1. the weeknd
the 80s resurgence of late shows no signs of slowing down, with the release of starboy, the latest release from the weeknd. though it came out in november, it was only in the last month that i got into it after hearing lead single starboy in a (depressingly empty) club one night. the influence of dance pioneers daft punk can be heard on this track, as well as i can feel it coming, a smooth-as-silk ode to a lover, but it's secrets, which samples tears for fears excellent 1983 track, pale shelter, that is my current favourite.
2. george michael
news of the legend's passing on christmas day shocked the world, with my best friend and i, both home for the festive season, finding out the news while drinking in a local pub. luckily we got to watch some of our old classmates from high school embarrass themselves doing karaoke, which softened the blow slightly, but in a year where we lost so many important queer icons, it did ruin the night ever so slightly. the last few weeks have seen me revisit some of my favourite tracks from the man himself as well as his band wham!, including club tropicana, wake me up before you go-go, young guns (go for it!) and careless whisper, which is, in my opinion, one of the best pop songs ever created.
3. tove lo
after reading this article on autostraddle, a link in the comments redirected me to fairy dust, the film accompanying swedish songstress tove lo's second album, lady wood. though i didn't really understand what was going on for the majority of the video, it did remind me of her ability to create an excellent pop song, specifically true disaster, influence, cool girl and lady wood.
4. pet shop boys
though i've discussed this band at length before, i rediscovered them on new year's eve, which was spent alone listening to everything from 80s cheese a la rick astley to fame monster-era lady gaga, and listening to electric and super at full volume got me ridiculously excited to see the pet shop boys live with my mother next month.
5. hannah diamond
again, i've talked about PC music here in the past, but hannah diamond's latest track, fade away has reminded me of how much i love them. a bittersweet ode to a lover who just won't commit, the songs lyrics contrast brilliantly with the party-ready beats the collective has become known for, while the video has all the makings of those lyric videos people would upload to youtube before spotify became a thing. here's to hoping that 2017 brings a full length album from hannah, but in the meantime i'll have this song on repeat.
6. peter gabriel
oh the things one can discover when browsing the internet, specifically peter gabriel's 1986 album, and his best selling to date, so. annoyingly, the album can't be found on spotify, but i did stumble upon a full length version uploaded to youtube. it was only after re-reading this clash interview with the 1975, and hearing matty profess his love of the album, that inspired me to finally listen to it. i didn't know what to expect, but as soon as red rain began, i got that feeling deep inside where you just know that an album is going to resonate with you for years to come. side note: this quote full on made me cry (nothing new there) because it literally sums up all my feelings towards pop music:
“what do you want from pop?” he asks. “huge sentiment. the ability to lose yourself. if you believe the person delivering that, it’s pure.” like ‘1989’ or carly rae jepsen’s ‘E.MO.TION’, Album Two is an ode to the ’80s, but healy insists that his ’80s revival is the place where he “naturally arrives”. he talks about ’80s’ ideals and unabashed sonic excess, rather than specific 808s or The Terminator. “who didn’t like ‘i wanna dance with somebody’ or ‘so’ by Peter gabriel? we had permission to love,” he says. healy might not have a song titled ‘new romantics’ but if london’s blitz club was active now, it would be the 1975 who’d brush shoulder-pads with boy george and spandau ballet. he grabs his heart. he’d let me hold it if he could. “that's