Amanda Jenssen – Happyland (Listen)
I’m very pleased to announce that Amanda’s music has taken a turn for the poptastic! The male backing vocals remind me of Rachel Stevens or Jamelia in their ’80s phases. The chorus is brilliant – it may well be even better than Amanda’s previous best song, Do You Love Me. It’s so nice when a singer who has always had potential for aceness actually fulfils that potential. Amanda’s debut album was nice enough, but none of the songs really stood out to me, other than the ace single. Hopefully we’ll see her perform this on Idol at some point, because it’s the kind of song that’ll be even better live. I just hope there’ll be more than one top quality pop song on album number two.
Lolene – Sexy People (Watch)
I wrote about US-based British pop lady Lolene a few months ago, which even led to her being featured in The Guardian! Since then she’s made a name for herself and this video has been posted all over the Internet over the last 24 hours. It’s a cheeky, flirty song with a catchy chorus, that Britney or Lady GaGa would be proud to release. The video is a bit naughty and very camp, obviously aiming to appeal to both gay and straight men, but hopefully girls will love it too as it’s great for a dance and sing along. I’ll be surprised if this song isn’t a huge hit, and I think Lolene has a career as sparkly as her video ahead of her.
Bertie Blackman – Byrds of Prey (Watch)
Bertie, who is actually female, has been described as the Aussie answer to Bat For Lashes. Although Australia is notoriously useless at pure pop music, they’ve been increasingly building a reputation for great quirky electro-pop acts, from Kate Miller-Heidke to Empire of the Sun. Although Bertie’s first UK single, Thumb, is just average in my opinion, I really like her current Australian single, and hopefully it will get her some recognition when it comes out over here next year. There is quite a lot of music like this at the moment, but Byrds of Prey is a very enjoyable example and the video is rather cool too.