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As the trends in music evolve, as does the definition of pop music. Pop started as an abbreviation for popular; since the mid-20th-century, it has become the go-to term to define the music currently holding the most favour with the public. The evolving nature of pop makes it hard to pinpoint the pioneers; some say it all started when performers needed a catchy and memorable song in the Victorian area, while others say that pop began with the original crooners in the 30s.

The introduction of the pop music charts in 1952 allowed a cultural shift to form around music. It was at this point in history that teenagers became a massive target for the media. Before this new social reconstruction, there had been no in-between for children and adults. Just as it is now in the TikTok age, where teenagers can make an unknown artist go viral in minutes, teenagers effectively ran the music industry in the 50s too!

After Elvis Presley reigned supreme in the late 50s and early 60s, the Beatles dominated the charts for eight years until they disbanded in 1970. Throughout the 80s, synthpop took the pop limelight until the Boy Band era was born in the 90s. The selling power of East 17, Take That, Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync gave Bob and Chris Herbert the idea to manufacture the world’s ultimate girl group; with the Spice Girls, they discernibly succeeded. After the Spice Girls topped the charts, more manufactured pop acts, such as Britney and Mariah Carey, started to surface. Manufacturing is still a massive part of the pop industry, but more and more pop artists are becoming brave enough to break the mould (think Billie Eilish, St. Vincent and Lorde).

Even though the pop charts are more diverse than ever, with Ed Sheeran sitting next to the Weeknd and Dua Lipa next to Tom Grennan, there are still common factors in their pop tracks. Today, most songs that fall into the pop category follow the extensively tried and tested pop formula. Generally speaking, pop tracks are 3 – 5 minutes in duration, use just one key, contains melodically lyrical soundbites that include the title, have a repeating chorus and keep to 4/4 time signatures. Repetition is quite literally key.

Unless it is a ballad or a stripped back acoustic number, pop tracks usually unfold to danceable tempos and rhythms to complement the lyrical hooks. Elements from every genre can be pulled into pop, the main ones being rock, RnB, hip hop, country, Latin and dance. Indie pop was a force to be reckoned with at the start of the millennium, but two decades in, it has lost its foothold to hip hop and RnB, which have become pop genres in of themselves.

Embrace the chaos with Aimee Saturne’s alchemically ethereal dark pop single, Edge of the World

Dark pop alchemist, Aimee Saturne, proves that she’s still LA’s supreme in her latest single, Edge of the World, which incorporates her usual sultry air while encapsulating the same sense of trepidation that has been gripping us all a little too hard as of late.

Edge of the World finds an ethereal way to call out to anyone who is feeling trapped on our hell-scape of a planet where we can’t quite escape the unjustness or find an even footing within it.

The single starts with her smoother than smooth vocal timbre atop muted guitars; when the momentum begins to build in the electro-pop hit, there’s a tumultuous nature in spite of the arrestive pull of the moody melodies. Aimee Saturne deserves to be equally as revered as Billie Eilish, St Vincent, and every other pop visionary that is taking the future of pop into their deft hands. With her debut album currently in production, she is definitely one to watch.

Edge of the World is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Red Bike By His Side: Simona-Valentina is quite wonderful on her latest nostalgic gem called ‘Love Is Written In The Tears’

From reminding us about that all-important true love that we should treasure forever on the stunning ‘Whispers‘ from August 2021, we are brought more beauty that is intertwined with much sadness by the wonderfully gifted Simona-Valentina via her new single ‘Love Is Written In The Tears‘.

Simona-Valentina is a multi-talented London, UK-based indie folk/pop singer-songwriter, one half of SVRPoole, painter, and dancer who was born in the intriguing lands of Victoria, Transylvania.

‘I decided to write a song and express my darkest fears of losing the ones I love most. I was contemplating on my childhood, my upbringing, grandparents that I loved dearly and whom I lost one by one with the falling of the trees and passing of times.
A song was born that day, “Love is written in the tears” which in essence is a song about family, time and love and my deepest desire to turn tears into years so I can enjoy more time with the ones I love.” ~ Simona-Valentina

Singing with her trademark compassion and sincere emotion, Simona-Valentina opens up the door to her heart and shows us into her picture of feeling that she wants more time to be with those who she truly cares for. In a sad world that has closed its doors for too long, this is an expressive masterpiece by a delightful musician and sweet spirit who is at her absolute best.

Love Is Written In The Tears‘ from the London, UK-based indie folk/pop artist Simona-Valentina, shows us a deeply caring soul who misses that vital family bond so much. She performs with so much love pouring out of her heart that purrs so sweetly throughout your enticed veins. This is that mirror-on-the-wall story about wondering if you do have that extra time to be with those that you love before it’s too late – as you gently gather your tears – and hope that you have many more years left to spend those priceless moments together.

Listen to her latest captivating new single on Soundcloud and see her travels via the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Tyler Shamy has already released the breakup track of the year with ‘without a trace’

There are few sadder things than watching the co-creator of your memories disappear and become past tense; the up and coming pop sensation, Tyler Shamy, explored just that in his latest artfully crafted electro-pop ballad, without a trace.

Beyond the sonic finesse, it is the sentiment the single was created with that allows it to resonate as breathtaking from the first hit. With its vulnerability, the single calls all those possessive ‘I will never let you go’ pop singles into question as Shamy gives a far less toxic perspective on mourning an amorous loss. The visceral pain is there, but in place of the bitterness, there’s an acknowledgement of the tenderness in the intimacy that once existed. This gravitas-bursting break-up track should be on every coupled-up person’s playlists – just in case. The LA-based artist is evidently one to watch. Whether he’s scoring for TV and film or creating for the airwaves, he always knows how to deliver the maximum evocative effect.

Tyler Shamy’s latest single, without a trace, is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Like The Back Of My Hand: Superb Irish artist Hallie tries to move on from the vicious heartbreak on ‘Impact’

With a captivating single that has you totally immersed into her story about trying to get past this inner pain, Hallie shows us what she has been going through lately with her 5th single called ‘Impact‘.

Hallie is an Irish indie-pop singer-songwriter who has dealt with many traumatic issues over the past few years and uses this incredible single to ease the past away as she regains her former self from the shadows.

It’s an honest, open conversation to herself while reflecting on a past turbulent relationship, with a plea for understanding and acceptance, following a breakup without closure and wounds that never seem to heal.” ~ Hallie

With the pop breakup anthem of 2022 so far, Hallie is at her vulnerable best with this mirror-filled effort that is so touching and rather tragic. She was madly in love and thought everything would fall into place so perfectly, as instead, she felt like her heart broke in half due to that evil former lover.

Impact‘ from the inspiring Irish indie-pop singer-songwriter and mental health advocate Hallie, is a moving single that will certainly shake your soul to the core. With soothing piano, emotional vocals, and honest lyrics that might have you shedding a tear for the unnecessary pain that was caused on this resolute young woman. Sung with a true grace from someone who knows that she needs to move on – but just can’t seem to currently – this is an exquisite effort that will have you thinking so deeply about that person who you thought would be around forever.

Listen to this excellent new single on Spotify and see more news about her life via the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Starting Fights: TRNR wonders when they will listen and really ‘Change’ (feat. Miriam and the Tipsy Pandas)

As they struggle to keep the peace in a complex web of love that has been damaged by mental wars, TRNR shows us into a story about when two people need to step back for a moment and see through a new viewpoint on ‘Change(feat. Miriam and the Tipsy Pandas).

TRNR is a St. Louis, Missouri indie-pop solo artist and taco-lover who sings with a flamboyant innocence that has you gazing through your window.

”“Change” is the title of my new single about the fights in a relationship. It can be hard to see eye to eye at times but you can always work through things with a little bit of change.” ~ TRNR

With his smoothly-lipped vocals, bright blue hair, and honest nature that has you admiring his unassuming style, TRNR sings with a vigorous passion that helps us understand what it really takes to succeed in love in this rather odd world.

Change(feat. Miriam and the Tipsy Pandas) from St. Louis, Missouri indie-pop musician TRNR, is an honest track that will have many of us nodding at the picture presented. Sometimes two people love each other so much but forget to think about the other perspective that you have forgotten about. This is the call to grab that hand tight and sort out any silly differences, which are holding you both back from gaining that all-important special bond that moulds you together forever.

Listen up on Spotify and check out his moves via IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

The queens of emboldening lyrical mantras, The LOOP, have released their latest alt-RnB single, ABOUT YOU

Boston’s most empowering alt-RnB duo, The LOOP, have released their latest single, ABOUT YOU. The track serves as the perfect introduction to the teen artist’s fiery approach to their sound that melds urban pop, hip hop and RnB with the catchy and conscious wit in their lyrics.

With invaluably introspective lyrical drops, such as “confidence is more than attitude” and “why try so hard to be something you’re not”, by the outro comes around, you’ll be left with emboldening mantras tattooed inside your mind.

It takes most people a lifetime to come to the same epiphanies that Marcia Bibbins and M’Zariah Starr share through their singles. At this point, we probably shouldn’t need to point out that they are ones to watch. Especially with their tendency to artfully stamp down their signature sound in each of their releases.

ABOUT YOU is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Too Caught Up: South London’s FERNE drops breakup-fueled single all about ‘Louisa’

As she endeavours to quickly forget the past and cleans out the kitchen cupboard to get rid of anything left behind by her foolish cheating ex, FERNE guides us into this emotionally-charged story that will have you leaning closer to hear each word with ‘Louisa‘.

Jordan Blythe Nelson aka FERNE is a Philadelphia-born, Southwest London, UK-based indie alt-pop solo musician and University student.

FERNE started her music career when she moved to London in 2019 to study music technology at university. She was discovered at the regional finals of an open mic competition in London where she was signed to an artist development program and has been creating ever since.” ~ FERNE

After her promising 4-track EP called ‘Dreams‘ from 2019, you immediately sense the massive growth from an artist who seems to be elevating her game after a brief hiatus to evolve her sound and to work on her studies.

With sincere vocals and beautifully-crafted lyrics that have you feeling so captivated by her vividly projected picture, FERNE is so honest on this incredible single that will take you into a highly contemplative place.

Louisa‘ from the youthful Southwest London-based indie alt-pop artist FERNE, is such a tremendous new single from a delightful musician who sings from the heart. She tells us the true story that threatened to derail her life and cause her to lose confidence – as she shows so much strength – to only be with those who will truly care for her valuable heart as she ultimately deserves.

Listen to this excellent new single on Spotify and see more on her IG page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

So High: Authentic Armenian-American artist Angela Mona wants to get out of this maze on the incredible ‘Deadible’

With a luscious ambient feel to proceedings that are brewed softly with some of the most gorgeous vocals you will hear all year, Angela Mona feels like she is trapped and doesn’t quite know yet how to get out with her latest gem called ‘Deadible‘.

Angela Mona is a Murrieta, California-raised, Arizona-born Armenian-American indie alternative singer-songwriter and pianist.

We find a truly inspiring young woman realizing her vast potential here – who has recently realized her worth – and is inspired by self-improvement and the sweet sounds of Jazz, Blues and RnB.

From speaking late as a toddler to writing intense lyrics and melodies since 12 years of age- Angela had soon accepted her potential, fighting back negative comments and arrogant laughs. While she endured heavy peer pressure, health issues from a young age, and witnessed family financial struggles of their own; her unstoppable, eager sense of drive to prove her capability and strength remains persistent.” ~ Angela Mona

After taking a short break to regain that much-needed thick skin needed to survive a planet that is full of smug small-minded fools who want to see you fail, Angela Mona sings with such genuine beauty as each word is so meaningful. There is a crystal clear vocal ability for all to lather into that will suddenly have you seeing hairs appear on your body that were unknown before.

Deadible‘ from the brave Armenian-American indie singer-songwriter and pianist Angela Mona, is a dark-pop track laced with so much honesty it might take a few listens to fully digest. This is the story about sparking up just to forget all the trauma in the world but reaching a point when you just can’t sleep, as you feel that everything is just so overwhelming currently.

With a relevant message for so many who feel like they are constantly being locked inside with no escape, this is a spectacular track that is a real eye-opener at a time where we all need so much love to emerge from our own anxiety-filled minds.

Hear a hidden angel shine so bright on Spotify and take a look into her life on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Yes It’s Hard: Justin Turk shows us how to force open the gates of our inner ‘Passion’

https://justinturk.com/track/2934149/passion

Carried off his brand new 4-track EP called ‘Just In Time‘, Justin Turk sends us a reminder about that all-important strength needed to shine brightly with his latest single named ‘Passion‘.

Palm Coast, Florida-based pop/rock/folk solo singer-songwriter Justin Turk is one of the most passionate artists around who started his career when he was just 14 years old. The moment he first played live, he just knew that this is what he wanted to do for a living.

Old songs can trigger memories and take you back in time to a place of your youth. It can be healing and liberating. That’s why Justin creates music for you and anyone who is willing to listen.” ~ Justin Turk

Showing us that if you stay positive you can actually win, Justin Turk is at his inspiring best with a harmonious song that has you feeling fresh and ready to win in life again. He sings with confident freedom that is certainly a wind of calm, in a gusting world that can push you down so suddenly if you aren’t too careful.

Passion‘ from Palm Coast, Florida-based pop/rock/folk artist Justin Turk, is a dreamy single that urges us to take off those suffocating blinkers as we can actually do anything. With a likeable personality, smooth vocals, and inspiring lyrics that help us to see through all that damaging self-doubt, this is a now-or-never single that shall have you pondering your next moves. The world can be harsh but if you ignore the noise, you can actually achieve whatever you want.

Starting the race is the only way to reach that chequered flag.

Listen to this new single on his website and see more of his actions on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Out Of The Cold: Seattle’s Lauren Drake drops reflective 3rd single ‘Play Along’

Recorded and produced by John Lowell-Anderson, Lauren Drake shows us all that it’s vitally essential to learn that self-worth, love, and find your ultimate purpose, that is all interwoven inside your soul already as you just need to believe in yourself on ‘Play Along‘.

Lauren Drake is a Seattle, USA-based singer-songwriter and actor who studies at Pepperdine University. After her much-loved previous releases called ‘Malibu‘ and ‘Okay‘, we find a highly thoughtful artist in a contemplative mood with a song she wrote back in 2019.

She writes to fill a void of articulated emotions and shares her music in order to help others have their different feelings, emotions and situations become seen and understood.” ~ Lauren Drake

Showing great courageousness to elegantly navigate us into this emotional story that is so personal, Lauren Drake holds our hand with supreme care and guides us into her past life while also thrusting us into the future. This is a determined young artist who was lost for a while in the winds of change, but found her inner compass and now is so much more self-enlightened as she emerges victorious.

Play Along‘ from the Seattle-based indie singer-songwriter and actor Lauren Drake is a regret-filled track about wishing that you could just do it all again to avoid all the pain that really broke you down for a while. After a period of profound introspection, this is a deeply inspiring song that shows you that you can’t change the past and that is a good thing. Growing stronger and figuring out who you actually are when the chips are down, is the best way to see through the fake smoke and mirrors and into a better world that actually completes you.

Hear this new single on her Spotify and see more via the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen