“Pop music shouldn’t always get a bad rap,” says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of pop music highlights across a selection of styles. Getting soulful today with a new Toro Y Moi video, and additional tracks from Portland’s Shy Girls and Bryan Ellis.

Toro Y Moi

Toro Y Moi recently premiered “Rose Quartz” as a single, by way of live videos from Pitchfork Festival in Chicago. Not much to say here as this is definitely not breaking any new ground or blowing any minds. It’s just solid, soulfully mellowed out funky house — kind of the lowest common denominator for introducing such sounds into the indie mainstream.

* = w/ The Choir Quit, Can’t Kids
8/26 – Brooklyn, NY – Afropunk Festival
9/26 – Durham, NC – Motorco Music Hall
9/27 – Asheville, NC – Orange Peel *
9/28 – Charleston, SC – Music Farm *
9/29 – Fairburn, GA – Counterpoint Music Festival
10/13 – San Francisco, CA – Treasure Island Music Festival


Shy Girls

Portland’s Shy Girls recently played PDXPOPNOW! and has the town abuzz for their live shows, which are apparently less like a solo bedroom pop and indie R&B act (which is what the recordings infer) and more like a tribute to ’60s and ’70s soul, complete with full band and back-up singers. A four-track EP for Sex In The City is available free for download HERE, but the opening track, “Gonna Get My Name Back”, is by far the best.


Bryan Ellis

Bryan Ellis’ “SHE” has an incredibly obnoxious music video, but its early ’90s trip-hop throwback beats mixed with falsetto vocals make it well-suited for twirling beneath a beautiful haze. His EP, Cloud Of Unknowing, can be heard in its entirety via Pigeons & Planes, HERE.


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Vivian Hua (華婷婷) wears a lot of random hats, but has somewhat mastered globetrotting like a hobo and evading traditional 9-to-5 work schedules. She enjoys observing human idiosyncrasies perhaps more than anything and is a magnet for homeless people (a joy) and bug bites of all types (absolutely terrible). Through her work, she hopes to embrace the temporary while documenting the nostalgic, using divination and dream symbolism as guides through the cosmic maze. Additional writing, art, video, and other crap, like her astrological chart, can be seen at www.inallthings-patterns.net. She is the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE magazine, and quite appreciates unsolicited personal e-mails just to shoot the shit and narrow the gaps between human beings.