50 Reasons to Be Excited About Pop Music In 2013

It is a truth universally acknowledged that in event of a nuclear holocaust two things will persist: cockroaches and pop music. In our monthly Pop for Skeptics column, Rohin Guha explains how the latter need not be a terrifying thing to navigate, nuclear holocaust or not.

No pop fan really knows what to do with himself in January. It’s a special time of year when new fads are still being cooked up and otherwise unremarkable artists — nice to see you again, Nicole Scherzinger! — stand a fair shot at selling more than just a couple records. Some enterprising pop oracles might consult science, the stars, and mathematical trends to make all kinds of predictions about what is set to become “the next big thing.” Others, like me, will wait until some stuff has happened to do that. Sure, with January finally over and done with, it’s probably a bit too late to be making prognostications about what we should look forward to in pop this year, but to borrow a phrase from last year: YOLO. Below, then, are precisely 50 reasons to look forward to pop music in 2013.

1 & 2. More pop ingenues than ever before — like Taylor Swift and Nikki Williams, for example! — channeling Lana Del Rey’s Americana-powered Lolita shtick.

3. Burlesque queen Dita von Teese’s toe-dip into electro-pop, with assistance by broody duo Monarchy.

4. The comeback of another broody duo: HURTS.

5. The Destiny’s Child reunion — albeit without founding members Letoya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson.

6 & 7. Pop music is sorely lacking a DJ with an appreciation for video game scores — and it could always use more spirited vocalists. So it’s a good thing Zedd, who’s currently producing Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP album but is also known for his Legend of Zelda reswizzle, and Foxes have joined forces to deliver a soaring bit of rave-pop that evokes the similar pulsating desperation of Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own.”

8. Nine-piece Korean girl band Girls’ Generation reinterpret Duffy’s 2008 hit “Mercy” in the confusingly-titled “Dancing Queen” — no relation to ABBA’s anthem of the same name.

9. More Le1f.

10. Somewhere on the Internet, critics are trying to hype girl band HAIM as the next coming of Fleetwood Mac or The Rolling Stones — and I don’t know what would possess such mean-spirited folks to set up a promising act like HAIM for such failure! “Don’t Save Me” is a treasure, and while there is a certain Kelly Clarkson-esque je ne sais quoi to the song, their sound is purely their own.