single of the week
Rudimental - Lay It All On Me ft. Ed Sheeran
today in history
album picksmore album picks
They call themselves a pop band but I'd like to think that local 4-piece Lost Weekend have a little bit of indie rock in them with their vibrant debut album that will be sure to brighten up your mornings and midnights.
Believe me when I say these guys are not to be ignored. I've had friends with shocked faces after telling them this band is from Singapore, and with melodious guitar lines and frontgirl Rachel's infectious singing, it is a surprising treat to have talent like this right here.
The eponymous album kicks off with the kopitiam themed Chips + Wine before leading into the album's highlight track, Mornings, a bubbly indie pop tune that will hook you immediately with its nostalgic sounds.
Indie rock tracks like the energetic Red Is The Color and Wild Ones, that has an intro so inviting, are best listened to on train/bus journeys, while the well-written On A Sunday is best experienced any day of the week.
Lost Weekend show glimpses of their versatility with darker tracks like the movie soundtrack-esque After Midnight and the ominous-at-times What Do You Call It.
Two more indie songs in the slightly anthemic About Forever and the daydreamy Ghosts come before the appropriately lullaby-ish Sleepyhead that closes the 10-track album.
Definitely a home-grown band with the potential to grow even more with their bubbly debut album, Lost Weekend is one to watch out for. (You can catch them in the Neon Lights Festival coming this 28 November).
Track Gems: Mornings, About Forever, On A Sunday, Red Is The Color, Wild Ones
Album Review: James Morrison's 4th Album 'Higher Than Here' Is His Survival Guide To The Modern Singer-Songwriter EraBy Michael Nov 27, 2015
In a singer-songwriter world dominated by Ed Sheeran and newcomers like Chet Faker and Hozier, to name just a few, this genre's artists of the 2000s are struggling to find solace in these hard, modern times, with the exceptions being Jason Mraz and John Mayer. And with James Morrison's 4th album Higher Than Here, he tries to find a place for himself and his music that connected with people in the decade before.
The album's opener Demons definitely shows his desperate attempt at fitting in with the new kids using pitch-shifted vocal samples and a modern electropop beat. Somehow this desperation sounds great as it drives his recognizable soulful voice.
Songs like Stay Like This and Reach Out bring you back to the sound that made his name, with the classic pop-soul beats decorated with horn sections and catchy chorus melodies that only James' Rod Stewart-ish voice can pull off.
James' utilizes his special blend of acoustic funk, pop-soul and RnB elements in the highlight track We Can that draws similarities to one of his biggest hits Broken Strings, and also in the daydreamy track Something Right as he shows his ever-strong songwriting, singing about "All the pitfalls, the brick walls, the fuck it alls, the bad calls."
The way he has arranged his album can be seen as genius as he only has arguably one modern-ish sounding song and it's at the top of the tracklist. It's like he's saying "I'm gonna try fitting in to today's sound, (after Demons), nope I don't like it, I'm gonna stick to what I know and love." The 11 Morrison-esque songs that follow definitely show his applause-worthy dedication to his singer-songwriter style, which is a refreshing and nostalgic sound to hear today.
Track Gems: We Can, Too Late For Lullabies, Something Right, Stay Like This, Need You Tonight
Having a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions? Don’t worry. Little Mix got you covered.
Since the release of their second record, Little Mix have admittedly struggled with the theme of their third album Get Weird. Experimentation really is a work in progress, but it was all worth the wait as this album encapsulates both a strong emotional appeal and the girl group’s signature diva-ish attitude.
Often referred to as “Slay Queens” by the majority including myself, Little Mix went to a more risky route by incorporating a variety of genres in this album and actually made it work. For this, we categorized a few tracks from the album for you!
For the Broken-hearted: Secret Love Song, The End, Love Me or Leave Me
Mellow, soul-wrenching songs that are perfect for long bus or train journeys. If you’re feeling a bit sentimental, put The End on repeat and indulged in dreamy harmonies made possible by the group’s angelic voices.
For the Oldies Junkie: Grown, Weird People, A.D.I.D.A.S.
Bring back the good ol’ days with these three songs. Whether you’re into a bit of a jukebox retro feel or craving an 80s kick, Get Weird has it all!
For the Pop Fanatic: Black Magic, Love Me Like You, I Won’t
It’s all about the hooks, innit? Little Mix definitely know how to make catchy dance-pop choruses. Love Me Like You resonates the vibe of a typical Christmas jingle, but that’s what makes the song a hit! (Confession: I’ve listened to it at least 50 times ever since I’ve first heard it.)
Be mesmerized in this effortless acoustic performance of Love Me Like You!
Photo Credit: Syco, Columbia
Raising similarities to Lana Del Rey, Zella Day has got things to say which may blow you away and leave you astray as you overplay her debut album Kicker.
A new artist bursting into the scene, Zella refreshes indie-pop with her own brand of singer-songwriter styles. Her voice is something to behold as it feels uniquely old-school at times while still fitting in today with her country-ish track Josey Wales and the modern sounding East Of Eden.
Zella invites many genres into her record, such as the contemporary rock song High and synth-driven electropop tune Ace Of Hearts where she reveals her naivety singing "I wanna get so lost in the great escape".
Hypnotic is probably how you've come across this budding talent, appearing in TV shows like Pretty Little Liars and The Vampire Diaries and with its upbeat R&B groove hooking you onto her sound, who can blame you from stumbling across her?
Zella definitely has better vocal chops than her peers in the same music category, (definitely better than Elizabeth Grant), and if she keeps on this youthful, refreshing path, she can surpass her fellow musicians and cement a place in music stardom.
Track Gems: Hypnotic, Mustang, Compass, East Of Eden
California singer-songwriter Tori Kelly releases her industry-breaking debut album, Unbreakable Smile, with a new single called Hollow, a heart-pounding song that is probably her most personal one yet and could do better off without Big Sean's rap section.
The album begins with a minute-and-a-half acoustic little tune Where I Belong that flows nicely into the title track Unbreakable Smile where Tori sings about trying to be herself in the sea of criticism surrounding her.
Tori's vocals come off like a cross between Lea Michele and Natasha Bedingfield and she definitely channels a lot of that emotional singing here, especially in the RnB single Should've Been Us and the gut-wrenching First Heartbreak.
Other acclaimed artists leave their mark on Unbreakable Smile with LL Cool J in the summer soundtrack California Lovers and everyone's favorite, Ed Sheeran who fits perfectly with Tori in the Sheeran-esque duet I Was Made For Loving You.
Tori Kelly proves here that being yourself is totally fine in the music industry and you don't have to wear scantily clothes in your music videos to garner more views. Unbreakable Smile is without a doubt her stepping stone to a great career.
Track Gems: Should've Been Us, Hollow, Nobody Love, Talk