Check out the pop-dance retro anthem “Summer In Brooklyn” by @YoungBombs and vocalist @Jordysongs

YOUNG BOMBS and JORDY, “Summer In Brooklyn”

Following up their huge recent dance radio hits “Better Day” (with Aloe Blacc) and “Starry Eyes”, and their EP The Young Bombs Show, which also included a collaboration with Hootie & The Blowfish’s Darius Rucker on “Wrong Side Of Love”, British Columbia dance production duo Young Bombs are back with “Summer In Brooklyn” with L.A.-based singer Jordy.  The much-sought after remixers (Tristan and Martin) are now charting artists in their own right, and it’s no wonder with the friendly and anthemic sound of “Summer In Brooklyn”. Jordy’s boy-next-door vocal implores you to remember all the good times and continue to make new ones. NYC in the summer is as great a place to be for that as my fellow Canadians know – one that I personally enjoy, but have missed these last two summers.  So get caught up in all of those feels in “Summer In Brooklyn” and dance your way into better even times.

Published in: on September 9, 2021 at 8:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Amsterdam-based California R&B/pop producer/songwriter @_BlackSands takes you on an emotional journey with “Used To It” from the EP “Afterglow”

BLACK SANDS and MARTINO, “Used To It”

In “Used To It”, California electronic/pop producer/songwriter Black Sands (aka Andrew Balfour) concludes that while life will not be the same after an unfortunate and tragic event, he must move on, and thus takes us on an emotional foray with The Weeknd as his clear inspiration for his new music. The song comes to a stylized fruition thanks to L.A. R&B/pop vocalist Martino. Because of his voice, “Used To It” reminds me of The Weeknd’s music circa Starboy and My Dear Melancholy, which is some of my favourite music of The Weeknd’s career, all recorded in the aftermath of a breakup. The synths sparkle and create their own kind of twilight. Black Sands recorded his new EP Afterglow following the sudden death of his sister.  And while the stories are bleak, they never come across that way at a distant listen.  Listen closely though and you’ll grasp that Black Sands has achieved something far from ordinary with his new songs. 

 

Published in: on August 26, 2021 at 10:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Fly” is a commanding new progressive dance instrumental by L.A.-based producer @JerinJamesmusic

JERIN JAMES, “Fly”

The first thing I think of when I hear “Fly” is seeing a bunch of jets rise into flight. Thus, it’s a very visual and commanding new progressive dance instrumental track from Jerin James, who has brought us gems like “Birds and Bees” and “Dance Again” during the past year. But it’s always trickier to make an instrumental, and “Fly” is notable because of all of the vibrant sounds Jerin uses in the mix. Synths soar and swoosh amid some additional vocal effects, while layers of strings permeate the busy but balanced mix. “Fly” is highly recommended for creators of video games, commercials, or short films looking to sync their visuals with a song that will instantly snare viewers’ attention.

Published in: on August 20, 2021 at 2:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Satellite” is sparkling new synth-pop from @Frankmusik

FRANKMUSIK, “Satellite”

While he has continued to make and release music over the last few years, UK multi-talent Frankmusik had to take a few steps back not long ago to settle into a new life with spouse and child in L.A.  His music is always intriguing. whether recording under a pseudonym (Stephanie Clothing) or giving us frequent tastes throughout 2021 of what undoubtedly will be a new album. “Satellite” is a beautiful, sparkling track that stands out because of its extremely catchy chorus which is sung in his high register. With a straight-forward song structure, “Satellite” also allows Frankmusik to embellish the production with splashy synths that really give the song a lift.  High calibre songs such as “Satellite” will continue to allow us all to look forward to more from Frankmusik mach 2021.

Published in: on August 15, 2021 at 9:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Never Love You Again” is solid dance pop from the surprise pairing of @CheatCodesmusic, @LittleBigTown and @BrynChristopher

CHEAT CODES, LITTLE BIG TOWN and BRYN CHRISTOPHER, “Never Love You Again”

It may look like a big question mark on paper, but there’s no denying that “Never Love You Again” is a solid dance pop release that has hit potential all over it.  L.A. based trio Cheat Codes have come such a long way in the five years that I’ve known of their music (and seeing them open for Matoma), supporting The Chainsmokers on tour, recording with Demi Lovato, and recently scoring a dance radio hit with Tinashe with “Lean On Me”.  Add the talents of multi-award winning Nashville country quartet Little Big Town and British go-to dance music voice and pop/R&B singer Bryn Christopher, and you think that too many ingredients might spoil the proverbial musical broth.  But they don’t – all of the voices blend seamlessly and lift what might otherwise seem like a routine leave-you-with-no-regrets song to much greater heights.  Kudos to all and radio programmers need to make note of this one especially when collecting listener opinions about it.

The vibrant dance music sounds of L.A.’s @TwoFriendsmusic continue with “Useless” and singer @EmilyVaughnx

TWO FRIENDS and EMILY VAUGHN, “Useless”

“Useless” has arrived from Two Friends and Emily Vaughn just in time for Matt and Eli to start playing clubs again, for their music is meant to be enjoyed and played loud in person.  Having the increasingly familiar voice of Emily Vaughn aboard to lend an engaging and sympathetic vocal on “Useless” is a huge bonus – she recently sang on Taska Black’s Top 20 dance hit “Easier”, as well as on Smallpools’ cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere” and Gareth Emery’s “You Are”.  Her voice plus the vibrant synth arpeggios, which are getting to be a trademark of many of Two Friends’ releases, are what will pull you in and keep you there.  Summer is here and Two Friends will make you sweat it out to their distinct brand of fun. All three performers feature prominently in their “day at the pool” video up top.

Published in: on June 28, 2021 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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There’s plenty of gritty and soulful dance pop in “Nature” by producers #Dubio and @Toniiamusic with singer/songwriter @BrandonRogersLA

DUBIO, TONIIA and BRANDON ROGERS, “Nature”

“Nature” is out to grab your attention from its first few bars and a standout blend of pop, dance and soul.  It’s brought to you by the global collaboration of Portuguese producers Dubio, German producer Toniia, and American vocalist/ songwriter Brandon Rogers, who many of you will remember as a Top 12 finalist on “American Idol” in season six (Jordin Sparks won that year).  The style here is edgier and grittier than the usual dance release, but it’s a perfect match for its backstory about being at ease and comfortable as yourself, with all of your strengths and weaknesses, which helps put anxieties and self/society-inflected pressures at bay. Brandon is also an eloquent and powerful songwriter – he co-wrote Troye Sivan’s “Happy Little Pill” among others.  Dubio are relatively new faces to the dance music world, having established themselves out of Portugal with some major label releases. The more seasoned Toniia, whose own “Only Human” was recently remixed by Brazil’s RAMAH, added his distinct, progressive touches, making for a compelling release that still goes down easy.

Published in: on June 28, 2021 at 10:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Daisies” is a bright, shiny delight from L.A. singer/songwriter RayeRobinson @itsjustraye

RAYE ROBINSON, “Daisies”

L.A.’s Raye Robinson is out to charm you with her new single “Daisies” from an upcoming EP called Crushes & Love Songs.  “Daisies” puts her in a bright, sometimes comical “he loves me, he loves me not” setting, and the song melodically transports me back to classic early 1970’s pop songs sung by Karen Carpenter, Carly Simon and others.  Looking to more contemporary vocal comparisons, Lily Allen and Katy Perry (she of another “Daisies” song) come to mind. Wherever your thoughts might take you, there’s no denying the hook and vocal prowess of “Daisies” should be enough to get Raye Robinson some attention from key music industry tastemakers.

Published in: on June 14, 2021 at 9:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Check out “rot” by Axel Mansoor @iamaxelm from his EP “i hadn’t ever loved myself”

AXEL MANSOOR, “rot”

While I’ve written several times about SoCal-based singer/songwriter Axel Mansoor, the recent Clubhouse Icon and Emmy Award nominee spent some time overseas in his family home in Mauritius, and has shared a lot of personal release through his EP “i hadn’t ever loved myself”, from which is culled “rot”.  The EP also contains “kids can be so stupid”, which I wrote about not long ago.  “rot” took me longer to figure out and process, with its jangly arrangement and fuzzy production (below, reminding me of Chet Porter and Alison Wonderland’s wonderful collaboration of last year called “Bummed”) which tends to obscure some of the lyrics but is an enjoyable listen nonetheless.  But do check out the acoustic video of “rot” above.  What I’ve appreciated most about Axel in writing about him since 2017 is how genuine he is.  He takes this with him on the Clubhouse APP in his Lullaby Club, and to his Facebook and Instagram videos.  It’s a lovely version of “rot”, and now we can hear all of the lyrics, which strip away the “rot” of our younger years (which we always take with us anyway) in favour of our eventual growth and maturity, which make us better people in the end.  

 

In “Punching Bag”, Brandyn Burnette @EMAN8 gets candid about post-relationship feelings

BRANDYN BURNETTE, “Punching Bag”

Breakups: we all have had them, and some are worse than others, after a longer period of time than others. Since the end of a previous long relationship, Brandyn Burnette has reflected to gather his thoughts about it in “Punching Bag”. Every relationship is different, so these are a unique set of lyrics that capture his perspective.  And you can’t just put on airs or trash the relationship in a pop song because neither approach works.  Brandyn has opted for some eloquence amid other direct words, including the title, because most people feel exactly like that in the same circumstances.  The melody is on the bright side and the song looks out for the better for both parties as they move on.  “Punching Bag” is probably one of Brandyn’s best recent songs, capturing the thoughtfulness of some of his earlier songs circa 2015-16 and continuing to show the diversity in the scope of his growing repertoire.  The video above has another interpretation of the song, which is the aftermath of a spat rather than a relationship.

Published in: on May 25, 2021 at 10:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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