Tuned-On! Roundup!

Roundup Spotlight:

JACKANORY & THE BALL “EP”

I must say, London duo Jackanory & The Ball know how to make one satisfying four song EP.  Singer/songwriter Tom Skelton and producer/DJ/pianist Michael Rendall have a strange kind of fusion going on – and this kind of strange is really strong and entertaining.  I could be wrong, but I think it might start with some jazzy Steely Dan influence, moving through new wave and pop electronica of the 80’s, then into some hip hop and dance club sounds of the 90’s, yielding a pastiche of sometimes humorous pop that sounds as theatrical as it does melodic.  The duo is like a British companion-piece to American veteran duo They Might Be Giants (“Birdhouse in Your Soul”, one of my faves from 1990).  Be sure to check out “Audio Precision”, perhaps the most accessible track – listen for Pac-Man – with bouncy rhythm and sing-along lyrics.  The other tracks – “Not The One”, “Too Long” (the most R&B/hip hop oriented track), “Come Away with Me” – are equally unique, with rich melodic weaves but straight forward words and themes.  All in all, it’s an EP full of promise which lends natural curiosity to how Mssrs Skelton and Rendall can perform these songs in a live show.  Be sure to check them out if you’re in England (and let me know!).


BILLY FRANKS “Euphoria”

UK singer Billy Franks had generously put his Euphoria compilation online for free.  It’s a cozy and energetic 12 song record compiled from six releases from the Faith Brothers leader and creator of the charity single “The Beautiful Game”.  Despite the varying production qualities from track-to-track, Euphoria has a terrific pub-next-door feel – its genuine warmth overall is contagious.  And if you’ve ever heard the Faith Brothers, no one, but no one, writes emotionally rich songs like these like Billy Franks.  With live tracks like “Sleep A Little Easy When It Rains” as well as other songs full of beautiful and brutal honesty like “Just”, “Beautiful Heresy”, “She’s The Messiah In Me”, and “50/50 America”, it’s easy to get caught up in such fine and raw veteran musicianship.  Be sure to provide a donation if you can.

COLIN MUNROE “I Would Die 4 U”

Toronto’s Colin Munroe came to my attention in 2008 with the release of his adventurous mixtape Colin Munroe Is The Unsung Hero, which featured covers as diverse as songs like U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and originals, sometimes with some better known friends, such as the shouldabeenahit “Will I Stay”, featuring Wale and Dallas Austin.  Well this singer/producer/DJ is back in the aftermath of what sounds like a record deal gone (near?) sour, and he’s boldly chosen a Prince cover to stage his re-entry.  Yes, “I Would Die 4 U” is a favourite of many Prince fans, but Colin has slowed it down a bit to give it more emotional, almost retrospective or even introspective quality.  And no, that is not autotune folks.  It’s free with subscription to Colin’s newsletter – worth it always to find out what he’s up to next!

PETER KATZ “Dangerous”

The iTunes single of the week feature often brings intriguing tracks and artists to the attention of the public, and being from Canada I see a regular and different selection.  Toronto-based Peter Katz’s “Dangerous” is edgy, thoughtful folk/pop that stays in your head, and reminds me of Michael Penn’s best efforts of the early 90’s.  It’s from his fourth release, and first through Sony, called First Of The Last To Know, and you can hear tracks from it at his website .  And it looks like he’s touring a lot, so check out his tour schedule too.

DARIN  “Lovekiller”

OK hit me over the head with a large plank or something, but after many repeated plays, Darin’s “Lovekiller”, a Swedish #1 hit, has finally sunk in.  I thought the song was perhaps too derivative of too many other songs that I could think of  (including the beginning, sounding a lot like INXS’ “Never Tear Us Apart”, or as a male version of “Unfaithful” by Rihanna), but the slow-burning mystery appeal has finally sunk in.  Strange, because I was a big fan of 2008’s “Flashback”, which featured the Kat DeLuna duet “Breathing Your Love” and the “Just Dance” soundalike “Girl Next Door”, both of which landed in the Top 5 on my chart.  But the new record is definitely more mature and better written, and perhaps I just wasn’t expecting that.  Darin should be Sweden’s next natural pop export.  I can’t see why this song shouldn’t do well internationally.


ADAM TYLER “Over The Top”

Ah yes LA’s Adam of the “Friction”, one of my current favourite songs, alerted me a few weeks back through Twitter that “Over The Top”, one of the songs recorded for his upcoming Lullabies for Rattlesnakes release, had been leaked online.  It’s a mid-tempo pop/dance track not too far removed from “Friction”.  It has an undeniable hook but could benefit from a perkier remix.  You can either check out a clip of the song from Adam Tyler’s official site or try to locate it in its leaked version online.

SHANE HARPER “Dance With Me” and “Good Friends”

Another new guy from LA, Disney Channel fans already know singer/actor/dancer Shane from a supporting role in the new show “Good Luck Charlie”.  And his first could-be hit “Dance With Me” is pure teen/tween late-night-on-the-beach confection, sort of what Jesse McCartney started a few years back before the more grown up Departure album.  Top marks though for Shane’s very good voice and dance moves in the video.  As a bonus, he’s made the ballad “Good Friends” available as a free download with an email subscription to his newsletter .  Shane Harper definitely has my curious ear at hand – and I like triple threats!


THE SCRIPT’s “Science & Faith”

The Irish trio’s sophomore album after its very long-lasting 2008 debut has joined what looks like a wonderful week of record releases starting September 13 (also including Bright Light Bright Light’s “Love Part II” and Brandon Flowers’ “Flamingo”).


CLAYTON SENNE’s “And Her Name Is Music”

Kansas-born but Florida-based piano man Clayton Senne tweeted a few weeks back that he would release his second album on January 1, 2011 – for binary code fans that’s 010111 🙂 On Saturday, August 29, he performed a new song full of urgency with oodles of potential called “Floodgates” on Orlando Live Streaming , during which he also announced that the title of said release would be “And Her Name Is Music”.  I hope to be blogging a bit more about this talented new artist and this record in the coming months, so watch for it!  In the meantime, check out his official site.


RICHARD BARONE “Glow”

The former Bongos member and creator of a number of fine solo albums, including 1990’s Primal Dream and 1994’s Clouds Over Eden, is back with his new CD “Glow” (also due next week, on September 14), and will be performing several club dates in the New York/New Jersey areas.  I saw Richard in concert many years ago in Toronto and he can captivate an audience very easily.

Tuned-On! Top 30 #334 – August 30/10

As the end of summer approaches, another season of music begins, and I’m pleased that it includes the artists of my top two songs.

I was fortunate enough to see Brandon Flowers in concert on Wednesday, August 25 at the Mod Club in Toronto.  It was a good – but not great – 50 minute show to focus on his upcoming solo debut Flamingo (picture of deluxe version cover above), which drops on September 14.  There are definitely some solid songs which I’m looking forward to hearing on my stereo  – Jilted Lovers and Broken Hearts, Playing With Fire, Magdalena.  Brandon was in good voice but his Killers band members were sorely missed.  In any event, “Crossfire” is still the best song of the bunch thus far, and it retains its #1 status on my personal chart this week.  At the bottom of this post are some pics from the concert 🙂

Rod Thomas aka Bright Light Bright Light (or Bright Light x 2) is one of 2010’s pop music treats, and I can’t wait enough for a full album.  Former #1 “A New Word To Say” holds tight at #2, while “Cry At Films”, the B-side of the forthcoming “Love Part II” single, arrives on the chart at #25.  For me, the ‘B-side’ no longer has the same meaning as the halcyon days of 45 vinyl singles.  Rather than filler, sometimes the B-side is better than the track being promoted.  And while that’s not the case – as you’ll find out in two weeks, when “Love Part II” is released and debuts on my chart 😉 – it’s easy to revel in the soft, emotional, and danceable qualities that Rod brings on “Cry At Films”.

The Top 10 has a change-up that still allows Two Door Cinema Club’s “Something Good Can Work” – one of the more chipper songs of the year – to advance to #3.  British duo Bim – whose lush and emotional album Scatterheart you must check out – score in the Top 5 with “Head Over Heels”, and L.A.’s Adam Tyler’s “Friction” is contagious enough in its Ricardo Autobahn edit to become the Fastest Riser on the chart, up from 14 to 7.  Toronto’s Roz Bell is one of Canada’s most interesting and underrated talents, whose third effort Songs For Leaving will be well worth the wait when it arrives.  In the meantime, bask in “Endless Summer Night”, which climbs to #8.

I expect a chart housecleaning in two weeks, which will get rid of a log jam of wonderful songs stuck behind each other in the Top 20.  I’m eyeing songs by Chris Mann, Elouise, Ryan Star, and perhaps Hanson to bust out and eventually they all may land in the Top 10, pending competition.  And Billy Franks’ “The Beautiful Game”, now at #17, keeps reminding me that humility and a great tune will do wonders with each listen.  Maroon 5’s fun “Misery” lands at #20… which feels somewhat underwhelming for such a good band, but there are indeed many stronger songs out there, and we’ll have to see how powerful the other songs are on the forthcoming Hands All Over album.

“Dear Dictator” by Saint Motel continues to get stuck in my head and advances to #21, with The Script’s “For The First Time” not behind at #23.  The other new songs this week arrive in a revisit to Lady GaGa’s The Fame Monster album, allowing “Dance In The Dark” to bow at #24.  And at #26 is a new Detroit-raised singer who comes via L.A. with a great summer song.  Christian TV’s flirty and maybe a tad naughty “When She Turns 18” is a grower and may yet become a hit going into the Fall months.  Check out the video below.

Despite the lack of blogs within the last two weeks I have been listening to a lot of music, and expect to update you all on some of the better ones over the next few days.  Enjoy!


Tuned-On! Top 30 #333 – August 16/10

Elouise

It’s now a few weeks away for the release dates of what could be a few of the year’s great records.  One of those belongs to Killers singer Brandon Flowers – his solo debut Flamingo is due September 6, and “Crossfire” has wasted no time in attaining the pole position on my chart.  It steals it away after one appearance from Bright Light Bright Light’s “A New Word To Say”, which slips to #2, but Rod Thomas and friends of course have the utterly brilliant “Love Part II” coming for official release on September 13.  Expect that song to chart here in two weeks.

Two Door Cinema Club’s Tourist History is quietly becoming one of the albums that should be heard right now.  The Irish band is coming to my city (Toronto) in October, complete with Penguin Prison as opener!!  “Something Good Can Work” finds a weak part of the Top 10 and takes advantage of it, moving 9-4.  Evan Taubenfeld’s “Pumpkin Pie” and David Guetta’s “Gettin’ Over You” both move up a notch.  Three new songs join the Top 10 – the sublime 70’s disco influence of Goldfrapp’s “Dreaming”, the modern electro-punk energy of “Your Body Is A Machine” by The Good Natured, and the tears behind the pop smile of Bim’s “Head Over Heels”.

The middle of this chart continues to be log-jammed with great songs.  The ones more likely to cut through are this edition’s fastest riser, the gorgeous Steve Anderson-produced torch song “Pretender” by UK’s Elouise, climbing 27-18.  Londoners be sure to check out her show for me on September 11 at the Tabernacle! Then we have boy power pop courtesy of Adam Tyler’s “Friction” and its free propulsive Ricardo Autobahn edit.  Still awaiting the Lullabies for Rattlesnakes album! The Top 10 will also have to make way for Roz Bell’s should-be-summer-anthem “Endless Summer Night”, while other songs by Reni Lane, Lifehouse, Chris Mann, Hanson, and Kylie Minogue are all just plain solid.  Maroon 5’s “Misery” pulls up the rear and advances 28-24.

I’m going to continue to plug “The Beautiful Game” by UK singer Billy Franks, which moves up to #19.  It has a lot of hidden quiet power in its melody and emotion, and proceeds go to a charity set up by Prince Harry to help African children, and you can purchase it on iTunes.  Billy – the former leader of one of the 80’s treasures called The Faith Brothers – has also made available for free download a full album of music called Euphoria, which I expect to blog about in the coming weeks.  Download it right here.

On to the debuts.  Surely it’s no surprise after his August 3 concert that another track from Ryan Star’s 11:59 appears (while “Breathe” tumbles to #8)!  And yes it’s “Start A Fire”, which is about to blaze a path of glory in these parts, arriving at #22.  Then we have the fun and slightly eccentric dance sounds of Saint Motel.  The LA quartet lands at #27 with the Sam Sparro remix of “Dear Dictator”.  Finally, The Script haven’t been away from this chart for long, as the long legs of the band’s self-titled debut album have proven a lasting commercial success.  From their upcoming sophomore record Science and Faith comes “For The First Time” at #28.  It’s very samey-sounding to songs off the debut record but it certainly grows on you, and their audience sure enjoys the earnest and emotional style of this Irish trio.

It’s been a quiet, dull live concert scene in Toronto for me this summer.  Most of the artists I’ve wanted to see did not come to my town.  A whole bunch – Two Door Cinema Club, Penguin Prison, Florence & The Machine, Matt and Kim, Miike Snow – are coming within weeks of each other in October – and Brandon Flowers is performing a show for Virgin Mobile members only (you must be a member – which I am 🙂  – to enter the contest, so I’m crossing my fingers!!).  And I’m hopeful that others like Lifehouse, The Script, and Ryan Star, will find there way here to make the winter months more pleasant.

Quirky & Quiet Retro iTouch Shuffle Mix

Sometimes letting the iTouch go to shuffle comes up with some interesting mixes of music that you wouldn’t put together yourself.  Here’s what I heard on the drive to work this morning.  Pretty quirky and quiet until the last songs – makes me wonder what I’ll hear on the drive home 🙂

Michael Buble “Sway (Ralphi’s Salsation vox edit)” (2004)

Andy Bell “Crazy” (2005 – Electric Blue album)

Tony Stone “This Is Serious (extended mix)” (1988)

Fashion “Dressed To Kill” (1982 – Fabrique album)

Steve Winwood “The Finer Things” (1987)

Jai “Cry Me A River” (1998 – Heaven album)

Book Of Love “I Touch Roses” (1986)

Kaiser Chiefs “Thank You Very Much” (2007 – Yours Truly, Angry Mob album)

Madonna & Justin Timberlake “4 Minutes” (2008)

I’ll try and post links to a few of the more obscure songs later.

Ryan Star’s NYC show and 11:59

I must now backtrack on last week’s trip to New York City, which was primarily a get-to-know-NYC for my 10 year old daughter as well as an opportunity for me to explore and do some things in the city with her.  So Monday evening was the lavish “Phantom Of the Opera” production, but Tuesday I took her to her first rock concert, Ryan Star’s show at the Irving Plaza (Fillmore).

I couldn’t have picked a better show.  Opening up with strong sets by Thriving Ivory and particularly Lion of Ido (I will blog about them in the near future), Ryan’s show was a celebration of the release of his major label debut album 11:59, which has been years in the making.  It was a high energy and deeply felt set of approximately 75 minutes, focusing on most of the songs from 11:59, as well as the odd cover (The Beatles’ “We Can Work It Out”), and older songs with which I was not familiar such as “Sink or Swim”, “You and Me”, or the frenetic “Psycho Suicidal Girl”.  Highlights for me were a new favourite song of mine (!) “Start A Fire” (video above) as well as the encore performances of “Breathe” – you could literally feel the connectedness in the room which has been held together by Ryan’s close contact with fans over the various social networks – and a song originally done by his previous band Stage called “Back Of Your Car”, for which he brought on stage his three former band members (he also unexpectedly segued the song into a few verses of the B.o.B./Hayley Williams hit “Airplanes”).  It simply seems natural and genuine for Ryan to want to do all of this but the best part is actually making it happen.  Ryan is well on his way from club dates and opening act stints to major league performer.

The 11:59 album is all that we could ask for and more.  It includes past favourites like “Right Now”, “Last Train Home”, and of course “Breathe”, plus “Lie to Me” TV theme “Brand New Day”, the emotional “Losing Your Memory”, and the thoughtful title track.  I think “Start A Fire” could be a massive radio hit if it’s promoted properly.  11:59 is all about rock and pop music that you can play at any time and it will make you feel good about just about anything for the duration.  I’m hoping Atlantic Records takes the time to promote 11:59 and Ryan Star to make a win-win for everyone.



Tuned-On! Top 30 #332 – August 2/10

Bim "Scatterheart"

This will be a quick and early blog as I am off to New York City tomorrow for 5 days with my daughter, during which time we will see Phantom Of The Opera, Ryan Star’s CD release show (Ryan hangs at #5 with “Breathe”), and perhaps visit the Jewish history museum as well as other sites.

That new pop meister extraordinary, Rod Thomas, aka Bright Light Bright Light, grabs #1 on the new chart with “A New Word To Say”, a free download that will hopefully be on BrightLightx2’s upcoming album.  That having been said, I can’t wait for the official release of “Love Part II!

It looks like Brandon Flowers’ “Crossfire” is destined for the top, as it zips into the Top 5 at #2.  “Pumpkin Pie” by Evan Taubenfeld and “Gettin’ Over You” by David Guetta move up in the Top 10, and Two Door Cinema Club’s “Something Good Can Work” does get there amid stiff competition.  As you will see, every song from 11-19 moves up, and really good stuff like “Broken Tonight” by Armin Van Buuren featuring VanVelzen gets stuck at #13 in a year rife full of grand pop songs.  So how does one compete with songs that rev in my mind like those on the chart from Goldfrapp, The Good Natured, Reni Lane, Lifehouse, and Roz Bell?  Last week’s debuts by Adam Tyler and Chris Mann shove along into the lower teens, with Bim’s gorgeously contagious “Head Over Heels” as the fastest riser (and congratulations on the release of the Scatterheart album, now available in iTunes!), moving up 27-17.  Still further down, songs by Hanson and Billy Franks continue to make inroads.

The debuts will continue to bend my ear for months.  How can one resist the happy feet dances generated by Kylie Minogue’s “Get Outta My Way” (her first appearance on my chart since 2004’s “Slow”), the powerful show-stopping drama of Elouise’s “Pretender”, and the sarcastic wit of Maroon 5’s “Misery”?

To see the full chart, click on the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or click right here.  Any comments are more than appreciated 🙂

I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to blog while I’m away but you can check in on me on Twitter.

10-bit Q&A with Simon Curtis

Simon Curtis
In the coming months, we will witness the further evolution of our favourite boy robot, LA-based singer/songwriter Simon Curtis.   Simon’s been busy working on new songs for an upcoming mixtape/album, which, like the wonderful 8-bit Heart (which is the best ‘unsigned’ record of 2010 thus far), should be available for free online later this year.  To further add to the evolution, Simon is performing his first all-acoustic show on Thursday July 29 at The Mint in L.A.

In among all of these crazy preparations, Simon took some time to answer some questions for us in this ’10-bit’ Q&A:

1.  For an independent artist, your fan base exceeds amazing.  I know you recognize and respond to this support, including the videos and artwork that your fans have done, and the message boards that they’ve created.  Can you tell us something that you would love to say to your fans outside of the U.S.A. who only know you through your music, You Tube videos , Facebook , and Twitter ?

I am so incredibly grateful for the fanbase I’ve been fortunate enough to start creating, I love them all dearly.  I feel truly honored to have people gravitating toward it so much!

2.   Suddenly there are a number of solo young indie male pop singers on the rise like you – Mike Posner (now signed to J/Sony), Adam Tyler, Sam Taylor, to name three – and you all have your own diverse takes on pop music.  I think it’s more than a case of being the guys’ turn, and it may have actually started with a record like Jesse McCartney’s Departure album in 2008. Though women still dominate the charts, do you think the focus might be shifting, and if so, why?

Well I think that for a long time women have dominated pop music because it’s so easily acceptable for a woman to make pop music.  It tends to seem that a lot of people don’t quite take men seriously when it comes to music of the pop persuasion, but I think the recent influx of boys pursuing it like I am myself is indication that it’s not just a game for girls.  I definitely think the world is ready for a strong male pop perspective.
The Old Style Boy Robot
The New Style Boy Robot!

3.  Your ‘boy robot’ persona and the nerd glasses have definitely struck a chord with fans, along with the hopeful stories in 8-bit Heart that talk about loneliness and wanting to find love.  Can you give us a little more perspective about this character and what you hoped to accomplish with him through your songs?

Well the character created in making the album was essentially me in my most raw, musical form.  I needed an image to associate with the music, and the neo-futuristic Buddy Holly look just fit right in with it, totally complimented the simple yearnings for love that I was expressing in the album with a look associated with an era of innocence.  It all just seemed to come together rather well.

4.   I’m sure you have to be budget conscious, knowing where to draw the line to spend more money on something, such as an elaborate video, that might not really help you out in the long run.  So many people were impressed with the acapella black and white video for “8-bit Heart” – how well do you think that video served its purpose?

The 8Bit Heart Acapella Tyler Shields video portrait was just supposed to be a teaser.  I was in early talks with a record label at the time of my first show, and afterward they wanted to hear “more of my voice”… so I went the next day and made that to prove to them that I could really, truly sing.  I’m incredibly proud of that video.

Download 8-bit Heart at http://www.simon-curtis.net if you already haven't!!


5.  Looking at 8-bit Heart as a whole, what are a couple of things that totally exceeded your expectations, and what are a couple of things you would do differently on your next record?

I honestly am still blown away by the reaction it elicited from the collective internet.  I mean, it’s opened so many doors for me I can’t even comprehend it.  I am really looking forward to working with a proper budget on my albums.  I want to make videos, etc. and it’s just so hard when you’re completely independent and starting all of this on your own.  I am a hard worker though, and quite up for the challenge 😉

Beware of feline conspiracy theories...

6. You have a few references in 8-bit Heart to conspiracy theories and other matters of intrigue.  Fans know that you’re an avid reader, but how did you become interested in them and decide to incorporate them into your music?

Well, I’ve always been a little cerebral when it comes to writing music.  I don’t think I could ever write a song about dancing at the club, etc. without having some sort of deeper layer beneath it, some sort of commentary, something.  I am obsessed with fantasy and science fiction, and I think it’s just a natural reflex for me to insert it into my music.  I am in love with pop music, it’s one of my biggest passions, and that love translates right into the music that I make myself.  The idea of creating commercial pop with a broad appeal that is laced with hidden-meanings and subtle references just elates me to the core.

7. A lot of fans would love a sequel to 8-bit Heart and are hungry for more story-songs and conceptual themes.  But I think you’ve probably got a few other things in mind!  Can you speak a bit about your next record?

Well, as it is right now I can only say that the overarching theme of the next album is a very militant one.  The first album was an introduction, this one is me taking my flag and thrusting it into the ground and staking my claim.  The songs on this album are dealing with my struggle to achieve, the deep-rooted yearning within me.  Despite the fact that I tend to write in themes and use a lot of references, I still write very much from the heart. Everything I’ve written is something I have most certainly felt.  With that said, there’s a lot dealing with betrayal on this record as well.  It’s turning out to be a bit heavier than 8Bit was.

8. Could you name one other current singer and one other current songwriter that you would like to collaborate with, and say why?

There are so many it’s ridiculous.  I’ve been able to strike up a bit of a friendship with Rod Thomas (BrightLightBrightLight) and I absolutely love him and what he does.  Darren Hayes is an idol of mine, so working with him in any capacity would truly be a dream come true.  I’ve always been obsessed with Bloodshy and Avant, and of course Max Martin has essentially been my Jesus since I was 13.

Lady GaGa
plus
Simon

equals
??????
(hint: Cherrytree/Interscope should
put them together and find out!)

9. Could you identify a pop song and a pop album that, for you, recently made a significant change or impact, and how?  Basically, records that say ‘OK music as we know it now is different’.

Gaga’s Fame Monster was a huge turning point in music.  It showed everyone that pop, pure pop, was back.  I applauded that record so much for what it did for pop music.  I mean, Gaga has single-handedly brought the world back to pop, and that made me incredibly happy.

10. Some talented fans tell you that they would like to do the same thing that you’re doing – what kind of advice would you give them on how to handle the demands that the entertainment biz can offer?

The entertainment business is a hard, hard world to navigate, you have to know precisely who you are and what you want and pursue it relentlessly for years and years.  Be smart, know your talents, and know that it is first and foremost a job.  A job that you must work incredibly hard at!

Thank you Simon!  We’re all happy to stay along for the ride and look forward to the follow-up to 8-bit Heart.

A Visual ‘Slice’ of #PumpkinPie

It’s well before the usual time of year when we all dig into pumpkin pie, but I’m glad the video for Evan Taubenfeld’s “Pumpkin Pie” from his digital release Welcome To The Blacklist Club has surfaced to support interest in the record, which I blogged about a few weeks back.

I’m no longer enamoured with the video format, it is basically a commercial outlet to promote a record.  Nonetheless, I’m impressed with the down-to-earth quality of “Pumpkin Pie”.  It tells the story, it’s all Evan, and best of all, it’s sincerely honest, with a good message for the younger generation.  Twitter figures prominently – no surprise since it has helped build Evan’s fanbase  as well as his weekly online Soda Sunday streams – along with his website.

Despite thinking that I would quickly tire of the song, it has much to my surprise become one of my very favourites from Blacklist Club.  If it can grow on me, the same could easily happen to you.

“Pumpkin Pie” is a great end-of-summer hit in waiting.  Make it happen people 🙂

#MusicMonday Roundup

Saint Motel “Dear Dictator (Sam Sparro remix)”

Sam Sparro’s remix has given a 70’s lustre to this L.A. quartet’s caustic humour that screams disco balls and polyester with this song, but still sounds contemporary in a dramatic Scissor Sisters kind of way.  It might take a while to catch on, but well worth it.  Download it for free right here .

Tyler Hilton “This World Will Turn Your Way”

It’s been over 6 years since LA’s Tyler Hilton debuted with his CD The Tracks Of, which featured the catchy and modest “When It Comes” and jaunty crowd-pleasing fare such as my personal favourite, “The Letter Song”.  He had featured roles in TV’s “One Tree Hill” and as a young Elvis in the film “Walk The Line”.  He’s used his website, MySpace, and meet-and-greets at his shows to communicate with and secure his extremely loyal fan base, which has waited, through singles, album tracks, and EP’s for his upcoming full album release “The Storms We Share”.  From his latest EP “Ladies and Gentleman” comes the optimistic “This World Will Turn Your Way” with a very eye-catching and touching video, above.  Fans of Ryan Star and Rob Thomas should dig this, and if “World” is any indication, “The Storms We Share” will be well worth the long wait.

Elouise “Pretender”

If Sam Taylor’s “Run Away” was a contemporary torch song for the youngins and since Rufus Wainwright is wrapped up in the opera world, the UK’s Elouise is finding a niche with her own version of alternately sultry, soulful, campy, and bold torch pop that brings to mind everyone from Shirley Bassey and Dusty Springfield to Dionne Warwick.  Matched with Kylie Minogue producer Steve Anderson, Elouise’s 3 song EP Stardust, including “Pretender” (a live snippet in the video above, whose sonic power on record soars through you), goes right through the high quality meter, leaving you wanting much more.  I second and third the raves from fellow bloggers MyFizzyPop and Don’t Stop The Pop, so now the world has to catch up! Order it from Elouise’s website or via Bandcamp (where you can also hear the full version).