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2018 ISS▲BOP Awards

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The nominees will be announced this week!

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“thank u, next” (Video) – Ariana Grande

And the whole world looks on in wonder, up to queen Ariana ‘George’ Grande. Yes. The IT girl Ari has made at least three declarative statements with this heart-beating display of nostalgia, lust and overwhelming icon status. 1. Ari is (Pop’s) queen bee. 2. Nobody breaks up with Ari. 3. Ari breaks up with you. Without a doubt, boys, girls, men and grown women will be bumping this heart-healing tune. But this isn’t a review of the song, it’s a review of the video, which is perfect in every way.

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“Middle Of A Heartbreak” – Leland

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Not heartbroken, but not totally healed, Leland captures the strange space of being in the middle perfectly. This is one of those songs that you catch halfway through and go, wait, I’m listening to a song? I thought this was just the soundtrack of my life… And what could have been a melancholy ode to love lost is instead a fun ‘80s synth throwback that says, “Screw going out, I’ll dance naked in my own living room, damn it!” Leland, known for penning some of our favorite bops from Troye Sivan and Selena Gomez, had a trick up his sleeve with this one, and we’re glad he saved some of his genius melody and lyrical concepts for himself so we could get to know him better. “Middle Of A Heartbreak” gives us something vulnerable and honest, a real moment that we’ve ALL been through. Turn it up. #issabop

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“Old Friend” – Elderbrook

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Why is Elderbrook so good to us? What did we do to deserve this?! The follow-up to mega-bops “Capricorn” and “Sleepwalking” pulls us in with the same entrancing energy and a melody that could have been Maroon 5’s next number one in another life. “Old Friend” feels like a warm night at Burning Man during a white-out dust storm while the perfect stranger goes in for a sexy make-out sesh and we go with it because life is beautiful. And we have honestly no idea what he’s talking about, something about a friend? …Doesn’t matter. We’re transported. #issabop

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“Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” – Mark Ronson ft. Miley Cyrus

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Miley’s out of Malibu! Where has she been? Dare we say “maturing?” There is a lot of nostalgia here. We can’t help but hear fairy godmother Dolly Parton’s influence. The song is def a bop and Ronson told BBC to expect the album to have a lot of “Sad Bangers.” We miss videos, especially songs released with videos. Our take is that this song is mostly Ronson’s doing, giving us melancholy feels while the video is 100% Miley – a social commentary on all the wild shit going on in the news paired with all the weird shit going on in Miley’s head. But can we just take a minute to appreciate Miley as an original, with a bod that bangs has hard as her songs? #issabop

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“Feeling of Falling” – Cheat Codes & Kim Petras

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All hail the crown princess of pop! There is something about the voice of Kim Petras that is so delicate, yet evokes the confidence of Superwoman. And “Feeling of Falling” at its core is a well-written song with catchy melodies that doesn’t lean on the fireworks of production to distract from mediocrity. Cheat Codes is able to strike a perfect balance, carrying the sensitive lyric over a beat that makes us want to take our tops off. This will be blasting on our next company road trip — the part after we pass through the L.A. traffic, otherwise they’d have to shut the 101 down for a dance party. #issabop

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“Rainberry” – ZAYN

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Pop, no more. And we’re here for it! Zayn’s musical direction since “Pillowtalk” has been a bit confusing, but he’s double-downed on his soulful electro-R&B and this one really sticks. We don’t have a clue what a rainberry is, but it sounds sexy as hell. And in an age of pop stars clinging to trendy production and radio-ready hooks, a sonic and conceptual risk is super refreshing. The only thing that could make this sweeter is a video. A very wet video. #issabop

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“Can’t Relate” – DaniLeigh ft. YBN Nahmir & YG

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She’s not messing around. DaniLeigh is a vibe and a great example of hyped talent with swagger and pizzazz to keep her cool when the going gets thot. With the talent she has, we think there’s a very exciting career ahead of her. We’re thinking Ciara or Cardi B level big. At the same time, Dani keeps it cool under pressure, exemplifying herself as someone who’s about getting it more than blowing it. #issabop

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