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Pop Future: May 2021

By M. Oliver on

Pop Future is a monthly column that highlights the best new pop songs from rising artists on Audiomack. Listen to and favorite the Pop Future playlist, which includes all of these selections and more.

ASL — “Leona

ASL, a sextet of songwriters and producers for pop’s A-list, delivered their alt-pop collection EL GONZO in May, spotlighted by the hymnal power pop ballad “Leona.” ASL—who meet every six months for a mere 72 hours to record a project—join in choral unison for an ‘80s-induced soft rock refrain that delivers in radiance and popmanship alike.

ELIO — “When U Saw Love (Remix)” feat. Babygirl

Torontonian ELIO teamed up with Babygirl for a stripped-down refix of “When U Saw Love” from her new project, ELIO and Friends: The Remixes. The shimmering electropop standout from her Can You Hear Me Now EP is refurbished with harmonic distortion and analogue warmth, stirring with a glistening chorus.

ViVii — “Fool Alone

ViVii released their second LP, Mondays, accented by the ethereal deep cut “Fool Alone.” Reproaching mistakes in love over a textured interflow of strings and delicate harmonies, the Stockholm trio evoke the afflicted vulnerabilities of ‘60s chamber pop in a blissfully intimate folk confessional.

Skott — “Benz (Acoustic)

Swedish singer-songwriter Skott gave her 2020 album cut “Benz” an acoustic makeover for the summer. Setting her self-empowered reflections to a clarified ukulele backdrop, Skott wrestles with her internal conflict, brushing the strings with poignant musings on moving on.

Teddy Swims — “Blowin’ Smoke

Teddy Swims’ debut album Unlearning was home to the retro soul effort “Blowin’ Smoke.” The Atlanta-based artist summons the spirits of Ben E. King and the Drifters to express his affections in a vintage jukebox jam.

Kaptan — “past life

Kaptan’s new single “past life” is a glassy indie pop effort from the Nashville-based singer-songwriter. Suggesting his deep-rooted love may have traveled through rebirth, Kaplan’s declaration glides over a hazy synth arrangement, peaking with a fetching refrain and luminous guitar solo post-chorus.

Maddie Jay — “Undertow

British Columbia-born, Los Angeles-based Maddie Jay’s full-length CMYK boasted the wispy bedroom pop gem “Undertow.” Pivoting on a blissful jangle refrain, the lo-fi harmony of distorted synth stabs and wooly melodies provide a downbeat canvas for a despondent Maddie to detail her frustrations.

SHY Martin — “Feelings

SHY Martin fights for love on her buoyant new electropop release “Feelings.” The Lerdala, Sweden native reasons for a second chance on a bubbly synth score, which flows into a wistful, instrumental hook, and climaxes in a choral plea for a loved one to reconsider.

Alyssa Baker — “Electric Feel

Alyssa Baker reframed MGMT’s vaunted “Electric Feel” as a stirring ballad for her latest single. Wielding her evocative vocal over acoustic plucking, the Torontonian singer-songwriter creates a pensive air of longing.

Maria Lynn — “Why Do I

Maria Lynn poses the perennial question of self-evaluation in her first single of the year, “Why Do I.” Pinning her haunting vocals to a driving chorus, the New Jersey native channels her insecurities into a vulnerable and forward-looking pledge to self-possession.

FeaturespopASLELIOViViiSkottTeddy SwimsKaptanMaddie JaySHY MartinAlyssa BakerMaria Lynn

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