East Beat: Your Guide To Asia’s Best Pop Songs Feat. Taeyang & Red Velvet

East Beat: Wanna One & Weki Meki

Your guide to the week’s best K-Pop songs featuring Wanna One and Weki Meki.

The world of pop music moves fast, especially for those who enjoy the sounds of the East and the West. Keeping up with the Hot 100 is hard enough, let alone knowing what’s going on in Japan and the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it K-Pop scene. To help you stay on top of Asia’s hottest pop music, I’ve put together East Beat — a handy guide of the best K-Pop and J-Pop songs of the week.

BIGBANG’s Taeyang is easily the group’s most popular soloist after G-Dragon. His biggest hit is the piano ballad “Eyes, Nose, Lips,” so it’s no surprise that he’s continued that sound on his latest single, “Darling.” The simple but emotive piano melody sounds like it was plucked from a ‘70s power ballad and Taeyang’s soulful vocals sound tailor made for songs like these.

SM Entertainment’s weekly SM Station project has often been used as an opportunity for the label to experiment even more than they already do. Their latest release does just that, with Red Velvet putting a quirky spin on the Jong Shin Yoon classic “Rebirth.” While the 1996 original is essentially a 1950s doo-wop song, Red Velvet have transformed it into a whimsical little pop ditty that sounds like fairies falling in love.

Red Velvet’s labelmates NCT Dream returned with “We Young,” which is just the latest in a long line of K-Pop tracks to jump on the tropical-house trend. The LDN Noise-produced track is a sweet and refreshing ode to youth and the strongest of Dream’s three official singles so far.

Long-running low-budget girl group BP RaNia dropped a new song called “Beep Beep Beep,” which is objectively pretty bad. It sounds exactly like the bottom of the barrell electro-pop that flooded K-Pop back in 2011 thanks to forgotten flops like April Kiss and Blady, but that’s exactly why I love it. It’s a nostalgic guilty pleasure!

Speaking of flops, the struggling (and totally underrated) SONAMOO are back with a more mature image after peddling cutesy-pop for their last few singles. The funky “Friday Night” fits the group like a glove and will hopefully bring some much-deserved success to the girls.

Japanese band Uverworld just dropped a video for “SHOUT LOVE,” the latest single from their ninth studio album TYCOON. It’s pretty great, with an almost R&B-ish beat on the verses before exploding into a huge rock chorus.

Even though they’ve been done to death ‘90s throwbacks are still pretty fun and this is no exception. AKLO and JAY’ED’s “Different Man” serves synthesized urban grooves and honeyed vocals that should impress most old-school R&B fans out there.

What are you listening to this week? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!

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Jessica Simpson’s ‘In This Skin’ Turns 14: Backtracking

Before she became the frontwoman of a billion dollar fashion and lifestyle empire, Jessica Simpson was one of pop’s “It” girls in the new millennium. After The Spice Girls reintroduced the concept of Girl Power with a cry of “zig a zig ah,” the scene was flooded with a new group of youthful princesses. Amidst a slew of tightly produced Swede-pop masterpieces and pleas for being rubbed the right way, the Texas native emerged as one of the most wholesome acts out of the bunch.

The daughter of a minister, she was signed to Columbia Records after impressing CEO Tommy Mottola in 1998 and released her first album in 1999. Preceded by the top 5 hit “I Wanna Love You Forever,” the project was a collection of ballads that placed her as the foil to her Lolita-esque peers. It became a respectable hit but hid the blossoming pop star behind her religious purity. The album and it’s campaign presented her more as more of an angel than a real person.

It wasn’t until four years later that she got to truly bare her heart on her third LP In This Skin. The opus debuted 14 years ago today (August 19) and went on to become one of her best selling and most honest releases to date.

2003 was a wild year in pop music. While Britney Spears was writhing around onstage in a sexed up wedding dress and making out with the Queen of Pop and Christina Aguilera was discovering the glory of assless chaps and participating in underground fight clubs (before also kissing Madonna), Jessica Simpson followed a different path. As her peers amped up their sex appeal and got a little ratchet (before ratchet was even a thing), she decided to take a less is more approach for her forthcoming LP.

After attempting to match Brit’s doe-eyed, girl next door aesthetic on 2001’s Irresistible, it was clear that the direction was not for her. She dutifully bared her toned physique and executed tight choreography in the title track’s music video, propelling the single further up the charts with every flick of her hair; however, the album itself was poorly received. Despite plans to write on the release, Jessica was encouraged to hand over creative control to Columbia’s horde of writers and producers. The result was a pristine albeit overproduced collection that had little cohesion and failed to explore her own artistic capabilities. Jessica Simpson was still a product at the whim of her handlers and, as a result, failed to resonate with an audience.

Things were different as Simpson began pulling together her third project; the then 23-year-old discovered a new confidence in her abilities. In 2002 she married her boyfriend of 4 years, 98 Degrees frontman Nick Lachey. The couple signed a deal with MTV to document their first years of marriage via the iconic Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, and her ditzy but lovable demeanor made the pop princess a household name. The reality show followed the new wife as she recorded her project and showed a pop star in control.

After saying that she wasn’t brave enough to call the shots on her last outing, she wrote on 9 of the 11 songs that made the tracks list for In This Skin. In interviews Nick described the album as “more organic” and authentic while praising Jessica’s writing skills. “She’s an incredible writer, and she’s doing stuff that’s really from her heart,” he promised ahead of the release. It turns out that her heart was overflowing with the shimmer of love. The album became an ode to her relationship and contained romantic cuts including the lead single “Sweetest Sin.”

After publicly donning a promise ring and vowing to remain virginal until marriage, Jessica sang longingly of the opportunity to make love to her husband. Written by the legendary Diane Warren and produced by Ric Wake and Richie Jones, it was one of two songs that she didn’t have a hand in crafting. That didn’t stop her from delivering a compelling performance. “Your lips upon my lips, your fingertips on my fingertips, your skin upon my skin, would be the sweetest sin,” she lustily crooned on the chorus.

The happily married duo showed off their relationship in the music video, which featured them frolicking in a tropical paradise before snuggling up in a bed on the beach. Although the track received positive reviews from critics, it failed to make an impact and didn’t exactly propel the project to the top of the charts. Upon release, In This Skin debuted at the tenth spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart. It wasn’t a bad showing, but it was lower than expected for an established act’s third release. Luckily, the album’s story was one of gradual success.

The lead single may have introduced a romantic theme, but it was second single “With You” that ensured the opus become a hit. Jess wrote the track with producers Andy Marvel and Billy Mann, and it was the straightforward pop bop that would go on to define the album. Singing about being liberated in love over a sunny production, she had never before been more radiant. The song’s music video cleverly paid tribute to Newlyweds and highlighted her down to earth personality while revisiting some of the most enduring puns from the show. Dealing with boob sweat, treating a chicken wing (and a boot) as a microphone and reclining on a pile of dirty laundry, the pop princess showed that she had finally found peace in nothing but her T-shirt. Her personal joy paid off, and the single peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The self-assured optimism of “With You” was more indicative of the remainder of the album, which maintained bright notes while exploring a variety of pop’s sub-genres. “My Way Home” and “Forbidden Fruit” dabbled in dance music and incorporated elements of Middle Eastern instrumentation over buoyant synths. “I Have Loved You” and “Everyday See You” returned to balladry but stripped back some of the pageantry of previous records.

Love for her husband was not the only theme explored on the album. “You Don’t Have To Let Go” was a tender moment dedicated to her parents. “I don’t need your strength anymore, because you’ve made me strong” she promised as she moved on to the newest adventure. The album’s title track played up folksier elements as she sang about learning to love herself despite overwhelming expectations, and “Be” followed a similar style as she wistfully dreamt of future children.

A re-release of the LP in 2004 spawned two additional singles, both romantic covers that fit comfortably within the scope of the project but showcased the newlywed’s soaring vocals to greater effect. The first was a remake of Berlin’s 1986 power ballad “Take My Breath Away.” Jessica described the single as the her theme song with Nick because it played the first time they kissed. Sweetly crooning on the introduction, she went on to unleash one of her most dramatic performances over a production as sweet as her edible Desserts cosmetics line (may that venture RIP). Accompanied by a music video that glorified relationships young and old, the single rocketed all the way to the top 20 and became a fitting follow up for “With You.”

The project’s final single was a reworking of Robbie Williams’s classic “Angels,” which transformed the acoustic ballad with a dazzling pop treatment. As her schedule was ramping up ahead of a North American tour and other promotional responsibilities, Jessica recorded the two new releases in one day with Nick assisting with vocal production.

The hard work paid off, and In This Skin experienced an impressive rise on the charts. The album found a new peak on the Billboard 200, soaring up to the number 2 spot and going on to sell more than 7 million records worldwide. It was a victorious story for the album; however, things did not end as well for the couple that inspired the project. In 2005 they filed for divorce, bringing an end to their happy ending and becoming the inspiration for Jessica’s followup album, 2006’s Public Affair.

Though their relationship was mercurial, the album managed to bottle all the hope that Jessica experienced looking toward the future. At 23, she was joyful in love and confident that she’d be able to overcome anything in her way. Today, the project offers a glimpse into the past and reminds listeners of all that the “Come On Over” hitmaker is capable of. As she returns to the studio to craft her first album since 2010, I can only hope that the remarried mother of two is even more inspired this time around and is able to pull from a new bevy of life experiences to create an equally timeless release.

Has Jessica’s 3rd LP withstood the test of time? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!

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Miley Cyrus’ “Younger Now” Video Is A Love Letter To Elvis Presley

Miley Unveils The Cover Of 'Younger Now'

Miley Cyrus unveils the cover and tracklist of 6th LP, ‘Younger Now.’

Christmas came early for Smilers last night (August 17) when Miley Cyrus debuted new single “Younger Now” and revealed the cover of her similarly-titled 6th LP. She even rolled out the video, which was directed by Diane Martel and finds the pop star channeling Elvis Presley. In fact, the entire visual feels like a love letter to The King with the diva rocking full greaser drag, ’50s bandstand garb and a rhinestone-encrusted jumpsuit. Apart from saluting one of her idols, the clip also allows Miley to make-out with elderly extras. So it’s a win/win.

As for the song, “Younger Now” is something of a return to form. I couldn’t get into “Malibu” at all and “Inspired,” while pleasant, was largely forgettable. Miley’s latest, however, packs a heavier pop punch. It also feels like a musical explanation for turning her back on the urban-pop of Bangerz. “Feels like I just woke up, like all this time I’ve been asleep,” she sings. “Even though it’s not who I am, I’m not afraid of who I used to be.” More of this, please. Watch the 24-year-old in action up top.

I ❤️ 🏳️‍🌈 !!!!!!! #TeamMiley @nbcthevoice #Malibu

A post shared by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on Aug 10, 2017 at 7:36pm PDT

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Selena Gomez Takes Us Behind The Scenes Of Her “Fetish” Video

Selena's Unhinged 'Fetish' Video

Selena Gomez eats cleaning products and twirls around a freezer in her ‘Fetish’ video.

A Twitter Q&A and now a one-minute behind the scenes video? Selena Gomez is still doing the least when it comes to promotion, but at least she’s doing something. (At this rate, we might even get a live performance by 2020!) Jokes and mild frustration aside, the pop star’s new video is undeniably cute. You get to see the reclusive diva strut her stuff on the set of “Fetish,” joke around with the crew and generally look adorable. While the finished clip is gloomy and intense, it looks she had a lot of fun filming it.

That’s about all there is to say about Selena at the moment. The 25-year-old isn’t listed as a performer at the upcoming MTV Video Music Awards (she could still be added) and doesn’t have any TV appearances lined up. There are rumors of her releasing another single in September, which could mean that “Fetish” and “Bad Liar” were elaborate buzz tracks before an official lead single is rolled out. Or she might just be taking a less is more approach to everything. Watch her new BTS video up top.

My Petra 💕

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on Jul 22, 2017 at 10:47pm PDT

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The Iggy Azalea & Azealia Banks Collab Isn’t Going Smoothly

Azealia Banks Talks Iggy Azalea

They buried the hatchet! Azealia Banks says she respects Iggy Azalea.

In today’s (August 16) least surprising news, Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks’ collaboration is shaping up to be a disaster. In fact, it probably won’t be released at all. “Iggy Azalea collab is def not happening as Def Jam says they aren’t releasing anymore singles for her,” the “212” rapper revealed on Instagram. That sounds plausible given that the Aussie hitmaker’s label has all but pulled the plug on Digital Distortion. However, I-G-G-Y hopped on Twitter to (kind of) set the record straight.

“Misinformation,” she countered. “I am releasing a single. The song I had in mind for us is not a single, Banks is still very much welcome to collab [with] me.” This is already a mess and they haven’t recorded a single bar. Iggy released two very good singles this era (“Mo Bounce” and “Switch”), but it’s hard to imagine a scenario where she lands at hit without rehabilitating her image. At this point, the rapper should just scrap the album and start again after hiring an effective PR team and calling up a real-life Olivia Pope for some long-overdue damage control.

See Iggy and Azealia’s interaction below.

Azealia’s message:

According to Azealia Banks, her collaboration with Iggy will not be happening due to Iggy’s label. 😕#IggyDeservesBetter pic.twitter.com/TDcbEAVgAK

— IGGY AZALEA EMPIRE (@AzaleaKingdom) August 16, 2017

Iggy’s response:

Misinformation. Iam releasing a single. The song i had in mind for us is not a single, Banks is still very much welcome to collab w. me :-)

— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) August 16, 2017

Do you still want to hear this mess? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!

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Attention: Cher Dropped A Demented Bop Called “Ooga Boo”

Cher's NSFW Twitter Accident

Cher is taking a break from Twitter after accidentally retweeting a penis.

Cher is the only diva that could get away with releasing a track called “Ooga Boo.” A contribution to the soundtrack of animated children’s TV show Home: Adventures with Tip And Oh (a spin-off from the blockbuster movie), the pop icon’s latest is an uplifting banger about being yourself. It transcends traditional kiddie fare, however, with the demented electronic production, heavy lashings of autotune and an annoyingly catchy chorus. It’s the not the comeback we wanted, but it’s probably the comeback we deserve.

It’s been a prolific year for Cher, who seems reenergized by world events. Not only is the 71-year-old keeping fans abreast of the latest political developments on her legendary Twitter, she has also contributed a song called “Prayers For This World” to a documentary called Cries For Syria and has been giving cryptic updates, which hint at new music. Four years have passed since Closer To The Truth saved gay bars and went multi-platinum in Palm Springs, so we’re due for something new. Listen to “Ooga Boo” below.

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Bradley Cooper Plastic Surgery Before and After

Bradley Cooper is an incredibly popular American actor and producer. He has acted in movies like Sex and The City, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, American Hustle, and Silver Linings Playbook. He has received nominations for 4 Academy awards: 3 for his acting and one for his producing role. Because of how long he has been acting as well as the fact that he is now middle aged, he has been a subject of plastic surgery discussions online. However, some aren’t too surprised by this as it is common for an actor to want to maintain their youthful looks throughout their career as they are constantly having themselves filmed and looked at by others.

But because of how youthful he looks and how it almost appears as if his looks have improved over time, people have wondered: Has Bradley Cooper had plastic surgery?

People began noticing that the 39-year-old actor looked almost ageless with his smooth skin, which made everyone think that he really was getting plastic surgery done. But his appearance still looks so natural and as if no surgery has been done on him. Did Bradley Cooper really get any surgery done or does he just have some really good genetics?

It’s still being debated even now if he has or has not gotten it done. Some people believe that he has and have pointed out some of the things he could have gotten done while others don’t see any evidence of having plastic surgery done on his face.

Bradley Cooper Plastic Surgery Before and After
Bradley Cooper Plastic Surgery Before and After

Some people speculate about Bradley Cooper having gotten a nose job, Botox, and a chemical peel done, which is why his face still looks naturally youthful.

Botox is probably the number one thing most people would think he has done to keep his face looking young. Looking at him from even just 10 years ago, it looks as if his face has remained the same although he has actually gotten older. Some also thought he might be doing a chemical peel as that would also keep his face looking young and fresh.

Some are also thinking of him using a chemical peel because chemical peels are used to help the skin rejuvenate itself. This means the new skin ends up being smoother and less wrinkled than the skin that was previously there

It is hard to tell if one has actually used chemical peels as they don’t leave any scars, your appearance just improves. However, it looks as if some of his wrinkles has disappeared over the years. Whether it is from a chemical peel or Botox, however, is still up for debate.

Bradley Cooper Plastic Surgery
Bradley Cooper Plastic Surgery

There were also a few plastic surgeons asked to share their opinion on his youthful looks. Dr. David Shafer didn’t see any clear signs of plastic surgery being done. However, he did see that there was a possibility for a chemical peel and Botox being done with how smooth his skin is. Meanwhile, Dr. Michael Salzhauer mentioned that Bradley Cooper may have gotten rhinoplasty done – better known as a nose job – as it looked as if his nose was a slight bit more distinguished and refined than it was earlier within his career.

To those who aren’t professionals, you can’t see a lot of change between his nose now and from his nose many years ago. It is still possible that he did really get a nose job and had an amazing plastic surgeon, especially as there are many people within his industry getting the same procedure done. However, most people still don’t believe that it is very likely.

Many also don’t believe that he got a nose job done because of how slight the differences are. If a person is going to get a nose job done, it is typically done to change your nose shape completely. This could mean getting rid of a bump in your nose, making it smaller, etc. There are a few situations where a person will get a nose job done to breath better, but we have not heard of that being the case with Bradley Cooper.

Here are a few pictures of him to show how slight the difference is, if you can even tell if there is one or not between them all.

Photo Credit: (left) Jim Spellman Wireimage, (right) Gregg Deguire Wireimage

Photo Credit: (left) Karwai Tang, (right) Abaca

Another thing people have noticed about him is his hairline. It was higher up on his forehead in his early acting years than it currently is now and it almost looks like he has reversed any baldness he may have been experiencing. Having a hairline that isn’t receding is a good way to continue looking very youthful, so it is very possible that his hairline looks lower now because of a surgery. Maybe it is because he is styling his hair differently than he used to, creating a sort of faux hairline, if you will.

It’s also speculated that perhaps he got some hair implants or did something else in order to stimulate hair growth and even out his receding and high hairline out. Looking at the pictures, you can tell there is a clear difference in his hairline from then to now. But it is still incredibly likely that the styling or his hair and the way it is cut is what makes it appear to look very different.

There are also suspicions by some that he is still using silicone scar sheets, scar reduction creams and gels, as well as Kelo-cote products to heal the scars he had suffered from an accident as a teen. It is actually very likely he is still using them now.

However, the only corrective surgery he has actually said he has gotten done was when he had gotten several cuts and gashes on his face as a 15 year old. He got these injuries after he had accidently walked into a shattered glass lamp. He mentioned that he was prompted to get the procedure because he couldn’t move any part of his injured face after the accident happened.

This isn’t quite as cosmetic as everyone is looking for when they are trying to find out why he still looks so young, but perhaps that is part of the reason why. Maybe this surgery had a lasting impact on his face and skin.

While it isn’t necessarily expected that an actor or actress must get plastic surgery done, it is very likely that it happens in the case of many actors because they are expected to always look good while they will be on film or on camera. This means that he could have gotten an operation done for this reason.

Actors, actresses especially, are also often forced to look a particular way for a film and often lose weight or do intense physical training for the film. Part of the looking good for a move falls in with plastic surgery. If you don’t fit in with what is considered handsome or beautiful, you aren’t as likely to get a leading or prominent role. This sometimes translates into getting plastic surgeries done in order to look good and actually land a role you truly desire.

Also being an actor, sometimes a certain feature will be accentuated or improved upon somehow through CGI graphics. In Bradley’s case, the most prominent feature is his eyes. His baby blue eyes are one of his most distinguishing features and some of the movies he has been in have even seemed to make them look bluer on screen. Due to this being a main feature of his appearance, some think he wears contacts to make them look bluer. This isn’t a plastic surgery by any means, but it could also be way his face looks so young or seems different somehow when looking between different pictures of him over the years.

The only other operation that isn’t a guess or suspicion by fans and media is from when punctured his eardrum. He was on a diving trip as a kid and it became punctured. He mentioned that he has a hole in his eardrums now and every time he used to go swimming, he would need to wear earplugs to protect it.

But this, again, isn’t a cosmetic plastic surgery or something done directly to his face. It wouldn’t have impacted how youthful he looks by any means.

As he is still considered naturally and ruggedly handsome by many, it doesn’t appear as if he has seen any type of plastic surgeon within recent years. It’s possible that with his workout routine and his decision to grow his hair out has made him look more different then before as well as still very young and handsome.

What do you think of Bradley Cooper getting plastic surgery? Do you think he actually got work done on his face or is using a chemical peel? Or do you believe that he just naturally looks young for his age? Let us know down below!

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Rachel Platten Announces New Single “Broken Glass”

Rachel Platten Talks 'Better Place'

We speak to Rachel Platten about moving single ‘Better Place.’ Find out more.

Rachel Platten is rolling out the first single — and video — from her second major label album on Friday (August 18). It’s called “Broken Glass,” has a lovely cover and represents something of a progression from the adult contemporary sound that dominated gold-accredited LP, Wildfire. The hitmaker behind serotonin-raising phenomenon “Fight Song” dabbles in bubbly dance-pop on the track, which is destined to find a lot of love at pop and HAC formats.

After more than a decade of chipping away at the music business with independently-released tunes, Rachel caught lightning in a bottle with “Fight Song” in 2015. The track, which was embraced as an anthem by people going through serious illnesses and other trauma, cracked the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold triple platinum. She followed it up with mid-tempo bop “Stand By You,” which was co-written by Jack Antonoff and cracked the top 40. See the cover art of her new single below.

I’m gonna make that ceiling crash… #BrokenGlass 8.18 💥

A post shared by Rachel Platten (@rachelplatten) on Aug 11, 2017 at 2:14pm PDT

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East Beat: Your Guide To Asia’s Best Pop Songs Feat. Wanna One & Weki Meki

East Beat: Girls' Generation & CLC

Your guide to the week’s best K-Pop songs featuring Girls’ Generation and CLC.

The world of pop music moves fast, especially for those who enjoy the sounds of the East and the West. Keeping up with the Hot 100 is hard enough, let alone knowing what’s going on in Japan and the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it K-Pop scene. To help you stay on top of Asia’s hottest pop music, I’ve put together East Beat — a handy guide to the best K-Pop and J-Pop songs of the week.

Wanna One are K-Pop’s hottest new boy band. Formed through a Making The Band-style reality show that made them overnight sensations, the 11-member group just dropped their first album and it’s already breaking chart records everywhere. Outside of their good looks and obvious talent, it’s easy to see why they are killing it after hearing their first single “Energetic” — a thumping, piano-driven house track that sounds like a sister song to SHINee’s “View.”

Another new group debuting this week are Weki Meki with “I Don’t Like Your Girlfriend.” This one is a little bizarre, with rollercoaster electro-pop production that changes about every thirty seconds or so. It’ll remind people a lot of Girls’ Generation’s genre-busting 2013 hit “I Got A Boy,” but I have to warn you: the fashion in the music video is utterly dreadful. Perhaps Weki Meki are best heard, not seen?

Singer-songwriter Juniel also returned with the moody “Last Carnival.” I originally wrote this off before hearing it because I assumed it would be a boring acoustic ballad, but “Last Carnival” is a surprisingly dark and hypnotic disco track that’s definitely worth a spin or two.

Gugudan is one of the few Korean girl groups that I don’t care for, but they have just launched a two-member sub-unit with the single “Ice Chu” and I’m actually loving it. As cute and quirky as it is, the production is rooted in a lot of retro funk and disco, giving the song a unique mix of classic sounds with the usual weirdness of K-Pop in general. I don’t know why Gugudan didn’t just release “Ice Chu” as a full group instead of creating a special sub-unit.

My favourite song of the week comes from another female duo, although they couldn’t be any more different to Gugudan. Former Nine members Hyuna and Euaerin have teamed up for smooth summer duet called “Doong Doong,” which the label describes as a “sound expression of floating on water in Korean.” It’s actually the perfect description for the song, which is light, ambient electronica with a breezy music video to match.

Last but not least is hipster J-Pop songstress Zombie Chang. Her latest, “We Should Kiss,” is lo-fi techno with 8-bit synths sprinkled on top and a music video filled with fidget spinners. Check it out below.

What are you listening to this week? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!

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The Drop: Your Guide To New Music Friday Featuring Kesha & Liv Dawson

The Drop: Starrah & Nakita

Your guide to New Music Friday featuring tracks from Starrah & Nakita.

Fridays can be overwhelming for pop fans. Every week you’re bombarded with a glut of new music, which can lead to ear candy falling through the cracks. I’m hoping to circumvent that tragic scenario with The Drop — a cheat sheet (of sorts) to get you through New Music Friday. By now, you’ve probably listened to Pink’s iTunes-conquering “What About Us” and possibly bopped along to Fifth Harmony’s feisty “Angel.” But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Let’s start with a couple of the week’s big releases. Bebe Rexha completes her debut album with All Your Fault Pt. 2, and like the first installment, it boasts more than its fair share of potential hits. My favorites are “I Got Time” and “(Not) The One,” but the latter stands out as the set’s power-pop moment. Another EP bursting with bangers is Avicii’s AVICI. While the Rita Ora-assisted “Lonely Together” is definitely a highlight, it’s hard to go past AlunaGeorge collaboration “What Would I Change It To” as a prime example of the Swedish DJ melodic, acoustic-laced electronica.

A couple of newcomers also made a big impression this week. 19-year-old Liv Dawson has been generating serious hype since debuting with “Tapestry,” but the Brit could be on the brink of a commercial breakthrough with her new single. Produced by Honne, “Painkiller” is an infinitely relatable pop anthem with a massive sing-along chorus. It also showcases her lovely, soulful voice. The same could be said of Liz Huett’s debut single, “STFU & Hold Me.” The Futuristics create a warm, organic soundscape for a song that is way better than the title suggests.

Another diva at the very start of her career is 13-year-old Grace VanderWaal. She dabbled in tropical-pop on “Moonlight,” but retreats to the simple singer/songwriter fare of breakthrough hit “I Don’t Know My Name” on the slightly pouty “Sick Of Being Told.” At the other end of the spectrum is legendary veteran Tori Amos. “Up The Creek” is the latest single from her 15th LP Native Invader and, if this spooky and timely ditty is any indication, it’s going to be one of her best. I haven’t been this excited for a Tori album since American Doll Posse.

It’s time for a genre change. One of the most surprising things about Kesha’s Rainbow LP is the number of country detours. The diva’s duet with Dolly Parton is the obvious starting point, but “Hunt You Down” is the most satisfying Nashville adventure. The comeback queen threatens to maim her man if he cheats over twangy production courtesy of Rick Nowels. If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, Kelsea Ballerini’s “Unapologetically” is syrupy sweet country-pop.

How about some ’80s-inspired synth-rock? I haven’t heard from Australia’s The Jezabels in a minute, but they unleash the first taste of their 4th album today and it’s a massive track. In fact, “The Others” is probably the band’s most instant single since 2011 debut “Endless Summer.” I can’t wait to hear the album. Scottish newcomer ONR explores a similar soundscape on debut single, “Jericho.” The track isn’t as accessible, but it drags you in deeper with each listen. He just signed to Capitol Records, so expect to big things.

Let’s wrap this up with a couple of bangers. Prince Fox recently made waves by teaming up with Bella Thorne for underrated bop “Just Call” and he delivers another earworm with “Space” — a catchy collaboration with Quin XCII. Fellow producer Bloodpop takes a break from producing hits for the likes of Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga to drop a massive remix of Haim’s “Little Of Your Love.” I love the original version (a lot), but this is bigger and bolder. Listen to it in my playlist below.

What are you into this week? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!

The post The Drop: Your Guide To New Music Friday Featuring Kesha & Liv Dawson appeared first on idolator.

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