Pop Shop Picks: Vampire Weekend, Little Mix, Florrie & More

Best Bets Albums 2013, Vampire Weekend

Soren Solkar Starbird

Each Friday, Pop Shop will showcase a handful of tracks that have been burning up its speakers over the past week. These can include a brand-new song or a track that's been simmering for a minute; the only rule is that it's worth space in the Pop Shop!

VAMPIRE WEEKEND
"Diane Young" (2:44)
XL Recordings

A disorienting ode to a car-torching vixen, Vampire Weekend's frenetic new single features soulful crooning, pitch-shifting Auto-Tune, bar-room piano, punk drums and synthesizers that sound like melted saxophones. In spite of the zaniness, "Diane Young" is one of the group's catchiest songs. - RYAN REED

LITTLE MIX FEAT. MISSY ELLIOTT
"How Ya Doin?" (3:34)
Columbia

The U.K. girl group has released a song (and video) that properly conveys their bubbly personalities and inter-group rapport. Following the still-spreading "Wings," "How Ya Doin?" is an ambitious chunk of candy that features a revitalized Missy Elliott in a delightful guest spot. - JASON LIPSHUTZ

FLORRIE
“Live a Little” (3:13)
Xenomania

After helping craft some of the finest pop tunes of the past few years, British singer/songwriter Florrie steps out with the stomping new track “Live a Little.” Composed for a Sony headphones advertising campaign, the tune (which isn’t a proper single), is a swirling nu-retro number, filled with drums, hand claps and horns. Florrie’s been percolating under the mainstream radar since 2008, releasing her own music and working as the in-house drummer with the famed production team Xenomania. In that time, she played on tunes by Kylie Minogue and Pet Shop Boys, among others. Now, after releasing three EPs of her own between 2010 and 2012, Florrie is prepping her debut full-length album. - KEITH CAULFIELD

KING
"In the Meantime" (4:40)
Self-released

A Prince co-sign can go quite far, but Los Angeles trio King earns every ounce of that praise on "In the Meantime," a minimalist love jam so steamy it could conceivably warm the coldest of hearts. With smooth keys and fluid harmonies, King conjures up a number of gentle moods on its breakout track. -KATHY IANDOLI

MAJICAL CLOUDZ
"Childhood's End" (3:49)
Matador

The first glimpse of Majical Cloudz' new album is a stark one, with gurgling beats and string dirges supporting singer Devon Welsh's canned anguish. "Someone died/Gunshot, right outside/Your father, he is dead/I see him, in my head," the song begins, as if shaking the listener out of the relaxed atmosphere created by its opening 15 seconds. The gritty lyrics fill every corner of the song, and those who weren't aware of Welsh's commanding presence soon will be. -JASON LIPSHUTZ

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