Global Pop Round-Up: September 2022 Edition

Global Pop Round-Up

The Bias List is a K-pop blog that also covers a fair amount of J-pop. But along with most music fans, I enjoy tracks from all around the world. So, I thought I’d start a monthly round-up of some of the non-K-pop songs that have caught my ear. No ratings — just highlights!

February 2022 Edition

March 2022 Edition

April 2022 Edition

May 2022 Edition

June 2022 Edition

July 2022 Edition

August 2022 Edition

Ava Max – Million Dollar Baby

Though her album was pushed back until early next year (ugh!), Ava Max released another solid pop dance anthem. I love the dramatic vocal arrangement.

Carly Rae Jepsen – Talking To Yourself

Jepsen’s upcoming album has offered three distinct sounds thus far. Talking To Yourself should please those looking for material reminiscent of her excellent 2015 Emotion album.

Elton John & Britney Spears – Hold Me Closer

This might not be the triumphant return to form many were hoping for from Spears, but it’s great to hear her back on a pop track. You can’t mess up Tiny Dancer, and the added dance beat gives it new sheen.

Erika Vikman – Kateus

This song has me in a chokehold. I’m certifiably obsessed by its huge, over-the-top 80’s drama. But I’ve got one big caveat. Please listen to the official audio before watching the video. It’s infinitely better. For some reason, the (very good) mv omits many of the stabbing synths and the incredible, climactic guitar solo.

Måns Zelmerlöw – Midsummer Love

What You Were Made For is one of my favorite singles of the year, and Midsummer Love offers more of the same. It’s not quite as potent, but I’m totally into its Summer of ’69 sonic influences.

The Midnight – Brooklyn. Friday. Love.

Yeah, it’s a little too hipster-cool here and there, but that punchy chorus goes down easy.

Rina Sawayama – Holy (Til You Let Me Go)

While not (yet?) a single, I had to pick my current favorite track from Sawayama’s just-released second album. I love the dancefloor drama here.

Robin – Magic (ft. Maejor)

Robin harnessed synthpop sounds on a standout EP last year, but he goes full-on The Weeknd for Magic. The stabbing synth hook is so compelling.

SB19 – WYAT (Where You At)

I think this is the first time I’ve featured a P-pop group on the blog! WYAT is retro excellence. It’s like Dynamite if Dynamite was… you know… good.

Sigala – Living Without You (ft. David Guetta & Sam Ryder)

Sigala is at a point where everything he releases is gold. I’m especially smitten with Living Without You’s big dancefloor energy.

Zipang Opera – Steer The Ship

I’m not sure if this single will ever get a music video, but Steer The Ship is the kind of propulsive, hard-hitting J-pop I go crazy for.


29 thoughts on “Global Pop Round-Up: September 2022 Edition

  1. I would also recommend 4s4ki’s “ring, ring, you kill me” for some more Japansee indie pop, and Haru Nemuri’s “Never Let Me Go,” which finally got a live video…


  2. I’m completely obsessed with “Imagining” from Rina’s album, it’s easily one of my favorite songs of the year. And I’d also like to recommend Brooke Candy’s “Flip Phone”, this one is sooooooo addictive


  3. I’ve stumbled across a couple SB19 songs by happenstance and enjoyed them, and I’ll happily add another one to that tally! Loved that!

    Also, I started to play “Living Without You” and could not stop. Dang, that was good…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Not exactly the genre this blog tends to cover, but I’m very impressed with the new Death Cab for Cutie album that came out a couple days ago. Hasn’t been long enough for me to have a clear opinion on it relative to their other work, but Pepper was the one I paid the most attention to on first listen. Definitely recommend it to anyone who’s into that genre! I’d catch their concert near my hometown, but, given that I’m typing this after getting home from seeing LUCY live (they were great!!!), you might be able to ascertain how that’d be logistically difficult 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fun fact: Death Cab for Cutie were formed in the town I live. They’re like hometown heroes here. The genre of music they play isn’t my thing (along with pretty much every genre that’s popular in this town!), but I feel like I should support them anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ava max’s songs are always about that melody, and million dollar baby’s no exception. cant wait for the new album

    anyway, since just dance 2023’s been announced, im gonna rank all the songs that have been announced so far

    amazing i love it so much omg: physical – dua lipa, stay – the kid laroi & justin bieber, telephone – lady gaga, wannabe – itzy
    i think its good: locked out of heaven – bruno mars, i knew you were trouble – taylor swift, sweet but psycho – ava max, love me land – zara larsson, rather be – clean bandit feat. jess glynne,
    mid: dynamite – bts, radioactive – imagine dragons, more – k/da
    no likey:
    go to hell: can’t stop the feeling – justin timberlake

    i’ll update this as more songs get announced

    as for the maps themselves, they’re a huge step-up from the previous games, particularly the “telephone” routine. this could be my favorite just dance game in a while. please dont let me down ubisoft


  6. the simultaneous release of talking to yourself and rina’s album on the same evening were wonderful – i had such an awful day and they really cheered me up. favs off the rina album are definitely the run from holy to frankenstein and the closer (to be alive) as my favs. just looking for the right person to go see her when she’s in town in november and i’ll be set.

    is it million dollar baby that uses the abba sample? i’m trying to figure out which sample ava was trying to clear for a while.


  7. Have you by chance heard the most recent Polyphia single ABC? I think they did a great job transitioning into pop music while keeping their signature sound. I’m really excited to see if any more notable pop singers decide to collaborate with them in the future because they have so much to offer. They make rock feel cool again which is something that I didn’t think was ever going to happen.

    Liked by 1 person

      • They’ve been kinda stuck in the guitar nerd/math rock bubble for a while, but now they’re breaking out into different genres and so far it’s sounding pretty awesome.


    • Polyphia, fuck yeah.

      I like what they do. I used to be all over instrumental prog metal but now I have extremely high standards for it and Polyphia’s pop/hip-hop tendencies may just be what the genre needs. First time I heard G.O.A.T all those years ago my brain melted.


  8. Aside from Star Walkin by Lil Nas X (whose album Montero was my absolute favourite out of anything last year) ALL I listened to in September was Hold The Girl by Rina Sawayama. I’m seeing her live in January and could not be more excited! I cried my way through this album upon first listen, the lyrics and themes of healing your inner child really meant a lot me. I love how she kept her genre experimentation from her debut album and her voice has never sounded better. My absolute favourite song is Frankenstein, and my other favourites are Holy, This Hell, Hold The Girl, and Your Age. She’s quickly become one of my favourite singers since I discovered her in 2020 and this is my favourite album this year for sure


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