Conor Behan is here with new music including protest pop for gay Russia plus Lily Allen, Iggy Azaela and Jennifer Lopez.


From pop as protest to more mouthy musings from Lily Allen, this week sees an eclectic but essential group of pop females making themselves heard.

Annie – Russian Kiss

Electro-pop queen Annie and genius pop producer Richard X have worked on numerous cult bubblegum dance gems over the last ten years. And now they are making their voice heard about the treatment of gay people in Russia as the Winter Olympics kick off. Protesting both Annie’s home country of Norway taking part and noting that LGBT people in Russia can’t express their love for each other, they’ve created an electro-disco anthem that makes a succinct point and makes you want to move. The video is filled with numerous LGBT people kissing while Annie fixes you with a steely glare that shows how important this issue is. You’d expect a pop song on this topic to feel preachy but Annie has crafted a call to arms and to the dance floor all in one:

Iggy Azalea – Fancy feat. Charli XCX

Iggy Azalea is scoring hits as the female pop rapper du jour of late and on her newest single she’s trying to assert her rap-cred and provide another nugget for radio. Roping in alt-pop fave Charli XCX in for an ear-worm-y hook there’s a nice synth pull to this and some interesting wordplay even if it doesn’t hit the sweet spot that songs like Work and Bounce did.

Jennifer Lopez – Same Girl

Jennifer Lopez has always been quick to insist she’s still a down-to-earth girl despite her giant fame. And on this buzz single (ahead of a new album later this year) she offers up something of a throwback to her Jenny from the Block heyday. It’s breezy and fun with a DIY (by Lopez’s usual big-budget standards) video that has plenty of charm. Hardly an earth shattering effort but a reminder that we’ll probably be won over by a huge J-Lo tune before the year is out.

Lily Allen – L8 CMMR

Lily Allen has been on the comeback trail for months for various songs both controversial and Christmas friendly. Part of that buzz building sees her place a song on the new soundtrack album to TV hit Girls. The resulting tune is a quirky mix of trap and a bubblegum hook that feels very Lily Allen but doesn’t leave a lasting impression. Presumably the big stuff is being saved for that much-hyped third album.

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