Monday, April 30, 2012

Lauren Ray - Say Goodbye

If the sum is greater than the parts, what happens when the parts are just stellar.  Lauren Ray is a new artist from the UK and she is currently working with some of the most creative producers in the business right now.  In a stunning new genre being called folktronica ("A bit melancholic with electronic influences" - says producer Stormby), Lauren has a command over the elements like someone that's been singing for years.  "Say Goodbye" is atmospheric, melodic and a bit noir.  It's got a darkness to it spun together with an ambient chill that just wraps around you and holds you as the song unfolds.  Lauren's voice is the perfect compliment to the melody and the beats and I don't think this song would do nearly what it has the power of doing with someone else's vocals.  She has a very strong command of her instrument that is paired equally with Stormby's track.  Without the slow melodic course he lays down, this track would have no direction.  It would simply spin out of control.

In the world of producers, he has quickly become someone that I look for to make incredible music and I have yet to hear a misstep from him.  He has an understanding of how things need to fit together musically and it is clear he can see what's coming because he has a manner of changing and shifting whenever he needs to.  I have more that I am going to be posting about him in the weeks to come, so stay tuned.

So yes, the sum may be greater than the parts, but these parts live in such harmony with each other there couldn't be one without the other.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Nicki Minaj - Starships

Between the gigantic Samoan dudes and Nicki's ass... I was mesmerized. This isn't necessarily the video I was looking for with this song but it'll do. Yes, sir... It'll do. One of the poppier tracks of Roman Reloaded, "Starships" is just a great dance track that gets you moving. Nicki looks amazing in the video and she's mastered the art of a quick change wig transitions a la Cher. I think the video and the song are a great balance to the rest of the album and you can call me a member of the ever growing Barbz army and am proud of it.

What's your opinion on the video?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Meet Doug Baron

I said last week it's amazing how music comes to me because I never know how I am going to find new artists. Last night, another amazing artist just simply appeared out of the ethos.  I need you to meet Doug Baron.  I've only known him for about 12 hours now but it's been an incredible 12.

Born in New Orleans, Doug Baron's music is about as honest as the Mississippi Delta.  It's got an earthy quality to it that can only be created through years of hard work and patience.  It's got a heart and a soul of someone that has been around the block a time or two and has been scuffed up by life a little.  It's just about as pure as an American singer/songwriter can be.  The lyrics are heartfelt and honest.  The melodies are simple and uncomplicated.  But through it all beats the heart of the Mississippi river, unwavering and persistent.  It's someone that isn't going to give up or give in.  It's someone that wears those trials and tribulations as a mark of honor, not as a badge of shame.

Doug released The Blue back in 2007 and it has aged exceptionally well.  It's a mix of pop/rock/folk/country/rhythm and blues.  So I guess you could call it gumbo pop or melting pot pop.  It's very Americana because it takes so many styles and melds them together flawlessly.  He reminds me of another one of my most favorite artists, Justin Utley because he has this way of spinning a yarn and making it relateable to everyone listening.  From start to finish, it's one story after another that you are easily able to find something in that echoes something from your own experience.  His voice is easy and has a quality to it that is familiar and without pretense. "18", "The Blue", "Scarecrow" are a few of the stand out tracks and if you want to hear quality musicianship, these tracks will certainly do it.  But there aren't any bad tracks on the album.  I've listened to it several times since purchasing it last night and it is growing on me with every listen.  It's simply a great album and I want to see him do amazing things.

Doug on the Web

Son of a Kid - OK, Then You Say Something

My favorite unsigned Swedish band has done it again and this time, it's darn close to a ballad. Son of a Kid is an amazing group that you need in your life. Mostly because they make music like no one else and they do it for what seems to be nothing more than a love of making music because none of their catalog has ever been released as an album. I want them to release and album because I want to support them so they keep making music. Their music appeals to anyone who has a love for great pop and they have a pretty universal message of love and compassion.  I am such a huge fan of this group and I want them to be mega-stars.  This track is great and I love Alx's vocals in it.  They always have an incredible way of doing something creative and the end of this song is just that... Super creative and fun.  Check it out!!

Foster the People - Houdini

Probably my favorite song from Torches, Foster the People have released a super creative video for the track "Houdini".  Did you ever wonder what would happen if one of the most popular bands got killed in a horrible video shoot accident?  Well if you did, this could be a possible outcome.  Mark and the boys are unceremoniously crushed under a lighting rig and in a very profitable move, the production crew opts for a little help in the form of Kuroko/Bunraku-style acts of puppetry, which is a huge form of entertainment in Japan and has been for many, many years.

I like the video because like the other Foster the People videos, it doesn't take itself seriously at all and has a good time making fun of itself.  There's also choreography from the guys which was exciting as well.  Watch the video and leave me a comment as far as what you thought of it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Vanbot - Got To Get Out

Vanbot is yet another amazing Swedish synth pop artist that I don't think enough people know about. She is giving this song away free on her Soundcloud and I think it should be in everyone's library. It's got a much fuller sound than other synth tracks I've heard lately and it's got a pretty cool lyrical message. I've been a fan of hers for quite some time now and her self titled album should be one of your top synth purchases. It's not a flashy album and she doesn't seem to be either. She doesn't rely on tricks when making her music.

Moonchild - Gone

Digging back into New Jack Swing and further, Moonchild has released a track that is as experimental as it is funky. With a smooth flowing rap adding another level of flavor to this already jam-packed track, there is no way you can't nod your head to this track. There isn't a square inch of this track that isn't just full, almost to the point of overflowing. My only issue is that the vocals can feel a bit trampled on in places. I think this was supposed to be the case and that's what gives this track the experimental aspect that challenges conventions. Check em out on FaceBook and on their Youtube channel.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Wanted - Glad You Came

So this morning around 4 AM, I was watching a show on MTV called "Classic Cuts". It was playing videos so old, you could just imagine the reels covered in cob webs and dust in a vault somewhere in MTV studios. Probably the same vault that held Tara Reid's dignity. And the videos they were showing were ridiculous. "Bills, Bills, Bills" by Destiny's Child, "A Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton and I was just dumbstruck that they were considering these videos classic but then again I'm not part of their demographic anymore so to that group, these may be golden oldies... Anyway, I digress.

All that set up was to say if those videos were "classic" then it won't be too long before videos like this will be as well and most of America don't even know who The Wanted are. Another blogger said that if One Direction are equivalent to *NSYNC then The Wanted are The Backstreet Boys and I can see that correlation.  And if it's my duty as a blogger to introduce you to new music then I have been careless and selfish because I've kept them all to myself.  I've been a fan for quite some time and think they make an amazing brand of pop music.  They are very accessible and make music that has a universal appeal.

They are releasing an EP today in the States which for all intent and purpose is a greatest hits album for their US fans because most of the tracks were previously released on their previous releases.  "Glad You Came" is probably their biggest hit to date and the track that actually got them traction in the US, which is why I chose this one to use as an introduction of sorts.  It's a pretty stand up summery type song that will have you bobbing along with them.  Give it a chance and see what you think.

The Wanted on the Web

Outasight - Now or Never

I love super positive music because it has an amazing way of turning your day around. This is one of those tracks that is just off the rails and it makes you feel good to listen to it. It's got a great message that everyone should live their lives by but we never do. It shouldn't matter what anyone thinks about you, at all... but too often we let anyone and everyone control where our lives are going to go and how they are going to get there. Forget all that, and just do you. Don't worry about what everyone else expects you to do because they aren't going to live your life for you.

Outasight has become one of my favorite hip hop artists because he is totally unconventional and he does his own thing.  Get to know his music and you will certainly agree.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Iwan Rheon - Remember

Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!  This is Iwan Rheon and he is amazing.  Listen to his freaking voice.  This is the voice of brilliance.  Oh if you didn't know, he was Simon on Misfits.  Probably one of the most bad ass characters in all of science fiction.  With a voice so much older than he is, I am sitting here in awe of this and I actually am having difficulty expressing how great this is.  It's very David Gray, very Bob Dylan, so timeless and classic that he deserves to be a massive star.  I mean, massive.  I've now listened to this track over and over and it does not get old.  Do yourself a favor and follow him on Soundcloud or Spotify or whereever you can find his music because it's going to be important and you are going to be glad you did.

Iwan on the Web


Appeasing Lindsay - Ordinary/Beautiful (Track by Track)

It's sometimes very interesting how I come across new music or rather how new music finds me.  I was sitting at work the other night and got a twitter notification that I had a new follower, a guy called James Whalley.  I checked out his profile then started digging deeper.  Found out he was in a band and I tracked down the website, listened to preview tracks and before I knew it, I was knee deep in a new musical obsession.  Appeasing Lindsay is a pop group made up of 4 friends from Sydney, Australia.  They formed in 2010 and started work on their debut EP, Ordinary/Beautiful with the first single released shortly thereafter.

Track by Track

Sweetie...Even Prom Queens Grow Old
"Good girls like bad boys because they make them look so sweet and I'll never be bad enough for you to notice me".  It's lyrics like this that makes them great.  Not mediocre but great.  The first single off the EP is an awesome radio track.  It's got an amazing hook and the chorus is scorching.  This is a super fun song but it still has that underdog quality that all the songs have.  It may be the nice guy of the EP but it's not going to finish last.

Keep Me Close
It doesn't matter what life throws at me, I am going to be right here.  To have something so dear that you are willing to stand for is what we all secretly or not so secretly desire.  There is a thread of hope that flows through the EP and this song shows such elegance in expressing that feeling.  The song is built amazingly from start to finish as a matter of fact the production of this song shows intelligence.  Did they need to add horns at the end of the song?  No, not really but what it does is add a tremendous amount of atmosphere to the song and adds a rise and fall in the crescendo of the song.  It's another layer of depth that creates a much larger feeling.

Same People, Same Places, Same Poses (feat Kid Boom)
Possibly my favorite track on the EP.  You have to stop and actually listen to the track and hear what they have to say.  Everyone has been at a place in their life when you realize that if you can just get away and find something new, things just might get better.  There is a pleading in this song that begs to be taken far away but you know you can't go so you have to just be patient and wait it out because there is an end to it all.  Whether you find meaning in this song personally or you have someone in your life that you are able to apply this song to, the more time you spend with it, it is exceptionally easy to fall head over heels with it.  A lyric as simple as "Tell me something ordinary/beautiful away from here, take me away from here" elevates this song to heights you can't imagine on the first listen through.

Friends Don't Kiss Like That
The way the chorus slowly hammers through makes this song stand out.  James' words are punctuated with percussion that drives the song forward.  It's still totally an AL song and it has the same character and charm that the rest of the songs have but it's the one on the EP that has a bit of a turn to it that makes it different.  It's not different in a good or a bad way, it just is and I think that's important because you just don't want all 5 tracks to sound identical because that becomes repetitive.  I dig this song a lot.

Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid
This is my fast song.  The guitar in this song is great.  I love the speed of the riff and then there's the rest of the song and it's not half bad either.  Again, we are working with hope and tenderness.  It's the most "synth" of all the tracks but it's totally workable and a great track.  The producers of this EP knew what they were doing when they decided to build this album because everything works so well together and each track shows a great deal of diversity for the guys.

So yeah, as you can see... I've kind of got it bad for these tracks and to be honest, it's been the only thing I've listened to since I bought it the other day.  A very wise friend of mine once told me that if you can listen to an album 10 times straight then it's a good album.  Well I think I am well above 20 times with this so that makes it an outstanding album.  Again, it's only $5 on Amazon and it's well worth every penny.  Don't order that coffee at Starbucks, buy this EP... you are going to get so much more out of it than that Venti Skinny Cap with a half shot and no whip.

Appeasing Lindsay on the Web

Scissor Sisters - Only The Horses

In the second video off Magic Hour, we find our Sisters trapped in an ancient pyramid probably in the Valley of the Scissor Sisters.  The video flashes between 4 saddled horses building up strength to pull the 4 plugs to release the Sisters and scenes of paint being sucked off the bodies of the band members.  This isn't the treatment that I imagine when I hear the song but I can get behind the video because it fits into what they have shown in the past.  I think there is an absolute romantic appeal to this song that pulls it through a poor video treatment.  The song is a natural progression from what we've heard from the previous three albums and I don't necessarily think Calvin Harris as a producer is a bad thing.  I think it shows they have grown into a group that can attract large producers.  2012 has been a huge year for music and it keeps getting bigger and bigger and May 28th is going to be a huge day in the lives of all the fans of the Scissor Sisters.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Joshu Ra - Sweet Dreams That I Used To Know

Sometimes a mash up comes along that is breathtaking in it's simplicity. There's nothing fancy or overworked about this. It's Gotye and Kimbra over Beyonce's Sweet Dreams but it works amazingly. I would be hard pressed to find something as equally elegant as this is. I don't want to waste too many words on this, just listen to it and see if you're as amazed as I was.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Moonchild - Be Free

In what could be one of the most sultry of slow jamz I have heard in a minute, Los Angels trio, Moonchild step up and let you know they aren't taking prisoners on this track.  You will submit to their melodic brand of tripped out jazz funkiness and you will get on down.  Amber's vocals are inspired and they are dripping with so much sex appeal.  Not that slutty sex like you get from a dirty glittered out Ke$ha (you know I love my Ke-dollar sign- ha) but more vibing and getting on with the get down like classic sex appeal.  Feminine power and Barry White sex appeal.  The stuff you can't buy in a store.

When the rainstick is turned over, you know just how this is gonna go. Then you get the horns and the authentic hand claps and it's just time to give it up and let them have their way with you, as silky and smooth as it will be. The probably won't call tomorrow but you don't care and nor should you.  This track is just good old fashioned soul music that makes you feel warm all over and I for one am a fan.  I have an amazing friend to thank for turning me on to this, Scott Fernandez (who is also an amazing musician and you should totally fall in love with him too)

Moondchild on the Web

Paul O'Brien - I'm the Radio

In what could be an immense radio track, Pob has moved a bit away from the drum and bass and more toward mainstream radio play. This is probably one of the more commercial tracks I have listened to by him. I'm not saying commercial in a bad way. All artists have to be able to create music for the masses otherwise they won't be able to reach new fans. With each track he releases, the more I become a member of his every growing legion of fans. This hook is catchy and the chorus is big. It has a very easy beat that makes it easily accessible to anyone that hears it. When the track starts out, I kind of expect to hear a hip hop artist to give a shout out to Red One or Jason Derulo and it doesn't sound like it would be out of place. With a very strong foundation, remixes of this song could just tear the roof off any club this is played at. I would like to see a remix with a hip hop breakdown in the middle eight by someone like Far East Movement or Tinie Tempah or Labrinth.

I promise, Pob is going to be huge and you'll be kicking yourself if you don't get in on the ground floor with him.

Little Boots - Every Night I Say A Prayer (Tensnake Remix)

Little Boots has pulled a magic trick out of her hat with this.  Channeling great producers and remixers from the early 80s, she has created a hit reminiscent of a time when disputes were settled with dance battles, not guns.  When the vocals kick in on top of this brilliantly arranged track, they are such a treat.  Her vocals take this from an old school hip hop groove to an early 90s freestyle song in the same vein as Company B or Sweet Sensation or Seduction.  It just runs across those genres without being overworked or too much.  This shows a tremendous amount of talent for her to be able to easily create a track that sounds like it was made long before she was born.

Levi Kreis - Womanchild

Funky, unexpected, always a pleasure.  Levi's submission to Free Music Monday is the track "Womanchild".  I don't know why this track was never released.  It has so much potential to be all over the place.  Every station could rock it and all the listeners should love it.  It'll make you make stank faces and bob your head as he just plays all over the track.  It is so effortless how Levi just owns everything about this song.  The production is so full and lush with the bass and the strings and a little bit...hell a lot of soul. I can't say much more about this song that just won't be me being incoherent about how good it is.

Introducing Appeasing Lindsay

Australia has always been one of my favorite places for music.  INXS, Midnight Oil, Yothu Yindi, Amy Meredith, Garcon Garcon... and now Appeasing Lindsay.  I ran across this group last night and immediately fell in love.  If you take 1 part Andy Bell and throw in a massive amount of modern sensibility and attitude and you get James Whalley's vocals but make no mistake, it is so much more than that and doesn't deserve to be pigeonholed in that manner.  They have created a sound that takes such a reverent approach to the synth pop genre and melds it with amazing instrumentation that makes their sound so much larger than just what can be produced electronically and you can absolutely appreciate that in their sound.

Their debut EP was released well over a year ago but the music is brand new and relevant.  They have 2 tracks available to stream on their website via SoundCloud and I've put them here as well. I've started listening to music like people watch a fashion show. I need to be able to hear the common thread that makes me realize that what I'm hearing belongs to the same collection but is different enough to make me need to hear more. The same thing clothing designers do with a collection. There are 10 pieces in the new spring collection and they all tell the same story but they have different elements that bring the whole thing together. Both of the tracks on SoundCloud paint an amazing picture of what is to come from this amazing group. "Same People, Same Places, Same Poses" has an amazing amount of emotion wrapped through the song and the lyrics have been very thoughtfully chosen to maximize the full grasp it can have whereas "Sweetie... Even Prom Queens Grow Old" is much more of a rawkus turn to the opposite end of the spectrum. It's a fun party song with a strong lyrical turn of phrase.

You know how right I can be when it comes to predicting who is going to be big and I think Appeasing Lindsay will be doing more to appease a much wider audience in the very near future. I have purchased the EP and will need to spend some quality time with it to better get a more rounded out feeling of their music. When I do, and I've listened to all 5 tracks I will post more about this awesome group. It's $5 on Amazon so go get it.

Appeasing Lindsay on the Web

Snoop Dogg & Tupac - Hail Mary & 2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted

I saw on Twitter last night where all these celebrities were talking about the holographic performance from Coachella last night and after watching the video, I have chills. Music is about creating moments. Indelible moments that will last forever and this is going to be one of them. I think the music entertainment industry changed forever last night. Was the hologram realistic? Enough to make you have to think twice about what you are watching.  And when Snoop took the stage beside him... shut up.  This is the future ladies and gentlemen, do not get it twisted.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Theophilus London - All Around the World

There's no denying the difference between American Hip Hop and Brit Hop. And Theophilus has an amazing way of taking a genre that's already great and making it better. A lot of British hip hop seems to have it's roots grounded in more pop/dance foundations where American hip hop is more urban and more raw. Don't misunderstand me, there is plenty of rap and hip hip in the UK that is downright hardcore and grimey but I think there seems to be a higher level of sophistication to the music from the other side of the pond. Theophilus (Theo for short) is more than just a hip hop artist. His music has an ability to transcend genres pushing him more toward the Alternative and allowing for him to have a much wider fan base. His performs in front of a live band and doesn't rely on a backing track like other artists and he seems to have a point of view that is larger than just dirty gangland business.

His version of hip hop does push boundaries and his lyrics are honest and they have a very forward thinking attitude but they also pay homage to those artists that have paved the way for him to be able to create particular brand of music he can.  This track takes you on tour with him as he chronicles his adventures from all around the world.  If you are a fan of intelligent lyrics with solid production that draws you in, check him out.  You won't be disappointed and make sure you pick up a copy of Timez are Weird These Days  and look out for the remix album Timez are Weird These Nights coming out April 24th at your favorite online retailer.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Temper Trap - I Need Your Love

Did you ever wonder what happened to Johnny Lawrence of the Cobra Kai after Daniel LaRusso beat him at the tournament? In The Temper Trap's new video, you get an interpretation of how things could have gone. The video is a love story to the 80s and the Karate Kid. The song is a bit of a step away from what we know know as music past. As a matter of fact, it is so far from "Sweet Disposition" as Johnny is to beating Daniel in the video. It is much poppier and more upbeat than previous releases and it actually took me a few listens before I was fully hooked but the song is good and the video is awesome. It's going to be interesting to see where they go from here since this is so significantly different than their other singles.

The Temper Trap on the Web

Alphabeat - Vacation

How can you not want to drop everything you're doing and hope aboard, Mod Airlines Flight #Groovy and go anywhere in the world with Stine and Anders after watching this video. Take one part Mad Men and equal parts awesome and faboo and you've got the latest video by Danish sensation, Alphabeat. In this video we see the band frolicking around an airport terminal in the late 60s/early 70s looking fantasticly mod and having a blast. The stewardesses (yes, they would be stewardesses not flight attendants) are perfect accessories to any girl on the go and they aren't too bad at cutting a rug.

This song is super fun and I think will be a huge song going into summer. It probably wont' hit America so I am so glad there is a global music community so I have the opportunity to be part of the magic that is Alphabeat. They are easily in my top 10 groups of all time because of how fun they are and what they have brought to the pop music scene.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Poppy and the Jezebels - Sign In, Dream On, Drop Out

Mollie and the girls have invaded High Street and are starting their own brand of dreamy pop protest. This song is just fun. It's catchy and it's fun and it's everything that a great pop song should be. I love Mollie's voice, it has such a character and I love the fact that her accent bleeds through. It gives the track a definite appeal that helps it stand head and shoulders above other synth pop artists. It is very reminiscent of the unadulterated spirit of girl bands that have gone before. I can hear some Dolores O'Riordan and Sinead O'Connor as well as a little Siobhan Fahey. This track was produced by Richard X (Sugababes, Liberty X, M.I.A) and it has huge potential to be huge summer smash. Even though they have been a group since 2005, their sound is put together enough to give them years on this track. I think this brand of pop music has an absolute place in the world and should be appreciated for the good it can do.

Paul O'Brien - Come A Little Closer

So I've been asleep at the wheel with Paul. I am now jumping on the POB bandwagon and am asking that you do the same. This track is dangerous and moody and a bit on the dark side so if you like your music like I like my coffee, then I suggest you grab this up. It's got a mixture of the best of not only the past but what is to come at the same time. I would consider this more dakwave than I would dubstep and I think that gives it more of a universal appeal and adds longevity to the track.

As much as I dig drum and bass and dubstep, I think they are both very dated commodities where this has more of a polished Siouxsie and the Banshees or Bauhaus vibe to it. I think it would be cool to see him do a collaboration with Simon Curtis because I think they both bring a very unique set of skills to the table. I think that Paul is definitely going to be one to watch as he gets bigger and bigger. You might want to trust me on that.

Paul on the Web

Marina and the Diamonds - Lies (Acoustic)

I really think we are going to get to hear all the tracks off the album before it's actually released. On top of that, we are going to get videos for all the tracks that showcase Marina's amazing voice and timeless beauty and appeal. With each track we get to know a little more about her and we are allowed in a step at a time. I think this has been my favorite track as of yet and I can't wait to hear more of the album. I know it seems like I am always waiting for the next thing but I think that's because each release is stronger and more impressive than the last and I with each new chapter, it's getting better and better. Marina is one of my favorite artists because she is an absolute amazing singer and artist. She continues to grow and mature with every step she takes so I am excited to be able to watch her as she becomes the artist she deserves to be.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hoodie Allen (featuring Jhameel) - No Faith in Brooklyn

There seems to be a new breed of hip hop artist emerging in the mainstream. So many independent emcees are finding their way onto the pop culture radar and they are bringing with them a set of skills that can't be taught. They are honed from years of rhyming to pay the bills and put money on the table. They are the "Outasights" and the "K.flays" and the "Kreayshawns". They are young, gifted and battle tested. They have lyrics that aren't driven by autotune and they aren't rapping about stereotypical ghetto gangsta shit. They bring a message and a meaning all built upon a mastery of language and experience.

I was honored today to run across this track because it had Jhameel attached to it. Enter Hoodie Allen, a New York based rapper that has a new album dropping today. There are so many other artists that are building their fan base by creating mix tapes and releasing them as free downloads on their respective websites and Hoodie has done the same. He currently has 2 available for download, Pep Rally and Leap Year. Both are full length albums so you get an amazing sample of his music and what he can do. Then when you are done with those, slip on over to iTunes and buy All American, his new album.

So lets talk "No Faith in Brooklyn". I said that it took Jhameel to get me there but it was all Hoodie that made me stay. When the song starts, you hear Jhameel bring it in with his smooth vocal stylings but shortly after is just a showcase of the amazing talent Hoodie has. This track is very radio friendly and has the potential to do a tremendous amount of good for him as an artist. The lyrics are catchy and the rhymes are hot. His style reminds me a bit of Childish Gambino, the way he is able to paint a picture and just give you visuals is top notch. He should be huge and should be blowing up charts everywhere. I can't wait to hear more from him and support him as he continues to grow and mature as an artist.

Hoodie on the Web

Microfilm & Sarah Nixey - Silk Threads (Two Ways)

If you like your music silky and smooth, then this track is for you. Portland duo, Microfilm have put their spin on "Silk Threads" by Sarah Nixey and oh what a web they have woven. From the first beat through the chorus to the end of the song, you are pulled forward with a slow, deliberate sexiness that will have you tapping your foot and bobbing along before you know what has come over you. The lyrics have this haunting quality to them that is only matched by the perfect delivery of the track. This mix will have you drawn into a trance before you know it. Now, if you are looking for something a little more on the ass shaking side, slide on over to the Silky Smooth Remix.

This mix has more of an electrovibe that will still have you grooving but you now can get up on your feet and take the magic to the dance floor. Microfilm continues to prove themselves as masters of this art and have yet to impress me when it comes to their remixes. Before long, they will be as big as the best and people will start saying they knew them when...

Jessie J (featuring David Guetta) - Laserlight

Normally I wouldn't cover David Guetta because I think there are a hundred other producers out there more talented than him but I have to give it up to my girl, Jessie J. I have been a huge supporter of Jessie's for a long time. I am very happy to see her doing things. I think she is amazingly talented and I won't defend that statement. Her voice is massive and her song writing skills are beyond reproach. So I cannot begrudge her for working with one of the hottest commodities in the industry today. The song isn't fantastic, it sounds like a lot of David's other stuff, as a matter of fact the guitar sounds a lot like the guitar in Titanium featuring Sia (That is a brilliant track though). But it is a good radio track and I think that Jessie needs that, well she needs it in America. I want her to be huge. I want her to have a giant fanbase so that she will continue writing great track and releasing awesome albums. Take a listen and leave me a comment to let me know what you think.

Gossip - Perfect World

Yes, ma'am. Miss Beth Ditto is back with Gossip and she isn't here to stake a claim in the music industry because she already has her place carved out. her voice is unmistakable, her charisma is undeniable and this song does not disappoint. With the melody and rhythms driving this song forward, Beth dances all over the track with such ease it's like she's sung this song for years.  I dare anyone to challenge the power that she possesses in her range and control over her voice.  Don't make comparisons to other artists because The Gossip has been paying their dues since 1999 and they deserve to be mega stars.

I lived for every track on her solo EP with Simian Mobile Disco, but this is where she belongs. Back with the band making music that is unbelievable. If this is just a taste of whats to come on A Joyful Noise then the music industry is going to be totally under Gossip's spell yet again. The album isn't out until May 22 and maybe this is enough to tide me over but it's gonna be difficult.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ladyhawke - Sunday Drive

In the latest video by Ladyhawke, we find Pip tied up in the trunk of a car as she pleads to not be left alone. It's an easy track, slow and melodic but at the same time, it's very Ladyhawke. It's different enough than the tracks off her debut album to show progression and forward momentum but at the same time, at the heart of the track is everything you have grown to love about her music. Her next album, Anxiety is due out soon and she's doing a great job building hype around the release.

She's an artist that doesn't nearly have enough publicity and she deserves worldwide radio play.  Please support her because she deserves it.

Levi Kreis - Only So Much Justice

I wish I knew how to classify Levi. Is he Blues? Is he Rock and Roll? Is he Gospel?  Well whatever he is, he's someone that can deliver what ever it is you need without ever knowing you needed it.  Every Monday, he releases a new track on his SoundCloud from his library of unreleased tracks and this week we get a glimpse into a full tilt boogie plea for a little more humility and honesty from our friends, neighbors and people we meet all over the place.  "Only So Much Justice" asks the age old question, why am I the one that the universe seems to dump on?  I'm a good person so why is it just me that is always the one that's put out?

After listening to this track, you have a better sense of peace with the universe and all it's shenanigans and can go out and face the world yet again.  So, if you are in need of a good old fashioned lesson that only someone so deep in the soul of humanity can provide, then I suggest you download this track right now.

Miriam Bryant - Finders Keepers

Don't know a thing about her aside from the power she is hiding in her voice and guess what... she's Swedish (born British, raised Swedish - I mean come on how awesome is that).  Gonna follow her and see where her career takes her but trust me, she's gonna be huge.  In the wake of the potential overexposure of Adele, there aren't enough powerful pop singers around and I think Ms. Bryant will the void quite nicely.  When I get more info, I will fill you guys in more.  I promise.


I was contacted by Miriam's camp and given access to the original version of the song, not the Unplugged version which is the video above and all I can say is, "Holy Hell!" This song is HUGE.  It's a soaring example of what is good about Pop music.  Her vocals are giant and the production doesn't fall short of operatic and theatrical.  This song needs to be on the radio today.

Matt Zarley - Trust Me

This video is the epitome of sheer brilliance. It's one of the most entertaining videos I have seen in a long time. "Trust Me" is one of my favorite tracks off of Change Begins With Me and when I found out it was going to be a single, I was ecstatic. The treatment given to the video takes a super sexy song and makes it even sexier.  Take a modern presidential hopeful, embroil him in some hot man on man action and let the politicos loose.  From start to finish, this video is non-stop and by the 4:15 mark, you're like... "Where'd the rest of the video go"?  It's an absolute blast and it looks like the cast had an amazing time filming it.

The video has an uncanny way of taking what could potentially be too sexy and giving it just the right amount of naughtiness to keep it from being smutty. As fun and exciting to watch the 70s themed party is, I fully feel that Matt is at the highest level of smolder during the dance break because it shows a side of him that we haven't really seen a lot of in his videos.  With very little movement, he commands that group and just owns every bit of the choreography.  It energizes the video and the first time he says, "Trust Me" while sitting in the egg chair after the break...Whoa Mama!

I am super pumped about how great the video turned out and I am glad that in the story of the video they took the scandal and ran with it instead of trying to bury it. I think that between Tom Selleck in Magnum and Matt in this video, the porn-stache has never been worn with as much pride. Great shout out to the mover that gave Matt his number at the end of "WTF" as one of his "political advisors".

Awesome video! Going to be hard to top this one, Mr. Zarley.

Matt on the web:

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Scott Fernandez - Don't Be Butt-Hurt

When you're a solo artist, it can be difficult to get attention and recognition.  When you're a solo bass player, it may be even harder to get noticed... unless you're Scott Fernandez.  Scott is a Nashville based artist that can make things happen with a bass that could be considered illegal in many states because of the absolute state of euphoria you will find yourself in upon completion of one of his tracks.  Does he care how many strings a bass has... hell no, string counts are for sissies and he is far from being a sissy.  His latest bass weapon that he is commissioning will have 18 strings.  That's right ladies and gentlemen, 18 freaking strings.  That's more strings than my hands have and that's saying a lot.

So let's talk about this track.  This is his first official track he's released as a solo artist.  This marks his journey into greatness.  I cannot speak highly enough about this work of art that he created in one take with no loops, no pedals or added instrumentation.  Just him and his bass.  Here comes my word salad for this track.  Melodic, atmospheric, disastrous, decisive, Prussian, deliberate.  If this song was alive it would be the 4th Infantry Prussian Brigade marching into battle against an army of techno-pagans as they attempt to capture the holy land.  This song would be the apex of the war when the enemy knows they've lost and there's nothing else they can do against a far superior force.  It's the deciding factor that makes them lay down their arms and their women and succomb to the natural course of action as they will be forever known as the suffered an ignominious defeat.

The sound and the feeling this song deliver are so large, it is almost impossible to not feel inspiration welling in your chest as you stand a bit taller knowing that someone has come before you.

Scott is the real deal and there are few bass players that can hold his case, let alone produce work at the caliber he does.  Check him out.  Become friends on FB or Soundcloud or Youtube or all of them.  He's amazing and he will fill you with pride to be a human with the vibratory capacity to full appreciate his realness.

Scott's BandPage

Friday, April 6, 2012

Scissor Sisters - Only The Horses (Official Lyric Video)

There are only a few things that make me squee like a total fanboy and at that top of the list is a new track by Scissor Sisters. This track is no exception so let me get this out of the way, "SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE"!! 

OMG I am so in love with this song. It's so romantic and it's so vibrant and I would kill to be able to feel this feeling again. To be with someone that you just want to run with and not come back. Jakes vocals are top notch, the production is brilliant and it makes me not only love love but this track. With maybe one exception, there are no tracks by the Sisters that I am not absolutely in love with and this is going to be no different. I can't wait until this album comes out because I need it in my life. If you are a Sister like I am, then you need to get on this. Please bring them back to America with me for an actual tour. Show them they are loved in their home country and we do want them here. So Jake, Ana, BabyDaddy and Del... I am sending the horses out for you.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mark Foster, A-Trak , and Kimbra - Warrior

Total Luchador Madness all up in this bitch!!

The video for Converse's latest "3 Artist 1 Song" entry is for the song "Warrior" by Mark Foster, A-Trak and Kimbra.  Now, while Mark Foster is really only on the chorus, can you not hear Foster the People all through the track.  It would totally fit on Torches without even trying hard.  I am not familiar with A-Trak but I am going to be and can you not just totally fall in love with Kimbra each and every time she opens her mouth.  I have so much love for her it's not funny.  Amazing track and a super cool video.  I kind of hate that its an advertisement for Converse shoes and Journeys but it could be worse and after all we get a freaking killer song out of it.

The Saturdays - 30 Days (Official Video)

Massive, massive, massive!!!  If you want to hear what an incredible pop song that should blow the top off the charts, here it is.  I've already talked about this single when the Lyric Video came out but to be able to put faces to voices and see just how brilliantly the girls shine through in the video is so amazing.  Each girl is just killing it and they deserve all the success they get.  This video and song hopefully will be huge and get some airtime in the States because I think it's their strongest single to date.  Bravo, girls!  I wish you so much love and success.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Missing Andy - Money

McFly, One Direction, The Wanted, Lawson.  They are all an evolution of the typical boy band and it's easy to see how you could put Missing Andy in this category as well.  I am impressed with how this track just grabs you and takes you on an awesome journey.  It's got an amazing mix of 60s throwback mod and ska that gives the track a new feeling that is current and relevant.  I dig the video.  It's super fun and sexy.  I would love to see these guys do brilliantly but most likely they won't really make it to America and we'll only get a few snippets here and there based probably solely off the success of One Direction and possibly Lawson.  I am going to do what I can to get a hold of their album considering how hard it can be to get British albums here.  If I am able, I will write a review of the whole thing and let you know what I think.!/missingandy

Grimes - Oblivion

There is something about Grimes that just pulls you in and just makes you go... damn. There's this quiet power that she exudes that just holds you in the palm of her hand and I'm absolutely ok with it. This is the first track that I've heard from her and it's off her fourth release, Visions, and if the rest of the album is as magnetic as this song; color me impressed. This song is so vibrant and alive it's teaming with character and personality.

Born Canadian, Claire Boucher has stormed the indie-pop scene with a fierceness and presence that can take years to cultivate.  She has experimented with  various sounds and her official blurb on Facebook states that her latest album "incorporates influences as wide as Enya, TLC and Aphex Twin, drawing from genres like New Jack Swing, IDM, New Age, K-pop, Industrial and glitch".  With influences such as these, Dream Pop is the only genre capable of holding her awe inspiring talent.

The video is awesome because of how "thrown together" it looks.  At one point early on you can see as she motions for a bystander to go ahead and walk in front of the camera.  I think that is something else she does that makes this more impressive; she does it all without even trying.  One of the top comments on youtube says, "She's accidently the sexiest woman alive". And that's the solid truth.  She doesn't have to try because she exudes it.  I can tell you that I am going to be all over these albums and give them a huge chunk of my time to see what I think of it.  One of her albums, Geidi Primes, was titled after chapters in the Dune novels by Frank Herbert.  I think that somewhere under all the accidental sexiness there may be a sci-fi fan buried.

Get the album.  You know you want it.

Dragonette - Let it Go

Who could really ask for anything more in a Dragonette single.  It's super poppy and has an amazing beat.  The lyrics are catchy and it's just all around fun.  It doesn't reinvent the wheel when it comes to dance/pop but it does a damn good job of creating a pretty awesome piece of music.  It it's any indication of what the new album is going to sound like, count me in because it's going to be a helluva ride.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Kendall - A World of Strangers

There aren't many people that have the ability to create provocative images without even trying. Kendall is one of those people that can paint a picture so vivid and clear that it can leave you breathless. This video is no exception. Kendall's knack for being provocative without pandering his audience has become such an in integral part of his charm it's impossible not to get drawn in without even really trying.  The visuals ranging from paganistic to the martyring of Kendall are stellar and they play into the track's sense of isolationism in a world full of people.  The men in the barn lined up in stalls like livestock creates this picture of selling oneself for meat, almost creating nothing more than a manner in which to objectify the human body as property.

I think this song has the ability to make you ask questions about where you fit into this world full of people and how you are part of something.  Do you have the ability to become assimilated for the greater good or are you always going to be on the outside looking in?