April 24, 2014


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I’ve been thinking a lot recently about one-hit wonders. In the age where any kid with a laptop can become a SoundCloud producer, and music-playing devices are transportable and relatively inexpensive, people are able to tailor their music to their tastes, picking and choosing only artists or genres they like. This is kind of great; if I don’t want to hear “Timber,” I am almost never forced to. I can simply unplug the host’s iPod at a party and force everyone to listen to Run the Jewels instead. (What? No, of course I haven’t done this in real life…) However, one consequence of the modern “ultimate personalization” of music is the lack of one-hit wonders. Sure we still have viral artists, and perhaps I’ll be wrong when in 25 years we’re all listening to “Party in the USA” at Dunbars, but to me it seems like there’s less music unification. What happened to the good old days of Hoobastank and Dexy’s Midnight Runners? What are our modern equivalents? What level of popularity do you have to achieve to be dubbed the honor of “one-hit wonder?”

Because I know absolutely nothing about pop music/Top 40 (sorry, who is Jason Derulo?), let’s focus on stuff that Z100 won’t play all summer. Are there “indie” one-hit wonders? To be honest, I don’t know the answer to this. Of course people still have standout songs, but even artists like Charli XCX, Ellie Goudling and Sam Smith have multiple successful songs while having fans that enjoy the large majority of their work. Smaller artists don’t garner enough buzz around one song (Mzwétwo), or are just too damn talented to only produce just one high quality song (amirite MØ?).

Until she releases another song, there’s another artist that in my mind is close to an indie one-hit wonder. Don’t get me wrong, I love it and I check her SoundCloud daily for another release, but until she drops another single, she will only have this one incredibly catchy song. Two months ago, London songstress Shura published the song Touch on her Soundcloud. It’s an impeccable song, and was rightfully picked up by every major indie music blog. Then she released a music video, thus solidifying the status of “Touch” as the go-to indie make-out anthem. Touch has over 400,000 SoundCloud plays (of which I hope I have contributed a statistically significant portion), and she has nearly 8,000 likes on Facebook. All this from one quietly released song attached to an artist with an ambiguous identity. Maybe this doesn’t seem like much compared to One Direction, but I still think it’s impressive. Since Touch, Shura has not given any hint of another song. I know that someone this talented just has to give us something else, but until she does, she will be my #indieonehitwonder.

And with that, I give you Delorean’s remix of this lonely song. Aptly named after the car from Back to the Future, this Spanish electro-pop group exudes all the grooviness of the 80s. Their take on Shura amps up the song and switches it from something reserved for the bedroom to a jam acceptable at any respectable dance party. It’s still hushed in the middle, but they add a boppy beat to make you forget this is a song about repressed sexual desire. I really love this dichotomy of artists, so here’s to hoping they remix Shura’s overdue second single as well.