Meet alt.pop newcomer @Hogerofficial with “Same Mistakes”

HOGER, “Same Mistakes”

Hoger is a new bedroom singer/songwriter/musician who took a lot of learning into his own hands a few years ago, and started self-producing his own music last year.  Concurrently, he has also started his own song publishing company for his own music and that of others.  Although his bio doesn’t say where he’s from, I would gather that it’s England.  His latest single is a grower called “Same Mistakes”.  And it’s a grower because you need to set aside the time to get to know the story of the song.  “Same Mistakes” is about knowing that you keep getting into toxic relationships – and continue letting them happen.  This is applicable to other events in our lives, but those come without the fatal flaw – that you continue to think you’re in love.  Hoger has beautiful quiet tones to his voice, but when the song comes to a head, his tone is sharper and raw.  However it all suits “Same Mistakes” quite well – spend some time with it and you will be rewarded.

Published in: on November 20, 2020 at 9:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

More cool new alt.rock from England’s Beware The Bear with @SeanSmithsolo, “We Will Survive”

BEWARE THE BEAR and SEAN SMITH, “We Will Survive”

“We Will Survive” is the title track of the 5 song EP by British alt.rock group Beware The Bear and singer Sean Smith, whom many of you know from this blog from his other wonderful work in a dance/pop setting.  Following the propulsive “Wishing On The Water” (which I wrote about recently, also featured in the EP), “We Will Survive” is much needed encouraging reinforcement in these strange times when it feels like things won’t get any better.  Its catchy “yeah”(x7)  hook and Sean’s vibrant vocal highlight a well-played, refreshing release that will appeal to those who like artists from Harry Styles through to Foster The People.

 

Published in: on November 15, 2020 at 11:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Love, Inc.’s dance classic “You’re A Superstar” gets a fine reboot, complete with @SimoneDenny, courtesy of superstar veterans @MickyModelle and @FridayNitePosse

MICKY MODELLE & FRIDAY NIGHT POSSE and SIMONE DENNY, “You’re A Superstar”

Here’s a text book example of how to bring a much-loved dance hit back to life.  Two superstar producers from across the pond, Ireland’s Micky Modelle and England’s Friday Night Posse, have combined their major forces to reboot Canadian trio Love, Inc.’s “You’re A Superstar”, and what better way than with the voice of the original, the amazing Simone Denny?  While “You’re A Superstar” was a radio hit in Canada and a dance club hit in the US, it was a Top 10 pop hit in the UK and throughout Europe in 1998.  Veterans who began their careers around this time, and worked together on the “Clubland” compilations, Micky and Friday Night Posse (Harry Hard – who himself had a #1 record in the UK producing DJ Casper’s “Cha Cha Slide”) inject “You’re A Superstar” Mach 2 with 90’s techno vibes and pulsating synths along with contemporary bells and whistles to make it sizzle once again.  It also is accompanied in its EP by a variety of remixes to check out.  Sounding cheerier than ever, “You’re A Superstar” aims to help you celebrate the good times that you deserve.

It’s a double play for England’s @KarenHarding: Singing on banger “Let’s Get Together” with @IllyandBarri, and co-writing “No One Knows” with @HenriPFR and @Fambamusic with vocal by @CastelliChiiara

ILLYUS & BARRIENTOS x KAREN HARDING, “Let’s Get Together”

HENRI PFR & FAMBA and CHIARA CASTELLI, “No One Knows”

Following the Top US Dance Radio and worldwide success of “Undo My Heart” (currently #1 on my personal chart), England’s Karen Harding continues with personal bests in 2020 as both vocalist and songwriter.  

“Let’s Get Together”, in collaboration with Scottish production duo Illyus and Barrientos, is another deep house banger hot on the heels of “Undo My Heart”, a smoking and very natural follow up.  Whether intentionally or not, it draws a lot from old school disco and classic dance vocalists like Kristine W.  The production is lush and full of shiny effects which fortunately take second place next to Karen’s gorgeous vocal.

Karen co-wrote “No One Knows” with Belgium’s Henri PFR and Canada’s Famba (about whom you have read much in these pages).  It’s an intriguing mid-tempo deep house club track with a classic song structure and a compelling vocal by Swiss singer and You Tube/Instagram star Chiara Castelli.  The song benefits from a number of hard stops and seamless vocalizing by Chiara to keep it moving along briskly.

Loaded with hooks: “Tell Me” by UK producer @iamBobbyHarvey and singer @DannyDeardenuk

BOBBY HARVEY x DANNY DEARDEN, “Tell Me”

“Tell Me” in its original version may only be 2:30, but it’s completely loaded with hooks, courtesy of UK producer Bobby Harvey and singer Danny Dearden.  Bobby makes the 90’s-tinged deep house bass flavours friendly enough for radio – which remind me of Gusto’s “Disco’s Revenge” – and they are stretched out in the Extended Mix in the EP.  Danny is on a bit of a streak after the rollicking recent “Can’t Stop Me Now” (which I wrote about in the Spring) and especially his work with Michael Calfan on “It’s Wrong” and the more recent “Could Be You”, which I even heard in a local department store!  His urgent vocal distinguishes itself from the bassy grooves and “Tell Me” melds together beautifully.

Published in: on November 6, 2020 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

“Part Of This” is poignant pop that wears its emotions on its sleeve, from UK singer/songwriter @Jazz__Mino

JAZZ MINO, “Part Of This”

Following “New Girlfriend” and particularly the outstanding “Like A Drunk Girl” (which peaked at #11 on my personal chart) is “Part Of This” by British singer/songwriter Jazz Mino.  It’s theme is about being excluded, which hits home in particular in the last part of the song, which touches on being on the receiving end of a crumbling relationship.  The song relies on Jazz Mino’s gentle, personable, but direct vocal to tell her story over a minimal mainly electronic arrangement with some well-placed guitar work.  Despite its story, “Part Of This” doesn’t come off as a downer.  Like several of her other songs, Jazz Mino offers well-meaning perspective to which many listeners will relate, and this makes her songs easily stand out from the rest.

Published in: on November 6, 2020 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Soft, romantic, and ever-so-sweet: “No One But You” is new R&B-pop for your soul by @justinnozuka and @mahalia

JUSTIN NOZUKA & MAHALIA, “No One But You”

I’ve noticed in the past several months, there has been a real absence of romantic songs, probably in keeping somewhat with the current ongoing situation. So bravo to Toronto’s Justin Nozuka for releasing his first new music in over two years in the form of an R&B-pop ballad with UK singer Mahalia that recalls his cover of Sade’s “By My Side” called “No One Like You”. In years past, this would be called a ‘quiet storm’ track, and could easily be played next to classics of that sub-genre. It’s a lusciously simple song about anyone’s special someone, and it’s complimented by its video above, which reminds us of all of the gentle, sensual, romantic, and often basic aspects of a relationship that take place. “No One Like You” is pop music soul food. This collaboration with Mahalia is certainly one-of-a-kind. She has had her own major label album release to show off her Erykah Badu-meets-Lauryn Hill style, and has recorded with Jacob Collier, Ty Dolla $ign, Kranium, Ella-Mai, and more. I’m so glad to hear new music from Justin, who is always unpredictable but creates from the heart. Listen for more coming soon.

Published in: on October 18, 2020 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

“Never Knew” is a 90’s flavoured dance hit in-the-making by UK singer/songwriter @SamDickinson from his 2nd album “Off Script”

SAM DICKINSON, “Never Knew”

I’ve been enjoying Sam Dickinson’s songs for the last 7 years, since the release of his debut album The Stories That Occurred. After a few singles and EP’s in the intervening years, Sam’s much-awaited second album has surfaced, called Off Script. It’s a smashing mix of pop, dance and soul music with a particular connection to the early 90’s. One of the best tracks is “Never Knew”, a dance hit in-the-making which will have you hooked from its first bar, and impresses with its well-layered production. In particular, it will please listeners who enjoyed past songs like “Wild Sun”, as well as the album’s lead off single, “Diamond Skin”, which peaked at #5 and #6 on my personal chart respectively. Those looking for more personal and complex stories can dive deeper into the album’s generous and often affecting 14 songs, which also include his previously released take on Everything But The Girl’s “Missing” as well as his rendition of a lovely track by UK soul singer Mica Paris called “Carefree”. Listen to “Never Knew” up top.

Published in: on October 11, 2020 at 8:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Be sure to listen to @ChesneyHawkes’ touching song “John Lennon Lived Here”, co-written with @NikKershaw

CHESNEY HAWKES, “John Lennon Lived Here”

I enjoy songs that capture unique perspectives in life. Appropriately obtaining attention just before John Lennon’s 80th birthday was “John Lennon Lived Here” by L.A.-based UK-born singer/songwriter Chesney Hawkes. The song, co-written by one of my long time faves, Nik Kershaw (who wrote Chesney’s 1991 UK #1 and US Top 10 hit “The One And Only”), was originally included on Chesney’s 2012 album Real Life Love. It takes the viewpoint of a wide-eyed tourist in NYC who is also a John Lennon fan. NYC can be terribly intimidating to some, but to others (like me!) it’s extremely welcoming. The song’s title represents the ability to reconcile with the facts that John Lennon not only lived in but died in NYC, but that it was also where he wanted and needed to be. The subtle arrangement has several Beatle-esque moments and Chesney’s voice is in great form. Although North American audiences would see Chesney as a one-hit wonder, he is not in the UK, and has kept busy over the years with acting and reality show gigs. He belatedly and perhaps unexpectedly resurfaces again through this song and it’s most welcome indeed. It is currently in the Top 10 of the United DJ’s Heritage chart.

Published in: on October 11, 2020 at 8:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

It’s “10/10” #15!: @chriswallace101 #BewareTheBear & @SeanSmithsolo @HotelGaruda @Lawsonofficial @SamDickinson @BrandonColbein @JayB1rdmusic & @ChandlerBlase @Mollydotmusic @TheTrustedband @theTysonKelly

Surprise! It’s 10/10 – Edition 15!! 

This is the first 10/10 post since August.

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, and they are not listed in any particular order.  Songs by Bright Light Bright Light and Pawl & Discrete that were featured in edition #14 debuted yesterday on my personal chart 🙂

Writing 10/10 posts means I can cover more songs in one shot.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about. 

  • CHRIS WALLACE, “Daydreaming”

L.A. based singer/songwriter Chris Wallace has been busy regathering his many fans, and a number of new ones too, after resurfacing this year after several years’ absence on the recording scene, though he continues to be a sought-after songwriter (such as for The Vamps). “Daydreaming”, his most recent release, is a certified bop, guaranteed to make you groove and revel in all those things you long to do. It’s delightfully straight-forward and guaranteed to offer you a great time.

  • BEWARE THE BEAR and SEAN SMITH, “Wishing On The Water”

“Wishing On The Water” is British singer/songwriter Sean Smith’s second collaboration with Portsmouth duo Beware The Bear, following last year’s “Show Me Love”, which ended up receiving international attention when featured in the TV show “MotherFatherSon”. “Wishing On The Water” is definitely a smooth, radio-ready pop song which takes a few spins before you latch onto its hook. Sean sounds wonderful in this more uptempo setting, and I’ll direct this one to the enjoyment of fans of Bastille and Coldplay.

  • HOTEL GARUDA, “Leave You”

I’ve been enjoying all four songs from Hotel Garuda’s latest EP This Tension, but have zeroed in on the playful-sounding positivity of “Leave You”. The man known otherwise as Aseem Mangaokar has taken a break from the deeper house vibes, which I’ve had the pleasure of hearing in concert, in favour of a highly danceable but more pop-flavoured sound, likely the result of working with a number of different contributing producers and writers. Despite its title, “Leave You” is about not wanting to leave someone, and the high level of energy is definitely in the spirit of loyalty, companionship, and love.

  • LAWSON, “Four Letters”

The engaging British quartet who were stars in their native country have returned this year after a four year absence with a number of solid new songs, and even performed online a few weeks ago to the delight of their fans. “Four Letters” is probably the best of these new songs, and it’s also exceedingly familiar, with a hook that is like a companion to their previous hit “When She Was Mine”. This all works wonderfully well, and in particular vocalist/songwriter Andy Brown is at his best here.

  • SAM DICKINSON, “Nothing’s True”

UK indie singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson continues to preview his much-awaited second full album Off Script, due in October, with “Nothing’s True”. This album is full of assorted soulful, danceable pop songs, and this new one does not disappoint. Taking big cues from 70’s and 80’s disco and UK soul, “Nothing’s True” contains a sharp vocal and some excellent guitar work which make this one stand out in Sam’s growing repertoire.

  • BRANDON COLBEIN, “Mean To Me”

“Mean To Me” by California-based singer/songwriter Brandon Colbein is a fascinating new song about staying in a flawed relationship when you don’t know what else to do about it. It’s catch line is “I let you be mean to me because of what you mean to me” – and that’s a real dilemma when you may be choosing your idea of love over your own well-being. Some people stick it out in that relationship and succeed; others do not. Brandon often zeros in on affecting topics that have different perspective. The song features one of his best recent vocals, and you can find other songs that he’s written, but not recorded himself, through recent releases by Zayn, Liam Payne, Hayley Kiyoko and Kehlani, among others.

  • JAY BIRD and CHANDLER BLASE, “Storm”

“Storm” is an atmospheric, quieter lyrical slice of electronica from California producer Jay Bird and featuring the gentle voice of Chandler Blasé. It continues Jay Bird’s transition into a producer and performer whose music will appeal to fans of Illenium, Crystal Skies, Said The Sky, etc. more than many of his previous songs. The song is sung from the perspective of a lost lover who knows that her special someone will be out there for her whether or not she makes it through her “storm”. Its hopeful message will definitely resonate with listeners and the music is solid and restrained.

  • MOLLY., “Paradise”

“Paradise” serves as a song of reassurance for many people whose mental health has taken its toll during the pandemic. Molly. is a new singer/songwriter and guitarist from Lancaster, England whose vocal tones are reminiscent of Florence Welch and Sigrid, while taking cues from classic songs by the likes of Fleetwood Mac. “Paradise” is a refreshing earworm which should bring the singer attention thanks to tight songwriting bridged by her spot-on vocal.

  • THE TRUSTED, “Wild Love”

The Trusted are a new four piece outfit from Southend-On-Sea, England who have a lot going on in their new EP Love And Suicide. All of the songs go by quickly with boundless energy and charismatic vocals by Tom Cunningham. The Trusted reminds me more of bands from the American alt.rock scene than from the UK. Nevertheless, I’m drawn to “Wild Love”, the song that concludes the EP, which stands out as the sum of all its best parts along with its relateable escapist theme. The Trusted are definitely one band to watch and I’m sure will deliver the goods in concert.

  • TYSON KELLY, “Am I Ever Gonna See You Again”

Tyson Kelly is a California-based indie singer/songwriter to watch with his new EP Plastic Rockstar. Taking cues from music of The Beatles and Talking Heads and spilling it into translation to the 2020’s is a challenge, which makes the EP fun to hear. “Am I Ever Gonna See You Again” tells the familiar road story of a fan falling for a rock star while on tour – which means, essentially, a one-nighter. The saga is in stark contrast to the upbeat, sometimes soulful vibe of the music, which even has Beach Boys qualities about it. Tyson is the son of renown songwriter Tom Kelly (Madonna’s “Like A Virgin”, Whitney Houston’s “So Emotional”), so his evident talents are in his blood, and he has appeared as John Lennon in Broadway’s “Let It Be”. His solo songs do break away from a Beatles-ish sound and, while some of the songs in the EP sometimes sound over-exaggerated and perhaps try too hard, he comes off as an affable original performer.