Winter Popervescence #1 – The Return of Tyler Hilton, plus Jon McLaughlin & Sara Bareilles, Le Kid, Danny Fernandes & friends, Armin Van Buuren, and JMSN

Well you had to have seen it coming.  We’re technically not even a month into Winter, so our seasonal Popervescence returns with a number of single platter delights.

Tyler Hilton “Loaded Gun”

I put “The Return of Tyler Hilton” in the heading for the blog with tongue a bit in cheek.  For Tyler has never really left the music scene at all, it just seems like a long while since the L.A. based singer/songwriter released a more electric kind of pop/rock record.  

We’ve been treated to acoustic EP’s, fine and dandy, a spot-on rendition of John Waite’s “Missing You” from one of the One Tree Hill soundtracks (Tyler, of course, is also Chris Keller on OTH), and a few singles, including a Christmas song.  Nothing has quite captured my attention in the same way as his 2004 album The Tracks Of Tyler Hilton, which generated must-play tunes for me in the forms of “When It Comes”, “Rollin’ Home”, and my favourite, the whimsical “The Letter Song”.  

So it’s great that Tyler’s first single from his upcoming album Forget The Storm is “Loaded Gun”, because it smokes from the first lick of that crackling guitar.  So those of us trapped in a warm-ish kind of winter can transfer our thoughts to driving down the California coast and headed to a bar for a good ol’ rockin’ time.  The song was co-written with Deana Carter whom Country music buffs will know for massive hits like “Strawberry Wine”.  Absolutely no surprise – if you’ve heard Tyler’s other songs there is always a heavy Country influence running through them.  

But “Loaded Gun” has that stadium rock potential that makes you think more of John Mellencamp than Johnny Cash.  Be sure to download “Loaded Gun” for free right here.

Jon McLaughlin featuring Sara Bareilles

“Summer Is Over”

If you’re heard Jon’s (now unavailable) recent album Forever If Ever, then you already know “Summer Is Over”.  But now that Jon has signed a new record deal with Razor & Tie and has another album coming in May called Promising Promises (named after my favourite song from Forever too, currently on my personal chart 🙂 ), he’s had the chance to rerecord the song as a duet with noneother than Sara Bareilles, most noted of course for “Love Song” and “King Of Anything”.  Their voices are a natural fit together, and having two voices on the record reinforces the feeling of longing and fond memories so very well conveyed by the song.   Listen for it on the radio and buy it on iTunes.

Le Kid “Human Behaviour”

Oh Swedish pop of the 2010’s how I adore thee.  Taking its cue from the best years of Swedish pop (aka the early 90s) and one Madonna Ciccone,  female vocal duo Le Kid tantalizes us with the sprite pop sounds of “Human Behaviour”.  As much as I’ve raved about the harder hitting recent electronic songs by Eric Saade and Agnes (producers/songwriters Felix Persson and Märta Grauers wrote Agnes’ smash “Release Me”, while third partner Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad has written for Mr. Saade), this is music that audiences would associate more with Robyn.  And like other music from Sweden lately, it has enormous international potential – with a few remixes it can find its way into worldwide clubland too.  Listen to “Human Behaviour” below and don’t say you aren’t doing some kind of little happy dance afterwards.  Listen to it by clicking on the link below.

Danny Fernandes featuring Josh Ramsay and Belly

“Hit Me Up”

26 year old Canadian singer Danny Fernandes first came to my attention back in 2007 with his first singles such as “Curious” (featuring Juelz Santana) which got to #13 on my personal chart.  Since then he’s had some significant domestic success with his gritty blend of pop and rap in songs like “Fantasy”, “Private Dancer” (also featuring rapper Belly), and “Automatic”.  With his recent album Automatic Luv we find what is sure to be his biggest hit to date, “Hit Me Up”, which has grabbed my attention whenever I’ve heard it on the radio, probably because it’s more electronic and slams harder than his past records.  While the song more than holds its own, it’s abetted to the max with the guest appearance of Marianas Trench singer Josh Ramsay in the chorus.  Watch the video above – you’ll have to get past the so-so storyline and the strange editing near the end which makes it seem like there was much, much more to the video than made the final cut.  Focus on the song – it’s a foot-stomper 🙂

Armin van Buuren featuring Adam Young, “Youtopia”

Dutch DJ/producer Armin van Buuren always has a few gems up his sleeve.  I came upon this one quite by accident but I’m glad I did.  Featuring none other than Mr. Owl City (“Fireflies”) himself, Adam Young, on vocals, the video above beautifully captures the wistful and emotional quality of this song, which is clearly about permanently lost love.  “Youtopia” rings true, tugging at your heart while making you sway.

JMSN, “Something”

Lastly I leave you with a preview of my next blog, which will be about the new album by JMSN called  †Priscilla†,  released on iTunes earlier in the week.  Its release was accompanied by a third single, “Something”, which follows previous singles and videos for “Hotel” and “Alone”.  

The singer formerly known as Christian TV is stretching boundaries big time with his new identity as JMSN.  “Something” is highly personal, full of atmosphere (particularly with exquisite percussion and drums) which reels you in, only to find that you’re not exactly sure of where you are and how you’ll feel when you’re done.  So yes it’s a head-scratcher but JMSN’s excellent high register vocals stay in your head, giving this song a much longer lasting quality than other songs. 

To seal the deal, watch the video above.  You may only want to watch it once, given some imagery that will make you squirm right from the first frame.  But I commented in an earlier blog about how much the previous videos seemed very similar to visuals from the mind of someone like David Lynch, the creator of “Twin Peaks” among other weird and wonderful forms of entertainment.  So you may get the creeps, but it makes you think.  Now if I’ve scared you away from the video, then take a listen to the song below.  More to come…

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  1. […] included “Something” in my most recent Winter Popervescence post and I think it’s the best song within.  JMSN’s high register sings […]

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