes geeft voorproefje van debuutalbum in Bitterzoet
Hoewel de Britse zangeres Foxes al een tijdje naam aan het maken is in de muziekindustrie, is haar eerste album nog niet verschenen. De debuutplaat Glorious zal in mei op de markt gebracht worden, maar ze besloot nu alvast een kleine tour door Europa te doen. In het kader hiervan trad Foxes zondagavond op in de Amsterdamse concertzaal Bitterzoet. Ze wisselde de voor de fans al bekende singles af met een aantal nieuwe songs die op het album zullen verschijnen. Vanavond bleek dat Foxes alles in huis heeft om een popster te worden met grootse, pakkende popliedjes en een charismatische manier van optreden.
Foxes opende haar concert met ‘Talking To Ghosts’, wat ook de eerste track op haar album zal worden. Ze vervolgde met de albumtracks ‘White Coats’ en ‘Night Owls, Early Birds’, beide met pakkende refreinen. Daarna was het de beurt aan haar eerste officiële single ‘Youth’, die ze schreef om af te rekenen met mensen in haar omgeving die sceptisch waren over haar plannen om een carrière als zangeres te beginnen. De geweldige beats en productie van de track komen live ook prima uit de verf dankzij haar strak spelende toetsenist en drummer.
Na een vocaal overtuigend optreden van de sterke single ‘Echo’ mixte ze de liedjes ‘Monster’ van Eminem en Rihanna en ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ van Drake in elkaar. Dit blijkt prima te werken en is gelijk één van de momenten in de show waar de kracht in de stem van Louisa Rose Allen, Foxes’ echte naam, goed naar voren komt. Voordat het album Glorious eindelijk wordt gelanceerd, komt de zangeres eerst nog met de single ‘Holding Onto Heaven’, die qua stijl vergelijkbaar is met voorganger ‘Let Go For Tonight’. Beide tracks worden tot het laatste van de show bewaard en vooral de laatste krijgt het verlegen publiek toch nog aan het dansen. Op deze songs doet de stijl van Foxes een beetje denken aan een minder dramatische, maar even bombastische versie van Florence + the Machine.
Natuurlijk speelde Foxes ook haar grootste hit tot nu toe, de single ‘Clarity’ van Zedd waar zij de vocalen voor haar rekening neemt. Met behulp van backing vocals op de band weet ze een uitstekend optreden neer te zetten. Als toegift doet ze nog een akoestische versie van het lied ‘Beauty Queen’, een track die doet denken aan het eerste album van Marina & the Diamonds. Ze sluit de show definitief af met ‘Right Here’, haar hit met de Britse formatie Rudimental. Tijdens het optreden werd duidelijk dat Foxes heel wat meer is dan een gastzangeres. Ze heeft een aantal zeer sterke popsongs op haar debuutalbum staan. De release hiervan zou zomaar eens het moment kunnen worden dat Foxes nodig heeft om groots door te breken.
As 2014 already started, it is time to take a look at new artists that stand a good chance of having their big breakthrough this year. Of course some artists already started to gain some successes, but these new(ish) artists have in common that 2014 will have to be their year. Check out the 10 most promising new artists that will make 2014 an exciting year in pop!
Mapei is what you call an international artist. Her father is American, her mother is Liberian and when she was ten she moved to Sweden where she grew up. She has lived in Portugal, Brazil and Tunesia for a while and these different cultural backgrounds are apparent in her music as well. Mapei was mostly active as a rapper in the Swedish underground scene, but with the single ‘Don’t Wait’, released in October, her style changed. The song is soulful, driven by great beats and a guitar riff, and features some baile funk drums. The lyrics about trying not to ruin a friendship or love affair are from the heart. Mapei’s voice sounds warm and a little raspy at times. She is working on an album in a similar style to ‘Don’t Wait’ and I for one cannot wait to hear it!
ALECS, a young new London based artist, will release his debut EP The Fulham Tapes later this month. In December, he already posted the tracks on his Soundcloud page and this sounds surprisingly good. Inspired by artists like Frank Ocean and The Weeknd, ALECS created his own sound, which could be described as electronic, synth heavy, dark R&B mixed with pop. He mixes this sound with great hooks in his choruses which make the tracks somewhat more accessible. He has a great and distinctive sound of voice to top it all off and here’s hoping that we will hear more from him in 2014.
08. Saint Raymond
Saint Raymond had a great year in 2013. Young singer-songwriter Callum Burrows and his band mates released the EP Escapade and toured through Europe with Gabrielle Aplin and Haim. 2014 is off to a good start as well as the single ‘Young Blood’ is released. It is the best Saint Raymond song so far in all its uplifting catchiness. The song has got more than one great hook and it takes the catchy pop/rock they produced on the first EP to another level. The Young Blood EP will be out the 21st of January and it could well be that an album follows later this year.
There is a lot of hype around American electro pop artist BANKS lately. She finished third in the BBC Sound Of 2014 Poll. The Los Angeles born and London based singer gained attention by releasing two EP’s in 2013. In March, she released Fall Over and in September her London EP came out. The singer went on tour with The Weeknd and there are some stylistic similarities in both artists’ music. BANKS’ music can be described as a mix of dark R&B and pop with a heavily electronic twist. Her distinctive vocal style might not be suited for mainstream radio, but it works perfectly on refreshing tracks like ‘Fall Over’ and ‘Waiting Game’. Her style is cohesive, but does not bore at the same time, so a full album could be potentially great!
Foxes has been working her way up in music for a few years now and in 2013 she had her first international hit with ‘Clarity’, a song by producer and DJ Zedd on which she features. The big dance anthem showcases her beautiful vocals and the singer went on to have another hit in the UK with ‘Youth’, a slightly more alternative and electronic sort of pop song. Foxes will release her debut album Glorious in March and although half of the tracks have already been released (great pop song ‘Echo’ was used as a single, ‘Holding Onto Heaven’ and ‘Shaking Heads’ are already released on iTunes), there is still more to come. She released the video for single ‘Let Go For Tonight’ earlier this week and this huge, catchy, carefree straightforward pop song might bring her the big success she deserves.
Hozier managed to catch a lot of attention in October last year when he released his single ‘Take Me To Church’ and an accompanying video with a strong message against homophobic violence. The 23-year-old Irish musician released a free EP on his website including the single and three other songs. ‘Take Me To Church’ is a dark song with an ominous atmosphere, but with a big and bright in-your-face chorus at the same time. Hozier impresses with his deep tone of voice that works perfectly with the style of his songs. An album this year would be very much appreciated, thank you very much.
04. Chlöe Howl
The 18-year-old British singer Chlöe Howl is set to release her debut album in 2014. The BBC included her in their long list for The Sound of 2014. Based on the three singles she has released so far she could become one of the most exciting new artists this year. ‘No Strings’, ‘Paper Heart’ and ‘Rumour’ are all catchy up tempo pop tracks with killer choruses. Chlöe’s voice sounds very strong and mature, considering her age and her ability to write songs with sharp and smart lyrics is impressive. In the first months of 2014, Howl will be touring with Ellie Goulding and in June it is time for her to launch her first album!
03. Lea Michele
Although Lea Michele is not really a new face in the entertainment industry, I included her in this list because she is just starting a solo career as a pop artist. Many of you may know her as Rachel in the series Glee, but Michele decided to focus on a music career as well. The singer released the Sia-penned single ‘Cannonball’ in December and that was quite a brilliant power ballad. Along with the pre-orders of her debut album Louder, that will be released on the 4th of March, she premiered the track ‘Battlefield’, also written by Sia. Once again a beautiful ballad. The album features a co-write by Christina Perri as well and I have faith this record will be very, very good.
02. Say Lou Lou
The Swedish/Australian twin sisters of Say Lou Lou (formerly known as Saint Lou Lou) are expected to have a big breakthrough this year. They already made the long list of BBC’s The Sound of 2014. 2013 has been a great year musically for the girls as they released the singles ‘Julian’, ‘Better In The Dark’ and ‘Beloved’. Although ‘Beloved’ is my favourite, it has to be said that all three songs are exceptionally well-written and beautiful. An album full of their dreamy and melodic pop would be great, now wouldn’t it?
01. Tove Lo
Frequent readers of my blog might already realize I am a fan of this Swedish girl and I predict big things for her in the near future. 2014 has to be the year of Tove Lo. She gave us the singles ‘Habits’ and ‘Out Of Mind’ in 2013, which are both no less than brilliant pop songs. With these tracks, she shows she knows how to write great pop choruses and her lyrics are powerful and heartbreaking at the same time. Recently, she announced on Twitter that her new EP is in final stages, so that should see the light of day soon enough. Fun fact: she also co-wrote the track ‘Thousand Needles’ for Lea Michele’s debut album. I am desperate for new Tove Lo songs in my life and so should you!