Best Songs We Heard This Week: Olly Murs, Allie X, Pillow Person + More
Happy Friday, PopCrush readers.
Just as we do every week, the PopCrush editors have selected their favorite new songs on this #NewMusicFriday for your listening pleasure, ranging from up-and-comers to tried-and-true superstars — and one selection in particular that resonates this week.
We hope that you all have a happy and safe weekend. And for more playlists, be sure to follow us on Apple Music.
Michael Jackson, “They Don’t Care About Us"
For anyone who has somehow remained unaffected, unmoved by this week's horrific police shootings of black Americans Alton Sterling and Philando Castile -- congratulations, you must be white. As a non-black POC I am not entirely exempt from certain privileges afforded me, but I’m not blinded by them either. People of color do not have the luxury of ignoring the news, the slayings, the ways in which the world continues to fail us. And it’s a sad reality that in this year 2016 “They Don’t Care About Us,” Michael Jackson’s controversial 1995 lambasting of police brutality and government apathy, remains more relevant than and just as powerful as ever. — Ali Szubiak
Sofi Tukker, "Drinkee"
If you've been holding out for that perfect weirdo nu-tropical pseudo-Brazilian dance banger to carry you through the end of summer, Sofi Tukker has answered your prayers. The NYC duo's latest, "Drinkee," is one of the most bizarrely well-crafted pop songs this year — a humid, hypnotic fusion of bongo drums, zippy electric guitar riffs, gut-punch bass, distorted reverb and the repetitive near-monotone vocals of Sophie Hawley-Weld. The tune was inspired by the works of a poet named Chacal (and it's all sung in Portuguese) but the sound itself definitely belongs to the band. - Erica Russell
Pillow Person, “Go Ahead”
Sarah Jones has played in bands including Bat For Lashes and New Young Pony Club, but since she’s best known as the drummer for UK dance band Hot Chip. I admittedly love “Go Ahead” for the fact that it sounds much like the Hot Chip songs I love most, mixing a bubbling synth-boosted party vibe with genuine sweetness. — Samantha Vincenty
Clean Bandit, "Tears (feat. Louisa Johnson)"
Electropop group, golden-eared vocal scouts. After fashioning relative unknown Jess Glynne into a radio mainstay with a feature on 2014’s Grammy-winning “Rather Be,” the group have again proven they can hear a winning timbre from a mile away. X Factor winner Louisa Johnson lends vocals that make “Tears,” the lead single from the Clean Bandit’s forthcoming sophomore LP, something sincerely memorable. Featuring dramatic, seesawing scales and disco-tinted piano, it’s reliable U.K. dance pop with a twist, and an encouraging indication of where Johnson’s forthcoming debut album could go. — Matthew Donnelly
Allie X, "All The Rage"
"I was rejected / I wasn't good enough to be elected," Allie X manically sing-songs along her hard-edged electro-pop latest, but she doesn't sound too bent out of shape about it. The fabulously catchy "All The Rage" is, in the singer-songwriter's own words, "the night where you channel a lifetime of rejection and failure and turn it into something fantastic." The track itself, an offering from her still-unfinished COLLXTION II, is as catchy as anything on her debut EP — which is to say that it's already leagues ahead of the competition. It's the world that needs to catch up. — Bradley Stern
Whinnie Williams, "Real Damn Bad"
Whinnie Williams crafts the kind of bouncy retro pop that tastes sweet from its candy coating, but packs a sour punch once you bite into its surprise center. The dichotomy between her saccharine '60s girl group sound and her sassy South London girl power lyricism is no more blatant than in the video for "Real Damn Bad," the British singer-songwriter's latest single off her 2014 EP, Bad Girl. In the clip, Whinnie transforms herself from a pastel hued goodie-goodie into a motorcycle-ridin', leather catsuit-wearin' vixen after being scorned by her lover. As she croons about turning to the dark side — "The girl next door that you ruined is gone now / I'm gonna f*** around and be a / Bad girl, momma / Bad baby, real damn bad!" — you can't help but want to join her gang. - Erica Russell
Don't let the sheer amount of letters bombarding your screen intimidate: you: The artist is KLOE. The song is "UDSM," and it means "U Don't See Me." The genre is sad ethereal disco. And one of the lyrics is actually "I heard that you've been f--king that girl Emily." And it's all based a true story. A (minestrone) soup-to-nuts smash. Any questions? — Bradley Stern
Francis and the Lights (feat. Bon Iver and Kanye West), “Friends”
The events of week — this month, this year — have been sad, frustrating, scary for anyone remotely concerned about the direction America is heading in, and these past few days I’ve found myself gravitating toward the palliative effects of calm, gorgeous songs. The synths and hushed vocals of “Friends” momentarily soothe my worry like a cool bath, proving yet again that, “Skinny Love” excepted, I love Bon Iver best on someone else’s track. He and previous collaborator Kanye West (putting in a video appearance and background vocals) join electronic artist Francis Farewell Starlite on a song and video that celebrates bonds, at a time when we might need it most. – Samantha Vincenty
Olly Murs, “You Don’t Know Love”
The sentiment behind “You Don’t Know Love,” an exploration of heartbreak, betrays the sound of Olly Murs’ latest – it’s an upper riding on the wings of a feel-good time. Written by Wayne Hector and Camille Purcell, who are collectively behind some of One Direction’s and Little Mix’s biggest hits, the track could be confused for a pre-“Ghost Town” Adam Lambert – it starts steadily enough before detonating into a ‘80s dance club anthem. And while it might feel strange to groove to recitation of “How it feels when love dies, dies, dies,” you’ll manage. — Matthew Donnelly
Demi Lovato, “Body Say”
Demi Lovato’s Confident shtick has always felt a little contrived, but it’s not entirely her fault. Child stars, it seems, must go through a very public sexual awakening to move on to the Adult Phase of their careers. But Lovato’s latest release, the sensual “Body Says,” feels like an authentic step in the right direction. With its understated synths and straight-forward lyrics (“You can touch me with slow hands / Speed it up baby make me sweat / Dreamland, take me there / Cause I want your sex”), “Body Says” is a fully believable and organic exploration of sex. And that beat is straight-up fire. — Ali Szubiak
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