Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Philip Bonneau - The Final Secret Revealed (Part One)



Sometimes people know how to build ambiance. They know how to properly introduce sounds and melodies in such a manner that it taps into who you are. It feeds your soul and makes you close your eyes and drift. The scene from Gladiator where he's walking through the wheat and touching the blades as he passes them comes to my mind when I listen to the latest creation by Philip Bonneau. I don't consider Philip a musician. He's an artist and an engineer. He builds things. Whether they're visual or auditory, he crafts a space that envelopes you and tantalizes all your senses. He evokes memory. He touches your other sensing centers in your brain.

He has crafted this track, the next in his series for his "Brave New Secrets" as a jumping off point and it's so ethereal and airy that if you close your eyes you are swept away in a grand adventure. Not running through the woods being chased by anything or languidly walking along the beach but walking through rolling fields and coming upon a temple in the distance or climbing a rocky hill to finding a monk in a cave. It's self reflection and it's mindfulness and it's revealing yourself to, well, yourself. It's being open with the possibility of "what if" and seeing the infinite possibility stretching out before you. It's coming to a decision and making it yours. It's being at peace with your past and having hope for your future. It's all of these things and it's only the first 10 minutes of what will possibly be a much longer exercise in sonic storytelling by Philip.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Daley - Until the Pain is Gone (f. Jill Scott)



Silky, sultry, smooth. Makes me feel like I'm describing a 90s TLC album. The vocals are amazingly smooth and Jill Scott elevates this song to such amazing heights. I've been a fan of hers since I first heard, "Getting in the Way" and this shows that she's just grown and matured into one of the finest soul singers in the industry today. The way that she emotes and puts her own thoughtful spin on this song make it hands down one of the coolest things I've heard.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Mila Jam - Faces



Today, March 31 is International Trans Day of Visibility and in the current political and social climate, it's very important that we take a day to honor and remember those trans individuals who are struggling and have given their lives to make sure that equality is for everyone. We all want to belong. We all want to be part of something greater than ourselves and each and every day we step out of our homes with our bravest faces on. We all want to be accepted and we all want to feel love. This song is a celebration of that. You make recognize the faces of Lavergne Cox and Candis Cayne, two of the most prolific trans rights advocates. This video is a gorgeous example of what we can do when we all work toward a common goal.

Buy Faces here: http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1218414112?ls=1&app=itunes All proceeds from the sale of the song will go to the ONEPULSE Foundation, to help the Pulse Nightclub shooting victims

Bleachers - Don't Take The Money



Jack Antonoff  is a genius. The things he's able to do with nothing and his ability to make it something blows me away with each and every outing Bleachers releases into the universe. And "Don't Take The Money" is no different. This song just makes me say, "Daaaaaaaaaamn" and it's good and it's big and it's just something that you want to hear all the time. I am a bit biased when it comes to Bleachers as they're probably one of my absolute favorite indie bands of all time and they have a unique ability to craft amazing songs. Take a listen and tell me what you think.

Kat Graham - Sometimes



The high waisted pant. The Farrah Fawcett hair. The B-Boy feel to the choreography. The way that she floats and flows effortlessly through this video are all reasons that I think Kat Graham is one of the best artists on the scene today. This song was light and easy and fun. She looks like she was having a blast through the filming of the entire video so I can't be mad at that at all. She's a super star and her music career stands on it's own as a powerful female artist. It disheartens me to see people want to refer to her as Bonnie Bennett and not Kat Graham. Bonnie was a character she played on a now defunct television show. Let's praise her and raise her up as she moves into the next stage of her career. I adore this song. It's catchy, it's going to be in heavy rotation, and it's just helluva song.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Little Mix - No More Sad Songs



Almost 2 million views in 14 hours. It's crazy to me that they aren't bigger than what they are in the United States. They should be mega stars but America just has not caught on like they should. Little Mix has been burning up the European charts since their debut on The X Factor in 2011. Single after single, they are steadily growing as a group and steadily maturing in their sound as young women. They know who their demographic is and they write and record music for them. This is a feel good, go out with your best girl friends anthem and have a good time kind of song. All the girls sound amazing. The song is very well put together and it's undeniable that it's not a break away hit already. I think using Machine Gun Kelly was a smart decision instead of G-Eazy because MGK actually has talent and pulls off the swag he exudes. I adore Little Mix. I will always adore them and I hope this song gets some recognition in the US.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Trixie Mattel - All Over Again



I can't even. This song is one of the best things I've heard in a very long time. I had no idea that she had this in her and I'm glad that this is something that she has to share with us. I'll be honest, much like a lot of the queens on Drag Race, I didn't buy into the edit they sold us for her on the show and since the show, she's become one of the more endearing queens. Especially her friendship with Katya. 

But let's talk about this amazingly well written and sung country ballad. The wordplay in the song alone is enough to talk about but how many times have we been in the exact spot that she's talking about in the song? How many times have we been so heartbroken that we don't even know how to process life in general? How many times have we forgotten how to cry after we've been utterly devastated and had our world shaken to the core? I think she does an amazing job with this song and I can't wait to hear a full album of country songs. Covers and originals please. I am in awe of this woman now.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Eddy Faulkner - Cruel



A little Nick Jonas. A little Ed Sheeran. A whole lot catchy and fresh. That's what Eddy Faulkner has to offer in the follow-up to the release of his debut EP “Unbreakable” which came out last May. “Unbreakable” received praise on many different outlets such as: YourMusicRadar, A&R Factory, The Huffington Post, ABC and etc. The song “One” (off of “Unbreakable”), was just picked up two weeks ago by MTV to be on their show called “Are You The One?” (Season 5 - Episode 9).

The track isn't over produced. It's got the right amount of work put in to make it hit all the right notes and get Eddy a ton of radio play. It's a no brainer as a pop song goes. The chorus is gorgeous crafted. It's a fun song that has a bit of a dark subject matter but life isn't always pretty. We talk about that often. Sometimes things just don't work out the way we want them and those are when we have the most growth and development in our lives. We get scared. We get rejected and we learn about ourselves. We get off the ground, dust ourselves off and carry on.

Eddy has a very current sound and he should be hitting all the markets with a younger demographic. He could easily work with The Chainsmokers or Bebe Rexha and have a killer track on his hands. I look forward to hearing more out of this young man.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Todrick Hall - Low (f. RuPaul)



Todrick needs to continue releasing music like this. Every day, all day. This is one of the hottest tracks I've heard in a long time. The lyrics are incredibly clever. The way the song is produced is gorgeous. This is hands down one of the most solidly produced tracks. While it's only a revamped version of a previously released track, it was damn smart to dust it off and throw it into the mix with the success of "Straight Outta Oz"

I am glad that RuPaul rapped  the second verse. I think that not only does it show versatility and range on Ru's part but it just makes sense and gives Todrick access to Ru's fanbase. This is obviously a dance track that's been created to target the gay market segment and I'm not mad at that at all. From the "Wizard of Oz" source material to "dance the house down", this is a song that knows exactly what it needs to be and who needs this song. It's a damn fine addition to "Straight Outta Oz" and I could listen to this every day of the week. It makes me happy that Todrick has made such huge strides moving from a Youtube performer to a mainstream artist.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Clean Bandit - Symphony (f. Zara Larsson)



Wow. Just Wow. I don't normally write reviews of super mainstream artists but this video blew me away. Clean Bandit have created a beautifully tragic video to go along with this song but there is an undercurrent of healing and love to it. I am in awe of this video. Zara Larsson's voice is gorgeous against the track but it's the video that shines through. I don't want to detract from it too much as it is such a gorgeous piece of work. Please watch the video and pay attention. I had to watch it twice as I was swept up in the emotion of the video. The song is amazing. It's so uplifting and full of renewal and I think this video has the ability to help a lot of people. Bravo!

Levi Kreis - For Good (Wicked Cover)



It doesn't matter what he touches. It doesn't matter if you gave him the dictionary. There is nothing that this man can't do. When he puts his hands into a project, you are going to get Levi Kreis - heart, body, mind, and soul. This song means so much to me. So much so, it was the song I chose to play at my boyfriend's memorial service. I feel without question that there are those people that come into our lives and they shake things up and they challenge our beliefs and they make us better. Levi's rendition of this song shows just how deeply music affects us. You can see at the end of the clip how moved he is and every single time I've heard this, whether it be Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel or any of the hundreds of covers online, it's always left me moved. And now hearing Levi do it and put so much of himself in it, this will be my go to version of the song.

If you've read any of my reviews of anything Levi has ever done, you know how strongly I feel about him as a performer. And I don't know if it's because the same Appalachian dirt is in his blood that's in mine or if it's because he knows just how to wrap himself around every single emotion I've ever felt and put them in a tangible form for the world to see but there is something magical about every time he steps in front of a microphone. I am grateful that he bares his soul and leaves it all on the stage for us. He is a treasure and we will not have another performer that means so much to the industry as he does.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Betty Who - Mama Say



Change is a good thing. Especially when it gets an artist out in front of a wider audience. It allows them to garner a larger fan base and enables them to get their message out to more people. Some fans are complaining that the new Betty Who track isn't old Betty Who and while that may intrinsically be true, it's still a damn fun song. She's happy in the video. The back up dancers are happy. It's got a solid track and makes you feel good. I'm not mad at this song or the slight pop influence to her sound in this video. I say, you go. You make sure your bills are paid because the shitty commenters on YouTube aren't going to pay them.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Jeb Havens - Pushy Little Compass Heart



Jeb has always impressed me with how keyed into his own emotions he is and how unafraid he is to share his ups and downs with us. This is no different. He has taken more than the last year of his life and given it to traveling the world with his partner and I think that is absolutely amazing. He's stepped away from most everything in order to build a solid foundation for his life with the man that, I'm sure, he's going to spend the rest of his life with.

This video was filmed over five days in New Zealand and it's a gorgeous ode to what he's been doing this past year. The song is gorgeous and it makes you want to just hold on to the people in your life that matter. It's one of the most romantic videos I've seen in a long time and I'm damn glad that they decided to share it with us. I'm a super huge fan of Jeb and his music. I think he's got one of the most charismatic voices in the industry today. The chorus swells and builds into this hopeful ideal of what we all want in our lives. It's the idea of finding your "true north" and making a beeline to them. It's following your heart and it's doing what you need to make sure you live the happiest you can. It's holding on to that scrap of happiness and squeezing out of it all we can because we aren't promised anything.

I applaud him for his hard work and effort to bring this vision to reality.  Make sure you pick up his new album, "Home Base" where ever you choose to purchase your digital music.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Walk off the Earth - Shape of You (Ed Sheeran Cover)



There is nothing these guys can't do. That's a fact. It's just amazing to see their interpretations of songs. From Sara to playing an Mbira to the surprises they have packed into this cover. I'm not going to talk about them because they are amazing and it made me squeal with delight when they happened. Just trust me. If you're a fan of the original track and you like Walk off the Earth, you're going to love this cover. Hands down.

MisterWives - Machine



Ugh. I hate this so much because it's so fucking great. This track is so amazing. It's got everything that you need for one of the best indie pop songs I've heard in a very long time. That rapid fire delivery of that last verse at 2:30? Are you fucking kidding me with that? Mandy Lee is wearing me out with her skill as a vocalist and this song just makes me feel great. I can't wait to see the video and see the treatment they give it. It's going to be a knock out. For sure!!

Eli Lieb - Chained to The Rhythm (Katy Perry Cover)



I saw Katy Perry's version of this track on the Grammys and it wasn't bad. But Eli adds a tremendous amount of soul to what was just a standard pop song. His voice is always so earthy. It's just got so much character to it. I wish he was such a bigger star than what he is. I love that he even did the rap in the middle eight. This is a very solid cover and I approve!!