single of the week
The Weeknd - Starboy ft. Daft Punk
album picksmore album picks
The name practically says it all.
DNCE has taken over the music charts by storm with each single they have released and their self-titled debut LP DNCE is a body of work of 14 songs that basically takes a loud hailer and yells in your ear that the band will not be going anywhere else anytime soon.
Back in October of 2015, the American dance-rock band has definitely left their mark in the music industry with their first EP SWAAY which produced two super successful singles Cake by the Ocean and Toothbrush. But now, the four piece group has surely made a name for themselves and makes it is clear that they are a force to be reckoned with.
Their self-titled studio album includes three tracks from their EP plus eleven new songs for the world to hear and know for themselves that the band is not just a one-trick pony. The MTV Video Music Award's Best New Artist for 2016 can perform not just dance-orientated songs but they show another side to them by gifting us with slower jams like Truthfully and Almost.
If you want people to remember your name, having a self-titled album is not enough. You need a song named after you as well. DNCE was very cleverly written. The lyrics of the song not only included the band's name but also gave an insight to the inspiration behind their name while giving it a little story line.
The multi-talented frontman of DNCE, Joe Jonas, not only has an incredible high range that can be heard in Zoom but he also co-wrote every track on the standard edition of the album. This album consists of songs like Toothbrush, Good Day and Pay My Rent that talk about some of life's situations but they were given very unique concepts that were written in an unusual and interesting way.
So if you ever need a playlist for whatever party you're at, don't even bother having a customised playlist. All you need to do is to bump the entire DNCE album to have a blast!
Album Review: Grace VanderWaal Launches Her Music Career By Getting Real On Her Debut EP 'Perfectly Imperfect'By Letazia Jan 06, 2017
Real talk translated into five beautiful songs.
If you don't already know who Grace VanderWaal is, it's about time you get to know her. Grace is an American singer-songwriter who won the eleventh season of America's Got Talent at just 12 years old. After her big win, the young star signed a record deal with Columbia Records and released her first EP titled Perfectly Imperfect in December of 2016.
Not only does Grace have a very unique voice that was described as "enduringly croaky" by USA Today, she performs all her songs with the ukulele. Grace first learnt how to play the piano around 4 years of age but quit soon after. The I Don't Know My Name singer attributed her ability to play the ukulele to her impatient nature. She explained that she decided to learn the ukulele because it only takes about 10 minutes to pick up unlike the piano.
Perfectly Imperfect consists of all four songs that Grace performed throughout her time on America's Got Talent plus an additional original song titled Gossip Girl. The song talks about the realities of certain girls you meet in school who you think are your friends but they end up saying nasty things about you to everyone else. Clay seems like a nice response to that because it addresses how one should deal with bullies.
The song that made her Howie Mandel's golden buzzer act on America's Got Talent I Don't Know My Name was inspired by twenty one pilots' House of Gold because they have exactly the same chords. Grace was just playing that song and somehow wrote the beautiful song that we all know today.
Grace's older sister, Olivia, has always been a huge supporter of her younger sister since day one. And there is probably no better way to thank someone that important in your life than to write a song for her. Beautiful Thing has such heartfelt and honest lyrics that there is absolutely no way you can't fall in love with this inseparable pair of siblings.
Unfortunately, Grace hasn't released a music video but we have been blessed with the lyric videos of all five songs. So if you haven't heard any of her songs yet, please just take 17 minutes to listen to the whole EP that talks about some of the most relatable topics in life. You will not regret it.
1. I Don't Know My Name
3. Light The Sky
4. Beautiful Thing
5. Gossip Girl
Let's have a bit of fun with numbers, shall we? What do get when you add MUTEMATH to twenty one pilots?
Well, if you guessed an EP of pure musical bliss then you are absolutely right.
Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun of electropop duo twenty one pilots recently teamed up with Paul Meany, Darren King, Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas and Todd Gummerman of alternative rock band MUTEMATH in a recent studio visit to create TOPxMM, an EP of five of TØP's hit songs reimagined.
The EP starts of with TØP's latest single for the blockbuster movie Suicide Squad: Heathens. From a straight up electro-badass sound, the collaboration has resulted in a more mellow, soulful version of the song, yet at the same time retaining its catchy hook supported by a clean bassline courtesy of Roy. The second track, heavydirtysoul, the only non-single in the set, does not come with an entirely new sound, but Tyler's vocals prove to be rawer which pairs well with the synth and keyboard stylings of Paul and Todd.
A bigger change is clear when Ride begins, introducing a dreamy and almost ambient-sounding backing tune which becomes more evident in the bridge and it effectively gives the song a lighter vibe. The real twist then kicks in; skipping the ever familiar "annyeonghaseyo," Tear In My Heart starts off with trumpets, gang vocals and a beat reminiscient of a 70's disco tune. Surprisingly, the group has managed to succesfully combine the spunkiness of the original song with a groovy, fresh new tune which I wholeheartedly applaud.
The final song on this set, Lane Boy, shows off Paul's techno skills as well as Josh and Darren's drumming as the backbone of the song. The track then rolls over to an instrumental postlude - a superb ending to the EP.
Produced by Paul Meany, this collaboration was a great success which showcased the individual talents of the six musicians as well as the result of a cohesive blend of both the bands' sounds.
With the release of the EP, the bands have also put up a live video that you can watch here:
For the alternative rock band, Kings of Leon, making an album isn’t so much about pleasing an audience. The quartet has already found success in their most well-received album, Only By The Night. Not so much of a game changer, their recent effort WALLS radiates their struggle of keeping a steady musical momentum.
According to frontman Caleb Followill, the album is reminiscent of the metaphor, “the walls coming down.” A slightly cheesy take on learning how to break free. Though for Kings of Leon, it holds a personal part in their entire journey as a band and perhaps as brothers. In the words of Followill himself, “there is some real stuff being said.”
The record opens with Waste A Moment, a thundering track that carries their signature crunchy riffs. This is followed by the soft, almost indie-like, mellow intro in Reverend that finds its way to a powerful chorus.
The most noteworthy track, however, is Around The World smothered in a frolicking opening just begging to be admired. The track then flawlessly transitions to Find Me, a song carrying that certain repetitive melody seeping into almost every track in the album. Unfortunately, the title track and ballad, Walls, happens to be one of the those tracks.
Despite the disappointing lack of variety, we've got songs like Conversation Piece with Followill's beaming country-like vocals and Muchacho, an ethereal piece illuminating a vibrant aura far from their usual angst.
Though confessing how much of a challenge it was to produce this record, Kings of Leon undoubtedly delivered. But, this of course, is in spite of the record's lack of angst that seems to be seeping through repetitive rock melodies. After all, what's Kings of Leon without their signature and familiar garage sound anyway?
Listen to WALLS here:
Track gems: Around The World, Eyes On You, Muchacho
Photo Credit: Supplied, RCA Records
With just almost a year succeeding the release of their previous album, Get Weird, Little Mix proves that 2016 isn’t as bad as everyone thinks it is. Along with a successful tour, the hardworking girl-group delivers a rhythmic pop record, Glory Days, that is reminiscent of their adorable quirks and emotional heartaches.
Channeling their feisty attitudes, Little Mix delves straight into the topic of romance with Shout Out to My Ex. Dubbed as the new dance anthem for the brokenhearted, the well-received track speaks so much of the quartet’s advocacy that being single is not entirely synonymous to being miserable.
Following the topic of love is a song devoid of it. Little Mix belts out their dilemmas in F.U., a fiery ballad accompanied by enthralling chord progressions and the girl’s signature harmonies. What follows this is a jazzy track called Oops featuring one of this generation’s most melodically creative artists, Charlie Puth. Puth’s harmonious trademark is evident in the song’s soft-hearted and captivating melody, both encapsulating the type of sound one needs to hear for a little rejuvenation. If not the best, Oops remains to be one of those songs you should play on repeat.
You Gotta Not marks the end of the melodic intensity in the album. However, the vibrant jingle still falls under the "catchy category" with it's intense beats and sassy lyrics that seem to mock the girls' previous lovers - "I don't get paid to babysit no one."
With Little Mix' authenticity, it's not a surprise that the record still includes sentimental tracks like Your Love and Nobody Like You, despite their desire for it to represent independence and the ultimate "girl power."
Glory Days maintains an energy and vigor incomparable to any pop albums released this year. It satisfied our cravings for fun dance-pop music in a world full of "indie wannabes". This is prood that Little Mix have mastered the art of what constitutes a feel-good pop record in their five years in the industry.
For whatever endeavor they've experienced, the girl-group still manifests an aura that is true themselves and delivers it to like-minded fans through their unapologetically fun music.
Listen to the album here:
Track Gems: Oops, Shout Out to My Ex, You Gotta Not, F.U.
Photo Credit: musicweekly.asia, Syco, and Columbia records