This year it was difficult to choose my no.1 most poptastic single as it was very close between the top five, but re-watching this video from The New York Times ultimately convinced me that The Middle deserved the top spot.
The video explains how Maren came to be the featured vocalist, after the producers had tried around 14 singers, and she was the only one who could do it justice. She has the full-bodied pop punch that the song needs in order to fulfil its hit potential, but also the rasp that makes it more than just another generic dance track.
I’m excited to see how the success of The Middle impacts Maren’s career as she prepares to release her second major label album. Could we finally have another proper pop-country crossover act? While Spotify has helped to soften the strict barriers that US radio creates between the two genres, and Kacey Musgraves has won over many pop geeks with her latest album, there’s no-one who is among the biggest names in both industries, like Taylor Swift was a few years ago. I’d love to see Maren achieve this in 2019.
On a side note: While I love that The Middle gave Maren a mainstream moment, that NYT video does make me wish for a Sarah Aarons pop career. Can someone make that happen, please?
Released: 23rd January
Writers: Zedd, Stefan Johnson, Marcus Lomax, Kyle Trewartha, Sarah Aarons, Jordan Johnson, Michael Trewartha
Best bits: 1. Oh baby, why don’t you just meet me in the middle? I’m losing my mind just a little
2. So pull me closer, why don’t you pull me close?
3. I need you on my skin, just come over, pull me in, just…