More Long Players from FrankMusik and Pierre Lewis, Singles from Ivy Levan and Killian Wells featuring Kristinia DeBarge

This post starts off with new long players, somewhat ironically from two favourites of mine, who both happen to be 27 year old British singers! 🙂

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FRANKMUSIK  Between

Between is the result of the journey experienced by singer/songwriter/producer/everything-guy FrankMusik (Vincent Frank) when he found himself without a record label deal and without a fiancée.  We all experience ‘between’ times in our lives, and Vince’s songs document the aftermath of his situation.  This ultimately led him back home to England, writing some of his best (and most pungent) songs ever, releasing the album independently, and coming back to America for a club tour that is ending up being quite the road trip.  Upon release, Between immediately climbed into the Top 10 Electronics Albums chart on iTunes in most major countries!

Fans like me of his Far From Over free download EP released this past Spring will find that record’s best songs included – “Map” , “Captain”, and “Thank You” (as a hidden track).  They have all been reworked a bit, as has preceding single “Fast As I Can”, which sounds as if it’s been re-recorded.  By doing this, FrankMusik is simply upping his game, making these great songs sound even better to fit in with the tightly-produced and complex sounds of the other songs in Between.  Watch the behind-the-scenes video for current single “Chasing Shadows”:

But over to some of the new songs.  “Cake” is even more frenetic sounding (if that was possible) than the fierce “Captain”, and its many sound effects dazzle.  “Life (Is My Revenge)” is almost like FrankMusik’s new adage; there seems to be very little in the way to stop him and his music, and his fans are a huge part of the current road trip.  The lyrics are particularly biting but very juicy, and the result is exhilarating.  He brings down the pace with a beautiful duet with New York singer Cara Salimando, “How Do We Know” (she’s the gal in his video cover of M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls”), and a ballad of much needed fortitude, “Stronger”.  One of the best new songs is “Did Love”, which swings like we haven’t heard FrankMusik before, reminding me sometimes of Mika’s often brightly coloured songs, and featuring another gem of a vocal.

Between is a highly personal statement from FrankMusik that pulls you in and continues to make you wonder where he’s headed next.  As hinted at by Far From Over, it truly delivers and is one of the very best albums of 2013.

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PIERRE LEWIS  Consciousness

As readers of this blog know, I’ve been following the music of singer Pierre Lewis since I first stumbled upon the beautiful ballad “Broken” four years ago.  Since then he has released some consistently good R&B-flavoured pop songs.  So now a full length album Consciousness has arrived.  And if you listened to the preview of songs from it in recent weeks, you are not only going to be surprised, but mighty pleased too.

What I thought might be a ballad-heavy album – and yes there are ballads – turns out to be an extremely versatile and well-produced record that could easily hold a candle next to the latest by Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke.  And though I’ve mentioned both singers a few times in these pages of late, when I make those comparisons, I don’t make them lightly.  

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The opener “Selfish Little Girl” isn’t at all what I thought it was after a preview on Soundcloud (below), it is a melodic but cutting swing at a gal who just won’t grow up.  It’s followed by some genuinely bright pop in the form of a duet with Pierre’s protegé, Hungarian singer Szilvia (about whom you’ve also read in these pages), in what should eventually be a single from the album, “City Lights”, and the vocals are a complimentary force together.  “Evolution” takes on strutting R&B stylistics that remind me of Rod Stewart in his heyday, with a pretty explicit scenario rounding out one of the best songs on the record.  I wrote about “Empty” a while back, a pensive and forlorn soft song.  The two best ballads?  “Lay Your Heart” followed immediately by “Always”.  They are simply swoon-worthy.

Consciousness may seem on the surface to be an understated effort by a singer known for his smooth style and dazzling voice, particularly when it reaches those high notes.  Once you’re inside, its best songs will not let you go and the ballads will entice you.  Given time to unleash this quiet tiger of a record, I think Pierre Lewis has a winner and it should spread well beyond his already significant fan base.

IVY LEVAN “Hot Damn”

Nebraska-born, L.A. based Ivy Levan is causing quite a stir out of the box with her EP The Dame, and its initial single and video “Hot Damn”.  Her style is almost a conscious flip side of what we’ve heard over the last several years from British singers Amy Winehouse, Adele, and Florence Welch.  This is energetic, powerful pop from a new voice that can belt it out with the rest of them.  Plus Ivy has a unique visual appeal in the video for “Hot Damn”, which criss-crosses Marilyn Monroe and Madonna with someone like Geena Davis.  It makes for grand entertainment aurally and visually, and her style is highly contemporary yet very retro all the same.  If Cherrytree Records needs a small tip – put Ivy Levan on the same club bill as new fave Willy Moon and there will be a K.O. in the waiting.  

KILLIAN WELLS featuring KRISTINIA DeBARGE “Remix My Love”

Moving through different variations of dance pop is nothing new for L.A. singer/songwriter/producer/director Killian Wells, as he follows up songs as diverse as “Psycho” (from last year’s This Beat Is…Poptronik comp) and the boundary-shaker “STRFKR” with “Remix My Love”.  It’s as sunny and shiny as the brightest L.A. summer day, and he brings pal Kristinia DeBarge (she of 2009 smash “Goodbye”) into the fold for a duet that is as natural as it is fun.  The video, also directed by Killian, just shows the pair having a blast with colourful clothing and scenery changes.  What I like best about the song is that it doesn’t get too sugary sweet and stays in seamless pure pop mode.  Remixes abound on the single, available on iTunes, including a bouncy orangeFUZZZ Ibiza mix that clubs will adore.

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  1. […] talented FrankMusik to be included – even more special when it’s my favourite from his Between album, “Map”, which got to #1 on my […]


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