Monday, July 17, 2017

Bradley Say - Visionnaire

"Je suis un visionnaire" I am a Visionary. It took me a minute to catch on to the fact that he was singing this line in French but once I caught that he had done that, it increased the quality of the song. It's a light and easy song that is a total earworm. It gets inside you and won't let go. I sidestepped and watched the video for "Ringleader" and it gave me a much better understanding of the artist Bradley is and I see a lot of potential. He's much more than just cotton candy fluff. He's got come real rhythmical sensibilities that make him an artist to look out for. Flow and rhythm aren't things you can teach. You either have them and they're part of you or they're not and you won't be doing much without them. He has a youthful quality to his music that makes him marketable to a young demographic but the subject matter of the tracks he has created show much more of an old soul that wants to share their life with their audience. It's not just mindless bubblegum pop that leaves you unfulfilled. He is creating music that is accessible to a wide audience and once you get brought in with his infectious grooves and clever word play, you stick around to be part of something larger than you are.

His third single off his upcoming release, "Visionnaire" is a self empowerment anthem that gives you permission to be a visionary. To see what you want to be and where you need to go and to go for it and if you stumble and fall along the way, you pick yourself up and you start again. Rest and reset; they say. You will trip along the way but it's totally ok. You throw your shoulders back, chest out and you march to your own drum. You blaze you own path and you leave those that have no faith in you in the dust. This song is deceptive because at first, it's just a poppy little ditty with a simple rhyme scheme but when you go just below the surface you see the message of self acceptance and power that Bradley is sharing with the audience. If this is the quality of work that he's putting out, then sign me up because I damn sure know I like my music to have a bit of a message and when it's laid down over a groove I can get lost in; all the better. Make sure you stick around because Bradley's new album, Kaléidoscope is dropping on August 4, 2017 and between now and then I bet I can get to know his body of work a lot better and I can share it with you guys, gals, and non-binary pals.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Kesha - Woman

  1. Don't buy me a drink.
  2. I make my money.
  3. Don't touch my weave.
  4. Don't call me honey.
Rules for dating in 2017. Actually, rules for being a respectable human being. Kesha is absolutely KILLING it with her new music. The first two tracks off "Rainbow" have shown a huge range that people may not have seen before from her. And for the first time, creatively as it were, people are getting to hear her true voice. Nothing has given me more joy than to see the compilation video of people losing their shit over her F6 high note in "Praying".  Until now, she's been controlled and stifled by her record label, her producer and other people in management that feel they know better than she does who she should be but with these new tracks, you are hearing a more fully realized version of who she is. It's like when Pink decided to throw off the ideals of her record label and lost the hip hop/party girl vibe they wanted her to sell and we got the truer version of Alicia except with Kesha, her journey has been much more arduous.

So, "Woman".... talk about an anthem. A female empowerment anthem that lets you know that she is her own person. She is her own being and she needs nothing from no one to do what she needs to do in this world. The song is raw and it's not perfect and she actually breaks out into laughter during it. The addition of the horn section from The Dap-Kings is incredible. Sharon Jones was one of the most powerful women in music and she fought and struggled to be who she new she needed to be and you can hear her legacy in the funk that her band laid down for Kesha. I think she would have been proud to hear this collaboration. You still get the party vibe from this song but it's a more elevated form of party. It's a woke version of partying. And it's important for young women and men alike to hear this.

It's a fantastic song and you'll easily find yourself going back to it over and over again. "Rainbow" is shaping up to be a helluva release and I can't wait to hear her collaborations with Eagles of Death Metal and Dolly Parton. It's going to be an incredible journey and it's only just beginning.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Dua Lipa - New Rules

Not going to do a lot of talking. Dua Lipa is making quite the name for herself and this gives me a lot of Marina and the Diamonds - which is a damn good thing. She's pretty, she's got a great voice and she serves fierce attitude in her videos. This video is a fantastic representation of girl power and solidarity between friends. It's a song about being strong and sticking to your guns when you don't necessarily want to when a boy or a crush is involved. There's a lyric that I think is genius.

"If you're under him, you'll never get over him."

She's doing a damn fine job of creating a song book of fantastic pop music and it's only getting better and better.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Kesha - Praying

Survivor. Resilient. Unwaivering. Those are just a very few of the descriptors that come to mind when I think about Kesha Rose Sebert. In the music industry today, there are very few artists that have gone through what she has. There are even fewer that have been as vocal about their struggles as she has. Much like everyone else, I found Kesha around 2010 but it wasn't until I saw a fan reaction on "My Crazy Beautiful Life" that I fully appreciated the magnitude of what being a fan meant. A young boy found solace in her music and when he had the opportunity to meet her, he was moved to tears and it not only had a profound affect on him but any of us watching this moment on television.

Kesha has been put through the ringer.  She has fought and won a battle against anorexia. She is fighting to regain control of her music career. She is standing tall in the face of adversity and she is a clear role model for anyone and everyone that has been put through it. This is her first official single in four years. Four torturous years where she hasn't been able to release any new music due to the legal battles she's faced with Dr. Luke and Sony. And in this single, she takes the high road. She lays it out there for people to see. To understand exactly what it is that she's been experiencing at the hands of her abuser. The video starts out with a monologue and I have to say, I am beyond moved at the honesty and sheer amount of raw emotion she has been able to put into words with what she's experienced.

"Am I dead? Or is this one of those dreams? Those horrible dreams that seem like they last forever? If I am alive, why? If there is a God or whatever, something, somewhere, why have I been abandoned by everyone and everything I've ever known? I've ever loved? Stranded. What is the lesson? What is the point? God, give me a sign, or I have to give up. I can't do this anymore. Please just let me die. Being alive hurts too much."

As a very personal side note, these words touched me. Greatly. As a matter of fact, they're pretty much how I've felt almost every day for the past six months. And even reading them, I am moved to tears because they are a manifestation of my thoughts and my fears and exactly what's been going on in my life. And now, someone that I admire. Someone that I cherish has said them out loud. Given a voice to my struggle and my pain and it gives me hope. It gives me strength to know that I am not alone. That I am not doing this by myself and if Kesha has the power to overcome this a day at a time, then so do I.

She is everything. Her music means the world to me. Her voice gives a voice to those people that are voiceless. She is a misfit on the island of misfit toys. She is an outcast. And I am proud to be right there beside her. I am so proud of her for standing tall and not backing down and doing what makes her whole. I am honored to be the recipient of such a gift that she's given the world and I cherish it. She is Kesha Rose and I adore her.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Rita Ora - Your Song

One of the most slept on artists in the music industry today is Rita Ora and I feel that is a damn shame. Her voice is amazing. Her lyrical timing is spot on. She's the perfect package and I think unfortunately, in America - people don't know what to with both Rita and Rihanna. And they can't be any more different from each other. Rita has just such a cool vibe to her that is easy and free. It's just fluid and she does a damn fine job with what she's given and she makes music that people can easily identify with. Sure she's got music that's on trend with what's happening in the industry. And she's got timely guest vocalists on her tracks but when you get a song that's as polished as this is and it doesn't get the recognition it deserves in the mass American market, there's something wrong. The song is incredible. Rita is incredible. The video is incredible. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Cristina F - Dear Beauty

There's something theatrical about the production of this song. I feel like it would fit beautifully in a Broadway show about coming of age. Whether it's a song about introspection and learning who we are or if it's a song about someone actually leaving our lives. I think that as we get older, we spend a lot of time examining those things and those ideals. What we hold dear and what we hold important in ourselves and in relationships change as we grow in ourselves and our experiences shape who we are. We may face disappointment and we may have to deal with unexpected twists and turns in our lives but through it all, as long as we stand strong and work every day to be a little better - there's nothing we can't persevere and grow. Like a dandelion growing through the concrete, beauty finds a way.

Cristina F has created a song that has some life to it. Some mileage on it and it connects with me, specifically on a primal level. I know where she's at. I've felt these feelings and I know how hard it is to smile when it feels like we aren't in the place we need to be in the world. Her voice reminds me of so many amazing female vocalists; Vicci Martinez, Beverly McClellan, Serena Ryder, Chantal Kreviazuk. Women you probably haven't heard of but women that are powerful and strong and who have been kicked around by life a little and have lived and created a creative space and outlet for their joy and their pain and given thoughts and feelings a chance to become something bigger than themselves.

This is an amazing song from an up and coming artist that you will see grow bigger and brighter as more people learn about her. I feel fortunate to have caught her this early in her career so when she's singing to sold out auditoriums I can say, I remember when. Check her out and listen to her newest Digital EP over on SoundCloud, "The Flowers". It's earthy and it's soulful. It's comfort food for the soul, for sure.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Portugal. The Man - Feel It Still

Portugal. The Man has dug into some crazy amount of groove here. I can't fully describe how hard this track grooves without just losing my shit over it. It's hands down one of the funkiest songs I've heard in a very long time. It's just one of the coolest songs ever. I don't really know what else to say about it aside from that. It's simple, it's easy and it just feels right.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Alex Sloane - Puppy Love

Unique voices are as important to me as unique point of views. And Alex Sloane has an amazing voice. It's got a fantastically unique quality to it that makes it soft and soothing but there's an earthy grounded quality hiding underneath. You can hear that in the more breathy moments in this song. It's a super cute and fun song and it just makes me smile. It makes me feel warm and content on the surface but when you listen to the lyrics it's a bit more serious. So it's got this duality to it with the softness of her voice against the intention in her lyrics. I think that people do tend to get it twisted when it comes to feelings and how connections happen. There almost needs to be a step between like and love. Something to describe how you feel that is more than just casual attraction but not as serious as being in love with someone. Alex has done a fantastic job of explaining that on this track and I look forward to hearing much more out of her.

Patients - Learn To Love Me

The amount of intensity in this video is bananas. From the striking color palate to the edit swipes to the building and swelling of the track into a tumultuous deluge of want and desire. There's something very desperate about this song and it's a bit broken and a bit scary. But not in an American Psycho kind of way but more of a deep longing and a need that has to be fulfilled. I think we've all been that person. The person that is at their wits end and we don't know how we can go on without connection and meaning. Sure, we can navigate the world on our own. We can make our way without people but we weren't designed for that. We weren't built to spend our time alone so when we find that person that compliments our goods and makes our bads not so bad, a deep seated, primal feeling can build into that need to be. To be more than we are and I think from time to time, we can forget ourselves and get swallowed up in another person.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Bright Light Bright Light - New York Pretty

There can never be enough songs about self love and acceptance. And when they're done this beautifully, please bring them all on. BLBL has made an incredible song and a better video for this anthem about being the best version of yourself. It's a beautiful love letter to queer New York City and how being in an open environment makes you just open yourself up for opportunities and you want to learn how to be better. It's such a fun, powerful song and I can't get enough of it. He's got such a magical way with creating these songs that are experiences and they get inside you and just make you feel good.

Haim - Want You Back

Simplicity at it's finest. When you've got an amazing song, you don't need much else to embellish it. The Haim sisters know that. The video is simple and it complements the song brilliantly. Seeing Danielle, Este, and Alana having a good time while walking down the street is just fun. The dance break at the end made me smile with just mega amounts of joy. I don't want to take too much away from this video as it's just a great accompaniment to the song.