i've said it before, but when i first started this blog in august 2015 (!!) i never thought it would still be going almost five years later, but here's to another five.
1. kylie minogue
when kylie announced her new single say something earlier this week, it sent Gay Twitter into meltdown as it had been nearly 2 years since her country-inspired album golden was released (the less said about that the better).
like every Pop Lover, i've been a fan of kylie since i was about six years old, so i was excited for her long-awaited return to the world of pop, or more specifically disco.
while say something was described by various news outlets as a "disco inspired" track - probably because her upcoming album is literally titled disco - it has a more 80s-inspired sound thanks to the backing track which sounds eerily similar to radio ga ga by queen.
though it's certainly not a bad thing, i definitely felt a bit misled when i listened to it for the first time, so hopefully the rest of disco will actually sound like, you know, disco.
yesterday i also discovered the incredibly chaotic banger skirt from 2013 and if i can't have you, a collaboration with sam sparro (of black and gold fame) and producer garibay, which spotify was kind enough to automatically play once i'd finished my 67th consecutive listen of say something.
2. call me loop
when strike was first released in may, i declared it one of the best songs of the year and it's a statement i still stand by.
this frighteningly catchy bop has an excellent Big Chorus, but then again i'd expect nothing less from call me loop, who co-wrote the pussycat dolls' comeback single react and has released a string of impeccable bops over the last four years.
3. nasty cherry
my most played song this week has to be better run run by nasty cherry, from their latest EP, season 2. after being put together by charli xcx - who documented the whole thing in the form of a netflix documentary series - the group have formed what appears to be a genuine bond and their passion for the music they've been making is obvious.
i adored their earlier singles win and live forever, but this new EP shows them moving in a more experimental direction, building on their super nostalgic 90s sound with the dylan brady-produced i am king and cardamom december, which has a moodier cocteau twins feel.
4. isac elliot
another song i've played to death is weekend by finnish singer isac elliot. from the moment i pressed play and felt goosebumps all over my arms, i knew this was a special song. i can't explain how or why certain songs make me feel this way, but i truly can't get enough of the synth-driven production of this banger.
naturally i had to delve into his discography and discovered a whole host of bops including glitter, engine and tired of missing you from his 2014 album follow me. they all went straight into my glory days playlist, which celebrates the golden era of pop production from roughly 2008-2016, and there was more of the same with paper plane, are you gonna be my girl and new way home, which all appeared on his debut album, new way home.
both albums are reminiscent of up all night and take me home by one direction - which would make sense as elliot was just 12 (!) when his first album was released - but as a lover of what most people would deem "trashy" pop, i firmly believe all of these albums still sound excellent to this day.
5 vardaan arora
i've been a fan of vardaan arora for just over a year now, and he just keeps getting better with every release.
back in june he gave us imposter syndrome, an incredibly ~relatable~ bop which encourages listeners to "embrace their anxieties" and it definitely reassures me that i'm not the only person prone to overthinking.
his latest single i don't wanna know - a collaboration with korea's first openly queer artist MRSHLL - is a total 180, described as a "confident no strings hookup anthem", and i am here for it.
with his debut EP heartbreak on the dancefloor arriving on august 21st, i'm hoping for even more bops that manage to encapsulate the full spectrum of millennial struggles we're all going through during this challenging time.
6. dorian electra
the last year has been incredibly busy for dorian electra; in 2019 they released their debut album flamboyant, which i recently re-listened to and basically haven't stopped playing since.
along with singles career boy, daddy like, man to man and of course flamboyant, the rest of the album is impeccable. highlights include mr. to you, live by the sword, emasculate, fReAkY 4 life and guyliner, which is one of the biggest bangers of recent memory.
sorry bro (i love you) was released in may this year, featuring production from longtime collaborator dylan brady, along with a remix album in june. a particular standout was the bronze avery remix, which brings his signature pop sound - best heard on his outstanding single boys! - to the track; my only complaint is that it's just 1 minute and 15 seconds long.
then yesterday dorian released give great thanks, another dylan brady-produced masterpiece that is most definitely not safe for work, and sees them moving in an even more experimental direction, if such a thing is possible.
my introduction to dagny came with her 2017 single love you like that, a song that still sounds incredible every time i listen to it. clearly i'm not the only one who thinks so, as katy perry interpolated it into her 2019 single never really over.
this year dagny has also blessed us with more bops, including come over and somebody, which peter robinson of popjustice recently tweeted about, bringing it back to my attention and reminding me to give it a long overdue write-up.
while i do agree that the "middle eight could work a bit harder", the song captures the same feel-good energy as love you like that, and for that reason it's back on repeat.
8. jodie connor
a few weeks ago i put my party playlist on shuffle and rediscovered good times by roll deep, which features vocals from jodie connor. released in 2010, the song instantly brought back (somewhat traumatic) memories of my Teenage Years, and i felt compelled to investigate jodie connor's spotify page in case she too had released some bops of her own.
i was definitely not disappointed as i unearthed the masterpiece which is bring it, a 2011 collaboration with tinchy stryder that i wish i'd been aware of ten years ago. there was also take you there, which would have made an excellent eurovision entry, and her most recent release, 2016's good lovin, which manages to merge the sound of elena foureira and PC music, a combination that on paper sounds terrible but somehow works.
9. bryce bowyn
i became aware of bryce bowyn when he followed me on twitter a few months ago, so i listened to his music and instantly became obsessed with nostalgic, which - as the title suggests - finds him reminiscing about a past relationship.
it's a feeling i know all too well; just when you think you've fully moved on, the tiniest thing can remind you of that person and bring you right back to a certain time, good or bad. starting out as a electro-pop bop, it crescendos into an incredibly dramatic middle section before descending into a full on Club Banger.
this same theatrical~ energy can be found on his most recent song just love me, which has a touch of artpop-era lady gaga about it, and i can't get enough.
10. GIRLI/rony rex
my obsession with girli shows no signs of slowing down thanks to cold feet, her recent collaboration with rony rex. this is a dancefloor-ready banger that makes a walk to the corner shop feel like you're on the drag race runway, and now that the odd one out era is over, i can't wait to see what's next for the rising star.