Your Long Weekend Playlist, Part I: FrankMusik, Bright Light Bright Light, Graffiti6, Charly Mae, Anton Ewald, and Oscar Zia

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FRANKMUSIK “Chasing Shadows”

When you hear the compelling beauty of a song like “Chasing Shadows”, you know that the rest of the songs you haven’t already heard from FrankMusik’s upcoming album Between (due June 8) are going to be equally grand.  It’s a really rich song – almost too rich – that almost makes you want to get sad and teary-eyed.  But no!!  Where his song “Captain” is the chaotic storm, “Chasing Shadows” is the calm resolution where you’ll see the rainbow once you get past the mountain ahead.  The supurb high notes and huge chorus make you feel glad and relieved at the same time.  As his previous EP title said, the journey is ‘far from over’.

Get “Chasing Shadows” on iTunes, but also be sure to listen to and download a song that won’t appear on Between, “One Mile” (below).  As with many of his other songs that don’t fit into the final package, FrankMusik does not just give you filler.  “One Mile” is a joyful and soulful pop confection.

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BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT “Blueprint”

Rod Thomas (who is BLx2) is currently playing a number of shows in the USA (New York, Boston, Washington DC) in advance of the final single release from his 2012 debut album Make Me Believe In Hope.  “Moves” is a brilliant choice, one that I certainly hoped for, since I added it to my chart last year (where it peaked at #6) in-between releases of “Waiting For The Moment” (#1) and “Feel It” (#5).  As an added attraction to the single, BLx2 is including “Blueprint” (first available last year on a limited USA release), which starts off slow and thoughtful as do many BLx2 songs, but gets out in the open and reaches for the sky at about the 2 minute mark and by then you’re just hopelessly hooked.  The “Moves” single including “Blueprint” arrives June 3.

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GRAFFITI6, “Wash My Sins”

After a well-deserved success in 2012 with the enduring “Free” from their Colours album, duo Jamie Scott and Tommy Danvers are back with new songs.  “Wash My Sins” is the first taste of new Graffiti6 for your ears, and if you would like a gospel-flavoured dose of pop/R&B to wrestle you out of bed in the morning, then “Wash My Sins” will do just that!  It’s definitely several steps away from “Free” or “Stare Into The Sun”, but it shows you that this duo is muscling ahead and chock full of surprises for you.  Very much looking forward to more new songs from Graffiti6.

CHARLY MAE featuring PW, “Girls Go Hard”

There is no doubt in my mind that I think UK singer Charly Mae is a potent voice waiting to happen.  And “Girls Go Hard”, a powerful female empowerment song that draws on inspiration from Beyonce and Rihanna songs, could help get her there.  It’s probably the most deliberately aggressive song by Charly Mae yet, and the rap by PW is well-placed and memorable.  I would have liked to have heard less power and more vocal range, as in Charly Mae’s covers of Christina Aguilera songs among others, but overall it’s still quite well done.  For another side of Charly Mae, check out the fun duet with Brazilian singer Edoo below on “Scream and Shout”, which to me is an awful song but the two tackle it and make much more of it than I expected.  Watch for more songs from Charly Mae soon!

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ANTON EWALD, “Begging”

I know I’m a bit behind on writing about this one, but it seems like every other year there is a truly winning performance that comes out of Sweden’s Melodifestivalen contest, even if it’s not the song that wins.  This time we have 19 year old singer/dancer/ choreographer Anton Ewald, whose showy presence in “Begging” (which he choreographed – he’s also been a dancer on the show in recent years) comes close to rivalling his friend Eric Saade, who had better keep his eye on that Swedish male pop crown he wears 😉 So many pop singers from Sweden deserve an international shot – the Nordic fans have to let go of them for just a little while so that the rest of the world can embrace them!

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OSCAR ZIA, “#Fail”

16 year old Swedish singer Oscar Zia has released one of the year’s delightful trifles, “#Fail” (aka “Hashtag Fail”), and I’m hoping pop philes will help spread the word to take the song around the world.  File it less next to Anton Ewald – whose “Begging”, ironically, beat out “”Jalla Dansa Sawa” by Behrang Miri in Melodifestivalen, a song in which Oscar provides vocals – and Eric Saade, and more beside the feel good pop of Dutch singer Jeronimo.  Oscar gives a much more mature performance than his years with a lot of help from great songwriter pedigree 🙂  It’s already been #1 on Sweden iTunes – big, fun, shiny tunes like this should rarely be kept under wraps!