Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, this week I’m hitting you with a brand new edition of 5 Songs on the Radio that Don’t Suck. That's right, I’ve done the dirty work of scanning all the stations to find what’s worth cranking up to absurdly high volumes while cruising around with the windows down.
Of course, since this is Pop Shots, you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.
The Interrupters – Gave You Everything
I’ve been a fan of The Interrupters since seeing them on Warped Tour in 2016. The ska punk band has an incredible vibe, and lead singer Aimee Interrupter is an absolute force of nature. The fact that their music is getting mainstream rock radio airplay, and alt-rock radio airplay, should give us all hope that not only is rock in good hands, but that great rock music is still being recognized, and appreciated.
“Gave You Everything” is the latest from the band, and it’s off their most recent album, Fight The Good Fight, which I ranked as one of my Top 10 of 2018.
I look forward to hearing this one all throughout spring.
Bebe Rexha – Last Hurrah
I’ve long held the belief that Bebe Rexha should be one of the biggest pop stars on the planet. I first wrote about her for an NYC Scene Report column back in 2013, when she was an up and coming artist in the city. Seeing her live in 2015 had me doubling down on my appreciation of her skills.
Her voice is powerful and unique, her songwriting is filled with attitude, and she has a talent for crafting incredibly catchy choruses. Just try to get her latest single, “Last Hurrah,” out of your head. I dare you!
Billie Eilish – Bad Guy
I have to confess I don’t exactly have a seat on the Billie Eilish bandwagon. Originally I viewed her – both musically, and aesthetically – as some sort of lovechild of Tyler, the Creator and Melanie Martinez, but when Eilish’s debut album, When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, debuted at #1 I realized I might want to pay attention to what she’s doing.
Admittedly, I’m not exactly her target audience. Despite her saying she’s a “might seduce your dad type,” I don’t think she’s really focusing on 40 year old guys. That said, even this 40 year old guy can recognize a few of her songs are pretty dope. One such song being the one I just quoted, “Bad Guy.”
Billie Eilish is proof that kids are into some weird shit, and personally I think that’s a good thing, because weird shit leads to creativity, and I’m all for more creativity. It doesn’t have to be targeted to me, and I don’t even have to fully understand it, to appreciate it. Just keep being weird, yo.
Marshmello w/ CHVRCHES – Here With Me
I absolutely love CHVRCHES frontwoman Lauren Mayberry’s voice. I think it’s gorgeous, and portrays emotion beautifully (it’s why their Love Is Dead album joined The Interrupters’ Fight The Good Fight on my Best of 2018 list). The band teaming up with Marshmello – one of the hottest producers who has managed to take over both the EDM and pop worlds – was essentially a can’t-miss proposition. The resultant song, “Here With Me,” is damned near perfect, and should be here with us for a very long time.
benny blanco, Halsey, & Khalid – Eastside
I think we’ve reached the point where everyone has to realize whatever Halsey touches turns to gold. Heck, when she was dating G-Eazy she even got us to like one of his songs!
Unlike the case with Billie Eilish, this is a bandwagon I’ve been on from the start, having ranked Halsey’s Badlands as my favorite album of 2015. Her rise is one I’ve been happy to see, as she is an alt-pop artist that broke into a pure pop world. Although perhaps her ascent, and the rise of the aforementioned Billie Eilish, is proof that we’re now living in an alt-pop world, and pure pop will have to take a back seat for a little while.
And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with more shots on all things pop.