When the number one song in the country sounds like it could have been found in a Stax vault left unopened since the 70s, a kid sing-rapping about clubs going up on Tuesdays is nominated for a Grammy, and a relative unknown from Nantucket rode a song about bass to a debut album that almost matched the first week sales of Nicki Minaj’s third album, it feels safe to say that pop music is in flux
It’s an occasionally maddening state, but also an often thrilling chaos that suits artists like Roy English nicely.
Teaming up with Vic Mensa collaborator Stefan Ponce, L.A.-based singer/producer English’s new single “Julianne” feels like pure pop filtered through 2015’s old-is-new-again lenses. The production gives the typical robotic grate of 80s synths and pads a pleasant soft focus warmth, a fitting backdrop for Roy’s fuzzy vocals. “Julianne” doesn’t feel like an obvious, runaway hit, but it’s the sort of song that subtly sticks in your head and might lend itself nicely to a rap feature that pushes it into wider view.