Fan Art Fridays: Chloe x Halle

chloe  x halle bailey fan art

Okay, I know I’m a little late with this, but my ears just got around to finishing Chloe x Halle’s new album, which was very well orchestrated, IMO.

Titled The Kids Are Alright, the album features a great mix of R&B, pop, and trap. It’s been a while since I’ve thoroughly enjoyed an entire album that’s rooted heavily in R&B, so I give these sisters kudos.

I’m not even going to lie, there were times I zoned out at work while listening to some of these tracks and thought I was listening to Beyoncé. It makes sense, as Beyoncé was an influence for the album and the girls are signed to her label Parkwood Entertainment.

Here are my fave tracks from The Kids Are Alright:

“Down” – I swear this was in an episode of grown-ish (which both Chloe x Halle star in and are amazing on, btw) and I went nuts trying to find this song online but couldn’t because it wasn’t officially released yet. SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME THAT THIS IS THE SONG. I may never know.

 “Happy Without Me” – I love the way the girls voices sound so comforting and sisterly together as they sing the word “me.” I think it really ties up the sad nature of the situation described in the song and makes the ending seem optimistic, as it should.

“Galaxy” – I almost feel kind of bad for this guy they’re sending into the galaxy because of the jungle beat. Like, is this some sort of Jurassic Park galaxy? Will he survive? Do we want him to?

Enjoy this fun fan art I found on Instagram of Chloe x Halle by ghostnovas, inspired by an image of the sisters with their hair tied together. The sisters posted it on their Instagram account in 2016. The cartoon version of Halle Bailey looks super realistic!

Listen to The Kids Are Alright on Spotify.

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2017’s Best in Music

It’s the end of 2017, so I put myself to the arduous task of compiling a list of the year’s best in music again. I was just as  selective this year as I was in 2016, so the list below only contains 15 songs/artists/albums. I’m becoming very good at this.

Anyway, let’s not waste any time. Here are my favorite songs, artists, and albums of 2017!

1. “Feels” ft. Pharell Williams, Katy Perry, Big Sean, Calvin Harris, Funk Wav Bounces Vol.1. You heard Katy, “don’t be afraid.”

2. “Hurt Nobody”, Andrew Belle, Dive Deep. I think this one takes number one in my heart for best love song of 2017 to slow dance to.

3. “Observer” Darius, Utopia. Darius is a genius and Utopia goes to extreme lengths to prove it.

4. “For a Ride”, NOVAA, Lo, Lights. What a fantastic duo. I would so love to see these two work together again in 2018.

5. “Plastic Rose” Maroon 5, Red Pill Blues. Well, if it’s plastic, doesn’t it mean the love will never die?

6. “Saw You In A Dream”, The Japanese House, Saw You In A Dream. This is the best single I’ve ever heard from The Japanese House. So much emotion in those lyrics.

7. “Depths” ft. Animal Feelings, Mammals, Chase Your Bliss. I kept hearing Mammals as a featured artist on a bunch of songs I love. It’s great to see the roles reversed on this EP. Animal Feelings brought good vibes.

8. “High Off Love” Cannons, Night Drive. Cannons is such glamorously smooth chillwave and I can’t get enough.

9. “Human Touch” ft. Maya Vic, KAPPEKOFF, Kappekoff. If you know me well enough, you’ll understand why the intro to this song gets me every time.

10. “Told You So”, Paramore, After Laughter. Paramore made such a fun comeback in 2017! I love Hayley’s new hair too!

11. “Night Time TV” Fenech-Soler, ZILLA. Can you imagine how fun these guys must be in concert? Like, woah, buddy!

12. “Just a Feeling” ft. VERITÉ, Phantoms, Phantoms. This song has followed me to various stores after I heard this album, and I’m not even mad though. VERITÉ’s voice is a vision.

13. “Malibu 1992”, COIN, How Will You Know If You Never Try. So retro, so somber, so good.

14. “Disguise”, Day Wave, The Days We Had. Prom dance anyone? Also, I am proud to say I own this on vinyl!

15. “Plea Rel”, Canon Blue, Lasso Yo. If he’s saying what I think he’s saying in this song this dude must have had a rough year. Welcome back, Canon Blue.

 

Happy New Year’s Eve!

2016’s Best in Music

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My favorite part of the year is here again! 2016 was a great year in music for my indie darlings and popular artists alike. As usual, thanks to Spotify, I was introduced to countless new music making geniuses, causing a great deal of stress while creating this “best of” list.

Nonetheless, I made a decision to only choose 15 songs. I don’t know how I did it, but here it is: 2016’s best songs, artists, and albums!

1. “Dans Un Autre Reve,” Brett, ModeI played this song all summer after I discovered it. Loved the EP, and I’d love to see Brett perform live in 2017!

2. “Instantané,” Paradis, Recto VersoEvery. Single. Heart. String. Every single one is sent afflutter when I hear this gem. This full length album was well waited for.

3. “Always,” HalfNoise, Sudden Feeling. I love how the instrumentals on this albums have a smidge of hopefulness in them, yet the lyrics come across a bit heart-wrenching.

4. “Belong,” Roosevelt, Roosevelt. Another full length album that was well worth waiting for. So happy I got to see Roosevelt perform live this year!

5. “Breaks,” Goldroom, West of the West. Not going to lie, I still want Goldroom to reissue this album with his vocals on all of the tracks.

6. “Baby You’re Bad,” Honne, Warm on a Cold Night. Almost saw them live, but I was in the process of getting settled in my new apartment when they came to NYC. So many great songs on the album, but this one stood out the most.

7. “Onirism,” REFLEX, Lucid Dreams. Such a quirky album. If you’re looking for a good Balearic/House band, look no further.

8. “Coast to Coast,” Satin Jackets (ft. NTEIBINT), Parnorama Pacifico. Satin Jackets blew me away with this album. Those beats hit deep.

9. “All Over You,” LEISURE, LEISURE. The most laid back band with the most laid back album of 2016. Guaranteed.

10. “Public Radio,” TW Walsh, Fruitless Research. I feel like I’ve been transported to the 1970s whenever I listen to this album. Love the distortion on this track specifically.

11. “Knew Better / Forever Boy,” Ariana Grande, Dangerous Woman (Deluxe). This “Dangerous Woman” told ’em like it is.

12. “House on Fire,” Sia, This is Acting. I remember coming down with a cold while listening to this album at work. Played this album on repeat while getting better (thanks Sia!).

13. “Somebody Else,” The 1975, I Like It When You Sleep… So many different emotions on one album. The 1975 is just too many vices not to enjoy.

14. “Go!” M83 (ft. Mai Lan), Junk. I was really sad about this album not having Morgan Kibby on it, and the title didn’t calm me until I heard it in it’s entirety. Loved Mai Lan’s vocals, and I hope she works with M83 again soon.

15. “There’s No Need,” Empire of the Sun, Two Vines. “I think I said goodbye to [2016] tonight…”

Here’s to 2017!

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: The Ready Set’s ‘The Bad & The Better’

The Ready Set is back with some new sounds just in time for summer 2014!

The album, titled The Bad & The Better, was released today, May 27th.

The Bad & The Better is a wonderful concoction of fun, medium tempo pop beats and heartwarming ballads.

The two singles on this album are “Give Me Your Hand (Best Song Ever)” (released back in 2012) and “Higher.”

Fans of The Ready Set may have already heard the big buzz about bonus track “For the Better,” which is a song tribute to Taylor Swift and Kanye West’s feud fueled by the incident that occured at the 2009 MTV VMAs.

Jordan Witzigreuter made it clear that the song is a tribute to the country singer, as he makes countless allusions to her songs and personality.

“So take that 13 luck and find, there’s a 100 waiting in line,” he says, mocking Taylor Swift’s favorite number. For the chorus, he hones the melody of her song “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” as he sings,

Whatever, ever, ever
It’s for the better
Hey, hey whatever, ever, ever
It’s for the better.

“For the Better” even quotes Kanye’s infamous line “Imma let you finish.”

I must say, this is a clever one, Jordan. Was this the inspiration for the album title?

The rest of the album includes fun summer songs “Carry Me Home,” “Luxury,” and bonus track “More Than This.”

The Ready Set plays with some synth in “Are We Happy Now” and bonus track “Terrible Things.” The synth adds to the emotional heaviness of both songs.

The albums ballads include “Don’t You Need Me” and the very heartfelt, tear inducing track titled “Castaway” featuring Jake Miller. “I’ll step back from the doubts overtaking me. They were breaking me,” Jordan sings as the swift violin melody swings back and forth between the lyrics.

Listeners that enjoy beautifully structured lyrics, will find my favorites, “Freakin’ Me Out,” “Bitter and the Sweetness,” and “Bleeding.” Jordan’s soft falsetto mixed into the melody of these three tracks are enough to make you melt faster than an ice cream cone in the summer heat.

And of course, this album would not be complete without one weird song, “Fangz.” I don’t even know how to explain that one.

I think The Ready Set fans will enjoy The Bad & The Better. Jordan Witzigreuter put together an interesting collection of melodies for our enjoyment this summer.

Listen to The Bad & The Better on Spotify.

This Week In Music: Karmin’s “I Want It All” Music Video

I Want it All

Karmin’s Amy and Nick in “I Want It All” music video

#TheSassIsReal!

Couple and pop duo Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan of Karmin are back with a sassy new hit titled “I Want It All,” featuring the jazziest of melodies.

The song features a ear-gasmic crescendo of “da da das” in the intro, which carries throughout the rest of the song as well. The chorus becomes a party when the trumpet melodies come flooding in, mixing perfectly with Amy’s voice.

In the music video, it appears that Amy “want[s] it all,” but there’s a gold plated wall blocking her from taking hold of her desires?

I Want it All 2

Fortunately, the gold wall doesn’t stop Amy, Nick and the supporting dancers. The groove of this song coupled with the old-school jazz themed music video will make you feel like you can have it all, right there on the dance floor, even while dancing on roller skates.

Yes, the video contains roller skate dancing. No, just the dancers, not Amy and Nick, I’m afraid.

I Want It All 3

The most interesting thing to realize about “I Want It All” is the fact that in it, Amy does not rap a single line. This could be a problem for fans who love her female rapper techniques most.

Luckily, the music video might be just what the doctor ordered.

Enjoy!

Album Review: Jesse McCartney’s ‘In Technicolor (Part 1)’

In Technicolor Part 1

After three years of silence in the music industry, Jesse McCartney is back with his new EP In Technicolor (Part 1), out today, December 10, 2013.

For those of you who are a bit puzzled, the answer is yes, Jesse McCartney is the kid that used to look like this:

Early #BeautifulSoul album cover ideas that didn't make the cut. #TBT #Throwback

A post shared by Jesse McCartney (@jessemccartney) on

Except now he’s 26, his hair is dark brown, and his music has more of an R&B feel instead of the pop tunes he sang back in the 2000s.

In Technicolor (Part 1) is a short EP of four songs, totaling 12 minutes.

The EP begins with the introductory 1:41 track “In Technicolor (Part 1).” The first chorus hits home, as McCartney sings,

Get a job, pay the rent,
Rinse, wash, repeat do it again, oh
We all live in a black and white world
But let’s face it, while time’s wasting,
We’re all here with the same motivation,
Trying to find that someone who sees your worth.

This verse sets up the premise for the song, which is the concept of living a life with the main goal of finding someone to be with as it all unfolds. This person makes your dreary, everyday, black and white world turn technicolor.

How beautiful!

“Back Together” and “Tie the Knot” sound very Justin Timberlake, with their funky, upbeat, R&B feel, complete with trumpets and bass guitar melodies.

“Tie the Knot” features some impulsive elope-sounding lyrics. “I’m ready, you’re ready, we’re ready, been ready / Come on girl let’s tie the knot,” he sings excitedly. Is there something you’re not telling us about you and Katie Peterson’s relationship status, Jesse?

The EP concludes on a serious note with “Checkmate,” the only ballad on the album.  “You are gonna lose ’cause you chose to make the moves you make” is the lyric in the chorus that stands out the most.

It’s nice to hear Jesse McCartney’s voice back on the market again. I’m assuming there will be a part 2 to this sometime in the near future?

Please don’t take another three years to release it, Jesse!

Listen to In Technicolor (Part 1) on Spotify.