Alt.Soul Variations featuring Victor Perry @perksofbeingvic: “Eve” with @ZBDmusic and “Boomerang” with @Labrosemusic

ZEROBADDAYS and VICTOR PERRY, “Eve”

LABROSE, “Boomerang”

For the last few years you’ve read fairly frequently in these blog pages about NYC-based, Georgia-bred singer/songwriter Victor Perry.  Victor has one of the most distinct, consistent, engaging (and unsigned!) male voices around – and other than when producers choose to mess with it a bit, it doesn’t hurt that his voice is almost perfectly on key every time 🙂 Victor has two recent releases, a second partnership with Germany’s ZEROBADDAYS (aka Mr. Stan Sax of Saxity) and a new one from his side project with British producer Ficci called Labrose.  “Eve” is lyrical retrotastic Michael Jackson-inspired alt.soul – it reminds me of those fine deeper songs you’d often find on a late 70’s Jacksons album that still resonate today.  It’s quite a different record from the first ZEROBADDAYS collaboration, the gentle “We’ll Be Okay”.  “Eve” is lovely and a real grower.  “Boomerang” is more pop flavoured and follows up last year’s catchy “Gravity”.  It’s more of a late night “quiet storm” track with Victor’s voice gliding over the lilting electronic backdrop.  Add “Eve” and “Boomerang” to your favourite playlists where pop and R&B converge ASAP!

Published in: on April 15, 2019 at 9:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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UK singer @SeanSmithsolo’s “Do Or Die” is fanciful, urgent danceable pop

SEAN SMITH, “Do Or Die”

UK singer Sean Smith mixes it up a bit from his recent releases with “Do Or Die”.  This time he veers into fanciful but urgent danceable pop that would sound just fine on the radio.  It’s got some old school 80’s vibes, such as a softer but encouraging vocal during the chorus, and and production that makes me think of British bands of the day like Cutting Crew and T’Pau.  But it’s Sean’s expressive voice that is the draw, ever-convincing to have us join in on the fun.  “Do Or Die” is another solid release that will continue to develop the singer’s following outside of his native England.

Published in: on April 3, 2019 at 10:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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US-based South African duo @GoldFishlive remix 2017’s “Late Night People” album with standout “If I Could Find” (@jackLNDN remix)

GOLDFISH, “If I Could Find” (jackLNDN remix)

After a bit of a break, US-based South African duo GoldFish re-emerged recently with a beautiful acoustic song “It Was You” (with Zeeba) which I wrote about last month.  It’s a bit bold to remix a two year old record, but GoldFish has the dedicated audience that wanted it, and thus their 5th album Late Night People arrives with many interesting remixes by the likes of Midnight Kids, Beowulf, Adam Kahati, and Kyle Watson, not to mention “Ibiza Sunset” mixes of two of the songs.  But if there’s any highlight to the selection it’s “If I Could Find” as remixed by UK producer jackLNDN – a producer who also sings!  “If I Could Find” is dynamic, sophisticated house music that will flow comfortably into any house music playlist that you can devise.  The musicianship is impeccable and jackLNDN’s spin on it should help attract club DJ’s to this one.

Published in: on February 18, 2019 at 5:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Meet Yorkshire, England’s @iamFrankymusic with dance anthem “All Of The Boys”

FRANKY, “All Of The Boys”

Coming soon to a dance floor near you is “All Of The Boys” by new British pop singer Franky.  Taking definite cues from the likes of Charli XCX and meshing it with pop sensibility that made Britney Spears and Selena Gomez successful, the anthemic “All Of The Boys” is an easy one to get stuck in your head.  But it’s more than just about the chorus.  Franky’s got a solid, recognizable voice, and the musicianship and production are well-balanced.  “All Of The Boys” thus is an earnest, infectious effort that shows off its many fine qualities.  And as I often say when I find independent releases worthy of attention, the song might benefit from remixes to help it acquire a broader audience.

franky

Published in: on February 18, 2019 at 5:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Watch out for new UK singer/songwriter @NatalieShay with “Yesterday”

NATALIE SHAY, “Yesterday”

After winning a slew of recent awards in her native London, which led to a story in Billboard last month, Natalie Shay is more than ready to shine in the worldwide spotlight that a solid song like “Yesterday” might bring for her.  Co-written and recorded with Jonathan Vears, who has worked with the likes of Imagine Dragons, “Yesterday” is richly layered, punchy pop/rock that recounts a relationship that was never meant to be.  Natalie’s style often recalls artists like Alanis Morissette, or perhaps even her own namesake, Natalie Imbruglia – one that will rock right out but still capture a beautifully trained voice with expressive qualities.  “Yesterday” is a worthy introduction to a new talent that we will hear more of throughout the year.

Published in: on February 9, 2019 at 11:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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UK producer @AntonPowers and Dutch duo @RedondoNL concoct a fresh retro blast with “Make Your Move”

ANTON POWERS & REDONDO, “Make Your Move”

I suppose a revival was due and fortunately UK producer Anton Powers and Dutch duo Redondo make it all fresh again with “Make Your Move. Anton of course is no stranger to the charts, with the Top 5 UK hit “Alone No More” with Philip George and famed A&R guy for 3 Beat Productions (think ‘This Girl” by Kungs & Cookin on 3 Burners).  You also heard Redondo paired recently with Alyx Ander for “Casually”.  Think way back to 2004 when Junior Jack’s “Stupidisco” created a worldwide smash around the chorus of one of The Pointer Sisters’ best 80’s songs “Dare Me”.  This time, take some added lyrics, a winning set of vocals, and brisk (and not campy Junior Jack) production and you have “Make Your Move”.  It’s a fun throwback and should have no problem winning over dance club goers anywhere.

Introducing Germany’s @PYNGUparty and UK singer @thisisLoveday with “Breathless (Like This)”

PYNGU x LOVEDAY, “Breathless (Like This)”

“Breathless (Like This)” is an intriguing collaboration between German producer PYNGU and British vocalist Loveday.  Though the name is new to the scene, PYNGU is really not!  Until recently known as Kyco, he scored 16 million streams for his remix of “Oasis” by The Him, and has been supported by Martin Garrix and Tiesto for his own original songs such as “Little Bit Closer”.  This collaboration shifts PYNGU’s sounds to something more exotic and enticing, with Loveday’s vocal sometimes evoking the vulnerable qualities of Lana Del Rey, Elohim, or Sky Ferreira, alternately sounding detached or dreamy.  Overall, PYNGU and Loveday have partnered for a song that is both elegant and mysterious, with some unique synth sounds giving it both a steady bass groove and minimalist high end melodies.  

Published in: on January 27, 2019 at 11:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Disco’s coming back in full effect with songs like @HorseMeatDisco’s “Let’s Go Dancing” with @AmyDouglassings in a @DimitriParis remix

HORSE MEAT DISCO and AMY DOUGLAS, “Let’s Go Dancing” (Dimitri From Paris remix)

Maybe the songs just gravitate to me and find me somehow because I grew up as a teen in the era, and I’ve written about many recent records in the last few years that I’ve labelled “discotastic” or something similar to indicate a reprise in Disco music is in order.  Well I’m getting mighty convinced that’s it’s well in the works when I hear songs like “Let’s Go Dancing” by the British collective/concert promoters that are Horse Meat Disco featuring US vocalist Amy Douglas.  This is a major flashback to around early 1977 pre-Saturday Night Fever when a good part of the music scene was still trying to convince people to party, dance and have a great time to disco music.  Could it be that movement is starting again?  “Let’s Go Dancing” shows clips from Horse Meat Disco’s British and European events called Glitterbox that show people actually dancing together without the celebrity and faux chi-chi of places like Studio 54.  Similar but less well-established events are occurring in NYC so I’m hoping other major cities in North America catch on.  “Let’s Go Dancing” can easily be the good-natured theme for this resurgence, it’s beautifully sung and lots of fun.  Check out the video below and the remix from none other than the fabulous Dimitri From Paris above.

Meet British folk singer @KateyBrooksOFCL with the compelling and heartfelt “In Your Arms”

KATEY BROOKS, “In Your Arms”

Folk music is hardly what I would call a genre that I actively listen to a lot, but much of today’s pop music was founded on what we would now call the music of folk singers who long preceded the pop and rock era (say, before 1955).  And when a voice is as commanding as that of British singer and guitarist Katey Brooks, then I want you to know about it!  You may hear, as I did, potential influences from classic singers like Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins or Stevie Nicks in “In Your Arms”.  The song starts off so quietly as if to not really want to grab your attention.  But once you start hearing the story, her voice becomes an expressive charmer – duly compared to Florence Welch for power – and there is no turning back.  And then, a bit more than 3 minutes later, the song just stops tidily, leaving you to ponder.  Even though she is British, Katey’s music reminds me of how the songs and poetry of Patti Smith somewhat symbiotically connected with the rock audience of the late 70’s.  In today’s alt-pop and alt-rock, which includes folk music, you’ll find other talented women, and Katey Brooks can certainly compete with the best of them.

Published in: on January 12, 2019 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Take Me Away” by UK producer @MaffBoothroyd is a riveting bass thumper with lots of classic house inspiration

MAFF BOOTHROYD, “Take Me Away”

Maff Boothroyd is known in the UK as a club and event promoter, as well as a producer and DJ.  And while his previous music has also found enough traction from some Asian audiences, it’s a diverse song like “Take Me Away” that could open doors in other major markets.  It’s a riveting bass thumper that is set in motion from its first note, and doesn’t let up.  No hidden agendas here, “Take Me Away” is a bona fide club jam that will add sizzle in the momentum of a deep house set.  You can hear many familiar classic house influences particularly from the 90’s which give the arrangement a lot of welcome warmth.  Don’t be surprised to hear “Take Me Away” creep into sets throughout festival season.

maffboothroyd

Published in: on January 5, 2019 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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