Tuesday, May 19, 2015

FRESH OUT THE BOX: Disclosure, Tori Kelly, Blonde, Elliphant, Kiesza, Grace Potter, & More

The summer months always seems to bring better music. Maybe it's the weather but it's hard to not want to go out and dance the night away. Here are some of my current faves in the pop landscape. As always, click the titles to hear the song.
Dance's heavy-hitters are back with this saucy track.

A sparse, modern re-take on the dance classic by Robin S. This 90's revival is real and legit and I'm loving it.

Ditto to this jam. Vocalist Alex Newell is shaping up to be one to watch. He was a regular on Glee's later seasons as the transgendered character Unique and provided vocals for Clean Bandit's "Stronger". I'm getting the same kind of excited vibes as when I first discovered MNEK and that's a great thing. His debut album is due out on Atlantic Records soon.

Man, can this girl write a hook. Not only that, but there are times when Tori's lyrics hit so close to home how I felt growing up (and now) that it almost overwhelms me. It's not just for her perfect curly hair that makes wish Tori was my real life BFF. Looking for a fab, chill female popstar-in-the-making with self-written lyrics that are relatable and idyllic in terms of a modern day role model for young women? Look no further. "Who knows / Maybe I could sell out shows without my clothes? / God made me sexy and I don't care if only I know." Dear today's youth...

These boys swing from strength to strength. 

There are a few different bands named Phases but this LA-bred one sounds a bit like Scissor Sisters meets Roxette to me. They've released a handful of sparklers including their single "I'm In Love With My Life" but I like "Betty Blue" because it kinda sounds like Huey Lewis & the News' "The Power of Love" and Lady Gaga's "Swine" mashed up and repackaged as lite-pop fare. If that doesn't intrigue you, I don't know what will.

PopJustice referred to this being like the Rihanna 2015 single that the wanted but didn't get. Apropos. 

This song is from the upcoming Finding Neverland musical celebration album but don't let that deceive you if you're not a Broadway nerd like me (or for that matter, not a Peter Pan aficionado). It's glittery Disney Pop for sure but in the best way and still very much in Kiesza's 90's pop wheelhouse.

Carefully sandwiched somewhere between first album Charli XCX and second album Charli XCX, Bebe Rexha's debut EP has hit the ether and it's a good kind of grower. "Pray" is easily my favorite.

As the leader of Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, she was kind of like a modern day Janis Joplin -- so if you're expecting alt-pop rock, please disembark from the bus now. Grace's solo album, dubbed Midnight, is due for release soon and if "Alive Tonight" is any indicator, it's much more pop leaning. I haven't been able to stop hitting the repeat on this one -- it's the perfect kind of summer anthem with a chorus that is super singable without forsaking her rock vocal roots. (But beware the inevitable whining of "selling out". Pshhh, Bye Felicia.)

It's already gained a few synch features and is quickly rising up the Hot 100. Newcomer Rachel Platten sounds a bit like a Taylor Swift/Sara Barielles/Megan & Liz fusion in the best way.

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