Pauline – Answer
Pauline Kamusewu is a Swedish singer of catchy soulful pop who I think is highly underrated, because she had some brilliant songs, particular this one and Running Out Of Gaz, which I posted on Into The Groove in its younger days. Pauline has a great voice and with these great songs it’s a shame she’s not better known. Since releasing her debut album she’s also duetted with a singer called Rigo on Say Say Say (not the Hi Tack song), and hopefully new material is on its way, although her website is no longer in existence – I’m hoping it’s just a change of management or something, cos it would be a shame to lose her completely.

Marit Larsen – Under The Surface
Marit’s first solo single went down very well with Internetting pop fans and those of her home country of Norway as well, since it went to no.1 in the singles chart, and her album has been very successful too. This is the second single and the video starts out seeming like a simple performance video but turns into something quite unusual and very fun to watch, so stick with it!

Ellie Campbell – Don’t Want You Back
Ellie was a solo singer who worked with Pete Waterman (and J from 5ive, who she met in a shopping centre, on one song!) and released a few singles in the early 00s, this one being by far the best. It didn’t do very well in the charts but if you, like any sane person, love the Britney-inspired Scandi-pop sound that was everywhere at that time then this is certainly worth a watch, as one of the best examples of it. Ellie was last seen auditioning for the X Factor with her sisters (she just missed the bit where you go to a judge’s house), of which she has plenty since she was one of 10 kids and a disinterest in contraception seems to run in the family since her mum was one of 21!

I’m From Barcelona – Collection of Stamps
I wasn’t that interested in this band’s first single until I saw the ace video, and I’m pleased to report that the follow-up is just as fab, and they are fast becoming one of my top bands of 2006. They’re so jolly and show everything that is good about Sweden and its super-cool inhabitants. Their songs are very funny too – this one as you may have guessed, is about stamp-collecting! With about 30 members in the group, they are like the Polyphonic Spree but much much better.

Elize – Automatic (live at the TMF Awards)
This was one of my absolute favourite singles from 2005 and Elize is one ace popstar as well. She was a model in her home country of Holland until she became a singer with her three dance-pop singles Shake, Automatic and I’m No Latino. All of them are good but this one is a step above. OK, so she looks a little stripper-esque in this get-up, but the Dannii Minogues of this world can only dream of releasing a single of this calibre.

Now, time for the chart countdown. Interestingly, the 2 biggest pop hits of the past few months in the UK have risen back to the top, despite being around for a long time. Perhaps its time to give them a rest, and let other acts have a go? Let me know what you think in the comments boxes.

5. Mihai Traistariu – Tornero
4. Pipettes – Pullshapes
3. Kate Ryan – Je t’adore
2. Rihanna – SOS (Rescue Me)

and at no.1…

Infernal – From Paris To Berlin
I’m sure you’ve all seen the original video a zillion times by now so here’s a different version. It’s been made for the world cup and is the same song with cheesy lyrics such as “when we’re thinking of Roo, and all the things he can do” and some rather strange dubbing of the new lyrics over the old video. It seems even ace pop music can’t escape in these terrible times of world cup mania. And should Infernal even be supporting the UK when they’re Danish? However, anything that increases their chances of releasing another single (which HAS to be Cheap Trick Kinda Girl – it’s a sure-fire hit and unlike A To The B and Keen On Disco, it sounds different to FPTB) is a good thing really.

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