Vardaan Arora, Bajillionaire, Jessica Mauboy & This Week’s 11 Best New Bops

#11: JAYS & JDP – Misfits

Does anyone actually wear matching socks? I swear it’s actually a myth. I have never met anyone who wears matching socks EVERY day. Anyway there’s a line in this song about how misfit kids don’t wear matching socks and that’s part of their quirk. It’s a very nice start for JAYS but I am already ready for something a bit deeper.

#10: Scarlet Pleasure – 24/7

It’s a bit of pop, a bit of country and a bit of a Latin spin but it’s from Denmark. I don’t know how it works, but it does. This band are enormous in Denmark. Let’s make that happen in more countries please.

#9: Dekleyn – Lost My Mind

Coupla young Sydney guys who’ve made a good song here. The beats are interesting, it’s well-produced and completely genre-less.

#8: Citizen Kay – EGO

CK’s biggest singalong yet.

#7: Alice Jemima – Icarus

Sophie Ellis-Bextor co-wrote this and that initially attracted my attention, obvi, but it’s a really great song. Alice has one of those quieter voices that I generally don’t gravitate towards, but this is really great. Moonlight stuff.

#6: ROMII – You Keep Running

An extremely good electronic power-ballad from a QLD gal with an effortlessly huge vocal that never feels too much.

#5: Mokita – Til I Don’t

Apparently he plays a lot of instruments. It’s subtle, fun and catchy. Good combo.

#4: Dom Youdan – Is Your Lover Still Cool?

He was born in London, lives in Sydney and writes this kind of intimate, sad but super blissful stuff with really big production. It’s hard not to like this.

#3: Jessica Mauboy – Sunday

Quite an ideal return to releasing stuff, really. This is her best return single since Can I Get A Moment. JMau wrote it with The Orphanage (Demi’s Sorry Not Sorry) and it’s as tender & introspective as it is sassy & self-assured. From all reports her single launch shows were fucking phenomenal – this is going to be a big year for her.

#2: Bajillionaire – Sleepwalking ft. Brewer

Charlie began to write this with Yorke, then Yorke couldn’t sing on it, then Charlie was at a party with Fergus James, then Fergus James introduced him to Brewer, then they made the rest of this together. Wholesome. It’s a song about being in your own head and sorta walking through each day on autopilot just getting by. They went for a less literal approach, which hasn’t been how Charlie’s written in the past generally, and they’ve executed it perfectly in every way.

#1: Vardaan Arora – january

If you break it down, this song is really a bopwriting masterclass. There’s pop familiarities in some lines “the day we met // running through my veins”, it’s smattered with specifics like “the nineteenth”, it’s got humour like “loving me, even though I’m batshit” and it’s cute lyrically and instrumentally from top to tail. The minimalism in the early parts lets the words really stick – the synth in the pre-chorus creates some tension and the drop is vocal chop heaven. Not just is this a really exceptional pop song, it represents a comfort & confidence Vardaan’s been yet to express in his music, and we all need an “I’m going good” anthem every now and then, don’t we.

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