Saturday, September 14, 2013
London-based singer/songwriter (and all around bad ass bitch), Bebe Black is most certainly deserving of the "ONE TO WATCH" title. Black has one of those voices that you just can't get enough of. Blessed with versatile voice and impressive vocal range, Bebe Black could easily have had her pick of musical genres. Lucky for us, she opted for an edgy pop sound, mixing in elements of jazz, soul and rock, underscored with driving electro beats. Vocally and production-wise, Black's latest single, "I'll Wait," recalls Sia and Florence Welch (Florence + The Machine), doing away with the heavy EDM influence heard on previous releases like the dubstep-drizzled (amped-up) Lana Del Rey-esque "Never Forget" and the PHENOMENAL "Deathwish." Taken from her forthcoming Columbia Records debut album, "I'll Wait" will be released in the UK October 27th.
Saturday, August 3, 2013
Paloma Faith Hard at Work on Album 3; Hits the Studio with Pharrell, Raphael Saadiq, Diane Warren and Others
|Still from "Just Be" video PHOTO CREDIT: Paloma Faith's Official Instagram|
Saturday, July 27, 2013
In December of 2010, I touted British singer/songwriter Clare Maguire as 'One to Watch' in 2011 and boy was she. Throughout much of 2011, I blogged about nearly every single she released leading up to (and following) the release of her debut album, Light After Dark. While I happened to love her debut album, it was always more about her unique voice, for me - rather than about the songs themselves. I was (and still am) mesmerized...transfixed...entranced...I can't help it! With the first listen, it's quite apparent that Clare Maguire's instrument is one-of-a-kind. Her deep, smokey and soulful vocals made an instantaneous connection with me...one that I have held firmly on to in the two plus years that have passed since any new music. Finally, in 2013...hope arrived in the form of some cover songs and demos released on Maguire's Soundcloud. The most recent track to appear online, "Paper Thin," might be my favorite of the bunch. Listen below:
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Last time I wrote about Aussie "Sweet About Me" chanteuse, Gabriella Cilmi, she had just released a haunting new teaser track called "Sweeter In History." At the time, while I didn't have any confirmation on a third album, it was pretty clear that her creative juices were a flowin' and a new album was imminent. Now, the 21 year old singer/songwriter is getting ready to relaunch her career with a stunning new single and album due later this fall, via Sweetness Tunes (her own label)/Absolute. The single, called "The Sting" (also the name of the album) is out September 2nd, followed by the album October 28th. Check out the single artwork above and the newly released video below. Gabriella Cilmi is back, and she's On A Mission (to make you forget all about that fun, but largely forgettable second album). So far so good on THAT mission.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Brendon Urie and the Panic! At The Disco boys (Spencer Smith, Dallon Weekes) are back with a rockin' summer anthem destined to rule the airwaves leading up to the release of their fourth studio album, Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! (Decaydance/Fueled by Ramen), due October 8th. The Butch Walker (Weezer, Fall Out Boy, The All-American Rejects) produced "Miss Jackson" is just the right amount of dark and moody, words which also describe the trippy, From Dusk Till Dawn (minus the vamps)-esque Jordan Bahat-directed video. "Miss Jackson" features guest vocals from an artist I'm particularly fond of by the name of Lolo.
Monday, July 8, 2013
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Dubstep & UK Garage QUEEN, Katy B is BACK with a killer new single, "What Love Is Made Of," due out July 7th and featuring remixes from MK, Brackles and the one and only Felix Da Housecat. Following the release of Katy's flawless debut album, On A Mission, she's been hard at work, collaborating with Mark Ronson on a groundbreaking tune ("Anywhere In The World") created exclusively for Coca-Cola as part of their 2012 Summer Olympics campaign. In December of last year, Katy released her free Danger EP, featuring hot collabs with Diplo, Wiley and 2013 "It Girl" and all around big deal - Jessie Ware, who's stunning tune "Aaliyah" is one of my jams right now. While the EP was certainly a pleasant surprise, I'm beyond excited that we have an OFFICIAL single comin' out from her sophomore set.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
I feel like I've been raving on and on about British-born/Paris-based singer/songwriter/producer Dan Black for YEARS, but really it's only been four years? Ever since I heard his BRILLIANT, never officially released "HYPNTZ" (which ultimately turned into the single "Symphonies") I've been obsessed with Mr. Black, with my obsession coming to a head during the Robyn + Kelis All Hearts Tour in 2010, wherein Black was one of the openers (along with a pre-"Like A G6" famous Far East Movement). Witnessing Black do his thing live was ALL that I needed to see to convince me that this guy was a musician to watch out for. Now, three years after dropping his debut album here in America, Black is BACK with a beautiful new single, "Hearts," which sees a reunion of sorts with All Hearts Tour-mate and Kaleidoscope-lovin', Wanderland dwelling, Tasty Milkshake-slurpin', indie pop DIVA extraordinaire, 'Kelis (Was Here)' who's 2010 album, Flesh Tone, remains one of my favs to this day. Check out "Hearts" below the cut.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
|PHOTO CREDIT: Roc Nation|
Earlier today, everybody's favorite Aussie electro-pop queen Kylie Minogue left us, her loyal fans with a very special treat AND ON HER OWN BIRTHDAY no less. Shortly after sharing a photo of herself with the caption, "Might be my birthday but I'm still working #studio," Queen Kylie Retweeted a Soundcloud link from DJ/Remixer/Producer Chris Lake. Where did said link take us, you might ask? Oh just to an AMAZING new song called "Skirt." That's all! The song, which Chris Lake debuted at opening weekend of Pacha Ibiza this past weekend was produced by Nom De Strip (AKA Chris Elliot) and co-written by The-Dream. Listen to it BELOW THE CUT:
Monday, May 27, 2013
While Sweden continues to churn out sophisticated electro-pop starlets like Robyn, Agnes, Lykki Li, Janet Leon to name a few, Eastern Europe is fast becoming a hotbed of internationally compatible pop talent. Over the years we've seen pop stars emerge out of Russia (Alsou, t.A.T.u., Serebro) and Romania (Inna, Alexandra Stan), trying their hand at becoming international crossover success stories, each with their own varying degrees of success in both Europe and the United States. Next up - allow me to introduce you to Hungary's own Szilvia Péter Szabó, known simply by her first name, Szilvia. While she remains relatively unknown outside of her native Hungary, this girl DEFINITELY has what it takes to make it on an international stage. Check out the video for her new song, "Never Again," co-written by Szilvia, Joe Lawrence and Paul Britt.
|Photo Credit: Paul Kalirai|
Following the decision to SCRAP her completed sophomore album, Lollipops & Politics, UK singer/songwriter/model/entrepreneur and lover of vintage fashion, V V Brown is back in a big way with her new single, "Samson." For those of you hoping for "Shark In The Water" part II, don't hold your breath. While nothing like her Top 40-friendly signature song, "Samson" isn't a complete diversion from the rest of the material found on her beautifully layered 2009 debut, Travelling Like The Light. "Samson" has an epic sound...reminding me of something you might hear in a movie montage leading up to a massive medieval battle scene. Hauntingly dark and gritty, "Samson," while totally different than "Shark In The Water," is a bit more reminiscent of past singles, "Crying Blood," "Game Over" and even to a degree, her last single "Children." Call it unconventional pop, indie pop- call it whatever you like. "Samson" isn't Top 40 material but it is 100% V V Brown and that, I think, is why I like it so much.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
It always seems like the span of time between an artist's debut album and his/her first "Greatest Hits" record gets shorter and shorter with every passing year. Sure, in many cases it's a matter of an artist leaving a record label where the label wants to give them ONE LAST GOOD SQUEEZE to milk them for all their worth, but every once and a while we get a beautiful compilation album, actually sanctioned by the artist. In this instance, I'm talking about Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Jewel, who recently dropped her very first disc of hits, entitled Greatest Hits (Rhino/Warner Music Group). Yesterday, Jewel premiered the video for the album's sole new song, a beautiful mid(ish)-tempo ballad called, "Two Hearts Breaking," produced by Jay Joyce (The Wallflowers, Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris). Check out the GORGEOUS Mark Liddell-shot video BELOW, which was filmed in Los Angeles and premiered Tuesday on ETOnline.com.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Last time I wrote about New Zealand-born/London bread throwback singer/songwriter Willy Moon, I was GUSHING about his debut single/ÜBER-catchy Apple iPod theme "Yeah Yeah." Now, the 23 year old Kiwi-Brit is back with his follow up single, the equally good (albeit not as catchy) "My Girl." Released March 5th, "My Girl" is the second official single taken from Moon's forthcoming debut album, Here's Willy Moon, due April 2nd on Island Records/Interscope/Cherrytree. Check out the vintage-inspired "My Girl" clip BELOW, directed by Focus Creeps.
Former Pussycat Doll Jessica Sutta Returns to Take The Dance Charts by Storm; New Single 'Again' Out Now
Following the break up of international pop group and Robin Antin brainchild, The Pussycat Dolls, Jessica Sutta has been forging ahead with her own pop career. Her latest effort, a STUNNING rager of a dance pop anthem, "Again," out today on iTunes. Premiering yesterday on Billboard.com, "Again" was produced by and features Kemal Golden - released on Citrusonic Stereophonic. Listen to it in full on Billboard or a snippet of the track BELOW.
Monday, March 25, 2013
Amidst all of the excitement surrounding the new Justin Timberlake album, I completely forgot that Dido's highly anticipated fourth record, Girl Who Got Away, was being released next Tuesday! Whoopsie! While I admittedly wasn't too crazy about 2008's Safe Trip Home (slash I don't remember a single song from the album), this new one actually sounds like it could be more like the old school Dido I fell in love with on 1999's No Angel. Girl Who Got Away, Dido's first album with RCA Records, is out here in America tomorrow, March 26th.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
So THIS is what the real Charlotte Church sounds like! I think I like it! One & Two is the Welsh singer/songwriter's first album to see a U.S. release since 2001's classical album Enchantment. If you were a fan of classical Charlotte Church, I wouldn't discount her new material too quickly. The big, INSANE voice that you fell in love is still here...it's just channeled completely differently...through unique and original songs instead of old classical standards. Listen to first single, "Glitterbombed" BELOW and get a feel for what the new and improved Charlotte Church sounds like!
British synthpop duo, Hurts (AKA Theo Hutchcraft & Adam Anderson) have been on my list of bands to see since the release of their STUNNING debut album, Happiness in 2010. Unfortunately, the band has yet to really spend any time promoting their work here in America but here's hoping they do at some point! The band recently released their sophomore album, Exile, on March 11th via Major Label/RCA. Preceding the release of the album was the band's LUSH lead single, "Miracle," which was accompanied by a simple, yet still epic visual (which you can watch BELOW the fold). While the song has a certain Coldplay feel to me, it's just too beautiful to ignore. This song sounds expensive, and I like expensive things.
Good things certainly do come to those who wait, at least in the case of rising pop talent Gamu. Fans of the X-Factor probably remember early favorite, Gamu Nhengu, who's family was nearly sent back to its native Zimbabwe due to Visa issues following her untimely elimination from the show. While the, then 18 year old, failed to make it to the X-Factor live shows, Gamu managed to leave a very big impression on the hearts, minds AND ears of Britain. Three years after X-Factor, Gamu is back and ready to unleash her very special brand of soul-pop on the the UK, starting with infectious debut single, "Shake The Room."
Saturday, March 23, 2013
It's been a minute since we've heard from edgy Swedish singer/songwriter Beatrice Eli but she's back! Check out the recently released music video for "It's Over," title track from her debut EP, due March 24th (via Razzia/Family Tree Music/EMI). "It's Over" is a punchy, attitude-filled synth-pop stomper that further solidifies her place as one of my 'Ones to Watch.' Listen to the song on SoundCloud and see if you agree.
Friday, March 15, 2013
It's seemingly been an ETERNITY (about three years) since Australian singer/songwriter Gabriella Cilmi released her last album, but from the looks of it, new music is on the way. Last April, Cilmi mercilessly teased us with a new song ("Vicious Love") & accompanying music video, before disappearing again. This fake out left me emotionally dead inside, once again left to cry alone in the corner with "Sweet About Me" playing on repeat. Well, I don't know about you but I think Gabriella Cilmi is back this time for good - and with a cute new short 'do to boot! March 26th has been announced as the release date for Cilmi's latest new song, "Sweeter In History," and while it's being offered as a free download, it certainly is a sign of good things to come. Check out the just released music video for "Sweeter In History" BELOW.
Well this is a pleasant surprise! New Natalia Kills single! Check out "Problem" BELOW and prepare to rock out with your...well, you get the idea. "Problem" originally leaked last month in its unfinished form, but rather than whine and rant about people and patience, Kills hit the studio with producer Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, fun., Natalia Kills) and made it into the punchy piece of darkpop perfection that you hear today. It sounds like a natural next step for Kills, who's last album was so so underrated. I'm glad she's not deviating from her usual blend of pleasing-to-the-ear, dark-twisty melodies, and rough-around-the-edges glam-pop production. It just wouldn't be a Natalia Kills record otherwise! "Problem" is out now on iTunes.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Well, it would appear that Paloma Faith was able to shoot a music video for her latest single, "Black & Blue" after all. While I still maintain that the Eg White co-written isn't my first choice for the fifth Fall To Grace single, I'm just happy that she's still promoting the album even AFTER just completing a major UK tour, a heart-stopping performance at the BAFTA's and two BRIT nominations. Not only that, but Paloma just hopped on a plane to perform at this year's SXSW in Austin, TX. Girl's still got something left in her I tell you. Hardest workin' British songstress! In the just released new music video for "Black & Blue," Faith flexes her acting chops once again, playing a whole cast of characters (including a man!). The stunning black & white video was directed by Si Allen who was introduced to Faith by her longtime collaborator, Anthony Saul, who directed her "Never Tear Us Apart" video. Check out "Black & Blue" BELOW. The single was just released in the UK this week.
Saturday, March 9, 2013
"Wanderlust" is the name of UK singer/songwriter Polly Scattergood's brand new single, taken from her forthcoming sophomore album, Arrows, due out this summer on Mute Records. According to the press release;
"Written during time spent in Berlin and Norfolk, this new track combines Scattergood’s trademark mix of storytelling and soul-searching; but also looks outwards and heavenwards, spinning sonic playfulness around while stretching for new skylines."
This song is EVERYTHING to me right now. It's dark. It's moody. It's a bit fairy-like, supernatural or ethereal even. It's subtle, it's intense. It's a bunch of contradictions that work and make beautiful music. If this review sounds like a bit of a ramble session, forgive me! I'm struggling to string together a coherent thought. There's just something about this song that I am entranced by... To be perfectly honest, I think I'm just a bit enamored with the artist herself, and hopefully you will be too after listening to "Wanderlust."
Since first posting about X-Factor UK alum Amelia Lily and her debut BANGER "You Bring Me Joy," the up and coming dance-pop diva has released another single ("Shut Up [And Give Me Whatever You Got])", announced a third single ("Party Over" - April 14th), her debut album (Be A Fighter - April 29th) and recently embarked on a massive UK tour opening for Girls Aloud. Quite the whirlwind career, but then again - Amelia Lily's whole career-to-date has been something of a whirlwind, hasn't it?
Saturday, February 16, 2013
|PHOTO CREDIT: Epic Records|
Oh HEY Paloma Faith. I hear you're releasing a new single? That's right, UK fans! Paloma will release the Eg White co-written "Black & Blue," as the fourth single from her BRIT-nominated sophomore album, Fall To Grace, March 11th. Produced by Nelle Hooper and Jake Gosling, "Black & Blue" isn't my FIRST choice for a new single, but hey! I'll take what I can get. After releasing "Just Be" in December, I was hoping the artist and her UK label, Sony/RCA would choose something more up-tempo, like..."Blood, Sweat & Tears" perhaps? Ah well. Maybe there will be some remixes included on the digital EP. A boy can dream!
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
After seemingly endless teasing, the one and only Vincent Frank (AKA Frankmusik) finally unveiled the music video for stunning new single, "Map," taken from his brand new EP, Far From Over, due tomorrow - Valentines Day. "Map" is a stunning piece of electropop in which Frank showcases all of his skills; that of a talented songwriter and producer and a truly gifted singer.