Excited to alert you to this stellar new track from Air Traffic Controller, who we keep telling you about. A reliably catchy pop rock band, to be sure. But they’ve just debuted a song called “On The Wire,” which feels like a big artistic leap for the band, if not the mark of a whole new direction. This sonically adventurous song finds frontman Dave Monroe stepping back in favor of Casey Sullivan, whose lead vocal elevates the whole production. And a hell of a production it is, by longtime collaborator Bleu, who also co-wrote. Must-hear:
Foster The People (anyone else mentally complete that phrase with “you love with love” or am I the only one who listened to James Taylor’s Greatest Hits too much when I was 13?) have debuted their new single “Coming of Age,” which will appear on their forthcoming album Supermodel, due March 14th.
I thought their last album was pretty schizophrenic. Not necessarily a bad thing (I personally dig records like that), just a divergent sound from song to song. This new one matches some of the band’s established vibe, but is more driving and built-for-radio. It doesn’t bear the slow slacker feel of their crossover hit “Pumped Up Kicks,” but it is pretty chilled out and dressed in ambient sound along with some prominent guitars. Cool song, check it out.
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It’s pretty good. This would sound completely at home in the middle of Pure Heroine, so don’t expect any surprises, but it’s also a better song than a lot of that album’s tracks.
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It’s a new day for Rebecca Black. The viral phenom has just released “Saturday,” the follow-up to her mind-bendingly bad single and video “Friday.” And I’m pleased to say that it’s an incredibly good, boundary-pushing piece of pop art. No, I’m kidding, it sucks terribly.
Black and her team, including duet partner Dave Days, who takes a verse and sings harmonies here, seem to think that displaying some modicum of the self-awareness that “Friday” lacked entirely will erase the public perception of her as a talent-challenged hack.
It does not. The un-subtle recalls to some of the more laughable moments of the “Friday” debacle (the bowl of cereal, the shocking ‘fun, fun, fun, fun’ lyric) in fact make them instantly un-laughable. We weren’t laughing with you, Ms. Black, and we don’t want to. It’s important that you understand that. You’ve actually ruined “Friday” for us. Amazing.
As some reviewers have noted, “Saturday” is a much more professional production. Black’s voice sounds better, and the song is both better written and better produced. But now she, and we, must face the moment of truth in which we hear and evaluate the ‘mature artist’ being offered here, unfettered by producers Ark Music Factory, which rightly took a lot of the blame for “Friday.” Now, almost three years after that toxic smoke has cleared, we gaze upon the banal horror of utterly soulless, overproduced, uninspired tween party pop, no different from a hundred other forgettable, disposable songs.
And that is why we should be glad for “Saturday.” It exposes the quality-irrelevant mess that pop music has become. If the person responsible for what has been called the worst song ever produced can turn around and release a song that would sound right at home on Top 40 radio or at the VMAs, what does that say about those celebrated pop pushers who were spared the embarrassment of having a “Friday” released before the pros got their hands on them?
Solange has bounced around the music world for a few years (with intermittent breaks from the spotlight), going from Interscope to an independent, Terrible Records, for last year’s True EP. Now she’s making her own musical home.
Her newest single, “Cash In,” is the lead from a compilation called Saint Heron, the first release from her own Saint Records label. (The comp also features R&B favorites like Kelela, Cassie, Sampha, and more.) It’s a bit of a new sound for Solange, with a slow rolling beat over an organ drone, and adorned with reverberating vocal harmonies. Very cool.
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Our friends in Blondfire have just released a brand new single entitled “Young Heart,” quite possibly just to remind us how good pop music can be.
This song heralds the release of a new LP, also titled Young Heart, slated for February of 2014. Mostly recorded at guitarist Bruce Driscoll‘s home studio and Hollywood’s historic Wax Studios, the album was mixed by Wally Gagel (Muse, Folk Implosion, Family Of The Year, Best Coast), who doubles as the husband of Bruce’s sister and Blondfire frontwoman Erica Driscoll. The band have been touring without Bruce lately, including at a recent one-off show we happened to catch in Boston. The touring four-piece pulled off a spectacular set, bringing a heavy dose of rock to the electro grooves that infuse so many of their songs. Looking forward to this album, their first since 2008. Follow @OurStage on Twitter for updates.
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When most people think of Taylor Swift the first thing that usually comes to mind is her penchant for detailing in song her failed relationships. The title “Sweeter Than Fiction” might suggest this track is par for the course, but that could not be further from the case. Swift sings from the perspective of a fan who believed in someone’s talent long before anyone else caught on. It’s uplifting without being hokey, and from a musical perspective, introduces a heavy ’80s influence. You can stream the single below.
Before anyone gets too excited about Swift’s return to the studio, it should be noted that this song is not intended for Taylor’s next album. In fact, it’s the first song to be released from the forthcoming film One Chance, which tells the story of Paul Potts, the down-on-his-luck store clerk who became an opera-singing sensation after winning Britain’s Got Talent in 2007. No release date for the soundtrack has been set, but the film is due to debut stateside before the end of 2013. Comment below and let us know your thoughts on Taylor’s latest. (more…)
Last week we brought you a quick preview of Prince’s new single, “Breakfast Can Wait.” The clip featured shots of a well-choreographed dance routine, but absolutely no images of the man himself. The full video has now been released, and even without appearing in the clip Prince makes it known he’s back to reclaim the throne as pop’s sexiest male vocalist.
Opening on a young couple clearly doing their best to start the day, the new video from Prince plays coy with the subject at the center of “Breakfast Can Wait.” As the man tries to make his way out the door, his lover pulls him close for a little morning intimacy, and viewers are suddenly taken to a world where all emotion is expressed through dance. Okay, it’s really just a dance studio filled with a team being lead by the aforementioned female star of the clip, but the intent of the transition remains the same. Her wholesome demeanor has been replaced with leather and attitude, which is a look matched by seemingly everyone else on set. The track plays on, pumping as much sensuality through the speakers as one imagines is possible, and the dance routine becomes increasingly complex along the way. You can view the video at the end of this post.
It does not take long to understand the underlying message of “Breakfast Can Wait,” but that does not dampen the overall impact of the song or video. The only part the really confuses the viewer is the female Prince impersonator, which fans on Reddit will have surely dissect for deeper meaning in the days ahead.
Prince has yet to announce plans for a new album or tour, but the release of “Breakfast Can Wait” lead us to believe he has something on the horizon. Follow OurStage on Twitter to ensure you never miss another headline, then comment below and let us know your thoughts on the video. (more…)
Boston indie rock favorites The Deep North have released a brand new track, titled “We Are Only Strangers.” The song is the second to surface from their upcoming album, Sound & Light, which is currently scheduled for release on October 15th.
Toning down the energy found on the previous single “Voices,” The Deep North use “We Are Only Strangers” to showcase their softer side. Vocalist Rebecca Frank soars above the band’s ace performance and the track’s top-shelf production with a voice you won’t soon forget. You can stream “We Are Only Strangers” on Absolutepunk.
In addition to next week’s digital release, The Deep North have announced plans for a limited vinyl release of Sound & Light sometime in November. Stay tuned for addition information on availability in the weeks ahead.
We have heard a lot of variations on pop music from Perry in the past, but I’m not sure any have properly prepared fans for the deep house influence running through “Walking On Air.” It’s as far of a departure as possible from the other Prism tracks that have surfaced thus far, and whether or not fans are okay with that will hinge largely on which version of Perry they enjoy the most. “Walking On Air” harkens back to Katy’s early days of super high-gloss pop, and those itching for the diva to return to her old ways will be pleased to hear this iteration. Those who embraced “Roar” with open arms, however, may find themselves feeling a bit let down with this offering. You can stream the song below.
“Walking On Air” is being released strictly as a promotional single at this point. No attempt to push it at radio or beyond will take place right now, but it may get airplay on a handful of stations with their ear to the Internet. If Katy decides to release this track as an actual single, she may well find success at radio, but based on the imagery she’s released for the album so far I think she’s going for a more ‘grown up’ feel with her marketing efforts. This is more of a throwaway track than the others that have surfaced, though that doesn’t make it a bad song.
Prism arrives in stores October 22. Comment below and let us know your thoughts on Katy’s latest. (more…)