Hey there! My name is Ryan Riccetti, and this is Pop Now, a weekly blog dedicated to everyone’s guiltiest pleasure: pop music! For the past two weeks, I’ve been naming off all of the hottest pop tracks in my All-Access Pass summer playlist. This week, we’re ending the list on a high note with four more sizzling tracks, exploring a list of indie artists turned pop stars. Do you think they have what it takes to make the cut? Let’s listen:
fun. – Some Nights
It would be a complete understatement to say that fun. has had a whirlwind year. After remaining virtually unknown for most of their music career, the indie rock band exploded onto the scene earlier this year when their now-signature song, We Are Young, which was plastered onto every television show and commercial within ear’s reach (Chevy campaigns, Glee, 90120, Gossip Girl, and countless others). Now with one of the year’s biggest hits under their belt, the band has set off to follow up their impressive first act.
Some Nights, the band’s second single, is a very worthy follow up to We Are Young, with a similar anthemic chorus, a roudy drum section, and a little sprinkle of autotuned pop! The lyrical content is also pretty consistent with We Are Young’s sentiments. All in all, it’s truly a feel good jam, perfect for a hot summer night on the town with your best friends. Time will tell if Some Nights can reach Young’s chart-topping peak, but either way, we’re still really digging this song!
Owl City – Gold
After a short hiatus from his last album, Owl City, fronted by Adam Young, is set to make a comeback on pop radio this summer. Although Owl City’s last album did fairly well, none of the tracks were able to climb the charts like Fireflies. With a new album on the horizon, Adam Young has set his sights on a more mainstream pop genre by fusing his ambient electronic sound with some big pop hooks. To do so, Young enlisted some of pop music’s finest producers including Dr. Luke (Katy Perry, Britney Spears) and Stargate (Rihanna, Beyoncé) for a new EP entitled Shooting Star.
Gold, the second song on Shooting Star – EP, is a perfect example of this new sonic journey. The song is packed with synths, drums, and a piano backing, all leading to a beautifully catchy chorus. Lyrically, Adam is musing over a girl’s beauty: “I don’t need the stars in the night, I found my treasure. All I need it you by my side, so shine forever.” It’s a pretty romantic song that’ll hit the sweet spot on anyone’s pop tastebuds, so make sure to check it out this summer!
Lana Del Rey – National Anthem
Although Lana Del Rey never fully broke into the mainstream pop scene, her musical career has certainly been shoved into the spotlight, making it hard to go on the Internet without hearing or reading about her music. After breaking into the business with her viral hit, Video Games, Lana Del Rey released her full-length debut, Born To Die, to both critical acclaim and media controversy.
With summer upon us, however, it’s time to focus on the actual music. National Anthem, one of the best cuts from Lana’s debut, is a sparkling tune dedicated to the ol’ red white and blue! As with most of her music, the instrumentation on National Anthem is exquisite, creating a perfect platform for Del Rey to plead, “Tell me I’m your national anthem”, along with poetic lines such as, “Red, white, blue in the sky, summer’s in the air, and baby heaven’s in your eyes.” This is the perfect song for your Fourth of July BBQ, so we hope you’ll be adding it to your summer playlist soon!
Karmin – I Told You So
Last but certainly not least, we have Karmin, pop music’s newest breakout duo, who stormed onto the Internet scene last year with their famous cover of Chris Brown’s Look At Me Now. After major success with their first single Brokenhearted (featured in our first ever Pop Now!), the musical couple is charging forward with their newest single.
I Told You So, the second single from Karmin’s debut EP, is much more rap-oriented, fully displaying Amy Heidemann’s skills at the mic. Although the instrumental and lyrics are more aggressive than Brokenhearted, the song still maintains great pop sensibility, featuring a catchy chorus that addresses all of the band’s haters (I mean… what kind of rap song would this be if it didn’t address haters??) All in all, the song is really just pure fun, making it a perfect addition to your carefree, laidback summer playlist.
So what do YOU think?? Which songs and artists should we all be on the lookout for this Summer? Leave me your comment below!