L.A.-based singer/songwriter @BrandonColbein returns to recording with stunning, emotional ballad “Mad”

BRANDON COLBEIN, “Mad”

It’s been almost three years since we’ve heard Brandon Colbein sing his own songs, which were previously recorded as Brandon Skeie.  With a striking voice that wastes no time in convincing you of its potency, Brandon is back with the emotional ballad “Mad”.  I often look for perspective in lyrics, and Brandon nails it here.  The song is offered from a point of view in the aftermath of a relationship when you’re still angry at your former lover – and perhaps, always will be.  But it plays on those moments when you still realize you loved this person at one time, and you’re torn about staying mad at them forever.  As with the exhilarating “So Bad” in 2016 – which has had millions of views online and turned out to be my favourite song of that year – “Mad” cuts right through to your bones. It fills you with empathy but also presents a second look at the relationship, even if it’s fleeting, before life continues on its path.  Despite his absence from recording, Brandon’s been a busy songwriter for Warner Chappell, co-writing songs for the likes of Zayn, Liam Payne, Hayley Kiyoko, Bea Miller, and In Real Life, among many others.  “Mad” puts Brandon right back into the mix without skipping a beat.

Published in: on October 11, 2019 at 11:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“London” is L.A.’s @MollyMooremusic at her most sultry, soulful, and diverse

MOLLY MOORE, “London”

After a couple of quieter, perhaps more experimental singles, L.A. singer/songwriter Molly Moore has turned her talents towards a sultry, soulful side that we haven’t seen too much with “London”.  I’m sure this song was inspired by a recent trip to that city, and sometimes with new places come new perspectives.  “London” also taps into classic jazz influences that we’ve previously heard, making it a standout release in her growing catalogue of recordings.  If you like Jessie Ware, Dusty Springfield, or Lisa Stansfield, then be sure to add “London” to a similar playlist.  Hint: A 4 or 5 song EP in this style would be more than welcome!!

Published in: on September 28, 2019 at 5:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Electronic performer @Frankmusik is back with a pleasing new house-flavoured original, “Do What”

FRANKMUSIK, “Do What”

Now based out of Los Angeles, British electronic performer Frankmusik, written about much in these blog pages over the years, returns with his first new solo music in two years called “Do What”.  This one could be an extension and update of some of Vincent Frank’s best known music from 2013’s Between album, such as, “Captain”, “Map” or “Cake”.  He now may have stepped aside from his highly personal and melodic independent releases of the past few years, “AW17”, “Daybreak” and “For You”, in favour of returning to dance music.  “Do What” is definitely a welcome reboot, with Vince playing with and distorting his own wonderful voice to interesting effect.  The rhythm is carried by consistently punchy house beats and piano riffs which will sound perfect in clubs.  And the pitched-up vocal near the end definitely provides the whacked-out feel of the earlier songs mentioned above without being as frenetic.  I’m hoping that this new amusing and entertaining Frankmusik sound in “Do What” is back to stay!

Published in: on September 24, 2019 at 11:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A. singer/songwriter @AllyHills straddles dance and pop with earworm “Not Now”

ALLY HILLS, “Not Now”

L.A. singer/songwriter Ally Hills is not only a multi-instrumentalist – guitar, drums, keys – but she’s also a You Tube vlogger who often posts about LGBTQ issues and has over 700,000 followers there.  “Not Now” apparently breaks away from two previous darker sounding songs in favour of a chipper melody that carries the story of someone who denies that a relationship has ended, spending time reveling in what-could-have’s and what-might-have’s.  It’s an instantly likeable, breezy earworm with a playful but knowing vocal that deserves attention alongside those new Ariana Grande and Lana Del Rey songs.

Published in: on September 19, 2019 at 10:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s 10/10 #5: @nikkiswives @hellbergmusic @aloeblacc @youngbombs @thediscofries @ryshepherdmusic @brucewiegner @partypupils @MAXmusic @differentheaven @rose_annabrown Alex Mali @mainlymali @weareFlightSchl @laurellmusic

10/10 #05

It’s been a while, but the 10/10 (or tenoutoften) feature is back!  In it,  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. 

Writing 10/10 features 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. 

tenoutoften

tenoutoften 05

  • NIKKI’S WIVES, “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”

Fans of the Cyndi Lauper classic may be certainly taken aback by how Canadian trio Nikki’s Wives interprets “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”, but don’t be worried, it’s a slowed-down version that will snuggle up to you.  I was fortunate to see the band perform it live back in the Spring, and the audience ate it up.  Nikki’s Wives taps into the lyrics of the song, wrestles emotion from the gleeful setting, and gives the song a completely different point of view.

  • HELLBERG & ALOE BLACC, “Punching In The Dark”

Swedish producer Hellberg is back with his best release since last Fall’s “Headlights” (with Leona Lewis).  His way to craft a seamless melody jibes so well with the graceful, invested vocal Aloe Blacc provides in “Punching In The Dark”.  Aloe has been popping up everywhere lately, from singing on fine songs from Avicii’s “SOS” to Mathieu Koss’ “Never Growing Up” to Lost Frequencies’ “Truth Never Lies”.  “Punching In The Dark” is anthemic without being overpowering, and you’ll find it stuck in your head more often than not.

  • YOUNG BOMBS, “Don’t Let Them”

Martin and Tristan started off 2019 with a big bang after signing to Astralwerks, home of Halsey and Illenium, and watching their first single “Starry Eyes” become a club and dance radio hit.  The Vancouver producers followed it up with two singles already, the more recent “Loyal”, an emotional electro-ballad, as well as the tropical-tinged “Don’t Let Them”.  They’re both solid, but “Don’t Let Them” has an edge for me with its celebratory vibe amid encouraging lyrics making you think twice about letting people walk all over you and to take a stand instead.  It’s guaranteed to make you bounce and feel so good!

  • BRUCE WIEGNER, “Malicious”

Philly bred, L.A.-based Bruce Wiegner is a new name to get to know as a singer/songwriter/producer with his third solo single “Malicious”.  The song is a sophisticated, melodic electro-pop delight, playfully calling out a former lover amid vibrant synths and percussion.  Backed with a killer funky groove, “Malicious” may very well cause a spontaneous singalong, so don’t say you weren’t warned.

  • PARTY PUPILS and MAX, “Bite My Tongue”

Although his name doesn’t appear on the artwork, I need to point out right away that MAX is the vocalist on “Bite My Tongue” by his fun side project with his very talented buddy Ryan Siegel, Party Pupils.  Fans have seen Ryan supporting MAX in his solo shows where they often add a few Party Pupils performances that truly energize the crowd.  “Bite My Tongue” allows MAX to sink into that comfortable, soulful place where he has ventured successfully on earlier singles like “Wrong” and “Ms Anonymous”, this time set in an appetizing house setting to which dance club DJ’s should direct their attention.

  • DIFFERENT HEAVEN and ROSEANNA BROWN, “Strangers”

Spanish producer Different Heaven (and pro-gamer aka Alvaro Perea) will brighten up your day with a story about falling in love, and wanting to become “Strangers” again just to feel what it’s like all over again.  “Strangers” is instantly likeable and most of us will identify with it.  Sung with vigor by Roseanna Brown, “Strangers” has a dynamic hook which will sell it home to you if the lyrics and melody somehow don’t grab you.  It’s perfectly suited for dance music radio play anywhere.

  • ALEX MALI, “Start It Up”

Alex Mali is a relatively new R&B/pop singer from Brooklyn whose music has quickly been getting traction throughout the US.  That’s not at all surprising, with a voice that is as convincing as Normani and pointed lyrics that recall a less complex H.E.R.  What’s most attractive about Alex’s voice is her sweet tone, which prevails throughout “Start It Up”.  The song is about what you feel you should do when you think you might get hurt before a potential relationship even begins.  This can be frustrating when your heart tells you that someone might be ‘the one’, in the way that past lovers were not, and your head tells you otherwise.  Despite a tough topic, the melody is soothing and the song goes down easy.  It’s from Alex’s new EP Sweet & Sour, and check out the video for “Start It Up” above.

  • DISCO FRIES, “Family Affair”

After the smashing #1 dance club hit “Concrete Heart” which they recorded with Vassy, New York City’s Disco Fries (otherwise known as Nick and Danny) are back this time on Spinnin’ with “Family Affair”.  It’s a pumped up house take on the Mary J. Blige classic from 2001 but this time with uncredited male vocals. “Family Affair” is such a recognizable song and one that needs to be covered in the right way.  Disco Fries put it on a pedestal, not taking too many production liberties with it, and make their version shine, and club play reaction will be instantaneous.  I look forward to seeing “Family Affair” follow “Concrete Heart” up the dance charts.

  • FLIGHT SCHOOL and LAURELL, “Come & Go”

Toronto production duo Flight School (Guillaume and Conor) surprised everyone in Canadian music land earlier this year by scoring a highly rare out of the box Top 20 national radio hit, after winning an iHeart Radio contest, with “Figure It Out”.  The likeable, rough-around-the-edges sound of “Figure It Out” has been succeeded by the more enigmatic deep house of “Come & Go”.  One of the co-writers of the song with Flight School is its singer Laurell, who won a Juno Award as the vocalist of Nick Fiorucci’s “Closer”, and has recorded with other prominent dance producers like Ummet Ozcan, Quintino, and Steve Void.  Her rich and captivating performance should help guarantee “Come & Go” more radio play and garner attention from outside of Canada.  “Come & Go” is international in its accessible dance flavours and sound.  Check out the video above.

  • RYAN SHEPHERD and HEATHER JANSSEN, “Who’s Gonna Love U”

“Who’s Gonna Love U” is a stylish slice of deep house from Canadian producer Ryan Shepherd, whose music has been featured in this blog a number of times over the past few years.  Whereas a number of Ryan’s songs have slammed hard and were tailored for clubs and festivals, in his latest for Armada, “Who’s Gonna Love U” should easily find favour on the radio.  Canadian singer/songwriter Heather Janssen’s voice is alternately delicate and alluring, all the while delivering a strong message to a previous lover – “who’s gonna love U if I don’t love U, nobody else could”.  Some spicy remixes could also help “Who’s Gonna Love U” get the green light from club DJ’s too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia’s @YvngJalapeno reinvents “Not At All” by @Jayceeoh @StaffordBros and @Waka_Flocka_F

JAYCEEOH, STAFFORD BROTHERS and WAKA FLOCKA FLAME, “Not At All” (Yvng Jalapeño remix)

Australian producer Yvng Jalapeño goes all out to impress this time with his reinvention of “Not At All” by veteran producers and fellow Aussies the Stafford Brothers and L.A.’s Jayceeoh, along with Atlanta rapper Waka Flocka Flame.  He takes a pretty slamming hip hop/electro track and turns it inside out and sideways.  Oh the song still goes really hard but in a Matrix kind of way 🙂 it’s kind of like anti-gravity trap and dubstep rolled all into one.  Waka Flocka Flame’s potent vocal in the original is now used as a startling and haunting effect.  “Not At All” is a busy track and not for everyone.  I have heard remixes before by Jvng Jalapeño but this one truly brings it and is meant to be played really loud.  Club DJ’s who want to keep their audience guessing will have fun with this one.  “Not At All” is also available in three other remixes should you wish to compare.

It’s summer all year long with “Poolside Vibe” by @PrettySister and @therealMarcLo

PRETTY SISTER & MARCLO, “Poolside Vibe”

The sound of “Poolside Vibe” is rich and slick, and will transport you into a summer mood regardless of the weather outside.  It’s chill, soulful, 70’s influenced west coast fun brought to you by two performers that you know from other work.  L.A. singer/songwriter/producer Pretty Sister has had a faithful and engaging cover of Ginuwine’s “Pony” circulating in clubs for the last few years, and you wouldn’t necessarily associate that performance with this one.  Pretty Sister – aka Zak Waters – has also produced or co-written songs for Betty Who, VINCINT, Nathan Sykes, and JoJo.  And Miami’s Marcus Lomax is actually a member of noted production sextet The Monsters & The Strangerz, who during the last 10 years have not only produced Zedd’s massive “The Middle”, but notable releases by Fifth Harmony, Nick Jonas, Jason Derulo, Jennifer Lopez, Maroon 5, and a slew of others.  This time MarcLo offers up his very fine voice (in anticipation of a forthcoming album) and both he and Pretty Sister make the most of this winning collaboration, which bears repeating.

Published in: on August 9, 2019 at 10:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Some keen observations from L.A.-based singer/songwriter Axel Mansoor @iamAxelM through new songs “Paradise” and “London Grey”

AXEL MANSOOR, “Paradise” and “London Grey” (with Yann Lauren)

An ever-listenable favourite of this blog, singer/songwriter Axel Mansoor, returns with two new songs that each have their own observations on particular subjects.  “Paradise” is the more produced of the two songs which uses the title as a metaphor for something that we are seeking but might never find, since it may, in one way or another, be right in front of our noses.  It’s a witty observation from Axel who always enthralls us with interesting perspectives in his lyrics.  Of equal interest is the more acoustic “London Grey”, featuring Yann Lauren, which takes the frustration of having too many stressors in life compounded pretty much by one season all year long in L.A., and puts them up for grabs in favour of the variety of environments of other places in the world, such as the often grey London of the title.  Axel himself has resided in many places throughout the world – he was raised in the small Indian Ocean republic of Mauritius – so his take on the beautiful but lonely L.A. will resonate with many others.  Check out both songs using the links above.

 

Published in: on August 3, 2019 at 10:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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In both “Graduate” and “Rainbow”, @SimonCurtis tugs at our hearts while being that sweet, reassuring voice

SIMON CURTIS, “Graduate” and “Rainbow”

Following up the dreamy “Love” from earlier this year, L.A.-based pop singer/songwriter and author (“Boy Robot”) Simon Curtis continues what looks to be a fruitful partnership with producer/songwriter Danny Garibay for his new AA single, “Graduate” and “Rainbow”. 

“Graduate” (above) is about knowing when you’re at one of many plateaus we all have in life and need to take that next, often difficult, step to move on.  It’s such a thoughtful song that many young people need to hear – it’s intended to help someone turn on that light or flick that switch that triggers determination and drive, and avoid falling back and being complacent about what’s happening in one’s life.  “Rainbow” (below) sounds like a simple, stripped-back pop ballad on the surface.  But again it’s got a strong message about being resolute in who you are as a person, and being a colourful and shining light not only for yourself but others too.  

“Graduate” and “Rainbow” are definitely two of the more intricate, heart-tugging, and selfless songs that Simon and team have created.  In both songs, he stays mostly in his ever-effortless-sounding high register – which he continues to keep so well-polished – that will be a big draw for his many fans of the Robot Army.  As with “Love”, “Graduate” and “Rainbow” continue a new and intriguing chapter for Simon that may seem many steps away from the music of previous releases R∆ and 8bit Heart, but with Simon you can always expect the unexpected and definitely never say never!  More to come!! 

Published in: on August 2, 2019 at 8:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A. duo @CosmosNCreature return with experimental and electronic @SteveAoki-produced “The Wonder”

COSMOS & CREATURE, “The Wonder”

It’s a bit of a stretch away from the electronic dance/pop with which we’ve become familiar with L.A. duo Cosmos & Creature through their own releases or their numerous features over the last few years.  This time, Molly Moore and Brandyn Burnette get some huge and intriguing assists from Steve Aoki, who produced and co-wrote “The Wonder”.  It’s an other-worldy, trippy, trappy-sounding effort on which Molly (who also co-wrote) is most showcased this time.  The song seems to use echoes as a device to represent either an overload of emotions or information that leave us caught up in wonder, only to be taken away from it, willingly or not.  “The Wonder” is C&C at their most experimental and creative and fans will definitely dig it.

Published in: on July 16, 2019 at 9:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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