PLAYING CATCHUP: Summer 2014 Faves

"Last updated June 28th." This blog is NOT dead, I assure you. Important things are happening to me personally behind the scenes but music has always remained a constant reassurance in my life. Before we get to the latest jams to abuse my Spotify, I would be deeply remiss if I didn't take a few minutes of your time to mention these good un's that June and July have brought our way...

5 SECONDS OF SUMMER - "Amnesia"
This Aussie boyband of the moment makes good with this tune, tipped to be their next quickly devoured single. It was also co-written by the Madden Brothers behind Good Charlotte.

BECKY G - "Shower"
Attempting to break out from under Cher Lloyd's shadow, this 17 year old gives the bratty delivery a rest with her latest single full of thumping 808.

BROODS - "Mother & Father"
Yet another soothing yet driving midtempo jam from this brother-sister duo pair from New Zealand.

PALOMA FAITH - "Only Love Can Hurt Like This"
The British soulstress finally sets this 60's sounding stomper loose on the US. When the chorus opens up a register, it really soars.

FIFTH HARMONY - "Bo$$"
Guilty pleasure alert. This US X-Factor spin-off group takes a total 180, offering a totally different sound from their "Miss Movin' On" debut with this ballsy, jangly jam. Don't hate -- they on they Michelle Obama ishhhh.

DAVID GUETTA - "Lovers On The Sun" (feat. SAM MARTIN)
This super DJ continues his dalliance with Western-influenced sounds with this jam for the OKcorral (& the club), whistles and all.

LEELA JAMES - "Who's Gonna Love You More"
This is the type of jam I've been wanting Mary J to belt out. Leela's vocal delivery really sears. Don't try and tell me modern R&B is dead, fool.

KIESZA - "What Is Love"
A guilty pleasure from Haddaway, slowed down to be a yearning, emotional ballad by a young-gun Canadian who has all the blogs talking for her hit "Hideaway". Covers should only be allowed when they are like this -- a truly unique rebranding of a tune you've already heard, to the point that the versions are totally distinct.

KITTEN - "Like A Stranger"
Dark, dancey synth.

LA ROUX - "Tropical Chancer"
It was one of my faves seeing her live and still one of my faves from the recorded sophomore set. Fun, light, and summery.

LIGHTS - "Up We Go"
A familiar synthy sound from this Canadian electro artist. I love the vocal layering here.

MADDIE & TAE - "Girl In A Country Song"
It's like these two gals took my entire criticism of women in country and put it into a song. Of course I'm all about this! Yeah, baby!

CHRIS MALINCHAK - "Stranger" (feat. MIKKY EKKO)
Dirty 80's disco with serious Michael Jackson influences. Ain't nothing wrong with that.

MAROON 5 - "Maps"
M5 takes a (probably brief) break from the Nile Rogers-esque jangles with this straight-ahead ditty.

JESSE MCCARTNEY - "Punch Drunk Recreation"
Jesse's latest disc, In Technicolor, truly made serious good. This album cut is a little bit sleazy in that way that Justin Timberlake does so well. 

NICO VEGA - "Dance"
Don't sleep on this one! This Cali-based indie rock troupe has opened for an incredible slew of artists from Blondie to Imagine Dragons and their latest disc, Lead to Light, is full of good 'uns including a cover of Cher's "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" and this album cut.

NONONO - "Down Under"
My faves from last year's CMJ Festival recently released their full debut set, We Are Only What We Feel, which includes all the stompers from their debut EP ("Jungle", "Pumpin' Blood", "Like The Wind", "Fire Without A Flame") and also includes "Love" (which they debuted at CMJ, to my knowledge) and this tempo-shifting sparkler, which gives the album its name.

R5 - "Heart Made Up On You"
This pop-rock troupe is mostly made up of siblings that are closely related to the Hough siblings (Derek and Julianne, best known as pro dancers on 'Dancing With The Stars'). This piano-driven midtempo draws parallels to Maroon 5 and that disco-bassline that is so popular these days.

RIXTON - "Wait On Me"
While I enjoyed "Me and My Broken Heart", it was drilled into my head by near constant airplay. "Wait On Me" has a little bit of a fresher sound. To be honest, The Script should be taking notes rather than hanging out with will.i.am and the like.

THE SATURDAYS - "Greatest Hits Megamix"
So much good. I might be crying a little bit.

ED SHEERAN - "Don't"
Easily one of my faves from Ed's sophomore set, X, for is quick, venomous lyrics (reportedly aimed at his ex Ellie Goulding). 

SHEPPARD - "Geronimo"
Hooks don't come faster than with this cut from this Aussie sextet, featuring shades of Mumford & Sons. That chorus gets stuck in my head and won't leave for days. Bombs away!

SAM SMITH - "Stay With Me"
Oh Sam, your voice is just everything. And so is that gospel-esque stacked chorus.

SIA - "Big Girls Cry"
My fave from Sia's latest, 1000 Forms Of Fear.

MEGHAN TRAINOR - "All About That Bass"
Talk about coming out of literal nowhere. This 20 year-old indie singer-songwriter gained major label traction with this super catchy little ditty about body acceptance.

WAKEY!WAKEY - "Wake Up (Lily, I Love You...)"
I don't know much about Wakey!Wakey! other than its frontman used to be on that CW melodrama 'One Tree Hill'. But don't hold that against him -- there's a slew of great slightly folky, pop-rock to be found here. This is my favorite from their latest set, slightly reminiscent of Plain White T's and Owl City.

JESSIE WARE - "Tough Love"
The first listen into Jessie's upcoming sophomore album (also titled Tough Love). The backbeat is slightly reminiscent of Prince's "When Doves Cry". Comparisons don't get better than that.

JODY WATELY - "Nightlife"
This one goes out to all my gays, because I'm gonna get my drag on with this one.

ZENDAYA - "Too Much"
I like Zendaya but feel like she might be trying a little too hard with some of her post-Disney material. This cut is a carry-over soundtrack single from her Disney Channel Original Movie (or DCOM to the kids), Zapped. But if that puts you off, forget I said it. This has more sass and energy, riding high on the Ariana Grande vintage vocal bandwagon.

1 comment

Anonymous said...

Glad to have you back!

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