NYC dance producers @TheKnocks team up again with @FosterThePeople for the rich pop grooves of “All About You”

THE KNOCKS and FOSTER THE PEOPLE, “All About You”

I was late to the party with the last collaboration by The Knocks and Foster The People from two years ago called “Ride Or Die”.  It took hearing it at a “The Knocks and Friends” event in NYC to have a belated ‘wow’ moment about that song.  I wasn’t going to let that happen again – “All About You” is a fun slice of dance-pop with a delicious bass groove that contrasts the soaring voice of Mark Foster aptly.  The Knocks are a prolific duo whose work shifts within the dance music realm to provide interesting and unique experiences with each song.  With “Ride Or Die” one of their best known releases, I’m glad teaming up with Foster The People again has worked so well.  The lyrics in “All About You” are very timely and hopeful as the subject of the song snaps out of a low point when someone new comes into his life.  And in other ways, it sounds very old school, drawing influences perhaps from the essential Motown and Stax years of music.  

Bitterly called out: “Fucking To Forget” is new from Dutch producer @theLaurentius and US singer/songwriter @TylerShamy

LAURENTIUS and TYLER SHAMY, “Fucking To Forget”

Talk about a bitter call out after a relationship is done!  Many of us have been there – when you thought you had something good, only to find that the other party thinks it’s better with someone else.  Hence “Fucking To Forget” – making yourself feel better that you’ll still be in that person’s mind when they’re, ahem, going at it.  It’s a terrific but blunt song co-written by the artists, Dutch producer Laurentius (aka Lars Beerda), about whom you’ve read in this blog space recently with his work with Victor Perry on “Stay The Night”, and L.A.-based singer/songwriter Tyler Shamy, who is primarily known as a voice artist and has written hundreds of songs for TV and commercial placements.  His vocal is spot-on, and Laurentius adds somewhat of a tropical flavour to the proceedings which makes the bitter pill go down easier.  NSFR (not safe for radio haha), but club DJ’s will enjoy this one.

“Give It Back” is a pumping new banger from @TheDiscoFries, @Giiantsmusic and singer @AllisonParklive

DISCO FRIES & GIIANTS and ALLISON PARK, “Give It Back”

Making a banger and getting it right is an art unto itself – I’d be one happy camper if the quality of songs like Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande’s “Rain On Me”, Karen Harding & Digital Farm Animals’ “Undo My Heart” and Jerome Price’s “Chasing Feelings” (the latter two of which are currently on my chart) continue into 2021.  Making me very hopeful is a song you can add to this list. “Give It Back” is the second collaboration by veterans of this blog, NYC’s Disco Fries and L.A. trio Giiants, after their recent late night anthem “Believer”.  This time “Give It Back” showcases the voice of L.A.-based co-writer Allison Park, someone perhaps newer to dance music releases but not to performing and songwriting – she’s travelled across the USA and written numerous songs during the last decade.  Her polished tones make “Give It Back” go down easy amid a propulsive and irresistible arrangement.  

Electronic producer Deacon and singer @iamLorenGray bring social media star power to the dance floor with “Love for the Summer”

DEACON and LOREN GRAY, “Love For The Summer”

Continuing with the examples set by performers such as Shawn Mendes and Troye Sivan, and more recently with Lil Nas X and Dixie D’Amelio, the power of social media crossover to pop music success is evident in the infectious “Love For The Summer” by Deacon and Loren Gray.  Neither are even 20 years old – Deacon is the L.A.-based 17 year old son of actors Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe, and 18 year old Pennsylvanian Loren Gray is a Tik Tok and Instagram star who has also released several singles, including some features in dance music releases, and has appeared in videos by Taylor Swift, HRVY, and Kim Petras. “Love For The Summer” is only the second single for Deacon, and it’s an entertaining, rich production somewhat reminiscent of The Chainsmokers’ “Closer”, which allows Loren’s vocal to glide over some big beats and a warm melody.

Published in: on November 14, 2020 at 10:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Rolling Papers” is unexpectedly light-hearted and playful from Brandyn Burnette @EMAN8 and Toronto’s @leFrenchBraids

BRANDYN BURNETTE and FRENCH BRAIDS, “Rolling Papers”

“Rolling Papers” is one new song that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face.  Brandyn Burnette has been hard at work in 2020 as both a solo and feature artist, regularly releasing new songs to showcase his pop, hip hop and R&B styles.  “Rolling Papers” might be a bit of a crapshoot but it’s a whole lot of fun.  The singer shows off his deft wordsmithing and is aptly supported by rising Toronto electronic producer French Braids (aka Sean Fischer), with whom Brandyn worked earlier this year on the track “Legend”.  But in “Rolling Papers” it’s great to hear Brandyn’s verses freewheelin’ in a lighter, feel-good setting, and that is a big win for fans and new listeners.

An early present for you: “This Christmas” by L.A.-based Canadian singer/songwriter @PeterFoldy

PETER FOLDY, “This Christmas”

Want to put some cheer and joy into your life and surroundings?  Then take this lovely early present from L.A.-based Canadian singer/songwriter Peter Foldy called “This Christmas”.  It’s a contemporary and uplifting Christmas song that wraps you up in a warm, fuzzy, loving blanket in advance of the holidays.  Peter’s timeless vocal goes down easy and leads the way, and there’s no reason why any radio station shouldn’t include this next to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and other originals, next to the usual golden standards.  “This Christmas” is another treat following the recent success (and foreshadowing!) of Peter’s “Toxic World”, which has over 25K streams on Spotify alone and reached #5 of my personal chart.  Check out the lyric video for “This Christmas” above or listen to it at the Spotify link below.

Published in: on November 6, 2020 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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In “You’re Mine” by @Cobimusic, the subject is finding a relationship’s middle ground

COBI, “You’re Mine”

L.A.-based singer/songwriter Cobi continues to release affecting and personal songs such as his latest, “You’re Mine”.  This one documents the struggle to find a relationship’s middle ground, when the singer’s own struggles prevent it from moving on to the next level, and put the relationship at risk.  “You’re Mine” is about wanting someone so much, and not knowing what to do about it.  Cobi’s powerful vocal resonates from deep within, but what could be a morose song is boosted by a fervid, sometimes bluesy rock arrangement that keeps you captivated instead of pushing you away.  I can’t wait to hear what Cobi’s songs will sound like when he has the opportunity to play them in a live concert.  And so above is a live clip that will give you a taste, with the studio version below.

Published in: on November 1, 2020 at 8:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“If I Try To Find You” bares all about a past relationship, according to L.A.-based indie singer/songwriter @KINGMALAmusic

KING MALA, “If I Try To Find You”

Finding a happy, edgy ground somewhere between Lana Del Rey and Billie Eilish isn’t easy, but L.A.-based indie singer/songwriter KING MALA (aka Areli Castro) seems to have achieved it in “If I Try To Find You”.  It’s a follow up to her complex single “sugarblind”, which I wrote about in the Summer.  The song pulls open wounds from a long-ago relationship, when given thought about where that person might be now, with the realization that the enduring pain from it was much deeper.  The song truly comes alive with an in-your-face chorus that might prove to be a trademark of KING MALA’s “king bad bitch” persona.  “If I Try To Find You” is aggressive and not always an easy listen, but your time in getting to know the music of KING MALA will be very well spent.

Published in: on November 1, 2020 at 8:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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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  
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Check out the breezy and danceable “Forever Free” by South Africa’s @GoldFishlive

GOLDFISH, “Forever Free”

The venerable and Award-winning South African production duo GoldFish are due to release an album sometime soon, since their last one was now three years ago, Late Night People (followed more recently by a remix album of it). Dominic and David continue to tease us with a new single every now and then, and their latest, “Forever Free”, is a timeless and positive ode to something that’s important to everyone. Co-written with and sung by L.A.-based vocalist Nate Highfield, “Forever Free” soars to similar happy places that songs like Tritonal & Henry Dark’s “Shivohum” and Porter Robinson’s “Get Your Wish” have transported us this year. GoldFish’s production is effortless and Nate’s voice just lets “Forever Free” soar. Watch the entertaining animated video above, directed by Matt Torode – and yes, Dominic and David get the cartoon treatment!