Wednesday, June 21, 2017

ICONA POP ARE "GIRLS GIRLS"


Those Swedish musical party-girls, Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo, otherwise known as Icona Pop are back with a new club-banging anthem. "Girls Girls" delivers the duo's signature sing-shout sound with a throbbing tropical beat. With a co-songwriting assist from fellow Swede, Tove Lo, this shimmering jam will make a cool addition to the summer much like Icona Pop's last major pop hit, "I Love It". Check out this lyric video that features selfies from the singers and their fans:

Monday, June 19, 2017

BUCKINGHAM + MCVIE: TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME?


This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the release of one of the biggest selling albums of all-time; Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours". Recorded during a difficult time of personal upheaval within the group with the divorce of bass guitarist John McVie and keyboard player/vocalist Christine McVie along with the romantic break-up between guitarist and vocalist, Lindsey Buckingham and singer/songwriter, Stevie Nicks. Even Fleetwood Mac's co-founder and drummer, Mick Fleetwood was dealing with martial problems as his wife at the time was having an affair.

Yet despite all of the emotional chaos for each member of the band, somehow all of this tension set off a profound creative spark. While all four singles, "Go Your Own Way", "Don't Stop", "You Make Loving Fun" and the number one hit, "Dreams",  made it to the top-ten on the U.S. pop chart, every song from this near-perfect album received some radio play. "Rumours" would become a world-wide massive hit, go on to win a well-deserved Grammy Award for Album of The Year and to date, has sold more than forty million copies.

Now two members of the group, Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie have just released a self-titled album. After coming out of semi-retirement to rejoin Fleetwood Mac in 2014, McVie hit the recording studio with Buckingham to help get herself back in to the groove. This proved to be successful sessions with new material coming together for a potential new Fleetwood Mac album. The project was put on hold to start the Fleetwood Mac On With The Show tour. Stevie Nicks was going to contribute songs for the Fleetwood Mac album after their tour but decided to pursue her own career retrospective project, "24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault" and tour for that album. Deciding not to wait for Nicks, Buckingham and McVie continued on with the project as a duo.

"Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie" is a solid album bringing a familiar, comfortable vibe by merging Buckingham's experimental style and McVie's smooth pop sound. While it's just the two musicians' name of the project, two other members of Fleetwood Mac, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie participated on a number of the tracks. This duo will be hitting the road this summer starting on June 21st in Atlanta to promote the record. Listen to the first single, "In My World", a Buckingham lead song and "Feel About You" which features McVie on vocals:



Friday, June 16, 2017

NEW SOUNDS

BETH DITTO


Beth Ditto, the fiery, big voice behind the alt-punk band, Gossip, has officially become a solo artist after the group mutually decided to come to an end last year. The Arkansas native had dabbled with EDM on her 2011 self-titled EP but has returned to her musical roots with her just released debut, "Fake Sugar". This collection of country-lite rockers and electrifying dance tunes features lyrics that touches on her Southern upbringing, life as a queer feminist artist and her almost four-year marriage to Kristin Ogata. Enjoy the video for the first single, "Fire":



PERFUME GENIUS


One way to describe the visionary music of Perfume Genius is that he is the star-child of Kate Bush and David Bowie. Born Mike Hadreas in the suburbs of Seattle, WA, he was victimized as a young child due to being openly gay and even received death threats. Hadreas found solace in music and learned to play the piano. After dropping out of high school, he moved to New York in an attempt to experience a more open-minded, creative environment. Hadreas soon returned to Seattle where he decided to pursue a life in music on his terms. Reborn as "Perfume Genius", he created songs inspired by his sexuality and the dangers that confront gay men in contemporary society. For his fourth album, "No Shape", Perfume Genius has created another bold art-rock expression on his views of love and relationships. Here are the music videos for two singles from the album, "Slip Away" and  "Die 4 You" which perfectly display this artist's inventive gift for performance art.





Finally we have some new music from the glam-disco outfit, Scissor Sisters. it's been almost five years since we last heard anything from the group, which still consists of Babydaddy, Jake Shears, Ana Matronic, and Del Marquis, and they have come together with producer, MNDR for a good cause. The song, "Swerlk" was created to pay tribute to the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting one year ago with a sassy dance-floor remembrance. It is being released in conjunction with GLAAD with proceeds from the sales benefiting the Contigo Fund, a non-profit organization for LGBTQ individuals.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A SALUTE TO PRINCE


It's hard to believe that it's been a little over a year since we lost the phenomenally talented musician, Prince. He would have turned fifty-eight on June 7th and the world still hasn't seem to have recovered from the tragic passing of this truly iconic artist.

I just recently caught up with watching this year's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction and my favorite part of the program had nothing to do with any of the inductees. It was a brief musical tribute to the Purple One by Lenny Kravitz that blew me away. I have to say it's the absolute best out of the many tributes paid to Prince to date, so please check out Mr Kravitz performing inspired live versions of "When Doves Cry" and "The Cross":

Saturday, May 27, 2017

YOUR SONG


Americans probably know Rita Ora more for her fashion-forward looks on a red carpet (including her recent appearance at the Met Ball), her acting roles ("Fast & Furious 6", "Fifty Shades of Grey") or for her short stint as the host of the revived "America's Next Top Model" show. However, the twenty-six year old Brit began her career as a singer with her first two singles from her 2012 debut, "Ora", "How We Do (Party)" and "R.I.P." going to number one on the UK pop chart. Although she provided the hook for Iggy Azalea's hit, "Black Widow", Ora's own music didn't get much attention here in the States.

Ora is wanting to change that and has just released a new song entitled "Your Song".  This is her first solo single in two years and seems to be the first music from her long delayed follow-up album (although part of that had to do with her successful lawsuit to release herself from contract with Roc Nation Records). The singer has teamed up with a fellow Brit who is quite popular here, Ed Sheeran along with producer, Steve Mac to help write this song. The Sheeran connection is interesting and will certainly get people to pay some attention but I don't think "Your Song" is strong enough to get Ora to stand-out in this tough pop musical landscape.

"Your Song" - Rita Ora (2017) mp3

And as a bonus, here is the video for Ora's 2012 first single, "How We Do (Party)' which I really liked and don't know why it didn't do better here:

Thursday, May 25, 2017

NUMBER ONE FLASHBACK


U2 are in the middle of a thirty anniversary tour in celebration of their 1987 album, "The Joshua Tree". This critically acclaimed record, produced by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, reached number one in over twenty countries, won two Grammy Awards including Album of The Year, sold over twenty-five million copies and, most importantly, turned the band in to full-fledged rock superstars.

This number one flashback is "With or Without You", the first single from the album which stayed in this position for three weeks and became U2's first number one hit in the U.S. Bono wrote the lyrics that details his struggles with being a rock musician and a family man and how he can, ultimately, manage to be both. With his inspired vocals and The Edge's electrifying guitar work, the song builds to an intensity that makes this rock ballad soar to an incredible height. The follow-up single from "The Joshua Tree" , "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" also made it to top spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

NEW SOUNDS

CAMILA CABELLO

After leaving one of the hottest girl-groups out right now, Fifth Harmony last December, Camila Cabello has wasted no time getting her solo career in order. The twenty year-old singer has already hit the top-twenty this year by providing vocals on Shawn Mendes' "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and Machine Gun Kelly's "Bad Things". And now she has dropped her first single as a solo artist. "Crying In The Club", using an island-flavored beat and a sample of Christina Aguilara's "Genie In a Bottle", is about the power of music helping to make it through heartbreak. This mid-tempo ballad is hardly groundbreaking and if it makes you think of a Sia track, that's because the singer co-wrote the song with Cabello along with current hit-makers, Benny Blanco, Cashmere Cat and Happy Perez. Let's see what else will come as Cabello's debut album, "The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving." is due out this fall.



KATY PERRY

Katy Perry has just released a third song from her upcoming fifth studio album, "Witness". But what makes this tune, "Swish Swish" most notable is that it may be a swipe at fellow pop princess, Taylor Swift who apparently penned a thinly-veiled attack on Perry with her 2015 song, "Bad Blood". Just like Swift, Perry does not confirm nor deny this claim but will say it's about anti-bullying with a '90's inspired dance beat. She was the musical guest on the season finale of "Saturday Night Live" and here is a live performance of the song:



IGGY AZALEA

The Aussie rapper, Iggy Azalea is back trying reignite her music career with a new track. Her latest single, "Switch", that features Brazilian pop star, Anitta delivering the hook, is certainly catchy but I don't know if it's enough to get her back on the pop chart. Time will tell but have a listen to judge for yourself:

"Switch" - Iggy Azalea featuring Anitta (2017) mp3

SELENA GOMEZ

Finally, we have my favorite out of this batch of new songs. Selena Gomez has returned with "Bad Liar", a slinky, beat-driven ballad from the team of Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter who brought us the singer's hits, "Good For You" and "Hands To Myself".  Using the bassline from Talking Heads' 1977 song, "Psycho Killer" as inspiration, the song has Gomez singing about unconvincingly denying her feelings for a new love interest.

ICONA POP ARE "GIRLS GIRLS"

Those Swedish musical party-girls, Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo, otherwise known as  Icona Pop are back with a new club-banging anthem. ...