Hello Hello – Mango Blitz

With a sunbleached aesthetic and a bouncy pop sound and infectious call and response duetting, Hello Hello has the potential to give Mango Blitz a big daft summer hit. The band are based in Budapest and have been making fun pop records since 2015. Over the summer of 2017 they’re finalising an album which, according to their website and Google Translate ‘can be said to favour the dancers’. Sounds good to me.

Also, and I am just saying this, a lot of their very catchy and danceable songs come in at the three minute mark. Maybe they should think of giving A Dal a go next year?

Mango Blitz are on Facebook

Mango Blitz have a website 

Amena – Iveta Mukuchyan

It is very hot in the UK today, so I’m sharing with you this empowering, simmering pop song with an utterly preposterous spoken word intro. Iveta, never change, you’re everything we could want in a pop star. You should totally follow her instagram – her life seems to be about as pop starry as it’s possible to be.

I’m glad I waited until the music video was out to show you Amena – feast your eyes on some superb sci-fi fashions and largely irrelevant jellyfish.


Procrastination Queen – Liisi Koikson

If you like some pop that occasionally hits with a blast of juddering guitar noise, then allow me to present Procrastination Queen by Liisi Koikson. It’s an ode to everyone’s favourite vice – putting it off for a little bit longer.

Liisi is, I think, technically a jazz singer, but Procrastination Queen gives her a chance to blast through all her registers in the course of a single song. It’s an anthem for all of us who need to get things done. In real life, apparently Liisi has no problems with procrastination, because her 4th album – Coffee For One – came out on April 18th. Here’s a bonus live version in the ERR studios.

According to her twitter, she was Team #Salvadorable for Eurovision 2017 and also does that hand trumpet thing. Also, the ‘procrastination queen’ necklace she’s selling on her website is top notch merch.

Liisi has a website

Liisi is on Facebook

Liisi is on twitter

80s Mercedes – Maren Morris

I don’t often listen to country. I don’t often listen to pop country crossover. And yet, I did today. A friend recommended Maren’s album to me and this track jumped out as being the sonic equivalent of one of those ‘Only 90’s Kids Will Remember This’ memes. She’s kind of a big deal, but because of the way that music is sold and promoted, it has been possible for me to get this far without hearing about her.

Maren Morris is touring the UK this November – I bet it’s a super fun night out.

Stranger – Iiris

Listen Outside has now been going long enough that the artists that I first picked up on & started recommending last year are now on their next lot of new material. Iiris was in the first batch of songs I gathered when I came back from Stockholm enthused about pop, and I thought she sounded very promising indeed. Now she’s back with a double A side of Stranger and Drugs & Money.

Stranger is a propulsive, unsettling pop tune. Iiris coos beautifully, but with an underlying strength -because what doesn’t kill us makes us stranger. If you like your pop freaky and happy/sad, you’ll like this.

She lives in London at the moment, and she’s doing a gig with fellow Eesti pop wunderkind NOEP in a couple of weeks. You should go to it! It’ll be great!

Iiris has a website

Iiris is on Facebook


Gimme Gimme – INNA

It’s Friday night and we ought to cut a bit loose. Inna is here to help you with a song that should be livening up the Radio 1 A-list right now. It’s basically impossible to avoid dancing to it. Even while I’m sitting down writing this blog post it’s making me do some very vigorous shoulder dancing.

Inna is a huge popstar (and a judge on The Voice) in Romania, where she’s been releasing records since 2009. Gimme Gimme is a bit of a sonic departure for her, but GOSH it’s a fresh, fun summer record.

Inna has a website (um, vaguely NSFW)

Inna is on Facebook 


ESC 2017: A (Pretend) Song For Turkey NOW VOTE!

To recap: we’ve got 8 Turkish and Turkish-connected pop songs that come from the ESC 2017 time window and I can solidly recommend all 8 of them. Now what you have to do is pick your favourite three.

Europe, the World, and beyond: Begin voting!

Which of these fab contenders should be our Faux Turkish Eurovision song?

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