27 August 2014

27 August 2014 - Charli XCX - Break The Rules

True story - I did consider starting a Charli XCX-centered blog.  I mean, I post enough of her stuff here.  

But I didn't.

I am, however, a fan of hers on Facebook, and I was discussing with other fans who were bemoaning the end of True Romance-era Charli, calling songs like "Fancy" and "Boom Clap" a "different kind of creative."  Others shouted down that comment, but I agreed.  Evolution isn't necessarily bad.  Sucker - her upcoming album - will be poppier but solid.  We had already heard the sugary "Boom Clap" (which is also on the new album) and the pop/EDM of "Superlove" )which is also presumably on this album - Charli said that it was there last year, but it isn't on the pre-announced track list, which I find odd).  So we are looking at a more mainstream pop record. So I thought.

I wish I had heard "Break The Rules" first. This song here is why I never should have posted "Boom Clap".  This should have been the big hit song, not that.  But this could be a big hit song.  I'm hoping this is a big hit song.  This song reminds me of the great "Nuclear Seasons" - dark and punky, while retaining its pop edge.  By the way, that song will be your #1 suggestion at the end of this video.  Thanks, YouTube!

Back to this song..... so far this and others I have heard from Sucker (NOT named "Boom Clap") really have a straight-ahead rock feel - very Runaways-inspired.  This song is what I think what we would hear if Joan Jett discovered EDM. 

Also, she quite famously cannot dance. Any number of live performances of "Fancy" should have told you that.  Or the first 30 seconds of the "What I Like" video. This video leaves no doubts. Just check out her moves on the top of that bus.  Or this live performance of the song..... which I'd like to add sounds really good even without all the effects on Charli's voice....

26 August 2014

26 August 2014 - Katy Perry - Birthday

You know, I hadn't really been a fan of a lot of Katy Perry's latest songs.  I don't know why.  They just weren't doing it for me.   But, then again, a lot of her songs in the past have taken awhile to grow on me - "E.T." being the most noteworthy example.

Well, then came "Birthday".  And my faith in Katymanity was restored.

The video - Katy Perry in disguise crashing birthday parties - is amazing.  And don't worry, folks - she didn't really ruin anyone's day.  (Check out 5:40 in the video to see how she made a whole bunch of kids happy.)   But, even without the video, it's a fun song, worthy of our Hall of Fame.

25 August 2014

25 August 2014 - Ariana Grande - Break Free (ft. Zedd)

This is. The part when. I say I like this song, even though it's derivative EDM/pop.

This is. The part when. I claim Ariana is the future of pop, even though people call her a cut-rate Mariah Carey clone.

Yes, I know it is a tear in the space/time continuum that Ariana Grande is the big hit pop star and not Victoria Justice. (Or, for that matter, Jennette McCurdy).  Yes, I know Zedd isn't a spaceship pilot.  Yes, I know Ariana's boobs just turned into missiles. Yes, I know this video is completely Barbarella redux.

This is just a fun song, by a young artist collaborating with another young artist.  And it isn't half bad.  Enjoy it for what it is.

21 August 2014

21 August 2014 - Fine It's Pink - Secret Island

Let's get the formalities out of the way.

Fine It's Pink formed in Romania in early 2013.  They may be the first band featured on here younger than Wicked Guilty Pleasures.  That they were so new I did not know when I featured their cover of "When I'm Small" on Totally Covered.  The band has gained comparisons to Sigur Ros......

.....but I don't really see it so much.  They're clearly fans of Phantogram (see previous post), but they have upped the ethereal to Cocteau Twins levels while increasing the fuzz on their guitars.  This is their latest single, off their upcoming album.  Check it out.

Did I mention they're from Romania?  Not much music makes it out of Romania, and that's a shame,  because this is amazing, and if it is indictive of the Romanian music scene, we are missing out.


By the way, you can also follow the band on Twitter.  I bet they'd appreciate that.

18 August 2014

18 August 2014 - Disclosure - Latch (ft. Sam Smith)

The Disclosure album Settle was listed by many publications as one of the best of 2013.  Which is why, when I first heard this song on pop radio as a big hit, it didn't register with me that it was the same artist.  I mean, as much as I love pop radio, I know not everyone does, and it isn't usually considered the best of ANYTHING.

But this song, originally released in the UK as a single in 2012, is different.  First of all (and this will make more sense to those of you who know music), the song is in 6/8 time, unlike the usual 4/4 so popular on pop radio.  This is an EDM song, meant for clubs.  Lyrically, it's a little creepy. 

And yet something so very weird is a massive worldwide hit.  Compare it to everything else on pop radio.  This song is weird.  But perhaps it is that weirdness - musically, lyrically, comparatively -that makes it resonate with so many.  Sam Smith's amazing vocal range - Sam is a guy (a fact that shocked the guys in Disclosure when they met him), by the way - only deepens the allure of the song even more.

As an added bonus, here is Smith performing the song without Disclosure, with a piano accompaniment.   It's a little more torch song-like than the original, and beautiful.  You can truly hear the ache in the lyrics.