“Unleashed” is the second club hit for Nathalie Archangel @NArchangel in a zippy #MattPop edit

NATHALIE ARCHANGEL, “Unleashed” (Matt Pop edit)

I am such a big believer of remixes.  They sometimes help make very good pop songs great.  Such is the case with “Unleashed”, the new single by California-based Nathalie Archangel.  In its Matt Pop edit, the song becomes a not-so-secret 80’s flavoured dance floor weapon, a pleasingly aggressive and effortless mix that has helped “Unleashed” already land in the Top 40 of Billboard’s club play chart.  “Unleashed” follows the timeless “A Higher High”, which found its way into the Top 20 of the same chart two years ago.  With pretty much the same dedicated and well-established songwriting and production team behind it as with “A Higher High”, may “Unleashed” soar even higher – a tremendous success story for Nathalie, who had her first start in the business in the early 80’s, only to persevere and find greater tidings so many years later now with dance music.  Watch the lyric video above.

Published in: on March 19, 2017 at 3:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Heavy Hearted” by UK producer #Murky features a dazzling vocal by @Anukamusic

MURKY featuring ANUKA, “Heavy Hearted” (free DL)

After a brief tease of a start, “Heavy Hearted” by producer Murky featuring vocalist Anuka has liftoff big time thanks to the singer’s spot-on high register delivery.  And as the song continues, you may find yourself singing along… to another song.  For if you didn’t catch it, the initial melody instantly recalls the 90’s dance floor classic “Free” by Ultra Naté.  Regardless, it just lends to the charm of the song as by the halfway point it will have already secured your interest with its beautiful flow and understated, complementary backdrop.  The song tends to end prematurely but that only makes you want to hear it more.  Courtesy of Manifesto, check out “Heavy Hearted” at the link above and download it for free.

Published in: on March 19, 2017 at 3:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bluesy jam: “Drinkin'” by @iamJMSN

JMSN, “Drinkin'”

“Drinkin'” is an essential rocking bluesy jam that’s going to sound fabulous in concert by L.A.-based singer JMSN.  He’ll release his fourth album Whatever Makes You Happy on April 28 and is touring in North America to support it.  After a moody pair of albums, It Is and JMSN (aka the Blue Album), and working with folks like Kendrick Lamar, Kaytranada, J. Cole, and Tyga over the past few years, JMSN’s commanding vocal takes control here with a blistering vocal that reminds you of why you got interested in the first place back about five years ago with his solo debut album †Priscilla†.  With JMSN still producing and engineering “Drinkin'”, and self-releasing his records, props here must also go to the bass work by Yuki “Lin” Hayashi which captures a deep groove that helps bring the song home.  The focus now seems to be more on real instruments and musicians than electronics.  Give “Drinkin'” a listen at the link above.

Published in: on March 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Take Me Down” is new from #Toronto powerhouse vocalist @JuliaCarlucci

JULIA CARLUCCI, “Take Me Down”

Following up her 2015 EP For Me is Toronto’s Julia Carlucci with “Take Me Down”.  Regardless of how you find your music – through radio, digital playlists, or online – “Take Me Down” is vocal-driven R&B-inspired pop whose intent is to bring the house down and make you remember who sung it.  And with the video showcase above, Julia has an appeal that could transcend Lady Gaga, Cher, and Céline Dion, even though her most immediate inspirations are the likes of Alicia Keys and Beyoncé.  Set in a classic pop setting with orchestra backing, I’m certain you’ll be hearing more of Julia Carlucci as word gets out about “Take Me Down”, as they already have in other parts of the world (Japan and Indonesia, being two)!

Published in: on March 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Goes down easy: “Irreplaceable” by Philadelphia duo @Nights_official

NIGHTS, “Irreplaceable” (free DL)

Nights is a new male duo out of Philadelphia who’ve just released their debut single “Irreplaceable”.  The style is a smooth mix of EDM, R&B and Hip Hop, more likely to appeal to fans of Chance The Rapper, Bryson Tiller or Anderson.Paak than say The Chainsmokers or Tiësto.  What I like particularly about “Irreplaceable” is the positive message that’s wrapped up in a vibe that will catch your attention when you don’t expect it.  The understated vocal is in a dreamy zone that totally suits the song.  “Irreplaceable” is a great start for Nights – folks who also enjoy RKCB and Opia will be pleased.  Get it for free at the link above.

Published in: on March 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Hard To Love” is edgy, soulful dance music by @MatthewKoma as remixed by @Nikomakesbeats

MATTHEW KOMA, “Hard To Love” (Niko The Kid remix)

Maybe one day we will see a full Matthew Koma album or perhaps another EP, but the singer continues with single releases via RCA with “Hard To Love”, his best since 2015’s “So Fuckin’ Romantic”. Getting away from his trademark higher range which has pervaded so many club hits over the last five years by the likes of Zedd, Sebastian Ingrosso, Hardwell, and Tiësto, “Hard To Love” in some ways reminds me of his earlier songs from the 2012 EP Parachute in terms of edge and grit, but slicker production and a set of new remixes, including a funky one by Niko The Kid, make “Hard To Love” stand out.  Ever dance club-friendly, “Hard To Love” could also appeal to other worldwide markets in which Matthew has had success, including the UK, Japan and Indonesia.  Check out “Hard To Love” in its Niko The Kid remix above.

Published in: on March 11, 2017 at 3:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Rising producer @Justin_Caruso lands with solid original “Talk About Me” featuring @Victoria_Zaro

JUSTIN CARUSO featuring VICTORIA ZARO, “Talk About Me”

Young L.A.-based producer Justin Caruso has been noted up to now for ear-catching remixes last year of songs by the likes of The Chainsmokers and 3Lau.  But his campaign to make original music starts with “Talk About Me”, a solid dance tune that will do well enough in clubs, but has a lot going for it as a song unto itself.  Benefiting from a gracious and slick vocal by Victoria Zaro, the lyrics tell an important tale, about being yourself and who you are regardless of what others may say.  “Talk About Me” starts off like it might be a ballad but revs up the tempo that will work well in any club set.  Just shy of a million Soundcloud plays already, the song is a sign of great things to come for Justin Caruso.

Published in: on March 11, 2017 at 3:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Breathe by #DiamondCafe is a new project by Vancouver’s @TristanTmusic for Michael Jackson and Prince fans

DIAMOND CAFE, Breathe (EP)

I’ve been a big believer in Vancouver singer/songwriter Tristan Thompson since his debut release Here For You in 2014 yielded a soulful piece of pop ear candy called “Tidal Wave”, which also topped the BILLCS Top 30.  That song as well as “Burn Again” and the title track received significant national radio airplay in Canada for an independent performer, and got notice overseas, particularly in New Zealand.  

Fast forward three years, and the singer, who is not even 20, has created a new project called Diamond Cafe, after a second album last year stalled and the label behind it folded. The EP Breathe is full of five lush, soulful pop/dance songs that will appeal mostly to Michael Jackson and Prince fans, but also to fans of performers as diverse as Sade and Adele.  The singer has also taken on production duties, and he’s definitely on the right track though perhaps some songs might benefit from a deeper sound.  His now-richer vocals with some commanding high notes score throughout, and the songs to zero in on are the title track, “Commercial Love”, and “Diamonds”.

I think Diamond Cafe will find friends with club DJ’s, EDM fans, and R&B/soul fans interested in hearing 80’s/90’s sounds mixed in with the style of today.  Some of the songs, like “Diamonds” could benefit from remixes.  Tristan Thompson should find a new and more mature audience with Diamond Cafe.  Check out the entire album on Spotify at the link above.

Published in: on March 11, 2017 at 3:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Matches” is a big-sounding winner for NYC trio @CashCash with vocals by @ROZESsounds

CASH CASH & ROZES, “Matches”

With instantly relateable lyrics, NYC trio Cash Cash have a winner for Big Beat with “Matches”, which features an affecting, potent by none other than ROZES, about whom I’ve written a few times since her breakout on The Chainsmokers’ “Roses”.  Cash Cash have worked with quite the variety of vocalists, including Nelly, Bebe Rexha, Christina Perri, and John Rzeznik of Goo Goo Dolls, among others, in recent years.  Always in it for more variety, “Matches” gets really big and anthemic when it needs to and ROZES takes us for a brisk ride before it’s all done in typical spot-on three minute single style.  I expect “Matches” will take off in clubs within the next few weeks so give it a solid listen at the Spotify link above.

Published in: on March 9, 2017 at 11:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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New EP Out Of Love by L.A.’s @TwoFriendsmusic features three danceable treats

TWO FRIENDS, Out Of Love (EP)

Their friendly and hook-filled style has had me listening for more than a year now, and L.A.’s Two Friends production duo (Matt and Eli) brings us their first all-original three song EP, Out Of Love.  It’s at this stage when musicianship takes over and we have before us three quite different songs which show that Two Friends are not at all stuck to the frenetic EDM of many of their fine remixes.  

And what would Two Friends do of course but to bring along more friends!  I’ve already written about their collaboration with Brandyn Burnette and Molly Moore, aka Cosmos N Creature, on the title song.  A second collaboration with the immensely talented MAX (aka Max Schneider) on “Pacific Coast Highway” follows their sparkling redux of MAX’s “Lights Down Low”.  It’s a wistful EDM remembrance meant for a late night drive down that long highway or one similar.  But the best of the lot is the harmonica-laden “Mona Lisa Eyes”, which sort of celebrates what Avicii brought to the EDM fold five years ago with country flavour and takes it a number of steps further.  It also happens to be a gorgeous song with an amazing vocal by an uncredited singer.

 Pick up Two Friends’ Out Of Love EP at your favourite digital store.