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Listen: Zara Larsson – "Rooftop"

16 September 2014, 16:43 | Written by Maya Hambro

In this country to win the latest instalment of whatever "talent"-finding Simon Cowell-fronted franchise is on television you ideally need to be either exceptionally young (I'm talking street dancing six year-olds), frighteningly old (and preferably grumpy and Scottish) or a dog. In Sweden just being exceptionally talented will do. Tove Styrke is already a case in point, and now, once again proving that the Swedes are God's gift to pop fans, we have this delightful little number from Sweden's Got Talent winner Zara Larsson, "Rooftop".

The pint-sized popstrel is still only 16, and her youth is pretty palpable in the track; with lyrics like "I said hi, you said hi" we're not exactly pushing boundaries or witnessing poetry in action, but it's more than forgivable given her preternatural grasp of what makes for a rich, luminescent pop anthem: a throbbing beat, feather-light harmonies and suitably romantic breakdown in the middle-eight. It's the kind of track you can imagine someone like Ariana Grande singing, but with too much production and a glutton of vocal runs.

Like many of her Swedish predecessors Larsson adopts something of a stripped back approach: there is nothing unnecessary on the track: much like the story she tells it's sweet, pure and downright joyful. As the first release from her debut album it certainly sets the bar high. If "Rooftop" is suggestive of the calibre of songs on the LP she may well be just the breath of cool air the pop world needs. Susan Boyle must be green with envy.

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