dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

US Chart Roundup: Kiesza's "Hideaway" Finally Cracks The Hot 100

With the summer now half over — and the year itself past the halfway point — the Billboard Hot 100 finally getting interesting. Hovering just outside the Top 10 is Sia's "Chandelier," at #11. If you'd have told me a year ago that Sia would have a #1 album (which she did last week, with 1000 Forms Of Fear, though the damn thing dropped to #19 this week), a Top 20 hit and some gay named Sam Smith would have two Top 10 hits, I would have pushed you into an empty elevator shaft.

Charli XCX's "Boom Clap" slides up a couple positions to #14, while Clean Bandit jump 10 spots to #22 with "Rather Be."

Meanwhile, "Weird Al" Yankovic, whose album Mandatory Fun replaced Sia at the top of the Billboard 200, lands a Top 40 hit (at #39) with "Word Crimes," his goof on Robin Thicke's rape jam "Blurred Lines."

Tove Lo reaches a new peak of #50 this week with "Habits (Stay High)", but the BIG NEWS (in my book, at least) is that Kiesza's "Hideaway" debuts on the Hot 100 at #97. It's about time, and if you haven't checked out her full Hideaway EP yet, which you can download right now from iTunes, you should really go punch yourself in the dick.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Rude" - MAGIC! *2 weeks*
2. "Fancy" - Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX
3. "Stay With Me" - Sam Smith
4. "Problem" - Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea
5. "Am I Wrong" - Nico & Vinz
6. "All Of Me" - John Legend
7. "Maps" - Maroon 5
8. "Wiggle" - Jason Derulo feat. Snoop Dogg
9. "Latch" - Disclosure feat. Sam Smith
10. "Summer" - Calvin Harris

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

US Chart Roundup: Clean Bandit Have A Top 40 Hit In America

Clean Bandit make the leap into the Top 40 this week on the Billboard Hot 100, at #32, while Disclosure's "Latch" jumps into the Top 10 at #10, one position higher than where the single peaked in the duo's home country of the UK. It's all pretty significant stuff, as these are the first two songs from the current house music revival going on in pop right now to really break through stateside.

In other news, Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX's "Fancy" is finally toppled after seven weeks at #1 by Toronto pop-reggae outfit MAGIC! and their debut single "Rude."

Earlier this month I got to spend time reading books with MAGIC!...oh, and shooting a performance of theirs for Idolator, which you can watch here and here.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Rude" - MAGIC! *1 week*
2. "Fancy" - Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX
3. "Problem" - Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea
4. "Am I Wrong" - Nico & Vinz
5. "Stay With Me" - Sam Smith
6. "Wiggle" - Jason Derulo feat. Snoop Dogg
7. "All Of Me" - John Legend
8. "Maps" - Maroon 5
9. "Summer" - Calvin Harris 
10. "Latch" - Disclosure feat. Sam Smith

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

It's Sigma & Paloma Faith's "Changing": Listen

I fell pretty hard for Sigma's "Nobody To Love" this past spring. And then I bought Paloma Faith's A Perfect Contradiction CD while I was in Rome in May. (It's getting a US release on October 7, by the way.) So now these two forces have paired up for Sigma's next single, "Changing."

Paloma takes this damn thing to church, which was a solid move by UK dance duo Sigma. They needed somewhere original to go after basically reworking the hook from a Kanye track, and this is a five-star effort.

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Mr. Probz Interview

I interviewed "Waves" singer Mr. Probz for Idolator. The breezy dance track first topped the UK chart in the springtime for two weeks, and is now being launched here in the States. Good stuff worth checking out!


US Chart Roundup: Ariana Grande's Big Break

I'll admit, Ariana Grande's "Break Free" is like ear crack that I haven't been able to resist since it debuted a week ago. I listen to it each day on the train ride to and from the office, something I'm chalking more up to Max Martin's (co-)production rather than Zedd's involvement.

I mean, the whole thing has Martin all over it... down to the "now that I've become who I really are" lyric. (Who let that slip through? It's right up there with Robyn's "you're the one that I ever needed" in "Show Me Love.") Lesson to be learned: you apparently just don't correct Max in the studio.

Anyway, "Break Free" debuts at #15 this week, and gives Ariana her third Top 20 hit.

All else is business as usual, save for Maroon 5's ho-hum "Maps" moving up to #9 and bumping Pharrell Williams' "Happy" out of the Top 10 after 22 weeks.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Fancy" - Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX *7 weeks*
2. "Rude" - MAGIC!
3. "Problem" - Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea
4. "Am I Wrong" - Nico & Vinz
5. "Stay With Me" - Sam Smith
6. "Wiggle" - Jason Derulo feat. Snoop Dogg
7. "Summer" - Calvin Harris 
8. "All Of Me" - John Legend
9. "Maps" - Maroon 5
10. "Turn Down For What" - DJ Snake & Lil Jon

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Sunday, July 06, 2014

It's Kiesza's "Giant In My Heart" Video

While clearly not the phenom "Hideaway" is/was, Canadian '90s house revivalist Kiesza gives at least an interesting follow up with "Giant In My Heart." The video depicts a NYC drag queen finding solace in twirling out into the night in her wig, despite her shit day job.

Good stuff that gives hope for a promising debut LP from this doll.


It's Kiesza's Fendi Commercial

In case you were ever wondering what Kiesza would look like in a Fendi Color Block eyewear collection ad, then wonder no longer, friends. Wonder no longer.


Clean Bandit's Next Single Is The Very Ace Of Base-esque "Come Over": Listen

I don't know that Clean Bandit's "Come Over" is the most obvious choice of a single off the UK dance act's album New Eyes, but it's not bad. I think the problem here is that "Extraordinary" was the closest to there being another "Rather Be," but with that one already out as a single, well...

Still, not a bad jam.


UK Chart Roundup: Ariana Has No Problem Hitting #1 Overseas

Ariana Grande hadn't really made an inroads into the UK mainstream until now, with "Problem." (That Mac Miller trash "The Way" was her previous high mark, reaching #41 last year.) The inescapable summer jam has found its way at the top of the British chart — a feat it couldn't even pull of in the States — and I'm just chalking it up to the power of Max Martin and Ariana's coquettish charm.

And so the UK continues its relentless string of what will surely make the best playlist of 2014, with all of the country's chart-topping singles strung together.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Problem" - Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea *new* *1 week*
2. "Ghost" - Ella Henderson
3. "Budapest" - George Ezra
4. "Sing" - Ed Sheeran
5. "Gecko (Overdrive)" - Oliver Heldens x Becky Hill
6. "Chandelier" - Sia *new*
7. "Stay With Me" - Sam Smith
8. "Waves" (Robin Schulz Remix) - Mr Probz
9. "A Sky Full Of Stars" - Coldplay
10. "Good Kisser" - DJ Fresh Vs. TC feat. Little Nikki *new*

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Thursday, July 03, 2014

US Chart Roundup: Full Disclosure

Oh, the Billboard Hot 100... it's finally gotten interesting for the first time this year. My main squeeze Calvin Harris is still at #8 with "Summer," while Disclosure are up to #11 with their Sam Smith jam "Latch" and Sia is now at #20 with "Chandelier." And then there's Charli XCX, who creeps up to #25 with her first hit outside of being a feature, "Boom Clap."

Sure, this might all seem like taco cock on the surface. But it matters. It really really matters.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Fancy" - Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX *6 weeks*
2. "Rude" - MAGIC!
3. "Problem" - Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea
4. "Am I Wrong" - Nico & Vinz
5. "Stay With Me" - Sam Smith
6. "Wiggle" - Jason Derulo feat. Snoop Dogg
7. "All Of Me" - John Legend
8. "Summer" - Calvin Harris
9. "Turn Down For What" - DJ Snake & Lil Jon
10. "Happy" - Pharrell Williams

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