Fan Art Fridays: Beyoncé

beyonce lemonade fan art

The hype about Beyoncé’s Lemonade is still going strong, so today’s Fan Art Fridays is a piece of fan art I found on Instagram inspired by the visual album that was released on HBO over the weekend.

Created by beavisualartist, the art depicts Queen Bey in a yellow dress with a bat in hand from the scenes in the visual album where she’s smashing a car on the street with a bat.

That must have been fun to film.

The words “Hot Sauce” on the fan art I assume are a reference to the lyrics in her song “Formation.” Well now we’ve got a whole new album to make memes out of.

I absolutely love how lovely the dress was drawn. Beyoncé looks gorgeous in yellow, and beavisualartist found the perfect shade of yellow to color it!

Here are some in-depth articles on Lemonade. You can view the original fan art here and watch the trailer for the visual album below.

Fan Art Fridays: Tove Lo

tove lo cartoon caricature

I was listening to Coldplay’s new album A Head Full of Dreams on Spotify today and I got really excited when I saw that Tove Lo is featured on their song “Fun.” She brings an interesting vibe to the album with her alt-pop vocals and multi-dimensional personality.

Her voice blends very well on the ballady track as a backup vocal to Chris Martin. “Fun” is one of my favorites on the album, along with “Army of One” and “Adventure Of A Lifetime.”

The song inspired me to look around for some cool fan art of Tove Lo, and I came across this cartoon portrait by Lily-the-Animator on Deviant Art. You gotta love her somber-looking, droopy, googly blue eyes!

View the original fan art here and check out “Fun” for yourself on Spotify!

 

Fan Art Fridays: Taylor Swift “Shake It Off” GIF

taylor swift fan art

As many of you may have already heard, Taylor Swift went cray this week when she found out Ryan Adams is covering 1989.

I’m pretty damn sure she was doing exactly what the GIF is playing right now.

View the original fan art on Tumblr.

Fan Art Fridays: Coldplay

coldplay fan art

I just found out yesterday that Coldplay will be releasing their new album A Head Full of Dreams by the end of 2015!

According to Contact Music, the album is going to be way less somber than Ghost StoriesThe release date still has yet to be confirmed, but we do know that the songs on the album will have a more positive, upbeat vibe.

I’m really excited to hear A Head Full of Dreams. I wasn’t too pleased with Ghost Stories, so I’m hoping that they’ve gone back to writing songs like “Viva La Vida,” and “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart.”

To celebrate the good news, I decided to showcase this drawing of the band with the word “VIVA” in the backdrop.

View the original here.

Fan Art Fridays: The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye)

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Why is The Weeknd’s hair always 50 Shades of Cray?

I was just catching up on some music news when I found out that he’s been hiding details about an album release. Looks like someone at iTunes New Zealand couldn’t keep a secret

So apparently we can expect a new album from The Weeknd called Beauty Behind the Madness on August 28th, but that hasn’t officially been confirmed.

Please don’t get me all excited for nothing.

This piece of fan art was found on Twitter. What will it take for him to go back to the hairstyle featured on bust number one in row two?

View the original here.

Gallery Mondays: Lady Gaga’s ‘ARTPOP’ Pop Up Gallery NYC

gaga popup gallery edit

November 2013 was a pretty exciting month in NYC because Lady Gaga had decided to have an ARTPOP Pop Up Gallery in the Meatpacking District for three days to celebrate the release of her then upcoming album.

I visited the gallery along with a coworker, and we had such a good time taking pictures in the photo booth and playing the new Just Dance featuring “Applause” (I was terrible at it!).

The gallery was filled with Koons balls,  photographs from the album, walls covered in lyrics, and some of Lady Gaga’s finest music video costumes.

I love the “Hands Bra.” It’s my second fave costume in the ARTPOP music video (first is the seashells!). I’d never dare wear it myself, though.

Read more about the ARTPOP Pop Up Gallery here.

2014’s Best in Music

2014 music

2014 was another amazing year for music. So many new artists came onto the scene and killed it! This year’s list includes not only albums, but EPs and official motion picture soundtracks as well. And, of course, Taylor Swift’s 1989 would be on this list under the song “Wildest Dreams,” but she pulled her music from Spotify and I don’t want any holes in the playlist.

In no particular order, here are my 25 picks for the best songs, albums, and artists of 2014:

1. “I Should’ve Guessed” ft. Speak, RAC, Strangers Part II: There’s just something about that light pizzicato in the chorus. It gets me every time.


2. “Speeding,” LIGHTS, Little Machines: LIGHTS, we don’t want you to stay still. Keep speeding, girl.


3. “Mind Over Matter,” Young the Giant, Mind Over Matter: Don’t shake the world too hard now, Sameer Gadhia.


4. “Are You What You Wanna Be?,” Foster the People, Supermodel: Questions to ask yourself in the new year…

5. “I Want It All,” Karmin, Pulses: Amy and Nick need to go elope already.

6. “I Need You,” M83, Divergent: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: So many amazing songs on this soundtrack, and M83 did fantastic job with this ballad.

 

7. “Freakin’ Me Out,” The Ready Set, The Bad & The Better: The song itself won’t freak you out. I promise.


8. “Feelings,” Maroon 5, V: I’ve got some feelings about Adam Levine’s falsetto…


9. “Dust Clears” ft. Noonie Bao, Clean Bandit, New Eyes: This song was my alarm tone all summer. Noonie Bao adds some serious sass to this tune, and I just can’t get enough!


10. “Runaway,” Ed Sheeran, x: Just don’t run away without releasing and ÷, Teddy.

11. “Happy Little Pill,” Troye Sivan, Happy Little Pill: Mr. Sivan, you’ve done your fans proud, YouTube and beyond.

12. “Stay With Us,” Seoul, Magestic Casual 2: As long as Majestic Casual releases another mix album, I’ll stay. Keeping a close eye on Seoul as well!


13. “Run-Time,” Imogen Heap, Sparks: Imogen Heap can do no wrong.


14. “Together” ft. Gwen Stefani, Calvin Harris, Motion: Honesty time. Every time the bridge comes around I fall into a state of utter bliss and whisper, One day…”.


15. “Simple and Sweet,” Jon Bellion, The Definition: Jon Bellion was a very pleasant surprise this year. He’s got a very nice balance between philosophical and impulsive creativity on this album.


16. “Roses,” Angus & Julia Stone, Angus & Julia Stone: Hearing “Roses” for the first time made my heart skip a beat. Indietronica! YES, PLEASE.


17. “This is Not a Game,” The Chemical Brothers ft. Miguel, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I OST: It most definitely is not a game, guys. Lorde, this soundtrack is sheer brilliance.


18. “Little Bit More” – Bodhi Remix, Bo Saris, Bondax & Friends – The Mix Album: Can I just take a moment to thank Bondax and their friends for this stellar mix album?


19. “Young Love,” Jesse McCartney, In Technicolor: Jesse McCartney brought some lovely color to the music scene this year.

20. “Teacher,” Nick Jonas, Nick Jonas: My Jonas fever will never die for this one…

21. “Espoir,” Darius, Romance: “Espoir” is French for “hopeless.” Darius might be hopelessly in love, but I have high hopes for his music.

22. “Why” ft. Nate Salman, Le Sins, Michael: “Wanna go there?” Chaz Bundick and Nate Salman take you there on this track. Still trying to figure out who Michael is though…


23. “Vanilla Chocolat” ft. Connect-R, Alexandra Stan, Unlocked: This Romanian beauty took all the romance languages she could find and used them to connect with her fans on this album. All the vanilla chocolates for you, my darling…


24. “Shot Me Down” ft. Skylar Grey, David Guetta, Listen: David Guetta demanded that we listen, and listen we did. And Skylar Grey, don’t let ’em shoot you down.

25. “Two Bodies” ft. Emma Louise, Flight Facilities, Down to Earth: Emma Louise, your voice is precious. Flight Facilities, your rhythms capture the essence of life’s absurd conundrums. And Rod Sterling, thank you for inspiring the glorious intro portion of “Two Bodies.”

 

Happy New Year, everyone!

Album Review: Le Sins ‘Michael’

le sins michael
Chaz Bundick of Toro y Moi decided to put out a new album, Michael, for his side project called Le Sins.

I can’t say I’m completely disappointed with this new sound, but I am no where near satisfied. Nonetheless, there are a few tracks I enjoy from Michael, so much so that they are saved on my Spotify profile.

Here is a track by track review of Michael.

1. Talk About: This track opens the album with a very discordant melody. I began to fear instantly that Le Sins really wasn’t up to my taste.

2. Past: The mysterious synth vibe and ominous vocals really take over in this song, bringing back memories of spooky Halloween nights.

3. Toy: This song features an interesting flute melody. I’m really not used to Chaz Bundick’s use of such instrumentation but I can live with this.

4. Why feat. Nate Salaman: Here is where I started to have faith that this album might not be so bad. “Why” is my fave track on this album. It’s closest to his old style of music. I love how Nate Salman sings “Why do you wanna go there?/ Tell me you need me here.”

5. Bother: I find this track quite funny because the song has an annoying ring to it. I sure won’t bother listening to this one again.

6. Minato: I’m wondering if the title of this song is a  reference to city of Minato in Tokyo? The intro features weird screeching sounds. I wasn’t really into this one.

7. Bellow: This song is also reminiscent of his old sound. It features autotuned vocals, but I’m not too sure if they are Chaz’s…

8. Sticky: A cool set of  synth horns really make this track stand out. The sudden beat change at around 2:30 is worth noting as well.

9. Call: This track baffles me. It’s literally a female voice saying “Oh” repeatedly from start to end. The song has a bit of a party vibe throughout.

10. Drop: The spirit of Halloween comes back to life with this song’s ominous synth chords and fast paced percussion.

11. Do right: The album ends with a very slow chilled vibe. This song’s piano melody is prevalent. He does a sort of discordant arrangement with the piano chords that suits his style well.

Overall, I think Le Sins is an interesting side project for Chaz Bundick. I’m curious to know whether he will ever go back to making music as Toro y Moi. I loved Anything in Return and Michael was a bit of a stray from that old sound I fell in love with when I first started listening to Toro y Moi.

And I’m still left with one burning question: who the hell is Michael?

Taylor Swift Pulls Music from Spotify

Looks like some of us Spotify users will never get to hear 1989.

Taylor Swift made the decision to boycott Spotify, pulling every single song from her artist profile except Hunger Games track “Safe and Sound.”

Spotify issued a statement after the singer’s harsh move, saying,

We hope she’ll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone. We believe fans should be able to listen to music wherever and whenever they want, and that artists have an absolute right to be paid for their work and protected from piracy. That’s why we pay nearly 70% of our revenue back to the music community.

PS – Taylor, we were both young when we first saw you, but now there’s more than 40 million of us who want you to stay, stay, stay. It’s a love story, baby, just say, Yes.

Too bad we’ll never hear the song that lyric is from.

Taylor Swift's Spotify

According to TIME, “Artists earn on average less than one cent per play, between $0.006 and $0.0084 to be exact.” It’s no wonder Swift took her music off the app.

As an avid Spotify user, I demand that artists be paid more per play. Spotify has many advertisers and premium users, and they should be able to pay artists their fare share.

As Swift said,

Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is. I hope they don’t underestimate themselves or undervalue their art.

I hope Spotify will once again host Swift’s rare music gems sometime in the near future.

This Week in Music: Hilary Duff is Back and “Chasing the Sun”

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If it’s really been seven years then I’m really getting old!

After taking the longest break ever from the music industry, Hilary Duff is back with a new song and music video called “Chasing the Sun.”

Seven years brings us to a overworked and unimpressed Hilary Duff as she lugs over to her cubicle at work. Her hair is up in a bun, rimmed-nerd glasses are on, and she wears a cute black and white polka dot blouse.

Seems like the corporate world isn’t for our little Lizzie McGuire babe though, because she longs to be out at the beach for the day “chasing the sun.”

The song, written by Colbie Caillat, has a very old-school chilled vibe with heavy acoustics and light percussion.

“Love the life I live, and I will live the life I love, open up my eyes and I will take whatever comes,” she sings in the bridge as her hair flies around her face on the beach.

I liked Matthew Rolston’s video a lot more than I liked the song itself. The concept was very well thought out from beginning to end.

My favorite parts were the “office coffee cocktail” and the “conference splish-splash.” Too funnny!

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Maybe it’s because I’m still enamored with her more upbeat and mature 2007 album Dignity, but I don’t think all the hype was really worth it.

I hope she blends her 2007 sound with tracks like this one on her upcoming album.

Live vicariously this summer through Hilary Duff in the video below!