Saturday, December 20, 2014

Living for Love - Madonna

Song: Living for Love
Artist: Madonna
Album: Rebel Heart

We take a little break from the 'Best of 2014' posts for a surprise... new Madonna!

Just days after thirteen demo's found their way online (from a supposed hacking of rumored now former Executive-Producer Avicii's laptop) Madonna gives us a Saturday AM surprise with the first single from her thirteenth album Rebel Heart that comes with no less than five instant grat tracks when you pre-order on iTunes.

Rebel Heart is coming in March and is a nineteen-track monster.  The new songs hold a lot of promise for the record.  Very exciting.

First single "Living for Love," which was set to be released in February prior to the leak, is a gospel-tinged disco soarer with Alicia Keys on piano.  It recalls "Like a Prayer," a little Cher, and oddly... "Born This Way."  It's great.

L-U-V Madonna!


Living for Love

Friday, December 19, 2014

Best of 2014 - I Try to Talk to You (feat. John Grant) - Hercules & Love Affair

Best of 2014

Song: I Try to Talk to You (feat. John Grant)
Artist: Hercules & Love Affair
Album: The Feast of the Broken Heart

Another semi-disappointment of an album, filled with a couple great tracks (including first single "Do You Feel the Same?", "Liberty") and one stellar, best of the year shit...

"I Try to Talk to You," featuring the sexy croon of John Grant mixed with a persistent House beat and some beautifully grand piano tickling... it's gorgeous.  A seeming tale of lost love and the frustrations that come when you know the outcome wasn't necessary, further delving reveals a much more inward song, one that Grant has said is about him being diagnosed with HIV.  It packs quite an emotional punch.

I've always liked Hercules & Love Affair, DJ Andy Butler's rotating cast of singers and musicians which have switched up on every album.  The Feast of the Broken Heart is probably the least effective of his three releases for me, but it's certainly worth a listen.  It's great party music.

But "I Try to Talk to You" is the one, and one of my favorite songs of the year.


I Try to Talk to You (feat. John Grant)
Do You Feel the Same? (feat. Gustaph)
Liberty (feat. John Grant)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Best of 2014 - Style - Taylor Swift

Best of 2014

Song: Style
Artist: Taylor Swift
Album: 1989

Fine.  I give.

The album doesn't do much for me but this song is really strong.  Very M83.

Though you won't find it on my Best of Playlist...

It's also not on YouTube.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Best of 2014 - Take Me - RÜFÜS DU SOL

Best of 2014

Song: Take Me
Album: Atlas

Technically this album came out, in Australia, in 2013 but wasn't internationally distributed until this year.  But it was one of my favorite's of the year.

The Australian band is known as "RÜFÜS DU SOL" here in America, and their debut album Atlas is listed as such in the 2014 release, and adds a "Night Version" of "We Left" from their 2011 Blue E.P.

RÜFÜS sound quite a lot like Cut Copy with a smaller marketing budget.  Atlas is a tight little album of dreamy/catchy electro-pop that's good from start to finish, though the first six tracks are remarkably stellar.

I feel like we should have heard more about them this year.

Listen to Atlas.


Take Me
Desert Night

Monday, December 15, 2014

Best of 2014 - No Enemiesz - Kiesza

Best of 2014

Song: No Enemiesz
Artist: Kiesza
Album: Sound of a Woman

It's that time of the year!  We're going to round up our favorite tracks and albums of the year, starting with some great tracks that were not highlighted over the year...

For me, Canadian singer, songwriter, and dancer Kiesza had THE single of the year with the infectious throwback "Hideaway."  Repeated views of the excellent single-take music video (see below) and subsequent EP made me wonder if a potential superstar was in the making.  "Hideaway" was part of a 90s House resurgence in 2014, and Kiesza's entire esthetique, from the dance moves to the acid-washed jeans was a nod to the decade.

When I first heard single "No Enemiesz," which was released right before the album, I had convinced myself that it was her "Poker Face," and we were about to see this girl really explode.  Well, that didn't happen and the debut album, Sound of a Woman, despite housing some corkers... was a bit of a letdown.  But Kiesza was still responsible for some of my favorite songs of the year, and "No Enemiesz" should have been bigger.  Check it out on our WeCastMusic - Best Songs of 2014 playlist, which will be growing and fleshed out over the next couple weeks into the New Year.


No Enemiesz
Giant in My Heart

Friday, December 12, 2014

Afroki - Steve Aoki (feat. Afrojack & Bonnie McKee)

Song: Afroki (feat. Afrojack & Bonnie McKee)
Artist: Steve Aoki
Album: Neon Future 1

One of the guys that helped define the "EDM" genre, Steve Aoki, released his second full-length album in September.  Neon Future 1 is the first of two volumes (second coming in 2015) and while it sounds just like what you'd expect from the genre, it also takes on the belief of a higher human consciousness that will happen in the future.  (mild eye-roll) But it's also really built for these big room, where's Molly? kind of evenings.  Dig.

I can't say I'm a big Steve Aoki fan, though his track "Beat Down" is one of my favorite ever Iggy Azealea moments.  I really checked out Neon Future 1 as he collaborated with pop hopeful and songwriting behemoth Bonnie McKee, the girl that basically made Katy Perry a superstar. (Or at least gave her the tunes.)

I had a lot of hope that Bonnie was going to really explode in 2014, despite her two 2013 singles "American Girl" and "Sleepwalker" not really taking off.  Maybe that was enough to scare her back to the drawing board.  Dunno.  Shame really.

So the only new Bonnie we got this year was a collab with Afrojack and Steve Aoki called "Afroki" (I mean, she's credited as the main songwriter and can't even get in on the title of the track?) that's on Neon Future 1.  And I have to say, it's the one stand-out track due of course... to Ms. McKee.  And yet, out of the five singles from the album... it's not one of them.

It's really some straight-up EDM but I like this track, and should hype you for the weekend.  It's "big" as the kids like to say.


Born to Get Wild (feat. Will.I.Am)
Free the Madness (feat. Machine Gun Kelly)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Games - Claire

Song: Games
Artist: CLAIRE
Album: The Great Escape

Friend and reader Luis introduces us to CLAIRE, a German electro-pop five-piece from Munich.  Initially formed for a one-off film project, Producers Matthias Hauck, Heller Nepomuk, and Florian Kiermaier found singer Josie-Claire Buerkle after her participation in a show called The Voice of Germany in 2011.  They continued as a band after the film project and released two EP's, their second including their most well-known track "Games."

"Games" is included on their debut album The Great Escape, which came out in September of last year.  They have a great, often times sexy electro sound that's right up my alley.


Broken Promise Land

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Borderline - Tove Styrke

Song: Borderline
Artist: Tove Styrke
Album: Borderline EP

Another EP from a European dance pop artist...

Swedish singer-songwriter Tove Styrke has been out of the limelight a bit, but is gearing up for a bit return starting with a new EP and a forthcoming sophomore album, her American debut early next year.

I first heard of the former Swedish Idol contestant in early 2012 with her incredible electro-pop track "Call My Name," a song I still bop to.  I'm loving the laid-back reggae vibe of current single "Borderline," as well as the erratic "Even if I'm Loud it Doesn't Mean I'm Talking to You."

Check her out.


Even if I'm Loud it Doesn't Mean I'm Talking to You

Monday, December 01, 2014

Heroine - Little Boots

Song: Heroine
Artist: Little Boots
Album: Business Pleasure EP

After a long delay between her debut and last year's excellent sophomore return, Nocturnes, Little Boots (Victoria Christina HesKeth) seems to be making up for lost time.  She's just released a new EP of new tracks called Business Pleasure and has already announced her third album for next year.  All amazing news.

The frelease from the EP, "Taste It" is an odd choice for a single, but has a great little video. (See below.)  I am LOVING track two though; "Heroine."  It's a sweeping, transcendental, sexy track that immediately gets to you.  Also digging the title track and closer, "Pretty Tough."

A solid effort.


Taste It
Pretty Tough