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Music Is My King Size Bed

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sarah Connor To Release New Single December 10th

German pop/R&B singer Sarah Connor is set to release the title track off of her seventh studio album, Real Love, on December 10th in her native Germany. I've been a massive fan of Sarah Connor for years so when I heard that she was releasing a new album I was just a little excited. "Let's Get Back To Bed Boy," "One Night Stand" and "Bounce" are just a few of my favorite Sarah Connor hits from the past few years. Back in 2004 when Connor attempted to crack the States with "Bounce" I had high hopes for U.S. domination but was disappointed when her self titled album (a compilation of material from her first three albums) barely cracked the top 100 on the Billboard 200 chart. oh well. Her failure to crack the U.S. market didn't hurt her career in Germany in the slightest as Naughty But Nice, Connor's fourth album peaked at #1 (her highest charting album to date). It's worth mentioning that all of Connor's seven albums have landed in the Top Ten. Pretty impressive!

While Connor's style has pretty much always been urban pop/R&B with a heavy focus on big power ballads (showcasing her rather impressive set of pipes) she does on occasion try something a little different. In 2005 Connor released a  holiday album (Christmas In My Heart) as well as a cover album in 2007 called Soulicious, made up of 60s, 70s Motown classics (+ 2 original tracks). Connor's last album, 2008's Sexy As Hell was a return to form for Connor, going back to sexy, soulful R&B with a hint of electro pop. Of all of Connor's albums, Sexy As Hell was probably my least favorite.  It just lacked a certain something for me. New album Real Love is classic Sarah Connor to me. Not only are there big power ballads but Connor even strays out of her save place and ventures into dance/pop territory with her first single "Cold As Ice."  After going for an up-tempo club stomper for the first single, Connor's label X-Cell is going with a ballad for single #2 - specifically the album's title track, "Real Love." Due out December 10th, German fans can pre-order the single now.  While it's no "From Sarah With Love," "Real Love" is a nice vehicle for Connor. It will be interesting to see how this one charts.

Check out Sarah Connor on the web:

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Lauren Pritchard Tapped as HMV's 'Next Big Thing', New Single due in February

I'm jealous of the UK. Why? Well many reasons really, but right now it's because they are hogging Lauren Pritchard all for themselves and not sharing her with America! Hello! She's American afterall. Give her back UK. Please!

The Broadway vet (Spring Awakening) released her highly acclaimed debut album, Wasted In Jackson in the UK at the end of October, where it peaked at #84. So far the album has spawned three singles - "When The Night Kills The Day," "Painkillers" and "Not The Drinking," none of which have managed to chart at all. Hmmmm. Discouraging!  Despite the fact that her singles aren't charting, Pritchard is gaining notoriety and garnering plenty of critical acclaim and accolades.  Case in point..."Not The Drinking" was added to BBC Radio Two's A-List in October, where it remained for two weeks. 

Living in the UK while she promotes her album, Pritchard has been touring extensively and playing festivals all over Britain.  Most recently it was announced that Pritchard would be featured in the hmv Next Big Thing music festival this upcoming winter.  In partnership with it's live music division (MAMA Group), HMV has announced the lineup for it's annual festival, showcasing new and emerging talent on the UK music scene.  Among the names joining Pritchard on stage - Clare Maguire, Fenech-Soler, Dutch Uncles with more big names to come.  The second hmv Next Big Thing festival will run for over a week between February 4th and February 13th at six HMV/MAMA owned venues in London, AND for the first time ever 2 locales outside of the capital city, one in Birmingham and one in Edinburgh!  Each venue will host up to three acts per night and will cost only £10 to get in (including booking fees). Amazing deal!  Not sure yet which dates Pritchard will be a part of but I'll let you know when I have details.  Considering some of the talent that participated in the festival last year (Ellie Goulding, Professor Green, Marina and The Diamonds, Paloma Faith, Eliza Doolittle) this is a career making moment for the 22 year old singer/songwriter from Tennessee.  UK music fans - get your tickets HERE.

In the meantime, have a listen to Lauren Pritchard's new single "Stuck," due out in the UK on Valentines Day (February 14th).  "Stuck" is a gorgeous track lifted off of her debut album Wasted In Jackson.  Pritchard's vocal ability is just astounding to me, considering she's only 22 years old.  She sounds a bit like early Joss Stone here, doesn't she? I'd love to hear her do this one live. Remember her appearance on Jay Leno doing "Not The Drinking?" STUNNING. Her debut album, written and produced with Eg White, is already out in the UK and out digitally in the U.S. (iTunes).  It will be released physically in America on February 22nd.

Lauren Pritchard - Stuck by charmfactory

Check out Lauren Pritchard on the web:
Official Site//MySpace//Facebook//Twitter//VEVO

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Hot Video Alert: The Ultra Girls - Lose My Mind (Live)

I think it's safe to say that Steve Anderson is a pretty good judge of talent, after all he's worked with the legendary Ms. Kylie Minogue, #1 UK boy band Take That, Britney Spears and much much more. As far as resumes go, Steve Anderson's is pretty effing solid. That's why when I heard he was working on a new girl group called The Ultra Girls I was pretty confident that they'd be amazing...and guess what? They are! The Ultra Girls are Amy, Lauren, Lucy and Laura and they are the ones to watch!  Check out this live cover of The Wanted's new single "Lose My Mind." Brilliant! The soloists are, of course, fab but what's more...these girls harmonize beautifully together! I love everything about this - from their playful personalities in the video intro to their spot on vocals, these girls have major chart topping potential.  The girls are hard at work on their debut album, due for release in the new year on Neon Star Records. Looking forward to hearing more from these lovely ladies.

Check out The Ultra Girls on the web:

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Introducing...Austin Hartley-Leonard

As you can tell by reading my blog, my musical taste is a bit all over the map.  I like a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  My Last FM profile reads a bit like a musical smorgasbord and I'm fine with that.  What it all boils down to is talent.  I like talented artists, no matter what genre of music they sing.  If they happened to go to my high school - even better! This is the case with Austin Hartley-Leonard, a talented singer/songwriter  currently based in Los Angeles.  While our social circles never really crossed (he was in band, I was in theater) I remember Hartley-Leonard's name and his talent.  Looks like he's been busy since graduating in 1999.

Hartley-Leonard started out in the Austin, Texas music scene as a solo singer/songwriter, performing at the prestigious SXSW Music Festival.  After doing the solo thing for a while, Hartley-Leonard went off in search for a band and St. James Inc. was born.  While the group did enjoy local success in Austin (including a performance at the Austin City Limits Festival) it wasn't until after the release of their debut EP "8 Hours" back in 2006 that things really started to take off.  After a performance at Lollapalooza in Chicago, the band relocated to Los Angeles, where they had their tunes featured in a film and TV series.  In 2007, Solo once again, Austin met with producer Charles Newman (The Magnetic Fields) and the two started to put together his debut album, Franklin Ave. which was released in 2008.  After touring extensively in 2009, Hartley-Leonard lent his songwriting talents to television, where he was commissioned to write for a few commercials.  A couple of his songs were also featured on major hit shows like CBS's Ghost Whisperer and the popular NBC spy series Chuck as well as a film starring Steve Buscemi (Handsome Harry).

On November 9th, Hartley-Leonard released a new six track EP (released on Entropy Collective) called "Everywhere I've Never Been," featuring an exquisite folk cover of Harvery Danger's 1996 single "Flagpole Sitta."  In looking at the EP cover art, the first thing you notice is the ink on his forearm.  Looks can certainly be deceiving!  Who would have thought that such a vulnerable, heart-wrenchingly soulful sound could come out of such a bad-ass looking dude?  While iTunes classifies his sound as "singer/songwriter" there are other elements present here.  Hartley-Leonard's sound is a little bit country, a little bit soul, a little bit rock and a little bit folk. It's always nice to see someone from your past do well, especially in an industry as notoriously difficult as the music industry.  I wish Austin the best of luck and hope to hear lots more from him in the future.  Download his new EP on iTunes HERE.

Check out Austin Hartley-Leonard on the web:

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