The new year in pop started with plenty of fireworks when Justin Timberlake unveiled much-anticipated new music on Jan. 14. After a nearly seven-year hiatus from music, Timberlake gave fans plenty to talk about with his new single "Suit & Tie," a sleek and electro-tinged soul/pop confection featuring punchy rhymes by Jay-Z. The song is the first track taken from Timberlake's forthcoming album, The 20/20 Experience, due later this year.
Timberlake confided to me late last year that whenever he was ready to announce new music, he would make sure that fans would hear about it immediately.
"When I'm ready to talk about new music, I will say it in the biggest possible way," he said with a mysterious smile. And that's exactly what he did by releasing a teaser video prior to the song's unveiling, which created an explosion of online buzz.
Lady Gaga is also prepping the release of eagerly awaited new music. Currently jetting around the world for her extensive Born This Way Ball tour, the pop superstar hinted via Twitter that her new project will be titled ARTPOP. (She even revealed a new tattoo to showcase the name.) Few details have been revealed regarding the team behind the making of her new LP, but producers such as Zedd and GRAMMY winner RedOne have been mentioned as possible collaborators. Also look for Lady Gaga's film debut in Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills this summer.
Haim, the California-bred sister trio comprising Danielle, Este and Alana Haim, are off to a strong start. Fresh from topping the BBC Sound of 2013 new music list, the group's video for "Don't Save Me" has surpassed 1 million views. The song perfectly introduces the group's potent blend of classic rock, '80s pop and '90s R&B that creates an instantly refreshing sound.
GRAMMY-nominated band OneRepublic kicked off the new year with their uplifting new single, "If I Lose Myself," which follows their charity effort, "Feel Again." The group is putting the finishing touches on their third studio album, Native, which will be released March 26.
Following 2011's Perfectionist, British singer/songwriter Natalia Kills is readying her return to the global pop scene with her sophomore LP, Trouble, due later this year. This very promising new album will include production work by GRAMMY winner Jeff Bhasker.
Fans of colorful Europop have a lot to be excited about. This spring, Estonian pop star Kerli is scheduled to release her new album, Utopia. The collection will include her blazing new single "The Lucky Ones," which was produced by Swedish up-and-comers SeventyEight.
Other pop newcomers to look out for in 2013 include Katy Tiz, Mikky Ekko, MKTO, 2AM Club, Betty Who, Jessie Ware, ZZ Ward, Meg Myers, Brandyn Burnette, Foxes, Sky Ferreira, Capital Cities, Kento, and Sebastian Mikael.