Memorial Day is here, and with it, our first taste of the coming summer. We've compiled a mix of our favorite summer jams released so far this year, to perfectly soundtrack your frosé feuled pool or beach parties this Memorial Day weekend.
Here are a few of our highlights... Read More
My first introduction to Steps was, more likely than not, a gin and tonic fizzed night out at G-A-Y Heaven or Late, numbly moving my body to the rhythm of “Tragedy” while behaving like a typical dance club tragedy. However, my first conscious and remembered introduction was a car sing along to “5,6,7,8” on Australian dramedy Please Like Me. My enthusiasm for all things camp prompted a deep dive into Steps discography, the kind of musical education I’ll sometimes embark on to fill the gaps left by my ultra conservative and religious upbringing. For an American who didn’t grow up in Britain during the height of Steps mania, much of the history and nostalgia is lost on me. Sure, I’ve done my research on their dreaded Boxing Day split, and can laugh along with my British friends at Lisa Scott Lee’s “But I’m B List at Capitol”. And though the pop culture aspect may not connect, the euphoric nature of their music certainly does. But even with my appreciation of their 90’s hits, nothing could have prepared me for what Steps had planned for their 20 year reunion.
Pop certainly loves a comeback. It’s kind of, like, its thing. Remember JoJo? She’s back (and, ugh, “Vibe” is a bop). Vanessa Carlton had an underrated folk-pop album in 2015. Dido tried to do it in 2013. It’s then perhaps unsurprising that our favorite alt-pop stars of the early-aughts, Nelly Furtado and Michelle Branch, have new comeback albums. Read More
Suffice it to say that 2016 is off to a good start. Our favorite tracks of January and February range countries, genres, and even languages, but they’re all worth memorizing for when they inevitably become karaoke classics. Read More
In honor of one of our favorite holidays (Valentine’s Day, not Presidents' - no offense, George) we put together a little playlist of our favorite songs about love and heartbreak. Pop music’s obsession with love, lust and the destructive power of each means almost any song could soundtrack Cupid’s favorite day of the year, and perhaps that’s why we love the holiday so much. Or maybe it’s just the pink candy hearts.
As a little tie in we are spotlighting three artists included that we love who will (hopefully) be releasing their debut albums this year. Read More
A NEUROlogical pondering of a future POP classic Read More
2015 is over. For us here at Neuropop, that means its time to reflect on the memories, mistakes, and magic moments that are evoked when we now hear our favorite songs from the year. From Marina & the Diamonds to Tove Styrke, here is how we remember our year in music. Read More
2015 should have been a breakthrough year for big pop players. Taylor Swift had “bravely” ventured into the nostalgic synth genre and made it mainstream mere months before 2014 ended. But incredible and big pop comebacks by North American legends Hilary Duff and Carly Rae Jepsen went ignored. Justin Bieber brought minimal and tropical house to the forefront, Selena Gomez pulled things back with sultry “Good For You” and Demi Lovato updated Perry's sapphic “I Kissed A Girl” with “Cool For the Summer”. The Weeknd mined the ‘80s for both his much praised record, Beauty Behind the Madness, and number one single, certified banger “I Can’t Feel My Face”. But while Abel channeled Michael, Jepsen’s channeling of Cindy Lauper went virtually ignored on the charts. But E•MO•TION proves to rival and improve upon even Swift’s best work on 1989. Read More
Pop music has always been characteristically obsessed with youth. From the public outcry (and arousal) over Britney Spears' '90s sexy schoolgirl in "Hit Me Baby" to the shocked pearl-clutching over Miley formally renouncing her wholesome Hannah Montana image, we've been paradoxically titillated yet also condemnatory of the youthful sexuality behind top 40 pop songs. It is no coincidence that for all the tween starlets toying with a sultry image, there exist other pop stars -- more mature, more jaded, more world-weary (at least in how they present themselves) -- that play with the concept of death. From Lana Del Rey's Lolita-esque "Born to Die" to Ke$ha's "Die Young," pop stars toying with death can somehow appear alongside their lively, celebratory, youth-obsessed colleagues with no one batting an eyelash at the awkward juxtaposition of tone and aesthetic. Read More