Thursday, August 17, 2017

Secret Lynx - Bones

There's something kind of lo-fi about this song and the video, specifically the video. I wish I knew more about the lo-fi movement so that I could actually make the determination that this is or is not an actual entry into that category but I digress... Secret Lynx is a band from San Diego and has been making a name for themselves around the area. This reminds me a lot of the psychedelica of the late 70s/early 80s. The Blue Oyster Cult or The Alan Parsons Project type of band. It works because it's a damn good song.

From the slow, easy progression of the song and Ronnie Dudek's vocals - this is a solid example of good indie rock. It's just wraps you up and holds you in warm blanket of sound. It's nostalgic but it's current and it's on point with where music is right now. It's got enough of that old school vibe to make it reminiscent of something you remember from a different time in your life but it's still new and innovative.

I could easily see them on tour with a band like Portugal. The Man or Deerhunter and they would be welcomed with open arms by the fan base. I want to know more about these guys. They've got a four track EP out and this is the second single from it. Ronnie's voice is magic. It has an amazing emotive quality to it and it's hearty enough to stand up to the instrumentation of the tracks. I think that it's easy to get caught up in the magic that they're creating. This is solid work and I hope they get a ton of recognition for the work they're putting in. You can get the EP from iTunes or Amazon

Secret Lynx on the Web
Instagram: @secret_lynx
Twitter: @secret_lynx

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Jaded - In the Morning

This song is kind of ridiculous in the most amazing way. It's a song about being hangry but it's done in such a fantastic way that you don't even care. The vocals are so solid for a club track. It gives you enough to dance to in the club and the lyrics get embedded in your brain because they're simple enough that they will sound amazing in a club. And to top it off, this song was used on this week's episode of "So You Think You Can Dance" as the music piece of an amazing jazz routine choreographed by Brian Friedman. This song has been burning up the charts in the UK and with the use of it in an American television show, I have faith that it's going to gain some traction in the US.

Nari, Jordan and Teo met there from Iran, Italy and London respectively. With their previous release grabbing tastemaker acclaim from the like of Clash Magazine, Idolator and Dancing Astronaut, their newest offering continues to be the right kind of representation for London’s scene and a celebration of proper city values; multi-ethnicity and female equality.

Everything Everything - Desire

This is my first exposure to Everything Everything and it will not be the last. Sure these guys have a definite Muse quality to them but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The song is massive. The chorus is huge and it just makes you keep coming back for more. The group hails from Manchester and as part of their thing, each member is an "Everything' - that's their surname. The lead singer's voice is glorious and the harmonies they create with all the voices coming together are sublime. The song is just fun. It's full of energy and washes away all the things in the world that are troubling you and in today's climate...there are a lot of things that are doing that.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Signal - Progression EP

Today marks the release of Basingstoke rapper, Signal's debut EP release. The EP was produced by Jay Picasso and features 6 tracks. It is now available to download and stream across all major platforms! If you want to jump over on iTunes and purchase it, you can click here -->

The EP is a fantastic example of what young hip hop in the UK sounds like. The tracks have a classic break beat sound to them with a bit more EDM than standard American based hip hop. The lyrical content is solid and Signal has a flow that's all his own. His rhyme structure glides across beats and measures and he punctuates lyrical expressions with clever wordplay and innuendo. I think it's a solid album and if you're looking for something to get you away from the over abundance of trap music out there, this is definitely the album for you. The first single to drop off the EP is going to be "Basic" which has guest vocals by Chelsea Jade. When the video releases, I will be sure to feature it. In the meantime, here's the video for "What Goes Around" to tide you over.

Make sure you check out the EP and support an independent artist. You know how I feel about supporting the artists that are out there busting their asses and hustling every day. Check back for the video for "Basic"!!

Ryan Costello - Comes Undone

This is how I like my male singers. Emotive, thoughtful, and able to express themselves clearly through song. Ryan Costello has done all of those easily in his latest single, "Comes Undone". The plucky banjo against his earthy vocals and the addition of Kelly Morris as his harmonizing vocal partner creates an atmosphere that is slow and deliberant and echoes his melancholy thoughts and ideas in the lyrics. There is an undercurrent of wanton desire that is burning through him and he's expressing it in the only way he knows how as everything seems to be slipping away. Nothing is promised and nothing is ever guaranteed. All we have is right now and in this fleeting moment in time and space; everything I am, everything I have ever been and everything I will be is yours. I offer it freely and without malice. I know we've not had the best go of it and I know that we keep bumping against each other in the dark, but I am yours for now.

"Comes Undone" can be yours as a free download at his Bandcamp but while you're over there, toss him some coin on his latest album release, "Songs of Devotion and Betrayal". You will not be disappointed and you'll be helping an indie artist do his thing.

Ryan Costello on the Web


Beth Ditto - We Could Run

In the world of criminally underrated talent, Beth Ditto stands at the front of the list. This woman has one of the most powerful voices in the industry but you hardly ever hear anything from her. "We Could Run" is the lead single off her second solo album, "Fake Sugar". This song is everything. It's powerful. It's lasting and it's going to have an affect on those people that listen to it and hear her. It's a gorgeous vehicle for her voice and it shows off why she is one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I adore Beth. It's one of my goals to see her perform live because I think that would be just about the closest thing to a religious experience I could have in a venue. The video for the single is gorgeous. It's a beautiful story and it showcases the song in such an amazing way. She is everything.

Kesha - Rainbow

I honestly am having a horrible time expressing properly how this album has affected me. The fact that she's released 5 singles before the album actually dropped was ridiculous in the most amazing. I am going to write a review of the album later today so this is just going to talk about this released of the video for the song, "Rainbow" and not the album.

This song is another example of just how you can take all the shit that you've been experiencing and you make it something good and valid and full of light. And can we talk just a second about how this track is produced by Ben Folds.... I mean, come on; how freaking cool. This song is everything. It's got so much power and so much depth and you can hear just how beautiful Kesha is in every note and every vocal expression. This song is going to mean so much to so many people, myself included. There is so much healing wrapped up in this four minute song. It's so gorgeous. From the strings to the harmonica to the huge, swelling back up vocalists. There is so much musicality and theatricality to this song and it's all done with such deft precision that it's perfect.

Acceptance and processing and learning to move forward with your life are all concepts and ideas that we struggle with and to hear them so beautifully expressed in this song makes me so proud to see her standing so tall and strong in light of everything that's been happening to her the past 4 years. This is a fully realized artist that's finally able to sing with her own voice and it's beautiful. Her first two albums established that groundwork that was her fan base but this album will cement it and hold it together forever.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

MissDefiant - ICYMI

Most of the time, you just want pop music to be fun. And London ElectroPop Duo, MissDefiant are showing you that music is just that. Fun. With former Fluke front man, Mike Tournier producing their debut album; MissDefiant are making a splash all over the club circuit. Citing influences from CharliXCX to FKA Twigs to Die Antwoord, these ladies have a ton of potential to make something memorable. I listened to another track "You Can't Sit with Us" first and not only did it give me all my Mean Girls vibes I needed from it, it also threw me back to listening to Shampoo in the late 90s and I was a HUGE fan of groups like Shampoo, Crush, and Katalina and I think the girls in MissDefiant have a real opportunity to play up on that fun, bubblegum pop nostalgia that the genre is missing today.

"ICYMI" or In Case You Missed It is a damn fine song with a super playful vibe that taps into the social media buzz that has engulfed anyone with a mobile device. It's got all the benchmarks of a proper pop song. Catchy hook and lyrics that you're going to find sunk deep into your brain long after you've finished listening. You've got some dope rhymes on the track courtesy of DOPEBOYLDN and this creates just a party feel that you can't get enough of. They're going to be huge around the world with the release of their debut album on September 8, 2017. Make sure you keep you're eye out for it because these social media icons are going to kill the game when the album drops.

MissDefiant on the Web
Twitter: @MissDefiant
Instagram: @missdefiantofficial

Ananya Birla - Meant To Be

This is POP music at it's finest. This is a restoration of the genre that has long suffered from an identity crisis. Gorgeous vocals, amazing lyrics, a beat that slays. This is everything. Ananya hails from India where at the young age of 23 is making a huge name for herself with her business ventures. We'll talk about those in a minute. Let's talk about this song first. This love song is everything you want in a song. It's hopeful. It's soulful and it's honest. You can hear how she is pouring everything she is into this performance. It's important to her to be her most authentic self and you hear it in every breath she takes and in every lyric she sings. We all want someone to feel this way about us. We all want someone to love us truly, madly, deeply and she's giving you all that.

The song will stay with you long after you've finished listening and you will quickly smash that replay button because this is sheer pop perfection. The production is perfect. There aren't any missteps in how the song is created and layered. The vocal track has an amazing resonance that slides across the instrumentation and makes you just get lost in it. This track has the potential to be huge if it gets in the right hands and makes it's way across the world like it should. Take a listen to it and then go out and listen to her previous single, "Livin' the Life" and tell me she's not a mega star in the making.

So, now lets talk business ventures because that's what elevates this young woman to amazing heights. At just 17, she launched Svatantra, a microfinance organization that helps empower rural women. Since then, she started Curocarte, a design and interiors e-commerce platform and Mpower, a mental health initiative that works towards dispelling the stigma associated with mental health illnesses. She has been hailed as one of Forbes Asia’s Women to Watch, the “Top 50 Power women of 2016’ by Verve Magazine, Miss Vogue's 28 Geniuses under 28 as well as a recipient of the CNBC Young Business Woman Award.

Ananya on the Web
Instagram: @ananya_birla
Twitter: @ananya_birla

Wake Up Leo - Nowhere To Go

There's something primal about this. From the tribal style chant that kicks off the track to the way the chorus builds into something large and voluminous. The crescendo at the end of the chorus that drops back into the chanting after the first chorus takes the listener on quite the ride.  It's got a bit of a Mad Max vibe to it that makes it a little reckless and a little "take no prisoner". It's like crashing down at breakneck speeds on a roller coaster and then song doesn't stop from there. "Nowhere to Go" is the debut single from London based indie band, Wake Up Leo's first EP, "Devolution EP". It's a helluva ride that touches on social commentary about how we can be forced to grow up too fast and be made to experience life before we know who we are. The song talks of child mercenaries and children being forced into service by militaries in many third world countries and knowing that the only solution we have is to show as much compassion and love as we can to those less fortunate people in the world.

We have to create a world in which the horrors being forced upon these children is non existent. Having a song that brings awareness to an issue that we don't discuss is a very valid way of disseminating a message about tolerance and building a world that will survive for the next millennia instead of self destructing.  Wake Up Leo, comprised of Leo Ulph and his band mates have created music with a conscious that I feel is reminiscent of The Replacements, XTC, Darren Hayes, and The Rembrandts to name a few. There are so many elements that build into a soaring sum of it's parts in the music that these London boys have put together. From the live instrumentation to the synth and the electro that is very smartly used, Wake Up Leo is a band that you need to be aware of.

They'll be releasing their debut EP, "Devolution EP" later this month so you're damn well right that I'll be keeping up with this group and as they release additional singles, you'll hear about them here.

Wake Up Leo on the Web
Instagram: @wake_up_leo
Twitter: @WakeUpLeo

Monday, August 7, 2017

Somaya - Stand Up

I think that if you've been around long enough you know how much music means to me. Especially when the music has been created to give a voice to those that are a voiceless. To act as a delivery system for a message. To empower the listeners to make a positive change in society. And that's exactly what New York based singer-songwriter Somaya is going to do with this song. There is so much conviction and power in her voice as she's bringing awareness to a subject that we don't talk about enough in our society. I don't want to detract from her message so I'll let her do the talking. Please listen and share the video. It's an incredible song and she absolutely does a gorgeous job with it.

Josh Tobias - Summer Thing

You want an incredible song? You take an artist with a fantastic voice and you give him a guitar and let him sing his heart out. When you have an artist with a voice as soulful and honest as Josh Tobias, you don't need a lot of production. You don't need a lot of embellishment and the producers of this song have shown a tremendous amount of restraint with the creation of this track. Brooklyn based, Josh Tobias has released what I consider to be one of the hottest summer tracks in a long time. It's funky. It's got a groove to it that makes you just forget everything else in your life for three and a half minutes and you just have a great time letting him take you where you need to go. It's got a little Ed Sheeran to it. A little Beiber. A little John Mayer and none of those are bad things. If those are the artists I conjure up when I listen to him, I feel like he's in good company.

The song is a perfect morsel of what you want out of summer. Memories and experiences. Whether it be from Danny and Sandy singing about their summer romance or many, many of the other examples in pop culture of summer time romance and love; sometimes all you need is that moment. That's exactly what this song is; except it's going to stick around long after the sunburn and the smell of the ocean have all but faded away. This man has an incredible voice and he does a bang up job of expressing the honesty and the desire behind wanting that connection; even if it's only fleeting. You don't want something that's going to last until the end of time, you just want something that's mutually beneficial to both parties. I think that honesty is what sets this song apart. He's not disguising his want and desire into something more than what it is - he's telling you exactly what he needs and if you're down, both parties are going to get what they want.

He's got a ton of funk and soul in him and you can tell that he's got to get it out. It has to be expressed. You don't hear music that is this creative and not feel what the artist is expressing. I'm damn sure going to be keeping an eye out for new music from Josh because this is good stuff and it's going to add a much needed injection of smoothness and soul into my life.  Let me know what you think about his music and if this fulfills your need for something passing and fleeting in the summer months, comment and let me know!!

Signal - Down (ft. Eclipse)

Grime isn't a music genre that is commonly heard in the United States; it's very British in it's execution and the majority of artists that have flourished in the genre are all from the UK. If I had to categorize it for American audiences, I'd have to say that it is a mixture of hip hop, dancehall, and breakbeats. It is heavily influenced by music from the Caribbean; ragga, dancehall with a bit of EDM mixed in. It's generally syncopated and the lyrics that ride on those beats follow that same syncopation. The rhyme structures will move across bars and measures and can be spit with a rapid fire delivery. Much like all music, it pulls influence from what's happening in society around the artists that are crafting this. There have been notable artists such as Chipmunk, Dizzee Rascal, and most recently Stormzy.

Signal is a rapper from Basingstoke, Hampshire and has been making music for quite some time. With the August 11th release date of his first EP, "Progression", Signal is doing an amazing job at starting to make a name for himself. Whether it be supporting Chipmunk or heading the local music festival and getting your name on the front page of the local paper. "Progression" was produced by Jay Picasso, who also produced the debut album from Britain’s Got Talent finalist Wayne Woodward. The singles off the album are absolutely amazing. This man has got an incredible flow and knows exactly how to build his rhymes to get the most out of the beats and production laid down by Jay. The songs are reflections of what he sees in his life and chronicle his experiences coming up in South Central England. In many areas around the world, the youth of today is perceived poorly but Signal, a 25 year old native of Basingstoke, has been working on honing his craft for the past 10 years; getting off the streets but never forgetting how those perceptions shaped the young man he's grown into.

"Down" is different than a lot of hip hop that American audiences have experienced. It's a damn banger that's for sure but the thing that will stick out is just how Signal flows. His lyrical command is ridiculous. He knows how to make the most out of every syllable he spits. It just makes you want to get down into the beat and get your feet moving but at the same time harnessing the grime feeling to it's fullest. The beat is fire, the lyrics are fire and the addition of Eclipse as a guest artist just fills out this track amazingly. This is an amazing independent track but it's got a tremendous amount of mass market appeal and could easily find it's way to BBC Radio and hopefully cross over to American audiences.

I'll feature more of the music off "Progression" in the coming weeks and I suggest you get a copy of it as it's going to be one of the best releases of 2017. Check back with me and I'll keep you updated on just how far this young man is going to go in this industry.

Signal on the Web
Instagram: @signalofficial

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Kesha - Hymn

Catharsis, be thy name. Plain and simple, that's what Kesha continues to give us with each track she releases from her new album, "Rainbow". "Hymn" is the 4th song to be revealed and again, it's a song about hope and belonging and finding your place when you didn't think you had one. After everything Kesha has been through, would anyone have faulted her for just throwing her hands up and quitting? Probably not but she didn't quit. She worked through her pain and she's created an album full of music that is going to do her fan base a world of good. It's going to teach them how to process emotion and it's going to teach them that no matter what happens in your life, you are strong. You are powerful and you can get through it. Surround yourself with people that matter and you will do amazing things.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Luna Ruggiero - Venomous

One of the coolest songs I've heard in a while comes to me from Melbourne Australia. Luna Ruggiero is an alternative artist that's looking to make a name for herself with her dark and smoky vocals that made me immediately think of one of my favorite female music icons, Amy Lee. The way Luna expresses herself in this song has a breathless ease and an atmospheric quality that fills up all the space in the room. Her voice is HUGE and she knows exactly how to use it.

The synth is gigantic in this song. It's got a surge and swell to it that pulls you out into this musical journey of letting go and walking away. Sometimes we have to burn bridges in order to maintain our sanity and our happiness and if that means we cut out the negative in our lives like cancer, then that's what we have to do. Core out what's rotten and make a clean break. Luna is doing an amazing job of expressing that in this song and it just makes you close your eyes and get swept away in her journey.

She's a relatively new artist and I can't wait to hear more from her and this is her debut single. It was a very smart choice to use a song like this as her break out single because it cuts through the chatter of so many other young female vocalists. I think she's got an amazing voice that's super distinctive and that's going to give her an edge above so many other female singers in the industry today. You're going to be able to hear her (and I think she can go much harder with her vocals or softer and they'll both sound amazing) and know immediately that you're listening to a Luna Ruggiero song.

Luna on the Web

Adore Delano - Negative Nancy

Adore Delano has never shied away from being who she was once she realized who she was. And with this new single, you're getting full Adore. All Adore and nothing more. It reeks of Iggy Pop and The New York Dolls. It's got a fantastic punk sensibility that just makes you want to hear more of this style from her. It's dirty. It's grimy and it's good. It's a bit different from her previous musical offerings but that's what makes an artist well rounded. Showing that she's stylistically versatile will help her build a strong foothold and allow her to shift and move in the industry where she needs to. Out of all of the Drag Race girls, I have to admit without question that she is the absolutely most musically savvy. I love Willam and the Triple A girls. Manila does humor well. But no one does music better than Adore.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Superfruit - Imaginary Parties

Superfruit has an incredible fanbase. Loyal, strong, and devoted to Scott and Mitch and it's not hard to see why. They have an uncanny knack of creating harmonies where there are none and giving you a funk and a flow where you never expected it to exist. This song is a fantastic example of non traditional music creation as they just make one of the coolest tracks I've heard in a long time. The visuals in the video are super fun and both Mitch and Scott have every nuance of their personalities shown in the most incredible way. I adore this song and will give Superfruit much more attention than what I have previously given them and I think you should as well.

Betty Who - Human Touch

Sexy video, sexy song, sexy singer. I'm not a HUGE fan of her look with the long hair and thankfully it disappears because I feel that short hair is part of who Betty Who is. It's a fun summertime song. The video is sexy and I like how they keep pushing her to expand her horizons and boundaries by dancing. It's a good thing, I think to see her continually grow as an artist and entertainer.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Charli XCX - Boys

Eye candy galore. It's an extravaganza of hotness. It's a cornucopia of all things gorgeous in all colors, shapes, and sizes and it's nice to see men objectified. From social media stars to musicians to producers and every one in between, Charli decided that it was time for the dudes to take center stage and show off their goodness. The song is super cute and a bit of a departure of some of her more serious stuff but it's got some fun in it and makes you bop along with it. I love Charli and to see her stepping into a directing role, even if it is just telling pretty boys how to show of their prettiness is super cool. Any new music from her is always good music.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Kesha - Learn To Let Go

Being a part of Kesha's catharsis is going to heal a lot of people. As she continues to release single after single from "Rainbow", we are drawn deeper and deeper into her healing and her process of becoming whole again. She's not been able to release new music in over four years so it stands to reason that the singles from "Rainbow" would be rapid fire. "Learn to Let Go" is the latest single and it's an amazing ode to the advice we are so easily and willing to give other people but damn near impossible to do ourselves. We get to see Kesha reminiscing over her childhood and see pieces of herself that she's probably not shared with the world before. She's open. She's honest and she's letting us into her life more now than ever. It's a really great song that just makes you feel good by the time it's done and I think a lot of that is due to our own healing and growth as we are all learning more about ourselves every day.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Eli Lieb - Shangri La

I realize there's a lot of near nudity in this video but it has nothing to do with sexuality. It's an expression of vulnerability and being emotionally raw. This song is so evocative of emotions we've felt on some level. Losing ourselves in someone else. Being at the power of desire and longing. Forgetting who we are in the grand scheme of being with someone. All of those things are intoxicating when we get wrapped up in wanting someone and being with someone. Losing all of who were are for even the briefest of moments makes us swoon and become breathless. Baring all that we are for someone is terrifying and it's all encompassing and it's abrupt; like the end of the song. I love how the song just stops. It's jarring and some times we experience that too. The stop at the end of the long fall as we've fallen into someone. Eli's voice is so sublime in this song. It's earthy and raspy and full of hope with a twinge of desperate longing. He's naked. He's exposed. It's gorgeous and I adore this song.

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.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Haim - Little of Your Love

You've got the perfect piece of music here. It's fun. It's catchy. It's everything Haim should be in their music. Danielle sounds amazing. Alana and Este do an amazing job supporting her and the song is just everything you need in a great summertime jam. You will be hard pressed to find someone that doesn't just find the jam in this track. You have to move along with the music and it just makes you feel good.

Their new album 'Something To Tell You' coming July 7, 2017 so make sure you pre-order it or pick it up when it releases because it's going to be amazing based on the tracks they've released so far.

M.I.A - Finally

YES! So glad to hear new M.I.A. It's been too long and I worry that the whole Superbowl drama had something to do with that. I don't know for sure but it seems like that is something that would absolutely have something to do with her hiatus in the United States. She's an amazing artist and completely slept on in the US market. This track is just easy and nothing overly complex. Just a chill jam that shows off her vocal talents exceptionally well. I'm stoked to hear her recording new music and can't wait to hear and see more from her.

Beth Ditto - In and Out

I can't describe properly just how amazing Beth Ditto is and I don't think she gets nearly enough recognition for the incredible body of work that she's put out. She's brash and she's bold and she's just an artist that has cultivated a sound that isn't like anyone else in the industry. Each track she releases just proves that she continues to grow and become a more realized version of the true artist she should be. She's got a lot of rebel in her and she makes me think of Joan Baez and Dusty Springfield and Janis Joplin. Her music is honest and it's just so freaking cool.

"In and Out" is a new single off her latest album, Fake Sugar and the bass line is just so chunky and it sounds so good against her vocals. She amazes me with what she can do when she sings. I adore her and everything she puts out. She does a great job telling a story about two people that are trying their best to be the best for each other but more often than not, we struggle to maintain the connections and ties that bring us together. It's a part of life that we have all felt at one point in our lives. We do everything we can to make sure we are being the most attentive partner we can but sometimes that just isn't enough. We just have to make sure that the fight we are fighting is worth it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tronicbox - Closer (The Marlboro Smokers 80s Remix)

SO DREAMY!!! Tronicbox has knocked this out of the park! It's brilliant. Halsey sounds AMAZING. Just like she should be in the 1980s. I cannot believe how incredible this remix is. This is quality work right here. I can hear this playing in the mall where there is far too much hairspray in the air, jean jackets and hair pulled up in banana clips. I adore this so hard. The nostalgia is SO strong with this one and THAT GUITAR SOLO!!! This is the most I've used caps in a review ever but this is just killer. I can't even... Ally Sheedy and Mare Winningham are running late to an audition. Gertie and Billy are looking for Reese's Pieces. This is just so much damn fun.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Matt Zarley - Waving Through A Window (Dear Evan Hansen Cover)

There's no denying the universal appeal that is "Dear Evan Hansen". With it's five wins at the Tony's this year, there's no doubt that its a juggernaut that cant' be stopped. "Waving Through a Window" is Evan's song about watching the world pass by around him and how he wants to be part of something that he just can't seem to grasp and I feel that Matt absolutely captures that feeling with this cover. I think that doing it as part of a road trip where all he's able to do is watch the world pass by as he drives was a brilliant idea. Matt is one of the best voices in the industry today and I feel like he's done an amazing job capturing a lot of the emotion of the song without it just being a simple cover.

Sally Caitlin - Poison

Sullen, sultry, salt of the earth. Those are all qualities I adore in a voice. There is so much depth of character and a feeling of life experience wrapped around the breathy pronunciation and how the lyrics are punctuated. You can tell that Sally has had a bit of life under her belt as she sings. She's not phoning it in. She believes her words and she is expressing herself through the words she's singing. I hear some Roisin Murphy and a bit of Sophie Ellis-Bextor in her voice and that grounded type of singing just fills the space around her with an atmospheric quality that a lot of contemporary pop artists don't have. She's able to manipulate the landscape of her tracks without too much difficulty.

The bass line and the percussion in the song gives a powerful path that she marches down and leads you on this journey of self destruction that we have all been caught up in at one time or another. It's not something that we've set out to do, but whether it be obsession or lust or just a general sense that we will eventually come out on top even though we know better - we can't seem to get free. The song has a darkness that isn't evident until you slip into it; much like the dangerous relationship she's singing about. You don't see how it's bad for you until it's too late most of the time and there's nothing you can do about it.

I dig this song and Sally is certainly someone that I am going to watch out for as she does bigger and better things. Let me know what you think about her.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Bleachers - Making of Don't Take The Money

I don't normally feature videos like this but to get insight into Jack's creative process is pretty amazing. Hearing what his influences for the song are and how it became the song that it did is super cool. You never realize just how many layers are in a song until you see something like this and it's just the coolest thing. Take a handful of minutes and watch this and see how much time and energy he puts into creating such an amazingly deep song.

Little Mix - Power (f. Stormzy)

YES. YES. YES. So much Yes in this video. It's powerful af and I love every minute of it. Perrie looking fierce af in her Indian inspired costume just killing those vocals. Jade and the Triple A Girls. Jesy killing that rap. Leigh Ann just doing the damn thing. These women are my favorite group right now. They have been for a while, actually. I can't even express how underrated they are in America and it makes me so sick. Stromzy's cameo on the song is so grimy and fits so perfectly with the overall power of the song. This is an anthem that everyone needs to get behind.

Dua Lipa - Lost in Your Light (f. Miguel)

Holy hell. This sound is MASSIVE. This track is so HUGE and it's gorgeous. Miguel and Dua are a perfect vocal match for each other. There's no jockeying for position. There's no arguing over who should have top billing. Even though it's Dua's song they both kill it on shared vocals and I could not ask for anything better. It's a fantastic song that just immerses you in this experience and it's good. Dua Lipa is quickly entering the ranks of Little Mix and Arianna Grande for me as far as young women that just make amazing music. This is going to be one of my new favorite songs. That's for sure.

Bakermat - Don't Want You Back (f. Kiesza)

90s piano house is fucking brilliant. It's even better when it's 2017 and Kiesza is giving me all that I need and making me shake my ass. Bakermat has created an amazing track and those vocals are so hot. This song is fire and it's going to be huge on the club scene. I'm super happy to hear how amazing this song is and how much it makes me move. It's so freaking good. I feel strong and empowered and ready to kick a ton of ass after listening to this track. For sure. Kiesza sounds amazing and she owns every inch of this song. There aren't many female vocalists that can capture that pure 90s sound like she can and it's fantastic.

Scissor Sisters - Swerlk (f. MNDR)

Jake, Ana, and special guest MNDR on vocals bring this amazing brand new Scissor Sister's track to life. It's been 5 years since we've had new music from the Sisters and in the same week, we get a brand new solo project from Jake and a new single from the band. This week has been glorious.

"Swerlk" is the new track and it's great. It's very reminiscent of "Let's Have a KiKi" and that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's very catchy and it's super fun. All you have to do is Swirl It, Twirl It, Twerk It, Swerve, and Work It. Do all that and you've got the newest sensation from the Sisters. Proceeds from the track are going to the Contigo Fund which was set up after the Pulse Massacre in Orlando. I think it has the potential to be as big as KiKi and I can't wait to see if this is a door opening for more material from both groups, Scissor Sisters and MNDR. I adore both groups and this is a fantastic collaboration between them.  Go to to donate to the Contigo fund and get a free download of the song. It's a damn worthy cause and having new music makes everything better!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

James Leon - Underground Lover (Pollarik Mix)

Generally remixes aren't my bag but when you create something like this, you have to talk about it. James Leon is fearlessly innovated with his lyrical choice and delivery. He leaves it all on floor when he creates his art. And I wish more artists would do that. I wish they would just throw themselves into their projects and make music that makes you take notice. The mix of this song is something else. It takes the track and elevates it into something new and spins you around and drops you right in the center of the dance floor. There is an amazing independent spirit that this song evokes and stays with you long after you've finished listening to it. I'm glad he's releasing new music and continuing to plug away at his dream. There aren't many artists out there like James; self made, self aware and intelligent about their choices and decisions. It makes me happy to have him as a friend of the blog.

Eli Lieb - Hollywood

Eli Lieb is easily one of the most underrated male vocalists in the industry today. I don't understand why he isn't a household name. His voice is magical, his musical sensibilities are beyond reproach, and he makes some of the most heartfelt and emotional music that I think every single person on this planet need to know who he is. The down to earth quality of his voice makes him so approachable and then his lyrics bare his soul every time he sings. Whether it's a song about young love or a song that's been used by an insurance company, there isn't anything this man can't do.

There is so much remorse and regret built up in this song based on being weathered and beaten by a city that I think everyone knows that at some point in their life they've been exactly where he's talking about. There's nothing left for you there and you need to get away and forge a new path; one that isn't full of broken dreams and empty promises. He makes you feel every thing he sings. He breathes so much life into these lines that when they hit you, it almost takes your breath. He has created a living, breathing expression of being done and it's something that we all need to be reminded of from time to time; you may feel wrapped up in what ever is holding you back but the roads always lead out of the situation and the cities you feel you're stuck in.

Titus Jones - Oops! I'm a Menace

Titus has always been a favorite around here so when he makes new music it's always a pleasant surprise. By the first chorus, I was sold. Hook, line and sinker. He had me and I was in it to the end and then some. These two songs meld well together like a mighty Zord and create something bigger than themselves. I'm happy that he's still creating music and giving the people something fantastic. Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Tina Guo - Wonder Woman Theme

For no other reason than this is my blog and I love Wonder Woman, I give you Tina Guo's Wonder Woman Theme.

Beth Ditto - Fire

Beth Ditto is a goddess. She is everything and every chance I get to experience her more and more, I don't hesitate to jump on it as quickly as possible. I can't believe I missed the release of this track. Her voice is one of my favorites and I think that her attitude of "take me or leave me" is one that needs to be adopted by anyone and everyone that walks this planet. This song is so catchy and just funky. The guitar riffs are strong and they pair amazingly well with her voice. This is Janis Joplin and it's got this funky new sixties vibe with a little psychedelica mixed in and it's everything. So many artists aspire to be as confident and as talented as Beth and most never come close.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Molly Warburton - Hallucinate

Hannah Reid, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Natalie Merchant, and a handful of other prolific female artists come to mind when I hear Molly Warburton sing but more than that, I hear passion. I hear a sense of self that not many artists have developed at this early stage in their career. I hear a maturity that belies her age. Her voice has a resonance and a clarity that just sits easily with you. There's a breadth and a width to her vocal expression that you don't hear very much at all in music and it's refreshing. This Carnforth singer hasn't made a huge impact in the United States yet and it's a shame. I think there's a place for her and we are ready for a new voice. If you listen to her acoustically versus songs that have production to them, there's not much difference in her voice. It's not been cleaned up of digitally altered and that's a damn good thing. There's a long line of powerful female vocalists that Molly easily steps into and holds her own with.

When she starts singing in "Hallucinate" her voice immediately fills up all the space in the room. It's ethereal and it's atmospheric. Her choices of how she breathes into the lyrics and brings them to life are brilliant. She knows how to properly use her gift and she throws herself into this song and it pulls you in with her. The chorus is powerful and washes over you and takes you to where she needs you to go. I get a lot from the song. I get the feeling of euphoria that comes from self reliance. I feel empowered by knowing that I will get through all of this on my own. I feel connected and more whole because I have people that are in my life and that adds to the overall feeling of power and resilience. But as the journey comes to an end, I feel like I've been through some things with Molly. I've experienced something a bit larger than myself. The way the song is structured it has a clear beginning, a middle, and an end and when I'm left with silence; it's ok. I've come to a point where things are clear the purpose of the song has been fulfilled.

I've listened to several of her other tracks on the web and she's brilliant. I can't wait to hear more from her as she continues to grow and become an even better artist than she already is.

Molly on the Web
Instagram: @mollywarburton2

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Drake Jensen - Retro

Again, I don't deviate from pop music too much but when another of the caveats of being featured in my blog is either being an independent artist or being an LGBT artist. And when you're both, that certainly makes you prime blogging material. And that's where we find ourselves today. Talking about one of the most prolific singers that you've never heard of and that's because his chosen genre doesn't really know what to do with a gay cowboy.

Drake Jensen is an Ottawa based country singer/songwriter that has been recording since he was a teenager which would be just another country origin story except this cowboy found himself appreciating the affections of other cowboys and when the mainstream market for the country industry tends to like their affections a little more heteronormative - it can make it difficult to find a place for yourself. Or you thumb your nose at conventionality and do your own thing. You make your own way and you write and record the music you want to hear. You make the music that you know represents you and gives a voice to your own journey. That's what Drake has done. Being called Country's First Gay artist is a title and a responsibility Drake didn't take lightly. He's never held it up as a badge of honor or treated it as if he was special. What's he's done has been the caretaker of the position and used his burgeoning fame to help other artists feel comfortable being themselves in the music industry, which is a heady proposition when the majority of fans are stereotypically against you already. It's then, that your mettle as an artist is tested and you have to show them that you're more than a flash in the pan. You're more than a gimmick and you've got the talent to back it up and that's what Drake has done, time and time again.

So let's talk about his most recent release in "Retro". Drake has taken some of the songs that he holds dearest to his experience and put his own twist on them. And they're not all country songs. So it's just another example of how we pull influences from everywhere and they're what make us who we are today. So with "Retro", you've got a little Cyndi Lauper and some Billy Idol to make it a little rock and roll and then some Reba, George Strait and Pam Tills to name a few to make it a little country.

He starts off with "I Drove All Night" by Cyndi Lauper. This is one of my favorite songs. Not just by Cyndi but of all time. The sense of urgency that the beat and the track has against his vocals full of longing are the perfect complement to each other. This is one of my favorite covers of this song with a second place falling to fellow Canadian, Celine Dion. Drake's vocals on this track are earthy and grounded but you can hear how much he needs to be with his love.

Gary Allen's ballad of unrequited love, "Smoke Rings in the Dark" is up next and you can feel how deeply Drake has poured himself into these tracks. These aren't just karaoke covers of these songs. He didn't just phone in his vocals, he actually put himself; heart and soul in these tracks and the longing Gary Allen delivered, it seems Drake is capable of doing that exact same thing and makes you want to just wrap your arms around him and comfort him.

One of country's most beloved ladies comes next with "Maybe it was Memphis", Pam Tillis is one of my favorite country singers and I always felt she was well under-represented in the genre. There were other singers that seemed to get more air play than she did but not with this song. This song is big and it's hopeful and it's steamy in all the right ways and again, Drake nails every bit of the delivery. You know that these aren't just stories he's retelling. These are his experiences as well. And there's as much of him coming through as Pam. The idea of this chance happening in Memphis between Drake and a "lonely boy far from home" paints a helluva visual and I for one am thankful.

There are few male contemporary country artists as big as George Strait so it stands to reason that Drake would be influenced by him. "Amarillo by Morning" is our next entry in this amazing line up of songs. All these songs all have the same sort of want and desire in them. A feeling of needing to be somewhere or to be with someone, a desperate need. A deep soul inducing feeling of being part of something. I think Drake chose these because he knew that feeling was universal and we've all felt it at some point in our lives.

I was unfamiliar with the next song and artist. I had to do a little research to learn that Canadian singer, Luba had a chart topping hit in 1983 with "Every Time I See Your Picture" and there's no misunderstanding as to why Drake added this track to the album. It's a gorgeous song about moving on and coming to grips with the dissolution of a relationship. Drake's musical sensibilities are impeccable and he's chosen all the right songs to represent his loves and influences and to be able to show off his vocals. Here we are, 4 songs after "Smoke Rings" and you still want to hug him and make sure he's alright.

"Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold)" is the next song. It's a classic Dan Seals song, again about longing and loss. Drake has a bit of a falsetto during parts of the song and it just makes me swoon a little more as he starts the chorus of this song. He wants answers to why they split up but he knows that he'll never get the answers he's looking for but he knows that he has to keep moving on. And that's very reminiscent of what so many people go through in their lives. We can spend a lot of time trapped in our nostalgia and our feelings of what was and what could have been but we just have to move forward and keep our lives together as things just fall apart around us.

Keeping with the overall ideals of resilience and perseverance, the most out of the box addition to the album is Billy Idol's "Eyes Without a Face". Being unexpected doesn't mean it's bad. On the contrary, it's an amazing addition. It breaks up the slow melancholy of the album and the song never gets away from Drake. It's a faithful cover and he does it an amazing amount of justice. Billy's had a bit more snarl whereas Drake's is smoother and more composed.

He hits a very high note for me with his cover of Reba's "You Lied". This is probably my favorite Reba McIntyre song of all time. More than "Fancy", more than "The Night the Lights Went Out"; this song is so sorrowful and so confrontational that it stirs up a ton of emotion in me and man oh man, has Drake delivered a stellar rendition of it. It makes me feel just like Reba did the when I first heard her sing it.

Never a huge Rodney Crowell fan but the cover of "What Kind of Love (Only This Love That I Have)" isn't a miss. It's a good song and it's a strong song. There are just others on the album that I enjoy more. I'm not saying it's bad at all, just not my favorite.

The album comes to a close with Dan Seals and Marie Osmond's "Meet Me in Montana". This is how a cover song should sound. It's heartfelt and it's strong and it's everything that I want at the end of this journey. Drake has covered a huge chunk of America with these songs. From Texas to Tennessee and we land in Montana, under big sky country and it's not a bad place to be. Tia McGraff is an amazing compliment to Drake's voice and I think that they have done a phenomenal job on this song.

If you're wanting to hear an amazing country album or hear a strong queer artist's persepective on the genre, please give this record a shot and support Drake. He's an amazing artist and he fights for LGBT+ rights as often as he can. He's what we all should aspire to be and I think the world would be a better place for it.

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: 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!!