The Hardest Part often is “Waiting On You” by @weareJRL & #Ludvigsson featuring @theMaxLandry

JRL & LUDVIGSSON featuring MAX LANDRY, “Waiting On You”

“Waiting On You” is a slice of Swedish pop that sincerely conveys the angst in relationships when waiting for the other half to make an important decision.  Production trio JRL and newcomer Ludvigsson let a bright future bass-influenced melody lead the way while US singer Max Landry, having previously worked with JRL as well as D-12 and Boldy James, sells the story with conviction.  And though “Waiting On You” will be very convincing in clubs come slow dance time, all involved manage to capture the essential elements of pure pop without dominating it with tricks and vocal effects which would detract from the core of what it’s about.  Listen to “Waiting On You” at the link above.

Published in: on December 5, 2017 at 11:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Remix this: Swedish producer Philip Mikal (@pmikal) and fun, zesty “Waiting 4” featuring @Ola_official

PHILIP MIKAL featuring OLA, “Waiting 4” (free download)

If you’ve been missing some Jamiroquai or Penguin Prison power in your playlists, then the fun and soulful house track “Waiting 4” by Sweden’s Philip Mikal featuring vocalist Ola should do the trick.  It’s a zingy and zesty track with instant club appeal.  And if you’re a producer or remixer, Philip currently has a competition underway (deadline August 17) in exchange for prizes for remixes, and the right ones can take the song to even bigger places.  If not, you have yourself a free download for the listening at the above link.

Published in: on August 5, 2016 at 8:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Austin producer/DJ @Cloudchord puts the dance/funk into “Need You” by @EmberIsland_

EMBER ISLAND, “Need You” (Cloudchord remix)

Swedish trio Ember Island, who recently visited the U.S. for SXSW among other venues, have a beautiful could-be-hit with “Need You”.  But Cloudchord’s funky dance remix could put it on the club map with ease.  Following up his engaging remix of Jamie xx’s “Loud Places” (currently on my personal chart), “Need You” is heavily influenced by the classic sounds of yesteryear R&B and disco which when mixed up with today’s flavours results in progressive nu-disco that will stand out in a club mix.  What I dig most about this one is the slick and crunchy guitar work which can hold its own against and be mixed with records by Nile Rodgers/Chic, Scissor Sisters, and more.  Don’t pass up this remix of “Need You”, be sure to download it for free using the Soundcloud link above.

Published in: on March 26, 2016 at 1:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Fresh and joyous EDM awaits with “Synchronize” by @Hellbergmusic featuring @_AaronRichards

HELLBERG featuring AARON RICHARDS, “Synchronize”

The younger generation of producers/remixers is upon us as initiated by Zedd and Martin Garrix back in 2012/13.  Sweden’s Hellberg also started off around that time but is coming into his own now with the likes of his remixes such as club hit “Age Of Innocence” by Elephante which I’ve already written about.  Pair him up with another youngin, NYC vocalist Aaron Richards, and the same magic that happened with “Spectrum” and “Animals” is here again.  “Synchronize” is a touching and beautiful song for the Spring months as it’s all about igniting love between two people and feeling it soar.  This kind of emotional bliss travels fast in the Dance/EDM world and I expect it to be a breakout for Hellberg and Aaron Richards.  Hellberg also posted a candid announcement (up top) that makes this success all the more appealing.   “Synchronize” is now on release, listen to it on the Soundcloud link above.

Published in: on February 14, 2016 at 5:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Your end of summer Europop rave-up is here: “So Much For That” by Quebec’s @JMiandMidiD

J-MI & MIDI-D, “So Much For That”

Following up their #3 Billboard Dance Club Play remix success on Rozalla’s “If You Say It Again” and their 2013 single “Hardcore (Is My Life)”, Sherbrooke, Quebec EDM producers J-Mi and Midi-D are back with your end of summer rave-up, “So Much For That”.  What’s different here for the duo (best friends, not a couple!), Jamie Thompson and Dave Phaneuf, is that the vocals here this time are by Jamie!  She aptly described it to me a few weeks back as Avril Lavigne meets The Vengaboys, which is what might happen when Canadian talent goes to Sweden and writes a song with the noted Michael Saxell (Bachman Turner, Jeff Beck, Keith Reid of Procol Harum, and many more).  Take a wistful and sincere vocal, such as in Avril’s”I’m With You”, and think of it as a mere lead-in to a blast of bouncy Swedish Europop.  Combine it with identifiable lyrics that encourage you to put your bad day/summer relationship behind you, and then just let go and party away!  “So Much For That” is a splendid change of pace for these self-proclaimed ‘galactic ravers’ who have also scored music for DanceDanceRevolution and other projects, combining their passion for music with gaming.  The energy here is pretty contagious from a genuine pair of music nerds who know their stuff.  The music video for “So Much For That” is fun and lovably awkward and will make you smile.  Give it a watch and pick up “So Much For That” on iTunes (featuring both an Extended and Karaoke version for your singing pleasure!).

jmiandmidid

Published in: on July 20, 2015 at 9:22 am  Comments (1)  
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Soooo Gooood! @EricSaademusic Gets It To “Sting” So Bad

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ERIC SAADE, “Sting”

Swedish star Eric Saade is back in form with his new song “Sting”, which should by all rights be a worldwide smash.  While he’s dropped the riveting dance rhythms and high arpeggios that graced his best music to date from his Saade Volumes 1 and 2 albums, “Sting” takes on a good timey, in-your-face pop attitude for the singer, and you can feel his personality oozing out more than ever.  Performances like in the video below from Sweden’s Melodifestivalen contest should put Eric Saade more on the international map than ever, hopefully both on radio and on tour.  Check your iTunes, “Sting” was released in some parts of the world on Sunday (but not yet in Canada 😦 ).

Published in: on March 3, 2015 at 9:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Tale of Two Different Oceans: “Ocean” by @AndreasMoemusic and “Ocean” by @VanessaElisha

ANDREAS MOE, “Ocean”

VANESSA ELISHA, “Ocean”

It’s strange sometimes when two songs arrive closely together with the same title, yet have nothing in common, except of course that they are both completely noteworthy 🙂

Readers of this blog know Swedish singer Andreas Moe all too well for his vocal appearances on dance hits by Tiesto and John de Sohn, as well as for an original EP from two years ago called Collecting Sunlight.  “Ocean” continues in the acoustic, folk-influenced vein, but this time there seem to be more traditional folk elements about the song as its story unfolds into something on the mystical side, captured nicely by the free-spirited look of the video, below.  Big things continue to happen for Andreas – such as opening recently for John Mayer!  His four song EP Ocean is due July 14, but in the meantime you can buy the title song on iTunes.

It’s hard to imagine such a deep R&B flavoured sound coming from an Australian singer, but Vanessa Elisha is back with “Ocean”, which continues a similar style started by “Home To Me”, from her previous EP Don’t Go.  Vanessa’s voice has all of the best qualities of the biggest name female R&B singers, but her style fits in more comfortably with those on the more alternative/hip hop side.  When she sings “surround me like an ocean”, you will immediately want to do the same (especially if it means warm Aussie waters).  She has a cool way of expressing longing and desire when missing her guy.  It’s no surprise that Vanessa’s main audience is in North America, it’s just a matter of getting over here for the exposure, which I’m sure will happen one day.  I’ve also heard that Vanessa wants to work with JMSN… would be a great pairing!  Listen to “Ocean” below.

 

 

Published in: on June 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Invitation Please: “Somebody’s Party” EP by @ErikHassle

ERIK HASSLE, Somebody’s Party (EP)

25 year old Swedish singer (but now L.A. based) Erik Hassle has received a fair amount of acclaim for his unique takes on pop/dance music over the last few years.  But it’s finally coming into its own with the release of his 6 song EP Somebody’s Party.  This time he veers more in the direction of US and UK R&B, and that the opener “Pathetic” and closer title song could have been borne out of Prince’s Diamonds And Pearls era is a fantastic reference point.  Throw in flashes of Terence Trent D’Arby, Drake, Coldplay, Usher, combined with 90’s inspired European/UK pop and you have songs that will keep you listening.  Erik’s voice soars similarly to Sam Smith and James Blake at some times and it will be interesting to see if Erik and his songs fall into similar success now that he’s signed to RCA.  Every song is extremely well done, with often blunt lyrics that will sink in after a few listens, and I’ll give a nod to two very different duets – “Talk About It” with US rapper Vic Mensa, and “Innocence Lost” featuring an aching streetwise pairing with US R&B singer Tinashe (video below).  Somebody’s Party is a stellar complete package.  It’s a major score for Erik Hassle that should open doors everywhere.  Stream the entire album above and get it on iTunes.

Erik Hassle plays Toronto’s small Wrongbar in an already sold-out show on May 26 – he obviously needs a bigger venue!

 

Published in: on May 17, 2014 at 4:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Melodifestivalen 2014 Surprise Winner: “Undo” by @Sanna_Nielsen

SANNA NIELSEN, “Undo”

Could this be a year of big Eurovision ballads?  Sanna Nielsen’s gorgeous and touching “Undo” was the surprise winner in Sweden’s Melodifestivalen 2014 last night.  There was a lot of buzz particularly about Alcazar’s entry “Blame It On The Disco” and to a lesser extent “Natural” by Anton Ewald.  But the audience favoured “Undo” and so we will see how it fares against the rest of the European contingent at Eurovision.

Published in: on March 9, 2014 at 10:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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POLL: Vote for New Eric Saade Songs/Videos for “Miss Unknown” and “Marching (In The Name Of Love)”

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Last week, Sweden’s Eric Saade unleashed his video for “Marching (In The Name Of Love)”, and then I found out “Miss Unknown” would be launched this week, so after more than three years of writing this blog, I thought I would have my first poll!!

“Marching” seems to have lots going on, possibly three plots, including some snazzy Janet Jackson “Control” era choreography.  Eric is being held against his will and must escape.  There are flashes to scenes with his girl… is he dreaming… is it in the past or yet to come?  Then, busting those swift moves the way we’ve seen in scenes from his shows.  Story to be continued.  The story moves along smoothly to the song, but I’m not sure if I’m liking the song any better for it.  I’m still having a tough time with the sound that seems more will.i.am than Eric Saa-aade.

“Miss Unknown”, on the other hand, greatly enhances the song with a story about what looks like a one night stand… or is it?  Not if Eric has his way, which gives way for all kinds of expressive angst and emotion to try to find That Girl.  BUT… wait for the ending.  It seems like someone didn’t know how to end it or wanted to add shock value or humour.  It doesn’t work, but overall I like both the video and song for “Miss Unknown” better than “Marching”.

Now that I’ve said my peace – and I’m still more thrilled with songs from either Saade Volume 1 or 2 over both of these – what do YOU think?

Take the simple poll below and in a week, providing I get enough response, I will reveal which video/song is the winner!

Published in: on December 14, 2012 at 12:22 am  Comments (2)  
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