This is my first “10/10” feature since early February. And fine new music still keeps coming in droves, so writing 10 reviews in slightly more bitable chunks is a good way to help bring attention to these songs and their artists. In “10/10”, I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention. I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs. That does not mean that songs in the “10/10” lists are any less than those featured individually. So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but I wouldn’t otherwise get to write about. One song featured in the last edition of “10/10”, “Prisoner” by Shadowkey and Jordan Jane is currently on my chart, and some of the artists in this edition have also been included in previous “10/10” features.
- KLAAS, “First Girl On The Moon”
Hailing from Cologne, Germany, Klaas is the prolific veteran producer who rose to fame when he remixed the 2008 reboot of the late Guru Josh’s 90’s dance hit “Infinity”. His association with other producers such as Like Mike & Dimitri Vegas, The Bodybangers and others have helped keep him busy and in demand, and he scored a #1 Billboard Dance Club hit a couple of years ago with his redux of Londonbeat’s “I’ve Been Thinking About You”. Like many of his other releases, “First Girl On The Moon” is an original, with a particularly beautiful uncredited female vocal, as well as great lyrics which come courtesy of the pedigree of the esteemed Daniel Volpe. “First Girl On The Moon” is imaginative pop/dance that stands out from the rest.
- SYENCE and BRITT LARI, “don’t you wanna know”
Syence is a California electronic dance production duo who have been honing their craft through releases over the past five years through high profile indie dance labels like Strange Fruits, Lowly Palace, and Seeking Blue. “don’t you wanna know” however is an Armada offering, and despite its American roots it’s got European flavours down pat, especially with its distinct synth hook. Britt Lari is a Peru-born singer and co-writer with the pristine voice that works up the excitement level in this release. “don’t you wanna know” is destined for festival and club play over the next while because it simply doesn’t let up for its three and a half minutes and is befitting for the attention of some great remixers.
Syence plays The Clevelander, Miami South Beach, on Saturday March 25 as part of Miami Music Week
- FRANCESCA LOUISE, “For Michael”
“For Michael” is a compelling and poignant story of tragic loss by British pop/folk singer/songwriter Francesca Louise. After losing a close family friend suddenly three years ago, “For Michael” became an outlet for Francesca on how to deal with that passing. It’s a quiet record that could easily cause you to shed some tears before it’s over, although I’d recommend you check out the video above which has some uplifting moments. The vocal was recorded without any production, just a microphone in a quiet room, which immediately lends the feeling of isolation to the song, and is helped by an acoustic guitar melody. But as you listen to the words, remember this is a shared story and is intended to help others heal too. It’s a beautiful song that deserves attention.
- ANIQO, “Vivre Libre”
“Vivre Libre” is the opening track and the final installment from the new album Birth by Germany’s ANIQO (Anita Goβ). Birth has been several years in the making, and I’ve been happy to write about the songs that I’ve enjoyed along the way that now form parts of the album. “Vivre Libre” is an engaging celebration of life, as is the closing song on the album, “Love Life”. Stylistically, it sometimes reminds me of Florence Welch meets The Cocteau Twins. ANIQO is a chameleon though, and I wouldn’t want to put her in one pop category, though her style overall is often referred to as psychedelic pop. With influences including David Bowie and Nick Drake, and a flair for making inventive, well-made videos (check out “Fear” particularly), all of ANIQO’s music is now on display for you to hear in the 10 songs in the album Birth. There’s something in it for everyone’s pop taste, and that’s how it is being aptly promoted. And what’s next for ANIQO is anyone’s guess!
- LORNE, “Bow Out”
“Bow Out” is the first release in five years by UK singer/songwriter and pianist Lorne. Being a classically trained pianist, there’s no getting around the gorgeous structure of the song which keeps you hanging on every piano chord, though some invested added production helps immensely. “Bow Out” is about finding the escape route out of difficult situations, and ultimately ones where you must simply and physically leave. Lorne’s vocal at times reminds you of Coldplay’s Chris Martin without the rough edges, as well as Damien Rice without the rawness, but his songs are mainly inspired by Peter Gabriel, in whose softer songs you will find similarity. When “Bow Out” hits its most affecting, even exhilarating moments, Lorne is in his element, very reminiscent of Steve Winwood in that way if not stylistically. It’s the kind of song might also suit a full orchestra backdrop.
- NIGHTS IN STEREO, “Open Door”
Based in L.A., Nights In Stereo is an alt.rock trio and “Open Door” is their first release. What gives the band notoriety is one of its members – actor Ronen Rubenstein, the Israel-born star of “9-11: Lone Star” who also had roles TV’s in “Orange Is The New Black”, “Dead Of Summer”, and “American Horror Stories”. And he and his band acquit themselves quite well, with a fluid, driving rock sound that could have easily stepped right out of the 90’s, with inspiration perhaps from bands like Weezer, 311, and Red Hot Chili Peppers as channeled through Green Day and Cage The Elephant. “Open Door” is a promising start and I’ll anticipate a follow-up soon.
- ARDEN, “Room To Climb”
Meet Elliott Meldrum, 19 year-old Londoner otherwise known as Arden, with his debut single “Room to Climb”. What might seem like another slice of British indie bedroom alt.pop to follow the success of artists like Sam Fender or Tom Grennan is based on a superficial first listen. “Room to Climb” is a grower with an enlightening and uplifting story from a young rough-around-the-edges singer/songwriter who offers some wisdom beyond his years. Arden will go a long way creating music like this that’s earnest and from the heart. While “Room To Climb” has a safe and familiar overall sound, it’s solid song and Arden is off to a great start with it.
- ENGSTROM & ROBBIE ROSEN, “Gives Me Hell”
I’m not sure how I initially missed “Gives Me Hell”, which has been on release for a little while now, but I’m sure glad I fell back deep into the bountiful Robbie Rosen discography to discover it! This time Robbie teams up with Swedish producer Engstrom to deliver a relatable slice-of-life story where one door closes on a relationship and another one opens. And so the title comes from the usually hopeful paraphrasing of what “I wish you well” might really mean at the end of that relationship. Robbie’s gentle and sincere delivery combined with the dance-bop rhythm and synths from Engstrom make “Gives Me Hell” a worthwhile find.
- JAROD GLAWE, “Forever”
“Forever” is a sparkling, fast-paced house track that’s timely as Spring begins to unfold. This new tale of contemporary romance is brought to you by Chicago producer Jarod Glawe, who last year released the dazzling “Belong To You” featuring vocalist Robin Vine. This time, the uncredited female singer convincingly expounds all that is wondrous about being in love forever while Jarod directs the synth melody and rhythm with finesse. “Forever” is a great dance floor draw that will waste no time in persuading young lovers to prove their mettle on the dance floor.
- HENRIKZ & DANNY DEARDEN, “Mind Of Mine”
Danish producer henrikz and British singer/songwriter Danny Dearden follow up their previous collaboration “Arcade” with the deep house bounce of “Mind Of Mine”. The pair don’t waste a moment of the song which includes an intriguing first minute to pull you in, some smart if brief progressions, and Danny’s absolutely gorgeous high register which will help to leave the song stuck in your head for days. In fact there are moments in the song where Danny isn’t even singing lyrics that shows his strength in carrying a song. But as a producer hendrikz is also a talented foil which makes “Mind Of Mind” such a double-pronged success.