Monday, May 30, 2011

HEAR THIS: Relax, with Mandy 'It's Just Pop!'

Summertime is always a fun time for pop music. It may not be officially summer yet, but here in New York City, it really, really feels like it. Temperatures are literally through the roof as I sit here coming to you from my sweltering apartment here in the BK. That's why one of the best ways to beat the heat is fighting fire with fire -- firey, dancey, clever pop music. 2011 has been pretty good to us in that department, and already the summer quarter is shaping up to be one for the books. First up is this young lady, one I've had my eye on for several years now.

Mandy Ventrice is a name I've mentioned before on the blog, an artist I've been supporting since her early, early days in a long since forgotten girl group of yore. She's been keeping time since then, steadily writing new, fresh pop for herself and for other artists as well, before returning in late 2009 with Ian Carey and his David Guetta-esque single "Let Loose". But now she's fully equipped to break out on her own in a big way with a literal schmorgasborge of tunage that flows like a feast for the ears (like that one?).

While my interest flag really started to fly thanks to the likes of stellar pop cuts like "Bitten", "Cupcake", "Open Me Up" and especially "Hussy", those songs were a bit more robotic and dancefloor-beatmachine influenced. Mandy has uploaded a few of her newer cuts that focus more on her big voice and less on the production trickery, the majority of which being produced by a former member of the Stereotypes production brigade, on to her SoundCloud account. Some songs are newer than others, but all of them are equally fantastic in a Xenomania, witty kind of cheek way.

While I've found it difficult to choose a favorite ("Die Happy" was an early favorite, but "Personal Hearthrob" seems to be where it's at for me currently), overall, it would have to be "Paradox", a song I first premiered on my own radio show on Resolution Radio (RIP!). The song opens with relatively bare keyboard tinkling, set to a beat machine backdrop and is incredibly 80's poptastic in a very good way.

I can try but you won't believe a word I say
So I'ma tell you lies 'cause the truth gets in the way
I won't break if I don't believe in love
I don't have to give in if I never have to give you up
With your hands around my heart I swear I
Won't fall apart
But everything that we want gets lost
In this paradox

Take a listen below:

Mandy has the two critically needed elements of good pop already going for her: catchy material and a serious singing voice. Not totally unlike Mr. Simon Curtis, Mandy is going the indie route, so be sure you support her if you like what you hear. Follow her on Twitter @MandyVentrice and 'Like' her on Facebook. There is no word just yet on when we will be able to purchase her tunage on iTunes or the like, but keep it locked for more information on this already stellar album collection as it develops. 

For more on Mandy, you can also check out my interview with her from over two years ago (if you can believe it!) here.

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