Tagged: pop

Now Playing: Drive – Oh Wonder

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image via bbc radio 1

Let’s kick it old school shall we? No fancy lists, hooks, Justin Bieber references today – just a good old fashioned post about a song I cannot stop listening to. Oh Wonder is songwriting duo Anthony West and Josephine Vander Gucht, and together they make sparkling, etherial, entrancing music.  Their self-titled debut was released in September, and trust me, it’s goooood.

But in an effort to stay to true to my roots, let me draw your attention to one song in particular – Drive.

 

I feel like if there was a feelings equivalent of onomatopoeia this song is it.  Titled “Drive” and with lyrics that talk about driving, it instantly gives that “on the road” feeling (no ties to Kerouac).   And in case you hadn’t heard of Oh Wonder until now, I’d say this is a pretty good crash course in their overall sound – soft, gentle melody, rolling rhythms and a  building chorus. I mean really – what else can you want?

 

Justin Bieber. . . The New Taylor Swift?

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I know, you just came here to berate me for this headline – but hear me out.

As we all know, the world can currently not escape get enough of Taylor Swift.  Her tour, her BFFLS, her feuds, her music, her music videos, her controversies, her haters, her lovers – it’s seemingly all Taylor all the Time.

And with this – dare I say – over saturation, has come the inevitable backlash.  Our once loveable girl from PA whose family moved to Nashville to write her feelings into anthems has turned into a finely tuned pop-music machine.  And you know what?  Good for her.  She’s a savvy business woman who has wisely navigated the obstacles of pop-music to take her career to new heights.  But let’s get one thing straight – she is no longer the underdog.  Not by a long shot.

Enter: Justin Bieber.  Bieber – who once stood proud atop a mountain of screaming tween fans.  Who was birthed by said fans on YouTube; a case study for what it means to be a pop-star in the internet age.  And who, quickly after hitting puberty, saw his public image crumble.  He became the butt of every joke, a troubled youth who couldn’t make a right decision to save his life – with some even calling for his deportation.

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But now we are entering a new phase of Bieber-dom.  Bieber as underdog – filling the void that was once occupied by Taylor. He is creating entertaining, catchy music (I won’t hear arguments on that one, you may not like pop music, and that’s fine, but What Do You Mean is a good solid pop tune). He is opening up to his fans in a way that feels genuine (see: crying on stage at the VMAs), he’s returning to his roots by reminding us that he has been crushing drum sets since he was a tiny toddler.  He’s even singing live.  And…it seems to be working.

I feel the tide turning on Bieber.  As a long-time fan – yes I wear that badge proudly – I’m starting to see the haters cautiously change their tune.  This poor kid who didn’t know what to do with his insta-fame, is starting to figure it out.  He’s learned that his flaws can be his biggest stepping-stones to greatness, in a way Taylor did in the early days, i.e., when she wrote about being told she couldn’t sing in “Mean.”  And unlike Swift who is sitting pretty for the first time atop the pop-music throne, Justin has been there before.  He knows what it means to be on top, and so I don’t think he’ll chase it as narrowly, or as methodically, as Taylor has been these past few years.  And I think that will only mean longer endured success.

So I ask you – is Justin Bieber the next Taylor Swift? Has pop music found its new underdog? Only time will tell, but this Baby” loving twenty-something is betting big on the Biebs.

Tove Lo’s “Talking Body” Somehow Made Inexplicably More Attractive

I have a confession to make – I find Tove Lo’s recent single “Talking Body” to be like, crazy sexy (cool).  Those of you that know me well know that me writing that on the internet is a pretty big deal.  But there it is – out there for all the world to see.

So you can imagine I’m finding it difficult to figure out just what to do with myself after finding this cover by Thirdstory, because, somehow, impossibly, inexplicably, it makes the song even sexier with layers of harmonies and falsetto, a slowed down tempo, and a more R&B feel.  Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to go find a glass of ice water while I let you all enjoy this delicious musical treat.

h/t Fuse

 

Now Playing: Ryn Weaver – OctoHate

 

In the past 24 hours, something magical has happened.  A summer track has emerged seemingly out of nowhere.  Ryn Weaver’s new track OctoHate has taken the internet by storm, and with good reason.  The all-star produced track (Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos, Charlie XCX, Benny Blaco, and Cashmere Cat) is everythign you could want in a summer pop song.  Light, upbeat, catchy, strong vocals, easy to learn lyrics, etc.

This is currently the only track on Ryn Weaver’s Soundcloud page, but one can only hope many more of the same appear soon.  In the meantime, I can’t wait to figure out how many listens it will take before I get sick of this…I have a feeling it’s going to be alot.

Geographer – Verona

Hey guys!  Remember me?  Your friend who likes music?  Well, I’m back!  And I’ve got a delicious ear treat for you courtesy of Geographer.  Hailing from the great town of San Francisco, Geographer is a trio of dudes who make some sweet melodies that are a little bit pop, a little bit indie, and a little bit spacey.

While working at my new job that takes up all my time (self-promoting shout-out: watch Betty White’s Off Their Rockers!) – I was standing next a cool café and heard some lovely tunes emerging from the patio.  So, like any self-respecting smart phone owner, I Shazamed that shit.  And lo and behold – I was enjoying the fine track Verona by Geographer.  While I was first attracted by the vocals and easy to follow melody, I stayed for the swelling beat and synthesizer, and let me tell you – I was not disappointed.

The track comes off the band’s album Animal Shapes – which is a) delightful, and b) available for purchase for only $6 on their bandcamp page.

So come on, let’s all join together and enjoy this lovely track.  Then we can smile at the fact that I finally posted again.

Polica – Dark Star

Okay so here’s the thing. Auto-tune may be one of the most negative things to hit popular music in the past decade. When Jay-Z’s D.O.A. (Death of Autotune) was released, it gave me a semi-legitimate reason to launch into a diatribe about the abuse of the electronic tool to any person who seemed even remotely interested.

But why am I telling you this? Well because the song I am presenting to you today proves me totally and completely wrong. Polica (or specifically vocalist Channy Leaneagh) takes auto-tune and makes it interesting, cool, artistic,and exciting – both in the studio and in her live performances. The result is a spacey electronica-pop that’s somehow totally weird and extremely catchy at the same time – and I love it. While it seems as though “Lay Your Cards Out” may be more of the breakout track from 2011’s Give You The Ghost, my personal favorite is “Dark Star.”  Despite being electro-pop, this song almost has this sort of funk quality to it (not funky, funk, like the style of music).  Because of that I feel like the style of vocals almost takes you by surprise when you first hear it, but once you get over the initial shock you realize this is just one damn catchy tune.

Intrigued? Check out more tracks from the band on their Soundcloud OR if you live in the LA area, seethem at the Echoplex on August 21 – tickets here.