Revel in the unique soundscape of @missMollyMoore’s “Free Spirit”

MOLLY MOORE, “Free Spirit”

“Free Spirit” is the new song from Molly Moore’s upcoming second EP, following Shadow Of The Sun.  It’s nothing like what you heard on that record.  As produced by Craig Dodds of Massive Attack, it definitely recalls the 90’s experimental electronica that made Massive Attack’s early records (particularly Protection) so timeless and memorable.  The same principle is applied on “Free Spirit” where Molly’s voice is shaken and shifted amid a unique soundscap, and in this co-write with beau Brandyn Burnette, there is a distinct progressive soul backdrop similar to some songs in his own latest EP State I’m In.  But “Free Spirit” is unmistakably Molly doing her own great things with music, and should call attention to fans of Banks, Halsey and Grimes.  Pick it up on iTunes.

morecoolclevercovers: Adaku (@muzikizoxygen), @CaseyStratton, @CleoSol, and Steve (Starchild) aka @SteveGrandMusic

I’ve said it before, but I rarely find a cover version of a song that I like better than the original.  One of the songs I’ve chosen about I DO like better than the original.  With others, I admire creativity and interpretation, and two choices today are smart mashups.

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ADAKU, “Is This Love Song”

I’ve introduced you to Nigerian-born American alternative R&B singer Adaku before, with her two classy originals “Or You Can” (and its lovely video) and the provocative “Silent Treatment”.  This time the singer shifts to her sparkling high register for “Is This Love Song” – which is two parts The Cure’s biggest hit “Lovesong” (though youngin’s will know it better as recorded by Adele on 21) and one part Bob Marley’s “Is This Love”.  Set to the melody of the former, the mashup is simply killer, and we get to see Adaku singing as herself this time in the accompanying video.  Expect the unexpected for this well thought out winner.  Watch below and you can download it for free right here.  Adaku’s debut album, titled PLASMA, is anticipated later this year.

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CASEY STRATTON, “Crossfire”

Casey Stratton is a wonderful singer/songwriter with a huge, prolific repertoire.  So it was a pleasant surprise for him to dig back into his own archive, from just a few years back, to offer us his rendition of Brandon Flowers’ solo hit “Crossfire” as a free download right here.  Casey pretty much leaves well enough alone and lets the song bask in its own glory (the original got to #1 on my personal chart too in 2010), but he delves into the emotional side, making the chorus and other parts of the song much more affecting than the original.  Be sure to check out what else Casey has to offer in his body of work in his online store right here.  “Crossfire” is a terrific choice – listen below c/o Popservations blog.

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CLEO SOL, “Teardrop”

Cleo Sol is a relatively new British singer of Serbian, Spanish, and Jamaican heritage, which makes for a huge jumping off point stylistically for her songs.  She’s had some success in her native country with her fusion of R&B, rap, jazz and funk, so “Teardrop” takes a few steps away from all of that to showcase her singing in a slightly different way.  It’s a slick adaptation of Massive Attack’s classic chilled-out 90’s song that gets interpolated with verses and melody of The Verve’s 1997 worldwide hit “Bittersweet Symphony”.  Hardly what you might expect, but it gels beautifully.  It’s also a free download which you can hear and save below.

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STEVE (STARCHILD), “You And I”

The world has recently got to know Steve (Starchild) much better as Country singer Steve Grand with his viral hit “All American Boy”, which essentially was his coming out song/video.  I don’t gravitate very well to country music, so “All American Boy” has not resonated with me, though I’m thrilled that the singer has got some well-deserved new fans, and he seems like a genuinely thankful and earnest guy.  A fellow music buff (and major Steve Grand fan) posted Steve’s video for his cover of Lady GaGa’s “You And I” on a message board where I am an administrator that is just pre-Steve Grand.  All you need to do is watch this explosive performance to hear the oodles of talent that Steve obviously has.  I don’t just like it better than GaGa’s original (not one of her better songs, to me), I LOVE IT and am so glad I get to hear another side of Steve Grand even if it is in the recent past.  Judge for yourself, but “All American Boy” is only Steve Grand’s ticket into the game; now that he’s there I’m gonna watch and see how this talent gets unleashed.  And if he can stay as earthy and true to his fans, there is no limit 🙂

A Half Hour Dance Mix For You!

It goes all the way back to the disco days of the 1970’s when I did dance mixes using vinyl.  I’ve done them all through the subsequent years, but they always end up being a mix of pop, dance, rock, and R&B – not like the beat-matching disco of the 70’s or the beat-matching electro of today.

So while you might not consider this one to be a dance mix in its true sense, it’s a good sampling of some of my current favourites – 18 of them – all in 32 minutes!  For some songs you get a minute or so, for others close to 3 minutes.  I’m proud of some of the mixes – couldn’t likely do some of them with turntables – others, well, will at least catch your attention 😉

Here’s the rundown of the 18 songs.  Your comments would be welcome, particularly if you would like to see more of this kind of blogpost in future 🙂

Download it right here and go to the file “Half Hour Dance Mix 2010.mp3”

PLAYLIST

Intro…

Crystal Method f/ Emily Haines “Come Back Clean”

Tiga “What You Need”

Dan Black “Pass That Head Noize”

Gorillaz f/ Mos Def & Bobby Womack “Stylo” (see video below)

Massive Attack f/ Horace Andy “Girl I Love You”

Florence & The Machine “Dog Days Are Over”

Metric “Gold Guns Girls”

Mika “Rain”

Blake Lewis “Heartbreak on Vinyl”

Matt Morris “Don’t You Dare”

Fabio Lendrum “Trouble”

Javi “Situation”

Ellie Goulding “Starry Eyed”

SSSHHH IT’S A SECRET (bloggers please do not reveal!!)

Lady GaGa “Teeth”

Penguin Prison “Something I’m Not”

Annie “Don’t Stop”

Mike Posner “Cooler Than Me”

Tuned-On! Top 30 #322 – Mar 15/10

The Ides of March are upon us tomorrow, and Daylight Savings Time has hit.  Spring is, well, springing in advance in Toronto, and my work schedule is lightening up a bit to take a few days off this week.  That usually means I get to play a lot of music and get caught up with new releases.


So while this edition of my personal chart (link also to the right under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART***) is chock full of stuff, the chart activity is pretty minimal.  But we do have a new #1!  Lady GaGa gets her first chart topper here with “Teeth”, which I think is just an incredibly wonderful and fun song.  It will be competing with Penguin Prison’s quirky and amazing free download “Something I’m Not”, which moves from its debut position of 11 to 6 this week.  (NOTE:  Simon Curtis fans fear not – though “Delusional” will leave the chart after this one, since it’s lasted the maximum 10 chart appearances, new music from Simon is coming soon 🙂 )

A lot of the activity in the chart takes place outside of the Top 10, where there’s a passel of songs battling it out among each other.  The more I  listen to “Hallelujah” by Justin Timberlake, Matt Morris, and Charlie Sexton, the more I appreciate the careful harmonies and how close it comes to Jeff Buckley’s definitive version – especially given recent renditions of the song which I’ve heard in the past few weeks.  Jason Derulo’s “In My Head” is an almost-singalong carried by a great melody.  Dan Black’s pastiche that is “Pass That Head Noize” keeps winning creativity points from me, while “Don’t Stop” by Annie is pop/dance at its most adorable.

Evan Taubenfeld’s “Starbucks Girl” is gonna keep moving up my chart until I tire of it, even though it’s only available now on YouTube (I can still hope for a bonus live version on his upcoming CD, can’t I?).  Example’s “Won’t Go Quietly” puts me in a good mood (which I’ve needed these past few weeks) and climbs 25-17, the Fastest Riser on the chart.  Justin Nozuka’s “My Heart Is Yours” is right behind moving 27-20, an emotional ballad whose closest companion on the chart is “Hallelujah”.   BT & Christian Burns’ “Suddenly” gets stuck in the middle but should find its way out of it in two weeks.  Other debuts from last week by Pink, Javi, Ellie Goulding, and Vampire Weekend should also strut their stuff in the coming weeks.

Right now I can’t get enough of the energy from songs from Clayton Senne’s Wonderland CD, so the title track debuts at #24.  I had this fascination with Massive Attack back in 1994 when they released the splendid Protection CD.  After that they remained interesting to me but dropped off my radar.  Now reduced to a duo, they seem to be back in the same form as 15 years ago with their new CD Heligoland, from which comes the murky, foreboding sound of “Girl I Love You”, featuring vocalist Horace Andy, at #25.

My final debut is timely.  This song has been popping up on my iTouch shuffle in my car a lot lately.  I saw the band open for The Midway State in Toronto last summer and was impressed at how tight they are and how lead singer Shaun Frank wins over the audience.  Toronto’s The Envy signed this week to Gene Simmons’ record label, so expect to hear more from them soon.  “Don’t Let Go” debuts at #29 and is available to you for free by subscribing to their newsletter at their MySpace site.  Below’s a video of a recent live performance of the song.  Enjoy 🙂