PAOLA - LOVENIGHT


As a long fan of her previous band, I rejoice at the new single Paola. Also, because of the fact it's produced by Steve Anderson and toplined by the fabtastic Bianca Claxton. Love Night is pure poppers, leg-warmers and neon tank-tops. Irresistibly 80's, its the anthem that the kids of the Breakfast Club would've mashed out after The Cure, Fleetwood Mac and Madonna. Paola purrs over synths like she was singing the lost The Flirts number 1 smash that we all forgot about because we were having too much fun dancing to I Feel Love, Dancing Madly Backwards and early Whitney Houston. Yes, this is the song Giorgio Moroder forgot to pitch to Donna Summer. It also has delirious strobe flashes of Ryan Paris' La Dolce Vita. I love it. A perfect smash for the summer. Can't get ready to dance to this and get sand in all the wrong places. Nice. Chica's, check out the Spanish version too. TUNE!

SHURA - WHATS IT GONNA BE?


So much has been said about Manchester based Shura I was half thinking to just let things be and let the excellent song (and confluent video) do the speaking. BUT. This is such a cute tight pop song that hey - why not. Sounding incredibly inspired by Jermaine Stewart and Janet Jackson of the early 1980s with its soft euphoric synths, What's It Gonna Be clearly cuts Shura above the chorus of noise pushing Shura to another level. Shura's debut album Nothing Real drops on Polydor 8 July 2016!

PAULA LOBOS - EYES ON YOU


In the week of the Polar Prize of Sweden comes this bouncy dance choon by Paula Lobos direct from Stockholm. Sounding like a cross between Kylie, Zara Larsson and MNEK Eyes On You is a bombastic summer song embedded with delicious loops and a relentless chorus. Definitely the type of pop song I wanna hear when I land in Ibiza later in the summer.

SMITH & THELL - STATUTE [Didrick Remix]


In the blaze and glory that was a very successful Eurovision in Stockholm, comes this beautiful anthem by Swedish duo Smith & Thell which has had me in a happy rapture since first hearing it. Statute is clearly underlined as one of DontStopthePop's early summer smashes of 2016. It is a heady mixture of Ellie Goulding, Molly Sanden, Zara Larsson and Dolly Parton. It soundtracks a perfect summery sunday afternoon with friends and family. Sublime. Album please!

SAY - MONSTERS - FIRST REALLY BIG SONG OF 2016! [this is not a drill]


OMFG! Say has arrived and launched with the stunning Monsters. As 2016 stands so far - this is the bestest. It is monstrously good. I TOOT TOOT THIS SONG! I fucking love it. Yes, I used an expletive but Monsters deserves it. It is polemic. It is epic. It is hyperbolic. It is an leviathan of a song. Since hearing the full version earlier today I've been on a constant repeat. I don't think I'll leave Say's soundcloud all day today. She belts out her vocal around a gloriously rich production (the song was produced by Say and Sebastian Winskog). The ad-libs at the end are like the caramel in the centre of the best chocolate pudding you ever ate. Oh, I love caramel btw so yeah - its a metaphor that works for me. I am ecstatic bout Monsters (as you may be able to tell). I need the album now. So follow Say at Facebook and Twitter. Tack Tack Tack Say!



The Best of 2015

Yes - I am doing in this in 2016. And, in the middle of second month of 2016 too. I get it. Its late. Really late. Really really really late. But better to have done it than not. And, this madame has way too much on his plate than to do things when I'm supposed to. After much consideration, cups of tea and marshmallows these contributions to pop are the ones I toot the most from last year....enjoy....(I hope).

Justin Bieber - What Do You Mean



Justin finally arrives on DontStopThePop with his first good song. He's had okay pop mingles that give you shingles. But with What Do You Mean, and its parent album, Justin finally created a pop product that was worth the immense buzz that surrounds him. Well done. Quite catchy indeed. 

Molly Sanden - Satellites 



I loved everything Molly did this year. Her E.P Like No One's Watching was one of my most treasured possessions of 2015. She has a big voice and stunning pop songs. Very good. 

Chinook - Dancing In Flames



Amazing. Speechless. I love Chinook. It is very early days yet for this Norwegian star. I'm not sure its totally safe to mix water and electricity as she does in the video for the brilliant Dancing In Flames but who cares! The minute I heard Chinook early last year I was hooked. And, Dancing In Flames has made a home in my ear-drums. It refuses to leave. Thankfully.

Cilia - Silhouettes in Slow Motion


Another Scandinavian appearance here with Cilia who has constantly released brilliant music this year. Silhouettes clearly stated her intentions to win over my heart. In an extremely busy market place concerning Swedish pop stars Cilia has managed strike through and mark out her identity by creating absolutely stunning pop music. Thank you Cilia. Cannot wait for you 2016 and 2017. P.S please do some gigs in London. Tack. 

Carly Rae Jepsen - Run Away With Me/Emotion


Gosh, my heart hurts for Carly Rae Jepsen. Her album Emotion was amazing. And, it is my my album of 2015! But what an bittersweet experience. Such a well-produced album loaded with so many good pop songs and yet, nowt seemed to stick. Chart success aside, Emotion and all its beautiful gems it contained glisten bright like a super-nova in my heart. I love it always. Pop album of the year

Noonie - Noonia 



And, now Noonie! Someone who actually contributed to the brilliance of Carly's album! Yes, Noonie co-wrote Run Away With Me. Her EP Noonia was a fantastic follow-up to her 2012 debut album which was my album of that year. I was smitten the very first time I heard the singles Pyramids and I'm In Love. Adorable. 

Danny Saucedo - Dör För Dig


A song about growing up in Stockholm, friendship and the first glimpse of a bit of boob made my summer theme of 2015. My Swedish ain't so good but Danny's Dör för dig is pretty absolutely brilliant. I love every note, word and shuffle. A warm and cosy single.

Adam Lambert - Ghost Town


Everything on The Original High was very good and if it wasn't for Carly Rae Jepsen's album Lambert would've easily snatched the DontStopThePop's album of the year title. I'd love to celebrate the fact that Adam and Carly proudly highlight the multi-faceted international list of 2015 but that is totally bollocks as most of my song's hail from Scandinavia. Sorry (but not sorry - its just the way it was last year). Illustrating the power of Sweden at the moment BOTH Adam and Carly's excellent albums last year featured the immense writing talent of Max Martin. On Ghost Town Adam managed to explore the darker aspects of Martin's pop wall of of sound by infusing club synths throughout the record making the single bloody hot rampant pop song and the best in Lambert's career.

Kastrup - Come and Get Me





Returning to Sweden, the boys of Kastrup released not one but two amazing songs in 2015 but Come & Get Me eclipsed their debut single Thieves. While they remain unsigned now don't expect to last. They are good. Very VERY good. I simply love their brazen bold ability to embrace utter epicness.
Zara Larsson - Lush Life



Zara Larsson's first album is amazing. Get it on import if you can. It is well worth it. She is gonna be so big this year. Last year she had hits with Lush Life and with MNEK. Yay! She's been in the studio in-between a year of promoting her hits so expected a re-worked album and confluent global domination. Oyster. Is. Hers!
Aurora - Murder Song (5,4,3,2,1)



Melt my heart. Aurora has had an amazing year and golly how quick have the stars aligned for the Norwegian artist. Her music is outer-wordly. And, she is amazing live too. One of the best performers you'll see this year (if you can grab tickets). Everything Aurora released last year was stunning but for me it was the Murder Song that had me enraptured. Her album is out in March and is amazing. 

LEON - Tired of Talking



Bouncing back over to Sweden now, Leon came right out of the blue and gave us one of the most promising debut singles of 2015. Perhaps the best debut single of 2015. With its fantastic baseline and sharp lyrics, I'm not entirely convinced that Leon is unsigned but I can't say for sure that she's with a label. Suffice to say there's probably a production deal in place that will most likely upgrade to a big ole 360 deal sooner or later. Her music thick with brilliant pop tunage that promises to see her score big at next year's Polar Prize. Welcome, Leon. Your time has started and buckle up for the very excited ride. Ready to dance my heart out to your 2016.

Sophia Somajo - Klein Blue


To the pirate of pop: Sophia Somajo (SOSO). Everything Sophia does turns to the most violent and outrageous shade of gold its actually unbelievable. Not one of her songs is ever a dud, alright or meh. Sophia will not put out something lesser. Her high standards are stratospheric and I love that about her. Amazing amazing amazing pop song of 2015: I can't wait for more from her this year. 

Harriet - Love Will Burn



Ok, I am totally biased for sure but when I first heard Love Will Burn my heart raced, I was shaken, stirred and I couldn't believe how Sam Smith's 007 theme tune could've flown the nest when epic polemics such as Harriet's Love Will Burn and Thom Yorke's/Radiohead's Spectre (listen here)exist in the world. Thing is, I know that Harriet, and Thom, will one day perform the James Bond theme. This time round the stars simply aligned for Smith....
 



SOPHIA SOMAJO - Klein Blue - BOOM! The song of 2015/2016!


And, boom in the flickering embers of the year Sophia drops the song of 2015. And, maybe 2016. What the hell Sophia? Talk about pulling the rug from under our feet. Klein Blue is deliciously electric resplendent in gorgeous choruses and feverish middle eight draped with power-house vocals. The song is THE song. It is an optimistic song - of passion, of knowingness and if's&maybes. Watch and you'll see sort of thing. Which is great. Sophia keeps everyone on notice. She's not this. She's not that. Stop putting her in that box. Stop with labelling.

We've written about Sophia quite a lot - first appearing on Dontstopthepop back in 2009 in our INTRODUCING SOPHIA SOMAJO feature which really felt like a MOMENT! A moment of discovery that I treasure. Listening to her first E.P back then I was rendered speechless - gosh I can recall how fucking difficult it was to write a review about Somajo even now. And, today? The same again. Somajo pushes herself, her music, her image, the norm, and the listener. I love it. Any album you can find of Sophia's get it. They're journeys. Polemics! Sophia always brings a sense of berserk attitude to her pop stylings that carry me on every slick beat and synth snare. She provides - I consume. Thank you.



The EP comes out in February 

KASTRUP - Come and Get Me



Sadly not a tribute to Rachel Stevens second album but don't allow that to hold you back. My favourite Malmo duo are back after their immense debut Thieves with the mighty Come & Get Me. And, its a monster of a song. If you like Oh Fibes, Alphabeat, The Cure and The Ark you'll like Come & Get Me. Its a bombastic song that borrows shades of those big power rock anthems that plastered the soundscape of films like The Breakfast Club and with adorable synths that smash against delectable drum-roles making Come and Get Me one heck of a pop cocktail. I want your album Kastrup. I want it now.