The Pop Scribe 10

2 weeks in the making, the fourth edition of The Pop Scribe 10 is a dizzy concoction of pop from around the globe. The world may seem to be on the brink of collapse, but this week’s playlist shows a united pop front with cuts from Portugal, Colombia, Venezuela, Norway, Sweden and the usual suspects: the US and the UK. All in all, it’s been a funny two weeks in pop with some high-profile disappointments (I’m looking at you Harry Styles/Noah Cyrus) and some low-key brilliant returns (TLC/Michelle Branch). Here’s hoping we are graced with more pop goodness over the next few weeks e.g. if a certain Ms. Perry would like to make her fully-fledged return that would be just great.

The fourth edition of The Pop Scribe 10 includes:

  • Grace Mitchelgiving us a masterclass in pop euphoria
  • RAC teaming up with former Vampire Weekend-er Rostam 
  • Latin pop queen Shakira reminding us of her love for mojitos
  • Electro experimentalist Arca flexing his pop muscles to stunning effect
  • Astrid S gliding through ethereal pop with sharp edges
  • Little Dragon exploring the life of pop through an 80s filter
  • The long-anticipated return of TLC in charming nostalgia-mode
  • Michelle Branch repositioning herself as an indie pop darling
  • Kate Nash hitting the sweet spot between her pop and DIY roots
  • Steps dipping their toes into the world of EDM

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The Art of the Sad Banger

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Do you ever feel like a plastic bag? Drifting through the wind? Wanting to start again? If the answer is YES, then you’ve most probably encountered the mythical ‘Sad Banger’ at least once in your lifetime. Okay, maybe some of pop music’s saddest stompers aren’t as mysterious as I’m making out but, after a recent moment in which I found myself bingeing  on the darker side of pop, I felt it was high time I tried to unpack the power of the Sad Banger.

For many people, myself included, a music selection based on your mood can often be the perfect release whether you need to laugh, cry, or cry some more. While ballads and tender acoustic strums are all well and good, nothing quite tops the melancholic euphoria of a Sad Banger which typically encompasses feelings of: sadness, anger, regret, bitterness, pain, suffering etc. etc. (I am emotionally stable while writing this – promise.) Even if you’re not particularly down, the perfect Sad Banger can often create the illusion that you’ve just gone through some kind of crisis whilst still allowing you to pump your fist – case in point: Robyn’s stone-cold classic Dancing On My Own.

Making a playlist for this post really got me thinking about the abundance of brilliant Sad Bangers which have punctuated the world of pop in the last decade. From Miley to Marina, it’s been hard to escape the tear-soaked pop tune but, you know what, maybe this is what us 21st century pop fans are here for. Without getting too morbid, the world’s hardly been much of a barrel of laughs in recent years, while we all seem to be dealing with a digital hangover in the midst of a social media maelstrom. Is it any coincidence that Steps titled their new album Tears on the Dancefloor? (probably, tbh.)

Thankfully, I’m a strong believer in musical therapy, which is why I hope my playlist of Sad Bangers can help you find some light at the end of the tunnel. It seems to be working for me…

Check out my selection of Sad Bangers below:

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The Pop Scribe 10

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It has been a truly mammoth week for pop: Steps reunited in spectacular form; Charli XCX dropped a 10-track mixtape/opus; Nicki Minaj appeared out of nowhere with 3 brand new tracks, ranging from standard to stunning …and that’s not even the half of it.

In the spirit of that ‘#FridayFeeling’ and because there are just too many great new pop tracks this week to remain unheard, I’ve compiled a 10-track playlist known as ‘The Pop Scribe 10’. The playlist collects my favourite pop cuts from the past week and will be updated weekly, bi-weekly or maybe even monthly depending on the state of things in Pop Land. The playlist isn’t in order of best to second best, but you can usually assume that the first track is a veritable masterpiece. I’m also a strong believer in playlists sequenced like albums, meaning STAY OFF THAT SHUFFLE button and enjoy the shift in tone and atmosphere. (You can, of course, enjoy the music however you please – it’s fine.)

The first ever Pop Scribe 10 includes: 

  • 3 appearances from Charli XCX in pop domination-mode
  • Steps well and truly pulling it out of the bag
  • ionnalee stepping out of the mystery of iam and into banger territory
  • A thrillingly dark and gnarly slice of new Goldfrapp
  • Louisa Johnson on her best behaviour, but also very much not.
  • Reflective, wooziness from Nicki Minaj
  • Lorde: the balladeer
  • Little Dragon channeling the sweeter side of the 90s

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