"HEARTTHROB" - TEGAN & SARA
After over ten years of making music, Canadian alt-rock outfit, Tegan & Sara have decided they want to be pop stars. With their seventh studio album, the identical twin lesbian sisters approached producers Greg Kurstin (Pink, Kelly Clarkson) and Mike Elizondo (Fiona Apple) to help guide them to a wider audience. It has seemed to have paid off as their album, "Heartthrob" debuted on the Billboard Album Chart at number three with a remix of the first single, "Closer" reaching number one of the dance chart.
To be perfectly honest, the Quin sisters haven't really altered their sound too radically as the only major difference is that the music has a smoother quality. Regardless, no one is ever going to confuse them with Britney Spears as these ladies certainly continue to rock.
"I'm Not Your Hero" - Tegan & Sara (2013)
"WOMAN" - RHYE
Rhye is the side project of two musicians who each had long careers working with their own bands. Mike Milosh is from Canada and has performed with his electronic outfit, Milosh while Robin Hannibal is a Danish musician who is part of the duo, Quadron. These two artists came together as both just happened to share the same record label and after each had just moved to Los Angeles.
After collaborating for a week, Rhye was formed which lead to their debut, "Woman". Together they crafted a collection that is sensual and soulful which has prompted comparisons to Sade and Spandau Ballet but bring their own special touch with Milosh providing androgynous vocals. The duo also share a low-key approach to their music with little fan-fare as Rhye has done relatively very few live performances to date.
"Open" - Rhye (2013)
"SING TO THE MOON" - LAURA MVULA
British songstress, Laura Mvula has already taken much of the world by storm but she hasn't gotten nearly enough attention here in America. This twenty-five year old Birmingham native was working as a receptionist before sending her demos out and getting quickly signed to RCA Records. Her debut, "Sing To The Moon" features beautifully rendered songs written by the artist and producer, Steve Brown which combines elements of soul, jazz and African rhythms. I really dig her sultry sound and predict a very big future for this very talented young woman.
"Green Garden" - Laura Mvula (2013)
Here is the beautiful video for Laura Mvula's very first release, "She":
"EXTENDED PLAY" - FLEETWOOD MAC
The reunited Fleetwood Mac is about ready to embark on a new world tour and have just released an EP with new material appropriately entitled, "Extended Play". The four songs featured are "Sad Angel", "It Takes Time" and "Miss Fantasy", written and produced by Lindsey Buckingham and a re-recorded version of "Without You", a recently discovered demo written by Stevie Nicks back during her days in Buckingham/Nicks. These are the first new recordings by the band in ten years with bassist, John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood ready to perform these tracks (along with their well-known hits) live across the globe.
"Sad Angel" - Fleetwood Mac (2013)
"DELTA MACHINE" - DEPECHE MODE
Depeche Mode, considered one of the most popular EDM bands in the world, has just released their thirteenth full-length recording, "Delta Machine". The British band, currently a trio with Andy Fletcher on keyboards, Martin L. Gore providing guitar, keyboards, vocals and lead songwriter along with Dave Gahan on lead vocals, has gone from a lighter synth-pop sound from their early days in the eighties to the much darker and moody techno-beats that they currently perform today. There are no real surprises on their latest effort but it's still quite engaging. Look for Depeche Mode in your city soon as they have begun the Delta Machine Tour in Europe and will hit North America in August.
"Secret To The End" - Depeche Mode (2013)
The music video for the title track from David Bowie's latest album is considered quite controversial and has even upset the Catholic League. This surreal clip of "The Next Day" displays religious imagery along with priests consorting with scantily-clad women in a club where Bowie, as a Christ-like figure, performs. Like his last video, this is directed by Floria Sigismondi and star-studded, featuring actors, Gary Oldman and Oscar-winner, Marion Cotillard.
Janelle Monáe is finally back and she's delivered a very tasty bit of funk. This dynamic performer has just released "Q.U.E.E.N.", the first single off of her forthcoming record, "The Electric Lady". The music video features her high-style, quirky visuals and slick moves as well as an appearance by the equally fabulous eccentric, Erykah Badu who adds her voice to the track.
Finally, here is the video by Lana Del Rey of her haunting song, "Young & Beautiful" for the film, "The Great Gatsby":
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