Autumn Popervescence #3 featuring JMSN, Passion Pit, Shiny Toy Guns, Parralox, Krewella, Evanpony, and Mark Hildreth

JMSN “Fallin'”

As 2012 comes to a close, it ends almost the way we started, with a new, magnetic video from JMSN’s independent album †Priscilla† which was released back in January.  Some of the videos have been difficult to watch with the bleak and unnerving images the singer chose to employ to explain his songs.  “Fallin'” is perhaps the most accessible of the lot, with JMSN as an innocent in the centre of a world which too often requires us to make the wrong choices.   Throughout the year JMSN has also released numerous remixes of the songs from †Priscilla† which you can hunt down, including a Slim K “Chopped and Screwed” slowdown rework of the entire album which still boggles me.  Watch the video of “Fallin'” below.

Passion Pit “Take A Walk”

Some people may say I’m late to the game on Passion Pit, but to me you’re never too late when someone’s music warms up to you.  After listening to various songs from the Massachusetts quintet’s sophomore album Gossamer this year, their performance on Saturday Night Live and in particular the highly watchable guess-what’s-next video for “Take A Walk” drew me in.   It helps that Michael Angelakos vocally reminds me a lot of Michael Penn circa “No Myth”!  Now I think their tour with Matt & Kim next year will be high on my list to see.   Watch “Take A Walk” below.


Shiny Toy Guns “Somewhere To Hide”

If “Somewhere To Hide” is any indication, the return of vocalist Carah Faye Charnow may have been the best thing to happen to the California quartet since its mid-80’s successes with “You Are The One” and “Le Disko”, which appeared in the Grammy-nominated We Are Pilots album.  With new album III on release, “Somewhere To Hide” is unpretentious and gleaming electronica complemented by a video telling a tale of love in some futuristic world.  Watch the video using the Vimeo link below.

Parralox “Sharper Than A Knife”

Never let it be said that recycling an older song can’t work.  In fact Aussie duo Parralox have done just that with “Sharper Than A Knife”, which appeared on their 2008 release Electricity.  After more recent success stemming from the appearance of the song “Hotter” on the year’s best dance compilation This Beat Is….Poptronik Volume One, Amii and John have created a video that looks alternately like The Donna Reed Show and an Alfred Hitchcock movie, with Madonna-esque performance shots interspersed.  “Sharper Than A Knife” is inspired electronic pop candy.  Watch below.

Krewella “Killin’ It”

Chicago electronica trio Krewella return after being touted these past few years by the likes of Grammys blogger Arjan Writes for songs like “Gameplan”, and producing remixes for artists such as Skrillex.  “Killin’ It” (video below) was actually released earlier this year as a part of the Play Hard EP, but the band has reinvented the song in a multitude of remixes in the form of the new Play Harder, which you can hear on their Soundcloud page.  Oodles of freebies can be had for download on their Facebook page.  Fans of BT, Deadmau5, FrankMusik and more should keep Krewella on their radar.


Evanpony “Just Rock With Me”

One of the most entertaining videos I’ve seen recently is “Just Rock With Me”, which is actually a pairing of Japanese girl group Stereopony (which I believe has since disbanded) and fave L.A.-based singer/songwriter Evan Taubenfeld (yes, he of Welcome To The Blacklist Club, featuring “Cheater Of The Year” (a #1 on my chart), “Boy Meets Girl”, and “Pumpkin Pie”(both Top 5)).  Just takes me back to when I was a kid viewing Japanese monster movies for the first time – albeit with a modern twist.  I’m hoping Evanpony will record more, and perhaps in English 🙂 Watch using the Vimeo link below and have fun.

Mark Hildreth “Magic Spell”

Canadian actor Mark Hildreth, whom you may have seen recently in TV’s The Tutors or heard as a voice in many a cartoon (or know as boyfriend to Smallville and Beauty & The Beast’s Kristen Kreuk) is also a most capable vocalist, as his silky mid-tempo dance song “Magic Spell” reveals.  It’s from his upcoming album Signs Of Life, due for release next year.  And as some of you may notice, there’s an interesting connection to my personal chart – he also starred in the 2009 reboot of TV’s sci-fi show V alongside none other than Jane Badler (#8 on my chart with her “Yesterday’s Tomorrows”).  Watch “Magic Spell” below.

Reinventing the Dance Compilation With Style: This Beat Is Poptronik, Volume One

When I first heard about the launch of This Beat Is Poptronik and its accompanying concert to be held in among the beautiful beaches of Sitges, Spain, on September 1 and 2, I was very impressed at the idea of such an ambitious project.  But upon learning the lineup on the Poptronik record, I couldn’t help but think how well it has set the stage for the concert to happen (the Poptronik concert headliner is none other than “Toy Soldiers” singer and comeback queen Martika!).  

And after being afforded the opportunity to listen to the record in advance, the great folks behind Poptronik have done something so overdue:  They have reinvented the dance compilation with style.  This Beat Is Poptronik Volume One not only contains six songs with which I was already well acquainted, it contains several others that should have no trouble finding favour in dance clubs worldwide.

This Beat Is Poptronik Volume One is a must-have compilation of 32 songs that will get your groove on, and more, for the next several months!  And it’s great to be excited about contemporary dance music.

First – those familiar songs… readers of this blog are no doubt already familiar with them 🙂

  • “Flesh” by Simon Curtis – an intense and sexually charged June 2011 release from the L.A.-based singer’s independent sophomore unique R∆ album, the song spent 2 months at the top of my chart, following other #1’s like 2010’s “Beat Drop”, “Delusional”, and “8bit Heart”.  Simon’s most recent release is the free download of the ballad “Starlight”, produced by Frankmusik.  A live performance of “8bit Heart” and “Flesh” from Simon’s London show put on by the EQ Music Blog is below.
  • “Disco Moment” by Bright Light Bright Light – a glorious August 2011 release from the upcoming debut album via The Blue Team/Aztec, Make Me Believe In Hope.  BLx2 aka Wales native Rod Thomas got to #3 on my chart with “Disco Moment”, following 2010 #1’s “A New Word To Say” and “Love Part II”.  Its impressive video is below.
  • “Like A Drug” by Adam Tyler – a smouldering late 2011 release from L.A.-based Adam’s  wonderful debut independent album Shattered Ice.  A Top Tenner on my chart, following previous Top 5 songs like “Friction” and “I Won’t Let You Go”, the song is complimented by an intriguing video (below) and a recent EP of remixes.
  • “Stupid” by Databoy – a fun, smart early 2011 digital single from the Texas duo which went Top 5 on my chart, and was followed by two #1’s, “Just Once” and “Memorize Me”.
  • “Head Over Heels” by Bim – a heartbreaking electro ballad from mid-2010 and the UK duo’s debut digital album Scatterheart, which got to the Top 5 on my chart.  Their latest release is the infectious “Scream”.
  • “We Don’t Miss A Beat” by Van Go Lion – a bouncy dancefloor filler from the Portland, Oregon duo which became a Top 15 hit on my chart.

These six songs may be reason enough to purchase the album, but in fact there are many top notch songs within that I didn’t know.  The variety of song styles capture the essence of electronic dance music of the last three decades.

I can’t mention all 32 songs here, so I’ll highlight my favourites (in no order), but you could play the album all the way through and not skip a beat!  Global-wide talent here 🙂

  • “Hotter” by Parallox handily modernizes the crunchy and innovative funky electro sound spawned by producers Mark Liggett and Chris Barbosa on Shannon’s seminal 1983 hit “Let The Music Play”
  • “London Is Banging” by Disco Damage (pictured below) vs Dr. Jekyll teases us at the start with a Pet Shop Boys vibe but becomes a ridiculous and somewhat campy late night track
  • “Homosapien” is a delectable low-key cover of Pete Shelley’s grand 1982 hit by singer Matthew Duffy
  • “In The Beginning” by Maighread sounds like it uses Grace Jones’ Warm Leatherette album as a jumping off point for a tough, pulsating song
  • Great voices and totally infectious singalong hooks come from Tao Hypah’s “Celeb”, “Pitiful” by Carlos Nobrega (pictured below), “Bad Boyfriend” by Johnny Lazer, and the not-so-campy “How It Feels To Be  A Man” by Markus Riva
  • “Psycho” by Killian Wells takes the other point of view (singer-as-psycho 😉 ) – sort of the reverse of Simon Curtis’ ‘Super Psycho Love” but equally catchy
  • “Turn Up The Radio” by Monti Montanez (pictured below) is hit-worthy and could find the former Menudo member in radioland around the world
  • “Stay In Touch” by Garcon Garcon and “Where Are You Now” by Queen of Hearts accompany Van Go Lion’s “We Don’t Miss A Beat” into more emotionally-rooted pop-house territory
  • SIRPAUL’s breezy “Going Down In La-La Land” stands out with a familiar theme accompanied by a killer hook
  • Disco Damage accompanies Lady Joker on her self-named song – an entertaining and creative blend of Nicki Minaj meets Kesha via 90’s house styles

My raving could continue on, but suffice it to say that Aztec Records and the Poptronik organizers have created a template for the ’10’s dance compilations, and I wish them great success with their vision.   I simply can’t wait till Volume Two!

This Beat Is Poptronik Volume One is one of the best albums of the year.  Get all of the details about it and the Poptronik festival at  You can buy This Beat Is Poptronik Volume One through iTunes, Amazon, Beatport, and other digital stores starting Monday.

Listen to the songs through Soundcloud at