“I Don’t Know Why” is shiny danceable pop from Sweden’s @NOTD and Norwegian singer @AstridSofficial

NOTD and ASTRID S, “I Don’t Know Why”

Following up their 2019 massive dance and pop radio hit “So Close” (with Felix Jaehn, Captain Cuts and Georgia Ku) is Swedish production duo NOTD with “I Don’t Know Why”.  Not long out of high school, these young lads continue to be in demand as producers, remixers, and songwriters with their bright, cheery, synth-driven takes on pop and dance music.  Here they partner with on-the-bubble Norwegian singer Astrid S, who has already had in concert showcases in the US and Europe.  The song is summery ear candy of all of the best flavours with a standout vocal that engages its listeners.  All parties continue to have enormous potential and “I Don’t Know Why” scores big time in both melody and hook departments.

Published in: on May 18, 2020 at 10:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Norwegian duo @Richellomusic make a splashy return with radio-friendly “All We Are”

RICHELLO, “All We Are”

The social media for Norwegian producers/remixers Richello went quiet in early 2016, some time after what was once a duo became a one-person project.  The break proved fruitful so for the first time in about 6 or 7 years, Richello is once again a duo.  And with major label deal in hand, “All We Are” sounds like it should be both an immediate pop and dance radio hit.  The first thing you’ll notice are the good-timey vibes and synth flavours which are a throwback to the start of the decade.  The second thing you’ll notice is that the song has a few bars that are quite similar to The Wanted’s huge 2012 hit “Glad You Came”.  And while some songs have been interpolating lyrics of other famous songs into their choruses and such, this comes as no surprise, even if unintentional.  It all works and the vocals give that friendly anthemic punch that will sound great in the summer months.  So it should be ‘all systems go’ for Richello with “All We Are”!

Published in: on April 13, 2020 at 3:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Outstanding remixes reboot “Tongue Tied” by @mahalo_dj @discokillerz and @EMAN8 and “Naked (With My Headphones On)” by @RatCity and @Kiesza

MAHALO, DISCO KILLERZ and BRANDYN BURNETTE, “Tongue Tied” (Danny Quest and Frank Pole remixes)

RAT CITY and KIESZA, “Naked (With My Headphones On)” (Tungevaad, VIDA and Blinkie remixes)

I’m a firm believer that in some cases official remixes can improve on a good song’s success.  Here we have two cases that clearly support what I believe.

L.A.-based Mahalo is extremely prolific and with a song like “So Cold” becoming such a major dance radio hit last year, it’s important that every release since that one must stand out.  Despite the talent in partnership with Disco Killerz and EMAN8 (billed as Brandyn Burnette), two remixes of “Tongue Tied” actually add more to enhance the original song.  Florida’s Danny Quest pumps up the rhythm with an arrangement that enhances Brandyn’s vocal (above).  And Italy’s Frank Pole lends a Eurohouse vibe that will assuredly draw dancers to the club floor (below).

“Naked (With My Headphones On)” is such a strong song by Norway’s Rat City with my immensely talented fellow Canadian Kiesza singing it, and it has endured through social media since its release last Fall.  A trio of remixes is definitely helping to reboot the song’s infectious appeal.  Norway’s Tungevaad brings a European trance flavour to the proceedings in a shorter, tighter version of the song (above).  London’s Blinkie offers similar sped up trance-y vibes while newcomer ZIDA focuses on Kiesza’s vocal and strengthens the pop appeal of the song (both are below).

If you checked out and loved the originals of “Tongue Tied” and “Naked (With My Headphones On)” then do yourself a favour and listen to the remixes too!

Norwegian rockers Beach Of Diamonds bring us 2000’s retro vibes with “She Makes A Mess Everywhere She Goes”

BEACH OF DIAMONDS, “She Makes A Mess Everywhere She Goes”

Norwegian rock duo Beach Of Diamonds takes us back to the 2000’s specifically around 2003-04 when Blink-182 and Green Day ruled and other alternative rockers like AFI, My Chemical Romance, and Fall Out Boy were also establishing themselves.  Throw in hints of similar but more commercial-oriented acts at the time like McFly and American Hi-Fi and you’ll get the vibe of BoD’s latest single “She Makes A Mess Everywhere She Goes”.  Though they say they wrote it for Greta Thunberg, it’s an energetic and I believe humorous song about a gal who leaves relationships in dire straits and then moves on.  The vocals and guitar work are grabbers and the song could fit like a glove in North American mainstream or alternative radio faster than you can say “American Idiot”.

Add sparks to your “Sunday Morning” by @Matomaofficial and @JosieDunnemusic in an @iamAlyxAnder remix

MATOMA and JOSIE DUNNE, “Sunday Morning” (Alyx Ander remix)

An acclaimed debut album of 2018 that still seemed to fall somewhat under the radar was Matoma’s One In A Million.  With four stellar singles recorded with Becky Hill (“False Alarm”, #6 on my personal chart), MAX (“Lonely”, #10), Enrique Iglesias, (“I Don’t Dance (Without You), #20), and The Vamps (“All Night”), the multi-talented Norwegian musician and producer proved beyond a shadow of the doubt that he could flourish in dance, electronic, and pop genres.  Single #5 from the album is “Sunday Morning”, featuring Nashville-based vocalist Josie Dunne.  It gets a sparkling remix by Miami’s Alyx Ander that will make you want to put on your dancing shoes instead of stumbling out of bed for your coffee on a Sunday.  When the song isn’t full throttle in pick-you-up mode, it beautifully focuses on the soulful edges in Josie’s voice, making there plenty of reasons to enjoy the song.  It also happens to make a perfect companion to mix into Avicii’s “Wake Me Up!”, so your Sundays really may never be the same again!  

Published in: on January 12, 2019 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Strangers Do” is a sultry downtempo release from Norway’s @JonasAden

JONAS ADEN, “Strangers Do”

Refueled and re-energized after taking a break from the business to work on his production techniques with the likes of fellow Norwegian Alan Walker, Jonas Aden is back with “Strangers Do”, following up “I Dip You Dip”, which received high level DJ support across Europe.  Led by a sultry uncredited female vocal, “Strangers Do” is about letting yourself lose control to the charms of a stranger.  The video shows a young woman alone at various remote locations while the fires of past relationships burn in front of her.  For the dance clubs, “Strangers Do” is a downtempo strutter that will work well in the late evening.  Jonas’ production is totally on point but I think some supportive remixes would be beneficial.

JonasAden

Published in: on December 16, 2018 at 11:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Norway’s Dyrisk is back with acoustic-guitar driven electro of “Whispers”

DYRISK, “Whispers”

One thing’s certain with Norway’s Dyrisk – aka Vetle Gjøstøl Olsen – is to always expect something unconventional.  He scored big time in collaboration with UK producer Nik Ernst earlier this year with “Smile”, a #1 on my chart that is totally unlike anything you’ll hear this year – witty, smerking, in your face alt.rock,  and you can dance to it if you want to.  “Whispers” seems to take some cues from Radiohead and Beck and offers alt.electro with acoustic guitar folk flourishes in a commonly told tale where you can’t seem to do anything right in a relationship.  There are long pauses and drawn out melodies that totally work even if they’re against the normal grain.  Definitely even more of a change of pace for Tipsy Records, “Whispers” contains lots of soft electronic synth touches and a smoother Dyrisk vocal this time that offers up an earnest protagonist in the song.  Anything is possible in a Dyrisk song and I’m a firm believer that you will enjoy “Whispers”!

Published in: on October 9, 2018 at 9:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Poland’s @Gromeeofficial has a catchy breakout with “One Last Time” featuring Norway’s Jesper Jenset (@JJenset)

GROMEE and JESPER JENSET, “One Last Time”

It’s bound to get completely stuck in your head, so don’t say you weren’t warned about “One Last Time” by Krakow-based producer Gromee and featuring the vocal of Norway’s Jesper Jenset.  We last heard from Jesper a few years back with the very different “High”, which was one of my favourites of its year in its Young Bombs remix.  Here we have a slicker vocal that could easily be mistaken for Shawn Mendes, an interesting comparison since Shawn doesn’t make dance music but his songs are often remixed.  Gromee focuses on nailing that chorus with the underlying bass synth, and builds on the urgency of the song with higher notes and guitar riffs.  “One Last Time” is certain to grab you with one listen, so add it to your Future Pop playlist using the Spotify link up top.

Published in: on August 10, 2018 at 2:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Hypnotic electro alt.rock of “Smile” by Norway’s @Dyriskmusic featuring @Nik_Ernst is a new favourite

DYRISK featuring NIK ERNST, “Smile”

2018 looks to be a year where boundaries of electronic dance and EDM are being pushed out of their comfort zones.  Norway’s Dyrisk is back with something new, and you won’t expect the alt.rock flavour of “Smile”, which he concocted with British producer Nik Ernst.  All of a sudden it’s a big rush back to the early 90’s when Massive Attack and Radiohead were breaking out while Nirvana and Soundgarden dominated the rock market and dance music was more about Madonna, Michael, Whitney, and maybe C+C Music Factory too.  Full of sarcastic lyrics calling out posers, “Smile” moves deliberately through its lilting rhythm and subtle electronics while incorporating crisp percussion sounds and zithery synths.  “Smile” is such an uncharacteristic shift for Dyrisk, and it works so well, that it can make you do nothing but smile.  Check it out at the link above and be sure to pick it up at your favourite digital music store.

Published in: on February 21, 2018 at 10:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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There’s no leaving before the “Last Call” by German producer @listentoLO featuring Norway’s @Elouizofficial

LO featuring ELOUIZ, “Last Call”

“Last Call” is a slick collaboration by former ‘bedroom’ producer, Germany’s LO, along with Norwegian singer Elouiz.  It’s a key song for clubs to play as the evening is peaking, and I guarantee you that patrons will stay past last call just to make a point 🙂 Elouiz’s on-point and often sassy vocal will appeal to those who enjoy singers like Rozes or Verité or maybe even Katy Perry.  LO keeps the pace swift with some ear-catching effects that make the song go by in a breezy three minutes.  “Last Call” plays to club and bar goers but also has loads of pop potential.  Add it to your playlist of late-nite songs on Spotify using the link above.

Published in: on January 21, 2018 at 10:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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