FRESH OUT THE BOX: Mikky Ekko, G.R.L., Tove Styrke, & More



Just a few weeks into 2015 and I've already missed a week of releases but that's OK since not much really launched yesterday (sorry, Ne-Yo). Here's some buzzy newness to take a listen to...


MIKKY EKKO - "Pretend You Care"
Mikky's proper debut album, Time, saw release last week and though I was well aware of the hype around him, I just plain had no idea how much I would end up adoring the full set. Maybe you were like me and only really connected him with Rihanna's "Stay". If so, let that end right now and give Time a listen. It's full of great songs, especially "Love You Crazy", sexy "U", and my current favorite in "Pretend You Care". Take intensity of Sam Smith and mash it with ballad/mid-tempo Justin Timberlake and you've got a general idea. Get on board.

I definitely enjoy FOB's big hooky singles and this is no exception to the rule. It's arguably their most grabby single since "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark". Also, anything that samples a classic television theme (in this case, The Munsters -- what's up, Nick At Nite fans?), I'm on board for (unless it's Pitbull doing the sampling -- but that goes without saying, right?). 

FIFTH HARMONY - "Worth It (feat. KID INK)"
I'm really hoping "Sledgehammer" isn't a red herring. Reflections has been pushed back another week to next week and "Worth It" hit iTunes last week. Basically, if you liked/tolerated "Them Girls Be Like", this is another one in that vein mixed with Jason DeRulo's "Talk Dirty".

G.R.L. - "Lighthouse"
If Fifth Harmony is not your thing and you're waiting on an (American) Girl Group smash to stand behind, G.R.L. has got your back. In light of member Simone Battle's passing in September, the former quintet-now quartet is pushing on with this scorcher of a mid-tempo about being there for a friend in need. Had this been The Saturdays American breakthrough single, things might have been different. I'm hoping this gives the group more legs -- when paired with "Ugly Heart", they edge out 5H in the American(-ish) Gal Group race for me.

I've yet to watch the Lifetime film (yet) but any dancey Whitney is good Whitney. 
The road might be rough for Imagine Dragons following their massive breakthrough debut album hit. I've yet to hear a jam that compare to any of their previous singles. "Shots" sounds decidedly more Kings of Leon goes disco which isn't really a bad thing. It grows on you.

KOPPS - "Dumb"
I don't know a whole lot about KOPPS other than their featured tag on Joywave's "Tongues". But "Dumb" sure is catchy. 

NE-YO - "Coming With You"
Ne-Yo's latest album, Non-Fiction, dropped yesterday and basically went right through me -- which is a shame since he's such a fab songwriter. I did quite like "Coming With You" though, since it did have a bit of that 90's dance revival feel that is so trendy right now.

TOVE STYRKE - "Ego"
You gotta love Swede Pop because it can be so eclectic. "Ego" is decidedly mellower than previous singles from "the other Tove" -- perhaps to grab at the wave Tove Lo inadvertently created. Let me be clear -- the two are very different. But "Ego" is a clear swipe at Mainstream Top 40 with great results and might be my fave performance by Styrke vocally.


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