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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“Remember” is late night, romantic deep house from England’s @DFUXofficial with @PershardOwens

DFUX and PERSHARD OWENS, “Remember”

If you like your deep house luscious and romantic at a percolating 126 bpm, then “Remember” is for you.  It’s brought to us by rising British production duo DFUX (George and Joss) and features the rich and powerful tones of Georgia-based singer Pershard Owens.  According to DFUX, the song started out as something totally different and more jazzy, and once they had Pershard’s voice for the record, almost everything changed and the song was essentially rewritten.  Indeed, like commanding voices such as Gregory Foster on Disclosure’s “Holding On” or Mike Yung’s recent vocal for Martin Garrix on “Dreamer”, Pershard’s tones are what make the song most memorable, against a solid, swinging rhythm that will get you up out of your seat.  DFUX have more projects in the work this year, so watch out for regular music from them!

dfux 1

Published in: on January 5, 2019 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“These Hands” by England’s @CoreyLayzell is not your typical pop/dance love song

COREY LAYZELL, “These Hands”

The first thing that will strike you about “These Hands” by Essex-born singer Corey Layzell is his voice.  Think of everyone who might have stood out because they didn’t sound like anyone else.  Corey reminds me of MNEK without soulful power but with a lot of pop potential in a Bastille kind of way.  “These Hands” is about fighting for love, and it’s set to an engaging and complimentary pop/dance synth track.  It’s no wonder that Sia is a vocal influence for Corey.  “These Hands” is everything that you enjoy about pop music that’s unmistakably unconventional and dance music is the perfect genre to host it.  I’m predicting we’ll be hearing much, much more from Corey Layzell very soon!

Published in: on December 14, 2018 at 12:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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“Remember” is a touching and hopeful song in the face of adversity by British singer/songwriter @JulesRendell

JULES RENDELL, “Remember” (live performance)

This past Spring, I introduced you to British singer/songwriter Jules Rendell and her song “The Return” from her album I M A G I N E.  A great way to showcase songs is through live performance, and Jules does this, with just her piano and voice, in a concert rendition of “Remember” from the same album.  And with a powerful and passionate voice, that is all that a song like “Remember” needs – simple isn’t always easy to do but it is sometimes what works best.  It’s a hopeful song about remembering the loving and caring words that friends and family say when facing some sort of adversity, and in particular when mental health is the source, when people may not knowingly take the words to heart.  That’s all there is to say – just check out the video above and find out why.

Published in: on December 1, 2018 at 10:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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UK producer @NotionDJ brings bass bounce to the floor with “Real” featuring Cecelia

NOTION and CECELIA, “Real”

Tiësto’s Musical Freedom label that shows how it’s breaking away from time to time from traditional house bangers. “Real” by British producer/DJ Notion is an uncharacteristic release for the label, a bass heavy track that still falls into the banger category with its infectious breaks and drops.  With an urgent soulful male vocal rooted in early 00’s British house through Cecelia, “Real” just doesn’t let up for its three minutes+, with its squeaky synth riffs that will resonate easily through big dance club speakers.  Notion definitely has a playful ear to make his sounds stand out without making some synth effects seem intrusive, and “Real” should continue to bring his name to the fore.

Published in: on October 13, 2018 at 9:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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