FRESH OUT THE BOX: APRIL GEMS from IGGY AZALEA, NATALIA KILLS, INGRID MICHAELSON, ED SHEERAN & more...

L to R: Natalia Kills, Iggy Azalea, Ingrid Michaelson, Ed Sheeran
Yup, I'm still here. Here's a rundown of what I've been listening to on infinite repeat for the month of April (because it's literally been that long -- sorry, guys). That plus this excellent warm weather equals one seriously happy Mel.

I-G-G-Y! The Australian rhyme slinger released her full set, The New Classic, last week and exceeded all expectations. "New Bitch", "Goddess" and "F*ck Love" are also worthy contenders for your current airplay playlists but "Black Widow" is my main go to following stellar singles like "Fancy", "Change Your Life" and "Work". Rita Ora slays the hook, too -- I'm really warming up to her. The chorus builds and builds and builds only to flatline out with a tin drum beat that is instantly memorable. I'll be going to see her live next week -- look out for that insanity. Oh, and if Rita sounds too much like Katy Perry on this cut to you, you have good ears. This one was co-written by Ms. Perry.

80's synthy-a-go-go revamp of an already great jam from her sophomore set of the same name. Great summer tune. Natalia can seriously do no wrong, even when the lyrics include the term "moose knuckle."

A tune from that Rio 2 film soundtrack but it's definitely not just for the kids (or the birds...haha). I love thie Elephante Remix because it really fleshes out that jungle jamboree feel.

She's best known for that commercial single that talks about borrowing her sweater, remember that? Her latest disc, Lights Out, was out in stores a few weeks back and its main single, "Girls Chase Boys", changed my mind about her folksy singer-songwriter feel. It's use as a single wasn't much of a surprise, it had a kind of Sara Bareilles "Brave" kind of feel. After hearing the full set, "Warpath" immediately jumped out to me. It's handclappy in a 60's gal group kind of way -- very Adele's "Rumour Has It" in the best way possible.

Debut era Sheeran was good. Sophomore era Sheeran is looking fan-flippin'-tastic. First single, "Sing", is downright Timberlake-esque and has already got everyone talking. Cannot be denied.

My favorites in the ten man a capella troupe Straight No Chaser have covered the two most ubiquitous songs of the moment -- Pharrell William's "Happy" (complete with silly, self-effacing music video) and this, the omniscient theme from Disney's Frozen. As much as I love "Happy", I love their arrangement for this even more, simply because so many more voices are very audible on this recording as opposed to just the familiar and usual soloists (although they're here, too).

Cher's petulant vocal slingings return in this promotional hype single for her upcoming sophomore record, Sorry I'm Late, which finally gained an official release date for late May. It appears that for Cher, it's either one extreme or the other and considering I quite liked the warmer ballad "Sirens", this underwhelms a little bit. Doesn't make it any less catchy.

The plethora of soundtrack singles continues on including this slightly bewildering offering from Alicia Keys and Kendrick Lamar. While I enjoy Kendrick's addition to this, it feels a little too intense and totally tacked on to this relatively smooth and unassuming Alicia midtempo. I don't really know how any of this even relates to that needless Spider-Man 2 popcorn flick but whatev. It's less earwormy and more musically inclined than "Girl On Fire" anyhow.

Nope, adults -- 5SOS is not type of pizza. It's the latest teen sensation, this time round from the land Down Under. They've inked a deal to open for One Direction on their upcoming tour and if all goes like their planning, it appears to be a type of passing of the proverbial tweenage heart. Their debut EP bowed at #2 in the US last week and last month they became the first Australian band to hit the top in the UK in almost fifteen years (which is almost as long as these four dudes are old). The single namechecks American Apparel underwear (yeah, I know) and sounds much akin to Yellowcard or Boys Like Girls. Basically, if you dug Busted or McFly (or McBusted), you should give these Aussies' a shot.

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