Behold The 1975 In 2019

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The 1975's Matty HealyWho are all these people? This was my first time seeing the 1975, and I was shocked at the sea of humanity in front of me, packed together closely with no easy path to the front. Granted, the Manchester band are huge in their native UK, and they’ve been playing Columbus from the beginning, working … More »

New Music Friday: Cecily has been watching and waiting and pre-anticipating while you’re all scheming

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Jeppo! Justin & Ed (& Max)! CXLOE! Etc!

The post New Music Friday: Cecily has been watching and waiting and pre-anticipating while you’re all scheming appeared first on Popjustice.

Lil Dicky – “Earth” Video

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Last year, Lil Dicky released his problematic collab with Chris Brown, “Freaky Friday.” Now, the joke-rapper is setting his sights on climate change. Thursday morning, he went on Ellen to tease a video for a new song called “Earth.” Dicky said the video features 30 of the biggest stars in the world — … More »

Avril Lavigne’s Disappointing Return

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Avril LavigneAvril Lavigne is back, and as usual, it’s complicated. More »

Predicting The 2019 Grammy Winners

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Post MaloneIt’s that time of year again: the time when we as a culture must reckon with the insane/mundane prestige-populist fever dream that is Grammy logic. More »

The 2019 State Of Pop Address

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Ariana GrandePop is dead; meet the new pop. More »

Twenty One Pilots May Not Be For You (Because They’re For Everyone)

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Twenty One PilotsIn 2015, Twenty One Pilots were the biggest band you’ve never heard of. By the end of the following year, they were the biggest band, period. More »

Billie Eilish, A Teen Pop Star Who Has No Time For Teen Pop

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Billie EilishOne of the foundational principles of being a teenager is posturing like you’re cooler and more grown-up than you actually are. The budding career of Billie Eilish is this ruse writ large with a major-label budget, presented so convincingly you wonder whether it might actually be authentic. More »

Let’s Pause To Appreciate This Moment In Ty Dolla $ign History

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Ty Dolla $ignTy Dolla $ign gets around. The R&B lothario releases quite a bit of his own music — 11 full-lengths and two EPs since 2011, plus a joint project with Jeremih called MihTy dropping later this month — but the collaborative section of his discography sprawls as endlessly as his native LA. At the end of … More »

Step aside, men: Study of pop music finds rise in sadness, upward trend in female chart toppers

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I’m gunna let you finish, Kanye, but uh…

Female singers with upbeat dance songs are far more likely to top the music charts nowadays, according to new findings by researchers at the University of California, Irvine. The study also found a downward musical trend in happiness and an increase in sadness.

The study, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, examined 500,000 popular songs released in the UK over a three decade period, from 1985 and 2015, and categorized them each based on their mood.

“‘Happiness’ is going down, ‘brightness’ is going down, ‘sadness’ is going up, and at the same time, the songs are becoming more ‘danceable’ and more ‘party-like,’” co-author Natalia L. Komarova told The Associated Press.

Of course, researchers emphasize that a gradual decrease in the average “happiness” index does not mean that all successful songs in 1985 were “happy” and all successful songs in 2015 were “sad.” They were looking for average trends in the acoustic properties of music and the moods describing the sounds.

The overall mood shifts in the songs’ musical elements fall in line with past studies that have examined lyrical content changes over the years. They have found that positive emotions, on the whole, have declined; while indicators of loneliness and social isolation have increased.

“So it looks like, while the overall mood is becoming less happy, people seem to want to forget it all and dance,” says Komarova, a mathematician and evolutionary biologist who led the study. She added, “The public seems to prefer happier songs, even though more and more unhappy songs are being released each year.”

Some songs with a low happiness index in 2014 include “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith, “Whispers” by Passenger and “Unmissable” by Gorgon City. Songs from 1985 with a high happiness index include “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen, “Would I Lie to You?” by the Eurythmics, and “Freedom” by Wham!

Additionally, researchers found the most successful musical genres of recent are dance and pop, with a “clear downward trend” in the success of rock, beginning in the early 2000s.

The researchers also found that the “maleness” of songs — or the frequency of male singers in popular music — has decreased over the last 30 years. “Interestingly, successful songs exhibit their own distinct behavior: They tend to be happier, more party-like, less relaxed and more likely to be sung by a woman than most.”

The same trends hold true for the US market, based on a preliminary review of data by researchers. A few 2014 hits that meet the study’s qualifications for successful pop music include Clean Bandit‘s “Rather Be,” Taylor Swift‘s “Shake It Off,” and Meghan Trainor‘s “All About That Bass.”

The findings arrive at a critical time when the music industry is grappling with issues of gender inequality, where men are overwhelmingly dominating the visible ranks of artists and songwriters, despite studies such as these, which show a strong cultural/consumer yearning for female dance/pop hits in the contemporary global music climate.

Read the fully study by UC Irvine here.

H/T: Stereogum