MIXTAPE: March Is A Lion...


There's a reason why I love March. While January and February tend to be "slower" months in the music industry, March tends to be when release schedules get back into full swing. Rather than miss out in extending the love, here's a smattering of what's been getting a ridiculous amount of replay on my Spotify recently...

K'NAAN - Is Anybody Out There? (feat. Nelly Furtado)
Music Video Here
Being at label ground zero for the promotional period of K'NAAN's Troubador record was easily my favorite part of my 2009 internship at A&M/Octone Records. He's truly an innovative, creative, musical soul. "Is Anybody Out There?" is the lead single from the More Beautiful Than Silence EP, released back in January as the hold over before his third record release in Country, God or the Girl. It pairs him with his friend (and fellow Canadian) Nelly Furtado, who really can do no wrong in my eyes, for the second time with beautiful results.

Usher - Climax
Music Video Here

The biggest male voice in Mainstream R&B continues to return to form, in a mega single produced by Diplo full of dreamy, suggestive falcetto. I think that just about says it all, right? I'm loving Usher's choice to dally with dancey producers. It's really serving him well while still suiting his own style.

The Ting Tings - Hang It Up
Music Video Here
It's been two years since we first heard "Hands", the supposed lead single from The Ting Tings' sophomore record. Fast forward to now and the duo have re-emerged with a more crunchy New Wave sound, that still feels reminiscent of previous hits like "That's Not My Name" and "Shut Up and Let Me Go". Still quirky, still petulant, still Ting Tings.

Rye Rye - Boom Boom
Listen Here
The pace of femme rapper Rye Rye's debut project is really upsetting, especially given how much airplay reign Nicki Minaj has at Mainstream Top 40. She follows up her excellent bow with Robyn via "Never Will Be Mine" with another sample-smuggler in "Boom Boom", which, you guessed it, samples the Venga Boys's 1999 #1 hit (in the UK, at least) "Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!" (VengaBoys are back in town!) It's total cheesy fluff, but it feels good for nostalgia purposes alone.

Grimes - Oblivion
Music Video Here
Grimes is an indie Canadian electro do-it-all-yourself artist creating a lot of noise who reminds me of Goldfrapp, Oh Land, Lykke Li and Lights thrown in a blender. "Oblivion" is the first single from her third EP, Visions, out now.

Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe
Music Video Here
File this one under "overnight sensations" here in the US (mostly thanks to "parody" video by Justin Bieber & Selena Gomez, amongst others). Jepsen placed third on Canadian Idol a few years back, and recently inked a deal internationally with Schoolboy Records, whose CEO is the Biebs' manager. Hurrah for synergy! Still, the song is super catchy and relatable, Carly is super adorbs, and introduces the world to model Holden Nowell, aka the hot guy in the video. *.*

James Morrison - Slave to the Music
Music Video Here
Oh, James Morrison. Oh. Oh. His velvety, husky, melismatic pipes are coupled with a swingin' sound that feels like something out of another era entirely. They just don't make jams like this in the Mainstream anymore, and what a sad fact that is. My only complaint is we barely get to see James jam out on the acoustic at all in the video. You're just gonna sing with it slung on your shoulder? Really?

Yuna - Live Your Life
Gorgeous Yuna (from Malaysia, produced by Pharell)  and her gorgeous pipes continue to amaze long after I first saw her live at the MTV Iggy Best New Bands Showcase a few months back. I'm loving the mellow vibe, and especially the subtle bongo drum-esque beatline.

Big Time Rush - Elevate
Lyric Video Here
Behold America's main contender in the burgeoning boy band brawl (ooh, alliteration!). Big Time Rush may have gotten their start as velveetalicious TV stars on Nick (seriously, I can't even sit through that show), but they've been cranking out some decent jams of late, especially this one, the title track from their sophomore album release. Honestly, it's a mix of One Direction and The Wanted's summer sound with America's current love affair with synthy club pop. So of course, I dig it unabashedly.

Jin Akanishi - Sun Burns Down
Music Video Here
The Japanese Justin Timberlake strikes again with his followup single to the dance hit "Test Drive" (featuring ch-AY-son Da-RULE-oh) with another synth jam, promising to "make love until the sun goes down". Zow.

Chiddy Bang - Manners (feat. Icona Pop)
Lyric Video Here

Combine the most hyped American rap duo who has a keen penchant for sampling quality underground (in America at least) electro with Sweden's hottest new electro-wizzlers, and Mel will always be a happy camper. Pretty much amazing doesn't even cover it.

1 comment

Lilly said...

i just heard the carly song on hipredictor earlier today

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