Monday, February 27, 2012

MAILBAG MONDAY: The Strange Familiar, Pati Yang, Dolly Rockers

Want to be considered for future Mailbag Mondays? Send in your jams to (preferably with "MAILBAG MONDAY" in the subject line). Now, on to this week's gems...

Song: "Being Me"
Genre: Pop
File Near: A modern day Pretenders

Mod pop/rock band The Strange Familiar were brought to my attention by a friend, and I'm so glad she did! The group aren't exactly new kids on the block -- lead singer Kira Leyden and guitarist Jeff Andrea also led the unsigned group Jaded Era, who released two albums in the early 00's. Their first real big break came in 2006 when Ashlee Simpson covered their song "Invisible" (you know,  her supposed 'comeback' song after her multiple live performance snafus). In Jaded Era's wake, The Strange Familiar was born, and the group has already been featured on a multitude of television shows, most notably on the breakaway ABC Family hit "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" with the Top 10 iTunes single "Courage Is". The group's official debut single, "Being Me," is the fruit of picking up yourself after doubting yourself in favor of "being me". Kira compares herself to Janis Joplin and Lady Gaga in the same verse. If the modern popaudiophile can't relate to that, I don't know who can. Their debut album will be released in late March. Take a listen to "Being Me" here. For free downloads, check out their official website at

Song: "Let It Go"
Genre: Alt Pop
File Near: a more mainstream friendly Bjork meets a less synthy Robyn

Polish pop musician Pati Yang is another one who's in the process of re-inventing herself. She was a member of band Children and electro-rock duo FlykKiller. Her fourth solo project, WIRES AND SPARKS, was released in Poland last May and is now gunning for UK release this April via an EP of the same name with a shortened tracklist. One of the songs featured on both versions is "Let It Go", my favorite of what I've heard so. It's one of those anthematic pop songs that is so large, it feels like it could fill a stadium. Take a listen below.

Song: "Get You Alone"
Genre: Pop
File Near: The Saturdays or Kelly Clarkson-esque Power Pop

I'm a longtime fan of the UK quirky girl group The Dolly Rockers. While their "quirky" genre title may less apply to their musical style these days as it did pre-member switchups and Red-One inclusion, there is no denying just how darn catchy their latest cut, "Get You Alone", is, Red-One production tag be dammed. It's also boasting a Ryan Tedder (of OneRepublic) writing credit. It's decidedly American pop in sound, even more indicative of their newly re-focused sound direction. Any way you look at it, it's all good in the Melismatic hood so long as the pop is good, and it is here.

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