Machine Gun Kelly’s newest music video for “I Think I’m OKAY” is giving me all the rock music feels. Maybe I’m just nostalgic for the pop/rock I used to vibe with in high school, but MGK’s new musical direction is pretty solid. Bonus points: the song features Travis Barker and YUNGBLUD. Check it out!
John Paul Roney aka Boom Forest is back with another beautiful collection of consciousness entitled “Hard Times, Anything Helps.” This album, available only on his website for a limited time, pushes sonic boundaries while showing off some of J.P.’s most impressive songwriting to date. (Pro tip: You’ll need a desktop to check it out. As JP writes on Instagram, “no phones allowed.”)
The experimental “Hard Times” feels like an exploration into both J.P.’s mind and travels. From rainy wine-soaked nights in Paris to sun-drenched easy days in Los Angeles, it’s a trip you need to take.
"It was charming
The way we danced around the truth
You were smiling, always hiding
And then I feel we're somehow quickly, slowing"
- "Mistake" by Middle Kids
Australian trio Middle Kids are set to release one of the best debut albums of the year, if their single "Mistake" is any indication. The infectious danceable rock, paired beautifully with lead vocalist Hannah Joy's surreal vocals, make them an instant indie darling. Check out the video below for "Mistake," and don't miss them on their U.S. tour later this year.
Evalyn might originally be from Colorado, but that doesn't stop her from being the ultimate California dream girl. With an attitude equivalent to the careless flick of a cigarette, tousled blonde hair that looks ocean-dipped and a voice that cuts through the noise of an abundantly loud music industry, Evalyn is ready for her takeover.
Late last year, Evalyn partnered up with Louis the Child for smash hit "Fire," gathering nearly 2 million hits on YouTube and joining dance playlists across the country. Now she's back with her own song of the summer, "Filthy Rich."
She sings, "I thought you knew I'm filthy rich / I thought you knew I never answer my phone / I thought you knew I was a bitch / I got a driver so I'm never alone."
The song offers the listener the same kind of dark and haunting vibe that made The Weeknd's "Hills" a gigantic success, a peek into the mysterious life of the (filthy) rich and famous. Listen below to the song that just hit 1,000,000 streams on Spotify and welcomes you into the world of Evalyn.
John Mayer makes the Search for Everything Wave One sound way more poetic than it probably feels, and per usual, it's right on time. The four song EP is the first set of songs from the new album, and it follows the transition from quarter-life crisis to the next step in adulthood: your 30s. Mayer makes life's challenges feel so romantic with lyrics that paint the beautiful balance of heartache, letting go and finding what you've been searching for all along. The soulful collection feels honest and heartfelt, a throwback to the days of Contiuum or even Battle Studies.
(And let's face it- the guitar solo in "Changing" requires you to close your eyes and get lost.)
"You're gonna live forever in me. I guarantee- it's your destiny."
Please excuse us while we play this on repeat. All day/weekend/month.
Indie pop darlings Parlour Tricks broke music fans' hearts everywhere when they announced they were breaking up earlier this month. One of NYC's most popular homegrown bands, Parlour Tricks have had a successful couple of years, including being named Best Pop Band in New York for 2014 by the Village Voice and hitting the festival circuit, playing at Bonnaroo, SXSW, Summerfest, Outlaw Roadshow and CMJ, to name a few.
Their kiss goodbye is a new EP, entitled (what I think about when I think about) bodies, and it is the sweetest kind of farewell with some of their catchiest tunes and most heavenly melodies yet. The gorgeous mix of pure rock n roll with pop sensibilities pairs beautifully with lyrics worth diving into and swimming in listen after listen.
Check it out below.
Florida has a gift for producing some of our most treasured pop acts, and Orlando native Julia McDonald is no exception. At a mere eighteen-years-old, she dropped the single "Games," where her bluesy and soulful side shines on the catchy tune. She might play in the pop world, but her voice and point of view is completely distinct, identifying her as a true original in a world of imitators. Listen below.
Since 1994 when Usher dropped his self-titled debut album, he has been a fixture on the Billboard charts, collectively selling over 43 million albums worldwide and winning dozens of awards for his accomplishments, including Grammys, Billboard Music Awards, and Soul Train Music Awards. Each record brings an evolution of the artist we've grown to love, barely departing from a solid formula of club and smooth R&B.
Yet, this feels like the first album in almost a decade that Usher has let us in. Last night, I attended the Tidal Playback Exclusive Listening Party at the gorgeous Ace Theatre, where Usher talked about the new album track-by-track.
The common theme of the night: honesty. The result: pure artistic integrity.
In an evening that felt more like an intimate conversation with a close friend, Usher's confessions of loss, pain and heartbreak reminded the audience that in spite of becoming a musical icon, he is also a human. His explanations weren't trite or superficial- each song on the new record Hard II Love is dripped in meaning, exploring the deepest canyons of Usher's life, including the death of his ex-stepson, loss of love and appreciating a woman in a new way.
Usher's thumbprint is found in nearly every aspect of his 8th studio album: the artwork, track listing, lyrics and life inspirations.
As he recalled the hours it took to cast the bust that made the album cover, he described the claustrophobic process of not being able to see or hear for nearly three hours as it set with straws up his nose to breathe. The audience collectively gasped. This was a man who was serious about pushing his own limits on this new record, and the theme continues with lyrical content.
The most stunning part of the evening was sharing that experience with Usher, because the exchange feels so risky, sharing such a personal body of work with an audience for the first time. At times, it was clear certain songs were pure fun for him, and at other moments, his face was deep with emotion, like during "Stronger." He shared glances with the audience, and never for a moment came off as a multi-platinum selling artist. From start to finish, Usher was humble, gracious and generous.
Hard II Love just proves Usher wrong-- there isn't anything hard to love about him from where I'm sitting.
Listen to full record now on Tidal.
If the music world were a high school, Gavin Degraw would be voted Class Favorite. Have you ever met someone who didn't like Gavin Degraw? If you did, they were probably lying. No one can stop themselves from wailing out "I Don't Want To Be" or "Not Over You" when they come on the radio. No one.
So it's no surprise that Gavin's newest record, Something Worth Saving, has quickly become one of my favorite of this year. It's an update of Gavin's well-proven recipe of soul pop, and this time, he's left it all on the metaphorical stage. Something Worth Saving was recorded in multiple cities, including Los Angeles, Nashville and Miami, and it's almost as if you can hear the various influences of these cities within the record.
"She Sets the City on Fire" is the first track, a mid-tempo hit that is quintessential recent Gavin, reminiscent of the sound he perfected on singles like "Fire" and "Make a Move" over the past few years.
"Kite Like Girl" is the definition of a perfect pop diddy. While there may be nothing new to say, Gavin consistently finds a new way to say it with lyrics like "She's a kite like girl, you gotta let her fly away."
Gavin soars on slower tunes like "Harder to Believe" and the gorgeous "Say I Am," my own personal favorite track off the album. My heart beat a little fast the first time I heard the chorus: "We could stay up in this lonely room as we share these words unspoken / When you ask me if I'm in love with you / I would say you must be joking / I would say I / I would say, 'I am.'"
A close second for me is the sassy "New Love." Turn the volume all the way up in your car and sing as loud as you can. It feels right. I wouldn't want to be the old love this is directed at, because that's not the kind of regret you let go of easily.
"Making Love with the Radio On" and "How Lucky Can a Man Get" are two tunes that are meant to be experienced live as a sea of people dance to them. "How Lucky Can a Man Get" feels like immediately familiar, like it's simply a classic soul record. Gavin lets loose vocally on this one, and it's stunning.
Catch Gavin Degraw on his co-headlining fall tour with Andy Grammer:
Dates: City: Venue: 8/28/16 Bethel, NY Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
8/31/16 Hyannis, MA Cape Cod Melody Tent
9/1/16 Portland, ME Maine State Pier
9/3/16 Selbyville, DE The Freeman Stage at Bayside
9/6/16 Kettering, OH Fraze Pavilion for the Performing Arts
9/7/16 Grand Rapids, MI Meijer Gardens
9/12/16 Livermore, CA Wente Vineyards
9/13/16 Saratoga, CA The Mountain Winery
9/15/16 Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre
9/17/16 Lincoln, CA Thunder Valley Casino Resort
9/19/16 Modesto, CA Gallo Center For The Arts
9/20/16 Jacksonville, OR Britt Fest*
9/21/16 Puyallup, WA Washington State Fair
9/23/16 Magna, UT Saltair
9/24/16 Broomfield, CO First Bank Center
9/26/16 Papillion, NE Sumtur Amphitheater
9/27/16 St. Louis, MO Peabody Opera House
9/30/16 Prior Lake, MN Mystic Lake Casino – Mystic Showroom
10/1/16 New Buffalo, MI Four Windows Casino Resort/Silver Creek Event Center
10/3/16 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
10/4/16 Warren, OH W.D. Packard Music Hall
10/5/16 Columbus, OH Express Live!
10/6/16 Wilkes-Barre, PA FM Kirby Center for the Performing Arts
10/8/16 Utica, NY The Stanley
10/9/16 Reading, PA Santander Performing Arts
10/10/16 Providence, RI Providence Performing Arts Center
10/11/16 Albany, NY The Palace Theatre
10/13/16 New York, NY Hammerstein Ballroom
10/15/16 Boston, MA Orpheum Theatre – Boston
10/17/16 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom
10/18/16 Morristown, NJ Mayo Performing Arts Center
10/19/16 Philadelphia, PA The Fillmore
10/23/16 Louisville, KY The Kentucky Center – Whitney Hall
10/25/16 Dallas, TX South Side Ballroom
10/26/16 Houston, TX Revention Music Center
10/28/16 Phoenix, AZ Arizona State Fair **
10/29/16 Las Vegas, NV The Chelsea Theater – The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
11/2/16 Shreveport, LA The Shreveport Municipal Auditorium
11/3/16 Austin, TX Austin City Limits at The Moody Theater
11/6/16 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
11/7/16 Fort Myers, FL Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
11/9/16 Boca Raton, FL Mizner Park Amphitheater
Nashville rockers Kings of Leon are taking the Walls down with their new album, due out in October. The first single, "Waste a Moment," contains the elements of what fans have grown to love about Kings of Leon and a growth that will collect new ears along the way.
"Take the time to waste a moment / Never ask to be forgiven" will be this fall's anthem. Listen to the new track above.
If you haven't heard of Chris Lane yet, you will. This country crooner released his sophomore album in August called Girl Problems, and it quickly landed in the top ten on the Country Billboard charts.
Premiering today on Vevo, Lane released a lyric video for new single "For Her," and it features some of his most devoted fans. The romantic song is a country home run. Ladies, swoon accordingly below.
"Dear Me, hold on to what you've got / Things are gonna change / But change is better than you thought." - Dear Me, Eric Hutchinson
Eric Hutchinson couldn't have opened up his new album with a truer song- change has come his way, and it manifests itself in the best way possible on Easy Street.
This record takes Eric back to his indie roots, parting from both his long-time manager and label. It's a massive challenge to self-fund, produce and work out distribution details plus, you know, write all the lyrics and music to an entire album. It is not, in fact, an easy street.
Pair that with the fact that while Eric was creating the record, he was waiting on test results to confirm whether or not he had inherited Muscular Dystrophy and struggling with low-grade depression. (Read his essay on it here. Perhaps bring a few tissues.)
Yet Eric is like a phoenix, rising from the ashes of all his challenges to create yet another incredibly well-written album that makes you self-reflect, relate and...dance. The album is not a singular emotion or thought- it's a complex layering of pain, hope and maturation.
Eric will also be on tour this fall in support of the new album. (L.A., he's coming here!) Check out tour dates here.
It's just not fair. Everything Ryan Tedder touches turns to pure gold. He's written and produced for a list of artists that reads like a Who's Who of music. You know, people like Adele, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Madonna, U2, Ariana Grande and more. More. He's not even human.
So it should be no surprise at all that his band OneRepublic (you may have heard of them- they've only given us some of the best singles from the past decade), is back with a song that can only be described as an anthemic hit.
Check out "Kids" below and let us know if you agree. Fair warning: you may never get this chorus out of your head.
It's pure pop bliss. Dance alone in your mirror, in the car with your girlfriends or at the club with a drink held high. This 90s kid is so glad that Britney's back with a scorching hot tune.
Katy Perry "Rise"
Katy is at her best when she's creating anthems, and "Rise" is no exception. The NBC Olympics agrees, making it their anthem for the Rio Games. Think Roar Part II. It's great for working out, getting pumped up or just admiring Katy's beautiful vocals.
Gavin Degraw also hits the road for a co-headlining tour with Andy Grammer this fall:
8/28/16 – Bethel, NY @ Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
8/31/16 – Hyannis, MA @ Cape Cod Melody Tent *
9/1/16 – Portland, ME @ Maine State Pier
9/3/16 – Selbyville, DE @ The Freeman Stage at Bayside *
9/6/16 – Kettering, OH @ Fraze Pavilion for the Performing Arts *
9/7/16 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Meijer Gardens *
9/12/16 – Livermore, CA @ Wente Vineyards *
9/13/16 – Saratoga, CA @ The Mountain Winery *
9/15/16 – Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre
9/17/16 – Lincoln, CA @ Thunder Valley Casino Resort *
9/19/16 – Modesto, CA @ Gallo Center For The Arts
9/20/16 – Jacksonville, OR@ Britt Fest*
9/21/16 – Puyallup, WA @ Washington State Fair
9/23/16 – Magna, UT @ Saltair
9/24/16 – Broomfield, CO @ First Bank Center
9/26/16 – Papillion, NE @ Sumtur Amphitheater
9/27/16 – St. Louis, MO @ Peabody Opera House
9/30/16 – Prior Lake, MN@ Mystic Lake Casino – Mystic Showroom
10/1/16 – New Buffalo, MI @ Four Windows Casino Resort/Silver Creek Event Center
10/3/16 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
10/4/16 – Warren, OH @ W.D. Packard Music Hall
10/5/16 – Columbus, OH @ Express Live!
10/6/16 – Wilkes-Barre, PA @ FM Kirby Center for the Performing Arts
10/8/16 – Utica, NY @ The Stanley
10/9/16 – Reading, PA @ Santander Performing Arts
10/10/16 – Providence, RI @ Providence Performing Arts Center
10/11/16 – Albany, NY @ The Palace Theatre
10/13/16 – New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom
10/15/16 – Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theatre – Boston
10/17/16 – Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
10/18/16 – Morristown, NJ @ Mayo Performing Arts Center
10/19/16 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore
10/23/16 – Louisville, KY @ The Kentucky Center – Whitney Hall
10/25/16 – Dallas, TX @ South Side Ballroom
10/26/16 – Houston, TX @ Revention Music Center
10/28/16 – Phoenix, AZ @ Arizona State Fair **
10/29/16 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Chelsea Theater – The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
11/2/16 – Shreveport, LA @ The Shreveport Municipal Auditorium
11/3/16 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits at The Moody Theater
11/6/16 – Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
11/7/16 – Fort Myers, FL @ Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
11/9/16 – Boca Raton, FL @ Mizner Park Amphitheater
Pop/R&B artist LIV is far more than just a pretty face. She's been songwriting since she was seven years old, attended Lake Ridge Academy's School of Fine Arts for vocal performance and even went on to attend the prestigious Mike Curb College of Music Business at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.
Last year, LIV released her first single, "Poison in the Blood," produced by none other than Jonathan Timberlake (yes, as in, pop god Justin Timberlake's brother). It's a sexy dark tune that is completely intoxicating.
LIV released her EP, Trilogy, last November, but we think you'll consider this your total summer jam. Check out her song "We Know It" below and get the full album here on iTunes.
Greenville, South Carolina native Kylie Odetta is a singer, songwriter, and pianist, even co-producing her own music. With a goal to "create music that enhances the beauty emotion," she takes you on a dreamy escape with a Norah Jones meets Adele kind of style.
Her newest record, High Dreamer, is a collection of songs that display her indie-pop sensibilities and gorgeous voice that drips off the edge of the piano notes. She's opened for artists like Gavin Degraw, Colbie Caillat and Mat Kearney already, and she's just getting started. Look for Kylie to be one of the rare supernovas.
Country fans, there's a new fantastic duo in town, and they are called Two Way Crossing. Husband/wife duo Blake and Jenny Marvin moved from Denver, CO to Nashville in order to surround themselves with some of Music City's best, and they have risen to the occasion. One listen to their newest song Déjà Vu and you can almost envision them accepting their first CMA Award. Take a listen below and check out upcoming tour dates here.
I will forever remember the first time I heard Maroon 5's "Harder to Breathe." It was something distinctly different while possessing wide commercial appeal, and you could just sense what a gigantic hit it would become. It ended up being the lead single off a record that would sell 10 million copies.
Similarly, when I took a listen to Roem Baur's new EP, Night Phases, set to be released next week on June 27, I knew this was something huge. From the very first track, "Give You a Call," you are simultaneously dancing and trying to memorize the lyrics because this is the summer song you've been waiting for.
It's sexy. It's bluesy. It's rock and roll. It's Roem.
The rest of this innovative record continues on in that vein, bringing on unadulterated 1970s vibes and feeling like a beautiful marriage of Hendrix and The White Stripes. You can listen to his first release off the EP "Oh Dear," right here.
Despite the big sound, fans don't have to worry that songwriting has fallen to the wayside. Roem says, "At my heart, I’m a songwriter. And on stage night after night I want to tell a story to as many people as possible. We wanted to have a texturally rich record, but make it as accessible as possible. I really believe in the short form of an EP, a snapshot of an evening. It could be yours, mine, or someone you love.”
The only fault of this record? The four tracks leave you wanting much, much more.