looking at my most played artists on spotify, it's hard to believe there was a time when i listened to exclusively male artists. as well as mainstays charli xcx, ariana grande and lady gaga, there's a whole host of new artists, some of which i'll mention in this post.
1. chelsea jade
if anything, the market for female pop stars is over-saturated, and many have struggled to stand out, and it's rare that i find a new pop act that sends goosebumps along my arms, but as soon as i pressed play on chelsea jade's debut album, i felt that familiar spark of excitement that comes with discovering something new. comparing artists simply because they're female is somewhat reductive, but new zealand's newest star chelsea jade's debut album is part st. vincent, part robyn with just a hint of lorde. there must be something in the water down in new zealand, as both artists have a knack for razor sharp songwriting and infectiously catchy rhythms, and i know personal best will be played on heavy rotation in the next few months. the entire album is impeccable, but highlights include ride or cry, life of the party, pitch dark and laugh it off.
2. alice chater
i discovered alice after seeing a sponsored post on my instagram feed and fell in love with the stomping beat and club-ready synths of girls x boys, which i'm pretty sure is her ode to bisexuality; the video certainly hints at an attraction to both genders. i also can't get enough of the accompanying remix by knoxa and her newest disco infused single heartbreak hotel - the song being promoted on instagram - which was added to my party playlist immediately.
3. folly rae
another artist i discovered through instagram - she kept appearing on my story - and after weeks of ignoring the ads, i listened to her new single you don't love me, and haven't stopped since. the lyrics are a classic tale of what has come to be known as don't-need-no-man Female Empowerment™ but her blend of dance-pop keeps things interesting.
4. drake/michael jackson
upon the release of drake's latest album scorpion the track everyone seemed most excited about was don't matter to me, which featured posthumous vocals from michael jackson. after pondering how much he must have paid to have the sample included on his track, i gave it a listen and was pleasantly surprised, as drake isn't an artist i'd usually listen to. decidedly melancholy in the way only a scorpio could be, i've had the track on repeat when i'm feeling particularly dramatic, which for me is most of the time. (never forget my school report from year three, which described me - around seven at the time - as having a "dramatic side to my nature" - clearly nothing has changed.) it also lead me to revisit michael jackson, somebody i've always been fascinated by, as back when i got my first ipod (!) he was one of the artists i played endlessly, and tracks like beat it, billie jean, thriller and smooth criminal haven't aged a day.
speaking of dramatic, i've been yelling along to thank you for the music more times than i can count after seeing the new mamma mia! film a few weeks ago. i previously mentioned how it reignited my love for various abba tracks i'd been neglecting, but there's a couple that slipped through the net, including angel eyes, the day before you came, head over heels and the visitors (the last three of which are technically not from the film but showcases the more ~mature~ side of the band's sound and songwriting).
i've also been playing the film's soundtrack which i was delighted to see is on spotify - meryl streep does a surprisingly good stripped down rendition of the day before you came and lily james is positively angelic on when i kissed the teacher, i have a dream and the name of the game.
i adored his first single wait, which was one of my most played songs from 2017, so i was overjoyed to discover FLORIO's new single keep it together a few weeks back. it's not often a song makes me feel this way, but upon hearing the 80s-inspired power ballad (yes really) i had to stop whatever i was doing, transfixed for reasons i can't quite explain.
7. charli xcx
it's a shame i don't have plans this weekend - my friends are off camping (!) in the lake district and after my traumatic experience at leeds festival i politely declined their invitation to come along - because charli finally released fan favourite girls night out. seeing this live last year - along with my beloved no angel - was one of the highlights of my life, so i'll be reminiscing as i play it on repeat today and planning a Look for my next night out.
anyone born in the mid/late 90s will be familiar with classics such as everytime we touch, because the night, what hurts the most and evacuate the dancefloor, but did you know that cascada are still making bops some ten years later? after seeing drag race winner aquaria post one of their earlier hits on her instagram story, i was compelled to check them out again and discovered some Absolute Bangers including playground, run, reason, dangerous and my favourite san fransisco - reminiscent of california gurls - which takes me back to a time was pop music was all about Having A Good Time, with not a political undertone in sight.
find all of these songs here.