Some of the tracks making me happy at the moment:
Saint Etienne, "Tonight (Demo)" and "DJ (Demo)": the solo songwriting career of former Xenomania member Tim Powell got off to a strong start with soaring dance joy of Alex Gaudino's "I'm In Love (I Wanna Do It)" and the fizzy pop bounce of Ed Drewett's "Champagne Lemonade," but hit a stumbling block with the interestingly dark but ultimately payoff-lacking "Together" by the Pet Shop Boys. Thankfully, he's back on track with the slick, mature pop-disco of his new demos for Saint Etienne. That endorsement comes with a caveat: the assumption that these truly are demos, not yet mastered into their full, crisp final states. If you'll forgive the needlessly obscure reference, "Tonight" and "DJ" are positioned between "Your Love Is Like A Drug" on Bananarama's 2005 Drama album and Saint Etienne's own "Method Of Modern Love." They aren't quite as exuberantly sparkly as that previous single from the British trio, but they could easily sit on the same album.
CocknBullKid, "Yellow": why oh why was this perfectly constructed little pop song not one of the first three singles released from British singer/songwriter Anita Blay's debut album? I can only assume it was relegated to fourth single status, even as every prior single failed to take off, purely because it didn't exist yet. Otherwise why this instant earworm of a grownup, soul-restoring melody wasn't used to launch the album is incomprehensible.
Find it on: Adulthood
Nicki Minaj, "Super Bass": why is it that the rapper known for her crazy voices and colorful, dirty bragging seems to be the American popstar ending up with all the best pretty, mushy music box melodies? "Super Bass" follows previous Nicki singles "Your Love" and "Right Thru Me" into the world of pretty little odes to love balanced out by hints of her crazy persona in the verses. Maybe she was forced into the world of middle-of-the-road adorability by a pop radio environment too scared for a whole song in the style of her many featuring appearances, but it's hard to be too upset about musical conservatism when it leads to songs as charming as "Super Bass."
Find it on: Pink Friday