For the past several years, Australian pop star Banoffee has been emerging. That's done now.
In 2020, she's fully emerged, and set to release one of the best — if not the best — pop albums of the year. Maybe it's still too early to call it that, but Look At Us Now Dad is easily the best pop release of 2020 so far. Early singles like "Tennis Fan," a kiss off to inane cliqueness anchored by a stunning feature from Empress Of, and the sparkling, buoyant ride-or-die anthem "Count On You," just scratch the surface of what Dad has to offer. The rest was released last week, and its eleven songs and three interludes that encapsulate the aches and joys of trauma, healing, and growth that punctuate so much of early adulthood.
Breaking out with the single "Ninja" in 2013, an early self-titled EP in 2014 and a quick follow-up, Do I Make You Nervous? in 2015 drew lots of attention from the then-booming indie music blogosphere. But over the next five years, Banoffee (born Martha Brown) dealt with more than a few real life issues that kept her from focusing on music; a self-described mental breakdown led her to move across the world, leaving Melbourne behind and making her home in Los Angeles circa 2017. In California, she began to work seriously on the collection of songs that make up her debut album, which was released via immaculate indie tastemakers, Cascine Records.
Don’t try to put Roddy Ricch in a box — his tenure at the top of the charts just hit its ninth week, catapulting the emerging rap star into the realm of full-fledged pop star. Returning for yet another notch on his belt this week, “The Box” is still dominating Billboard’s singles chart. Meanwhile, on the album side, BTS’ new record Map Of The Soul: 7 is breaking records, becoming their fourth No. 1 bow and the biggest sales week of the year so far with 422,000 equivalent album units. Oh, and their single, “On,” just went to No. 4 on the singles chart, so they might have a No. 1 song in the works, too.
Alaina Castillo is about to be everywhere, so mark her name down now, and blast her newest single “Valentine’s Day” to hear for yourself. This 19-year-old Mexican-American pop star in the making grew up singing in her church choir in Houston, and listening to the traditional music of her father’s Mexican culture. Castillo has lyrics in both English and Spanish, but her voice is flawless no matter what language she’s singing in.
Yesterday, March 2, was Chris Martin’s 43rd birthday — and no matter who you are, no one is above admitting that Coldplay is still one of the greatest pop rock acts of the 2000's. From the ubiquity of their hit single “Yellow,” to their crazy run of great albums, Parachutes (2000), A Rush Of Blood To The Head (2002), and X&Y (2005), few rock bands achieved the crossover pop success these guys had achieved — and none of it is possible without Chris Martin’s feathery falsetto. Happy Birthday Chris! Here’s hoping you get another Beyonce collab someday soon.
MILCK broke out in a big way with her 2017 hit “Quiet” — which is about being anything but — and was adopted as an anthem for survivors of sexual abuse and assault. A huge sync in the breakout TV show The Bold Type put her on the map in an even bigger way, and paved the way for her initial EP, This Is Not The End, in 2018. Well, that title was a bit prophetic, because now the young singer born Connie K. Lim has a deal with Atlantic Records and another brand new EP to her name called Into The Gold . Building on the ideas articulated in her breakout single and expanding into redemptive pop songs with incredible heart, like the stirring paradise-found track, “If I Ruled The World,” MILCK is just getting started. That throne will be hers in no time, so expect more benevolent pop with a real message.