Bop Shop: Songs From Iann Dior, Rina Sawayama, Pronoun, Nez, And More

These days, good disco pop doesn’t need much: a clean four-on-the-floor, some funky guitar, and jazzy synths. And great disco pop can match that sound with blissful chants that channel love, lust, or freedom. But the best disco pop — Whitney, Robyn, Dua, Carly — warps the sound’s very essence. Classics like “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “Dancing on My Own” lyrically pull from our most deepest fears: that no one will love us, that we’ll always be alone. That you don’t realize how painfully sad the words are is the whole point. “Kissing Strangers” fits this mold, an infectious dance-floor number wherein Vetta Borne regrets a breakup that she initiated. “I swear I really loved her,” she mourns, but maybe she’s smiling the whole time; for all the shame and hurt, the sound refuses to let you feel it. —Terron Moore

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