Wednesday, May 28, 2014

DTF - Adore Delano

Song: DTF
Artist: Adore Delano
Album: Till Death Do Us Party

RuPaul's Drag Race Season 6 runner-up Adore Delano is making a go at becoming a true drag queen "superstar" and going for a pop music career.  She wasn't crowned the winner, but in the finale build up Adore has released her first single "DTF" from her upcoming album Till Death Do Us Party will be released on June 3rd.

"DTF" is a Trap-Pop track that's abrasive, filthy, and... a real grower.  I didn't care for it initially, but there's something about it that's worked it's way under my skin.  Very odd.  She's tapped video director Michael Serrato for "DTF" (see below) who has done  videos for fellow Drag Race alum Willem.

Like it was said on the show, Delano is a born star.  And while it didn't work on American Idol, it's obvious that Danny Noriega has been trying to find his niche, and watching the season of Drag Race it was fun to watch his character of Adore Delano evolve into something truly tangible.  But can it be stretched over a full album?

There's a chance you might hate this.


I Adore U
Dancing on My Own

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

American Interior - Gruff Rhys

Song: American Interior
Artist: Gruff Rhys
Album: American Interior

Welsh singer-songwriter Gruff Rhys returns with his fourth solo album American Interior after following up Neon Neon's '08 masterpiece Stainless Style with last year's Praxis Makes Perfect.  Rhys' last solo album was the rather fun Hotel Shampoo from 2011.  For this album, Rhys takes a page out of his Neon Neon playbook and selects a historical figure to base an album around.  (After John Delorean for Stainless Style, and Giangiacomo Feltrinelli for Praxis.)

American Interior follows the life of fellow Welsh John Evans, an explorer who came to America in search of a Welsh-speaking tribe, and produced an early map of the Missouri River around 1797 that was subsequently used in the Lewis and Clark expedition. The album is accompanied by a hardcover book, a film co-directed by Dylan Goch, and an app for mobile devices.  They proceed a mini-tour-meets-Powerpoint presentation that followed Evans' path in his search in which Rhys played some of the new songs accompanied by a puppet in Evans likeness that appears on the cover of the album as well as the video for the title-track. (below)

Rhys is apparently a descendant of Evans, and he paints his story with a folk-country-meets-70s keyboard and guitar-rock brush.  You might find it odd (it is) but it's hard not to find love in the catchy hooks, even when on tracks like "100 Unread Messages" he brings a little hoedown when telling Evans travel journey's, by-way of another character who repeatedly tries to email Evans, but gets no reply.  (Yes that is all happening in one song.)

Despite his love of the past and it's stories, Rhys frames it with a modern mind.  Fascinating.


American Interior
100 Unread Messages

Friday, May 23, 2014

World Peace is None of Your Business - Morrissey

Song: World Peace is None of Your Business
Artist: Morrissey
Album: World Peace is None of Your Business

After taking a long break from recording following the so-so Maladjusted in 1997, Morrissey roared back on the scene with the amazing You Are the Quarry in '04 followed by the even-better Ringleader of the Tormentors on '06.  Just three years later came the announcement of Years of Refusal and it seemed the man was back in full swing and could not be stopped.  That was '09 and the album, once again, was so-so.  Now it's five-years later and Morrissey is back once again with his 10th solo studio album World Peace is None of Your Business.  It's the first of a two-record deal contract he's signed with Capitol Music.

Title track and first single "World Peace is None of Your Business" is his first album-leading ballad, and if the title didn't give it away, it is straight-up Morrissey.  Second single "Istanbul" is a bit punchier and has a slick, sexy, almost classic rock feel.

The album comes out on July 15th and is produced by Joe Chiccarelli (Mika, The Killers, The Strokes, Frank Zappa, The White Stripes.)


World Peace is None of Your Business

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Unicorn - Basement Jaxx

Song: Unicorn
Artist: Basement Jaxx
Album: Junto

It's been five years since late 90s British electronic duo Basement Jaxx released the one-two punch of Scars and Zephyr in 2009.  They've released a couple singles though, including "Back 2 the Wild" early last year, when their 7th album was initially expected under the title Music, and "What a Difference Your Love Makes" in September of last year.  They have just released another new track, "Unicorn" and officially announced their new album as Junto, which will be released August 25th.

"Unicorn" sounds more like straight-up 90s House than their actual 90s House work.  It's almost a bit unlike the Basement Jaxx we know, but it's pretty amazing, relying less on big hooks and more on a consistent beat and strong vocals.

Aside from "Unicorn," the only other previously released track on Junto is "Mermaid of Salinas," which was released as part of the "What s Difference Your Love Makes" single and remixes.


Mermaid of Salinas
What a Difference Your Love Makes

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pills N Potions - Nicki Minaj

Song: Pills N Potions
Artist: Nicki Minaj
Album: The Pinkprint

The first single off Nicki Minaj's upcoming third album The Pinkprint is a bit of a surprise... a down-to-midtempo track that ends with a soaring ode to love.  It's not exactly the return to pure hip-hop she promised, nor is it the big dumb pop of "Starships" (which is still certifiably amazing.)

The track is co-written by Ester Dean ("Super Bass") and produced by Dr. Luke. ("Va Va Voom")  Upon a third listen I can image it blaring from cars this Summer.  Smash?

I like Nicki Minaj more than I really want to.


Pills N Potions
Yasss Bitch
Lookin' Ass

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Love Never Felt So Good - Michael Jackson

Song: Love Never Felt So Good (feat. justin Timberlake)
Artist: Michael Jackson
Album: Xscape

Not only is this the best Michael Jackson song that's been released since the superstar died, I think it's his best track in fifteen-twenty years.

I haven't given the entire record a listen yet but it already seems miles ahead of the last posthumous album Michael from 2010.


Love Never Felt So Good

Monday, May 12, 2014

Let Me Down Gently - La Roux

Song: Let Me Down Gently
Artist: La Roux
Album: Trouble in Paradise

Five years is a long time to wait to follow up a record, especially for your debut... but here we are in 2014 and English synthpop duo La Roux have completed the follow up to their Grammy-winning debut album from 2009.

Trouble in Paradise will be released July 7th.  The band has revealed the album art, but no official word on a lead single, though a new slow-build track was accidentally put up for sale on a Polish website, and is now everywhere.

"Let Me Down Gently" is moody, synthy track that has lead singer Elly Jackson sounding quite gorgeous and emotive, avoiding the at-times screechiness that could be found on the debut.  It's an expansive track that's sexy and a bit mysterious.  It's got a dramatic pause that sets things up to explode... and yet it remains restrained in it's mood.  It's a bit 80's, and quite gorgeous... and then that sax!

It might not have the bounce of previous hits "Bulletproof" and "I'm Not Your Toy," but really digging this.


Take a listen here.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Opulence - Brooke Candy

Song: Opulence
Artist: Brooke Candy
Album: Opulence EP

I'm not sure I'm actually recommending this...

I've only recently become aware of pop-star/rapper Brooke Candy, daughter of the CFO of Hustler magazine and CEO of the Hustler Casino.  Brooke worked for the brand briefly after contacting Larry Flint wanting to be a photographer but was hired as a mannequin stylist for their storefronts.  She did work as a dancer briefly, reportedly with Azealia Banks at the same club.  She began working on music finding a bit of a following online via Tumblr and the like.

Candy was introduced to Charli XCX via Banks, and featured on the British singer-songwriter's track "Cloud Aura" on her debut True Romance.  She is gearing up to release her debut EP Opulence, which features the single of the same name and features some production work by Diplo as well as some co-writing from Sia.

The "Opulence" video is getting a lot of internet chatter and has to be seen to believed.  (below) It's directed by Steven Klein and features his standard dark/terrifying imagery.  Candy is quite the presence, but... do I enjoy it?

The EP is pretty in-your-face.  She's a bit Gwen Stefani, a bit Lil' Kim, a little Lady Gaga, Natalia Kills... etc.  But she's interesting personally.  Maybe one to watch.


Pop Rock
Das Me

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Walk it Out - Jennifer Hudson

Song: Walk it Out (feat. Timbaland)
Artist: Jennifer Hudson
Album: Walk it Out

I've always really liked Jennifer Hudson.  She's certainly "made it" but where are her hit songs?

Jennifer is gearing up to release her as-yet-untitled third album sometime this year.  Thus far she's released two singles from the project, the disco-ish "I Can't Describe the Way I Feel (feat. T.I.)" and the more hip-hop leaning "Walk it Out" with Timbaland.  I really dig both, and apparently she's specifically going for an upbeat, dance-leaning sound on the album.


Walk it Out
I Can't Describe (The Way I Feel)

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Jealous (I Ain't With It) - Chromeo

Song: Jealous (I Ain't With It)
Artist: Chromeo
Album: White Woman

Canadian electro-funk duo Chromeo are gearing up to release their fourth album White Woman next week.  It's been preceded by a handful of singles including "Jealous (I Ain't With It)" which I've been bopping to for a couple weeks now.

Chromeo have always brought a healthy sense of wink-wink humour to their throwback R&B/Electro/Funk, and the tracks we've heard are no exception.

Fun stuff.


Jealous (I Ain't With It)
Come Alive (feat. Toro y Moi)
Over Your Shoulder

Monday, May 05, 2014

Problem - Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea

Song: Problem
Artist: Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea
Album: Problem

Big little pop song right here.

Nickelodeon-star turned pop-star Ariana Grande is coming back with her sophomore album this year and has released a track with rising Australian hip-pop artist Iggy Azalea; "Problem," the first track off her as-yet untitled follow up to her debut; Yours Truly.

"Problem" is a Max Martin co-write/production, and it's a 90s-inspired R&B, effervescent bop buoyed by Grande's Mariah-esque vocals and irresistible charm.

I didn't really connect with her debut but this is pretty irresistible.  There's a chance you won't be able to escape this one this Summer.



Friday, May 02, 2014

Klapp Klapp - Little Dragon

Song: Klapp Klapp
Artist: Little Dragon
Album: Nabuma Rubberband

Little Dragon, the Swedish synthpop/indietronica/trip-hop band are gearing up to release their fourth album Nabuma Rubberland this year.  This follows their 2011 release Ritual Union.

They're a band I've been recommended to several times and have not properly given them time.  But they've released two killer tracks from the new album that have really gotten my attention, the buzz release "Paris" and first single "Klapp Klapp," which I've become mesmerized with.  I'm hearing some Prince influence, some general 80s with a modern twist, and a sort of ambient/downtempo R&B.  Lead singer Yukimi Nagano's voice is super, super sexy.  The synths in "Klapp Klapp" are BIG.  It's all just really sublime.

I really have some work to do in getting into this band's back catalogue.  I think I've been missing out.  No longer!


Klapp Klapp
Let Go

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Lazaretto - Jack White

Song: Lazaretto
Artist: Jack White
Album: Lazaretto

Jack White returns with the first single off his sophomore solo outing of the same name, Lazaretto.  The album will be released on his Third Man Records on June 10th.

"Lazaretto" the track is big, blistering blast with a killer groove.  Pure Jack White.

His first solo record seemed to be a return to form after several other musical projects, though I didn't connect with it in the same way I did prior White Stripes albums.  I like "Lazaretto" though and look forward to the album.


High Ball Stepper (Instrumental)