This Week in Music: Urban Cone’s “Weekends”

It’s only Tuesday and Urban Cone’s already got us thinking about the weekend.

The band released a new track off their upcoming album Polaroid Memories called “Weekends,” and it’s got a very cheery, upbeat chill vibe.

It’s the kind of song you want to burst out the door to on a Saturday morning as you jump on your bike with your friends riding alongside you.

The song’s fuzzy synth and happy guitar rifts are enough to put you in a good mood. “Can you feel it?” they sing. “I can feel it.”

There is a slightly melancholy part of the song right before the chorus, which is my favorite part, probably because I’m used to Urban Cone’s melancholy lyrics.

Before the chorus they sing, “Do you remember, we used to build castles?” in a very reminiscent voice. “I used to feel it. You used to feel it.” They continue as the beat slows down and the guitar begins to strum lightly.

Oh, the Polaroid memories. (see what I did there?)

In any case, the song is definitely more pop sounding than their other stuff, and I can’t say I’m in love with it or anything. It’s alright, but I think I liked “Sadness Disease” a lot better than I enjoyed “Weekends.”

Listen to “Weekends” below and pre-order Polaroid Memories here.

This Week in Music: Selena Gomez’s Leaked “Love Will Remember”

What’s life without a little bit of leaked music, eh?

love will remember

Yesterday, Selena Gomez’s song “Love Will Remember”, which will be released on the Stars Dance album on July 23rd, got leaked.

She doesn’t seem that upset about it either. She embraced it, posting a video to her YouTube sending fans to the song via Soundcloud link.

Yay?

The big hype about this song is the fact that the intro features a voicemail. Said voicemail might be a real voicemail from her ex Justin Bieber.

Well.

I will admit that it does sound like Bieber. And its a pretty sweet message.

Is it wrong that this little detail reminded me of that article I read on Hollyscoop about Justin Bieber (aka Bitter Bieber, haha) banning all Selena Gomez songs from his photoshoot?

jelena

Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber (Jelena)

I bet this song is at the very top of his banned list now!!

Selena Gomez admitted to InStyle that the song is about Bieber. “That’s the most personal track on the record, for sure. I think it’s a sweet way of releasing it. It’s not an aggressive approach to what people are probably expecting,” she said.

“Love Will Remember” is a ballady type song. It’s not too slow, but the tempo is light enough to evoke more of an appreciation for the lyrics.

I think the lyrics are the best part of this song. Writers Antonina Armato, Desmond Child, David Jost and T. James did a mighty fine job of working with Selena to create such profound lyrics.

My favorite lyrics from the song are the first verse and the bridge. I especially like the part that goes:

Now’s all we got,
And time can’t be bought,
I know it inside my heart
Forever will forever be ours…

I also really like the bridge where Selena Gomez sings, “Somewhere in forever we’ll dance again.”

So romantic! Brings a tear to my eye!

I think the underlying “Oh”‘s in the chorus are a nice touch as well.

I’m not going to lie, I didn’t really like the song too much when I heard it the first time. It took three listens to really get into it.

Can’t wait to hear the rest of the album later this month!

Marina and the Diamonds Lonely Hearts Club Tour NYC

electra heart

Last night I went with my best friend to see Marina and the Diamonds’ last stop on the Lonely Hearts Club tour.

It was fantastic!

The concert was held at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park, NYC. The doors didn’t open until 6pm, but by 5pm the line had already stretched halfway along 5th Ave.

marina ticket

Almost every girl I saw had Marina’s signature heart painted on their cheek. I even saw a few guys with it as well!

Charli_XCX

At around 7:30pm, Charli XCX opened the show. Charli XCX (born Charlotte Aitchison) is a 20 year old indie electro synth pop artist from Hertfordshire, England. Some of you may recognize her name from the Icona Pop song she’s featured on, “I Love It,” which was the opening theme song for Snookie & JWoww. Her album True Romance was released in April 2013.

 

She sang “I Love It” along with “Stay Away”, “Nuclear Seasons”, and a few others.

I’m not really a fan of Charli XCX, so I really wasn’t expecting to enjoy her performance that much. If you ever decide to go see her in concert, prepare yourself for a lot of hair flipping and hip twirling. That’s pretty much all she’ll do on stage. Her voice didn’t really carry well in the park, so at times it sounded like she was mumbling. I love her British accent though!

Camera

After Charli XCX left the stage, the crew began setting up for Marina. I got really excited when they brought out a male mannequin wearing a light blue suit. I kept telling my friend how anxious I was to find out what Marina was going to do with that mannequin!

Marina came out around 8:30pm, the lights on the stage flashing wildly as the electro pop beat began to pick up. She strolled onto the stage wearing a pink dress and a white wedding veil. In her hand she held a bouquet of flowers.

She grabbed the microphone and began to sing “Homewrecker.”

Quite the entrance I’d say.

I’m assuming the mannequin was her “groom” as she spun him around on stage as she sang.

Marina

I absolutely loved it when she would stop to talk to the audience. After “Homewrecker” she told us about her beauty queen fetish. “Loser that I am,” she said, “I’ve made a sash or two.” She then walks over to the clothing rack on stage and puts on a hot pink sash. “This one says ‘Miss Shellfish Beach’.”

Priceless.

She got really emotional about the fact that the Lonely Hearts Club was coming to an end.

After singing one of my favorites, “Power and Control”, she said, “You know the tour is over because my top is breaking.”

While she went to change, the crowd began shouting “TAKE IT OFF! TAKE IT OFF!”

No, guys. This is a PG-13 concert. Not NC-17.

She actually started to cry before sitting down at the piano to sing “Teen Idle.”

She’s really going to miss this tour.

Oddly, as if on cue, as she sang “Feeling super, super, super, suicidal” from “Teen Idle”, the ambulance showed up.

I hope it wasn’t anything serious.

Marina ended the concert with “How to Be a Heartbreaker,” and she brought her mannequin back onto the stage once again, this time in a speedo.

Marina’s opera-like voice came through very well. Coupled with her amazing band, there was never a dull moment with Marina Diamandis.

She also did a great job of owning the personality of Electra Heart, her alter ego.

Since this was the last stop on the Lonely Hearts Club tour, she pretty much gave away all of her stage props, including the bouquet, the veil, and the giant teddy bear.

I’m sure the lucky fan that managed to catch that teddy bear received some dirty looks.

Oh well.

Marina, you Greek-Welsh beauty queen, you can come back to NYC anytime!

PicsArt_1369939915360

 

This Week in Music: Maroon 5’s “Love Somebody” Music Video

love somebodyA week ago, on May 14th, Maroon 5 released the fourth single off of their 2012 album Overexposed. Unfortunately, I only learned of this today.

“Love Somebody” is a song about longing to have a romantic partner.  The beat of the song is very calm, with a soft fluttering guitar rift throughout and a medium paced tempo held by the bass drum.

In the chorus, Adam Levine sings,

“I really wanna love somebody
I really wanna dance the night away
I know we’re only half way there
But you take me all the way, you take me all the way
I really wanna touch somebody
I think about you every single day
I know we’re only half way there
But you take me all the way, you take me all the way.”

It’s all very sweet and romantic.

The lyrics really capture what it feels like to be alone right from the beginning of the song, singing, “I know your insides are feeling so hollow. And it’s a hard pill for you to swallow.”

Hard pill to swallow indeed. Especially when your throat isn’t fully intact!

The video features the band, Adam Levine, and a mystery woman (actress Gemma Palombo), in all white, camouflaging with the white backdrop. As they touch themselves, or as someone touches them, a gray paint covers their body, revealing them little by little.

It’s creepy and sexual at the same time.

How did they come up with this idea? Is it because in the lyrics it says, “I know we’re only half way there but you can take me all the way”? Halfway as in half composed?!

I’ve loved this song ever since first hearing it during the summer of 2012. Never did I ever think the video would be like this.

I even sent the video to my friend this morning, an Adam Levine lover, and she responded:

“The f*** is this sh*t?!”

So I’m not the only one.

All you Adam Levine fangirls, watch out, because you’re gonna wish you were Gemma Palombo being touched by Adam Levine, especially when she pushes him onto that chair.

Jesus.

One thing I don’t really understand about the video is the fact that towards the end, Adam Levine and Gemma Palombo both work to erase the paint on her so she disappears.

Why would he want to erase her if he’s singing that he wants to love somebody?!

Perhaps its because “If [he] fall[s] for [her he’ll] never recover” and “never be the same”?

Or maybe he realizes that she doesn’t want to “stay, stay with [him] tonight”…

Either way, enjoy the video. Don’t let it creep you out too much.

This Week in Music: Mike Tompkins’ “Shake the Ground”

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 was a big day for Mike Tompkins.

Why?Shake the Ground

The genius of a musician released his first original single.

ORIGINAL.

NOT A COVER.

For those of you who have yet to meet the Canadian YouTube phenom, I’ll show you what this guy is about:

Yeah. His voice is his instrument. Literally.

He does covers like this regularly. Most of the songs he remixes with his mouth are of the pop genre, including Demi Lovato, Rihanna, and even Owl City.

You can imagine how excited his fans were when they learned of his original single.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to song beats, since he can rely on his own instrumentation. So would he choose a ballad or something fast paced? Heavy base or loud snare? Vocals or instrumental?

I was itching to know. So I went onto Spotify and listened.

And I loved it.

At first I was kind of disappointed. I stared at my computer thinking, no, Mike Tompkins can do way more than just a chorus of “Oh”s and a steady snare.

And then the beat dropped.

He went electronic on us.

Holy crap, that was unexpected!

“Shake the Ground” is a song about what it feels like to be in the party scene, or even on stage, where the flashing lights transform you.

He sings, “Somehow I feel born again tonight.” The feeling of bursting out of your own skin to show the world who you really are shines through in the lyrics of this song.

This song should definitely be on your next party playlist.

“Shake the Ground” probably describes exactly how Mike Tompkins felt when he performed his original song at Playlist Live.

The lyric video features scenes from his performance at Playlist 2013. No word of an official video yet.

Have a listen here. I dare you to challenge his Skrillex-like capabilities!

This Week in Music: Jonas Brother’s “Pom Poms” and Matthew Koma’s “One Night”

The first week of April 2013 has brought to us the music of the Jonas Brothers and Matthew Koma.

pom poms and one night

Truth is, I miss the Jonas Brothers. Back in 2007 I was one of those thirteen year old girls who fangirled about anything and everything Jonas. But then they died out. And now they’re trying to come back. I worry that this comeback will be unsuccessful.

Matthew Koma is slowly becoming one of my favorites. I loved his voice in Zedd’s “Spectrum” and his song “Parachute” is amazing. I was really happy to find out he was releasing a new track this week.

And now for the assessment.

JoBros!! What happened?! I used to love these guys so much, with their heartfelt lyrics, sexy vocals and hair raising guitar rifts. “Pom Poms” lacks all three of these qualities!


The video, on the other hand, was quite entertaining. I loved the choreography (this is the first Jonas Brothers video with dancers I believe). Those female dancers have some serious skills! The kid in the milkshake scene was humorous. I also thought the choir was very interesting to see popping up every now and then. I’m kind of confused though, as to why that band player at the end does the bridge, hitting his hat smack down on the grassy field as a result. Weird.

There might be hope for these guys. Might.

And, Nick, please, please let your sexy curls grow back. You’re really starting to creep me out with that shorter cut you’ve been sporting around. I used to drool over Nick’s curls, hoping that one day I’d marry him and watch them turn gray. Sigh. Those days are long gone.

Matthew Koma does some interesting things with the lyrics for “One Night.” I love how he sings the chorus. He makes the song so fun with his cool vibrato and calm vocals. The play on words in the line “In a white Mercedes that bends me to the grave” is just brilliant. The bubble gum metaphor is also genius. I can’t stop myself from singing along when it goes “Chew my love under your tongue like it’s your bubblegum. Just spit me out when it becomes more than fun.”

The music video was a bit odd though. I wish there were better visuals of the carnival, because the bell sounds in the intro of the song remind me of carnival scenes. The part where Matthew Koma touches that guy’s mustache was hilarious. Those crazy teens with the ginormous bubble and the firework were just awkward.

 

Maybe I’m being a bit to harsh, but I think “One Night” won me over. I’m sorry Jonas Bros, but I will not be putting my pom poms down for you guys. Get it together JoBros!

Album Review: Matthew Henry’s ‘To the Haunting Northern Winds’

ImageMy best friend told me a couple of weeks ago about one of her classmates who has an album. I clicked the link to this digital album immediately after she sent it to me over Facebook, and I was not too disappointed. Matthew Henry’s ‘To the Haunting Northern Winds’ is not the kind of album I’m used to listening to, but some of these tracks are actually quite good.

Right off the back I realized that 20 year old Matthew Henry sounds a lot like Andrew Belle. Any mention of Andrew Belle gets me excited, so those of you familiar with his music might like this album a lot. The genre of ‘To the Haunting Northern Winds’ is mostly folk, with a lot of guitar and banjo chords throughout. Even though some of the songs aren’t as interesting as others, I really love the lyrics for each one. I must say, Mr. Henry, that you write some of the most beautiful verses I have ever read.

Matthew Henry’s got the entire package: the slow, somber voice, the deep lyrics, and the plucking skills that put that banjo and guitar to some serious use!

“Old Hickory”, “Books”, “April and May”, “A Coastal Reminder”, “North Lot Blues” and “Of Grass and Soul” are very heavy on the banjo, making them sound very folk and country-like. The way he strums the banjo in these tracks are sure to get your feet tapping!

“Under the River” is an interesting track. It features the constant beat of a piano chord throughout the song, adding to the haunting lyrics. The drums come in as he sings,

There’s never a better day to remember
Than the minute you first fell in love
The tracks grew
The train was so lovely.

At this point there is a harmony between the one piano pulsing chord and a new melody that sounds like a “lovely” train is indeed approaching. The lyrics in this song are full of imagery, making it all the more haunting.

“Down the Barrel” is unlike most of the other tracks on this album. It’s very slow in the intro, and focuses more on the guitar, giving it a ballad quality.

My favorite two songs on this album are “Juniper” and “South Farm Road”. The lyrics in these two songs are just perfection. The best part of “Juniper” is where he sings,

“Can I have the courage to do what I want to do? Will the junipers remember who I am? Sat down by a river, it gave me everything I need. Can I dance with the white pines in the white light?
Winters a lonely saint.”

The melancholy banjo in this song compliment the lyrics so well.

From “South Road Farm” I really like the part that goes,

“Rusted eyes hold together the oak and caving boards. Turning time into nothing more than fear for the uninformed. Face the door, face the door, there’s a whole life beyond this sunken porch.”

The light piano in “South Road Farm” is so beautiful. I think this song should play during the end credits of an old Western film.

Actually, this whole album could score a Western!

Listen to the full album here: http://matthewhenry.bandcamp.com/