Global Pop Round-Up: March 2023 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 // September 2022 Edition // October 2022 Edition // November 2022 Edition // January 2023 Edition // February 2023

Calvin Harris & Ellie Goulding – Miracle

Now that we’ve scoured house music and synthwave for all they’re worth, could trance be the next dance genre to re-take the mainstream? Can I possibly wish for such an amazing future??

This is such an incredible throwback – nostalgic but super fresh because it’s been such a long time since this sound has been popular.

Gustaph – Because Of You

Speaking of house music, 90’s house is one of my favorite genres and Gustaph perfectly re-creates it with the addictive Because Of You. That beat!! It’s so satisfying.

This song is representing Belgium in Eurovision, btw.

Leksikon – Beat Of The City (ft. Martin Halla)

Do you like Donkeyboy? Do you like Rat City? Do you find those questions kind of gross and borderline offensive?

Both acts are the brainchild of brothers Cato and Kent Sundberg, and Leksikon is their latest project. It’s fantastic electro funk.

Loreen – Tattoo

Oh my god… this song. Leave it to Loreen to deliver an epic sound that feels far wider in scope and bigger in energy than anything else out there. It’s the sequel to 2012’s immortal Euphoria we’ve all been begging for. I’m linking her performance rather than the audio because the visual definitely adds to the appeal.

Marcus & Martinus – Air

While Loreen may have easily (and deservedly) won Melodifestivalen, twin brothers Marcus and Martinus made a name for themselves with this addictive piece of electronic pop.

Oliver Tree & David Guetta – Here We Go Again

I love the relentless energy that comes along with an Oliver Tree track. This is a nice compliment to last year’s Miss You.

Perses – Catch The Night

Thai group Perses impressed me with their debut My Time last year. I wasn’t a fan of their follow-up, but the bounding energy of Catch The Night regains the momentum – even if it borrows from some of my least favorite K-pop tropes.

PNAU – The Hard Way (ft. Khalid)

PNAU meld atmosphere and drive for the shimmering The Hard Way. It’s slightly more upbeat than their recent work with Dua Lipa and Britney Spears, hearkening back to their excellent 2011 album Soft Universe.

Sigala – Feels This Good

Sigala has become one of my favorite producers of the era. His music is so big and euphoric. It doesn’t try to reinvent the dancefloor wheel, but instead leans into all the best aspects of the genre. This is another stunner.


13 thoughts on “Global Pop Round-Up: March 2023 Edition

  1. since this is the global pop roundup, i think its right to post a review of a song here, so here i go

    Bloody Mary – Lady Gaga

    Lady Gaga’s “Bloody Mary” went viral a few months ago on TikTok thanks to Netflix’s ubiquitous Wednesday (which I have only just started watching at the time of this review). Usually, songs that go viral on the platform end up suffering from a phenomena I’d like to call “exposure rot,” where the more exposure and popularity a song or any other piece of media gets, from radioplay, social media, videos, etc., the more it taints my personal thoughts on the song or even makes me hate it. I’m pretty sure it would happen to you if you were forced to hear a song ad nauseam instead of on your own time. However, “Bloody Mary” is a notable exception, thanks to its timeless quality and strong songwriting.

    Bloody Mary is one of my favorite Lady Gaga b-sides (though it was released as a single months ago). It’s a fine example of how experimentation can really work if you throw in a strong hook and a fine instrumental. If anyone was gonna go-for-broke a spooky electropop midtempo, it’s Gaga herself. Let her do all of the work.

    Opening with plucked strings, the song soon throws in its rumbling but hard-hitting beat that takes advantage of its spooky atmosphere. Synths build up throughout the verses and especially in that pre-chorus, where we get to hear Gaga’s voice creep up on you like a spider (bad analogy I know). They end up coming alive in the song’s effusive chorus, where the production is at its very best. Horror choir vocals backup Gaga like they’re her platform, who delivers the song’s lines effortlessly. She twists and turns her vocals into some sort of hellscape one can’t escape from (even screaming “LOVE!!!” at some points), and believe me, that’s a compliment! All these elements come together to make the song soar and keep up its intensity throughout. It’s one hell of a ride, and I’m definitely glad it’s finally gotten the exposure it deserved.

    Hooks: 9
    Production: 10
    Longevity: 10
    Bias: 9

    Rating: 9.5


  2. I liked the French song for Eurovision. I like she’s singing in French and I wasn’t expecting this kind of chorus.

    As a Swiss, the Swiss singer has a great voice but the song lacks sadly.


  3. Sigala hits with me often, too. Especially in summer for some reason. Since it is only spring at the moment, they’re benched for now.

    Recently I’ve been listening to a bit of Peder Elias after his promotions with BooSeokSoon. His music is a bit vanilla, but it hits a sweet spot for me.


  4. A) I love U2. B) I hate U2, they’re the most infuriating band in the world. C) After Zooropa, they lost me. D) 40 songs re-recorded? Are you kidding me? E) (Yet I’m still listening to them. I hate myself.) F) This is quite good:


    • Oh yes, same. Love, hate, love. Sometime in late 90’s early 00’s Bono got so wordy. The lyrics ballooned from short sharp shock to middle aged going on and on about something or other.

      I have only listened to the 1 minute preview clips so far. Most sound like the Coldplayification – Lite FM versions. The better ones use Bono’s deeper older gravelly voice well. “40” comes off really well – link below. The acoustic “… Wild Horses” is nice too, like busking. New “Sunday Bloody Sunday” is just horrible, wtf. “Bad” has lost all its brutal reality to become a self help song with new added lyrics.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Judging by the excerpts I’ve read from his memoir, I’m really impressed by his writing. My brother read it already and said it’s excellent. I keep meaning to get around to it.

        Bono’s voice hasn’t aged well, yet he insists in putting it way up in front in the mix, on top of everything else. It’s almost like he’s singing in front of me, while the rest of the band is a room way down the hall behind closed doors. It’s been this way since at least 2000. Their music used to be so well-produced before that, kinda sad.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. These are all nice but who was going to tell me that ‘tOgether fOrever’ by Kep1er was released 4 days ago??????????

    FULL8LOOM back at it again !!

    Some parts are ok but THE CHORUSSS !!!!! THE CHORUS IS SO GOOD

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gonna leave this here…

    Found the group interesting and it’s a solid song. I’d like to see what they do in the future. What do y’all think?


  7. Feels This Good is a decent dance track that anyone should enjoy.

    The MV for Loreen’s Tattoo is off the chart. The stage production’s concept is incredibly sophisticated. How does an artist that talented go 10 yrs w/o releasing a follow-up ?? I’m Jones’n to see a live performance.


    • That is the live performace from Melodifestivalen.

      She also has released new music since Euphoria – an album and EP in 2017 along with another attempt at Eurovision with “Statements” which was criminally robbed (didn’t even make it there) and some other singles. Would highly recommend checking out Paper Light and it’s remix Paper Light – Revisited


      • Thanks so much for the tip. I’ve been wanting to expand my j-pop experience. Unfortunately I’m kinda late to the party when it comes to k-,j-pop. But on the plus side the mountain of music I get to explore is incredible.


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