Saturday, February 7, 2015

Song Of The Day: "Nothing But A Heartbeat" by Say Lou Lou

Good news and bad news. The bad news is that the most highly anticipated album of the year has been delayed. UGGGHHH. For those who don't know, the album in question is Lucid Dreaming, the debut by the best twins in music Say Lou Lou. The good news is that Miranda & Elektra have decided to give us a little treat to whet our appetites until the album is out in April. And that would be the heaven-sent ethereal anthem called "Nothing But A Heartbeat." 

After stopping to take a dance break on "Games For Girls," this new single takes all the elegant romanticism of their earlier ballads but turns it into a rollicking tune that would not sound out of place on the last Tove Lo album. Quieter, but no less powerful.

This new album will likely be the greatest thing Sweden and Australia have ever produced, much like the sisters themselves. Take a listen to hear for yourself.

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Who should win at the Grammys? (Sia and Charli, duh)
The Grammys are just around the corner and can only be described as one of the most prestigious, stressful, and unexpected awards shows ever. Remember when Esperanza Spalding beat Justin Bieber? Yeah, shit goes down. Ahead of this weekend's ceremony, I thought it was my God-given duty to break down what could possibly happen this year and who should win the actual awards (especially considering by next year, we'll be in full Adele mode when she drops 25).

The Performances

1. Madonna

This has been a rough album campaign for Queen Madge. Madonna's latest opus Rebel Heart had a lot of promise to be amazing but it has been plagued by endless leaks, stupid PC Twitter trolls, and Madonna's convoluted responses. Hopefully this performance can get the whole thing back on track because as anyone with ears can tell you, "Living For Love" is absolutely wonderful.

2. Gwen Stefani & Adam Levine

Gwen Stefani's return hasn't been much better than Madonna's (don't even get me started on Fergie). "Baby Don't Lie" was sublime but it certainly wasn't the stomping comeback we were all hoping for. The best thing Stefani has done since she started singing again was this Calvin Harris collab. Unfortunately, it looks like Gwen is teaming up with the most annoying pop band at the moment to sing the Sia-penned blubbathon above. But maybe she'll play a new, ridicumazing song with Adam Levine just playing guitar in the background? Now that would be good.

3. Ariana Grande

An Ariana Grande megamix, a Grandemix if you will, would be just fine with me but it looks like she will be using the Grammys to promote the fourth single from My Everything, "One Last Time." The song is on the better side of the album so I'm already going to give this a 7/10.

4. Katy Perry

After the Super Bowl, which was also only 7/10 compared to Madonna and Beyonce's absolute slayage of the field, Katy Perry might try to bring the slight train wreck of Prism to a prompt end by singing a boring ballad "By The Grace Of God" at the Grammys. Unless the sharks or Missy Elliott make an appearance, I might mute this one and listen to Bonnie Mckee instead.

5. Sia

Now this is what I'm talking about. Sia's album campaign has been spectacular, by being the true Elusive Chanteuse, she has used other performance elements to mesmerize the audience. Her Grammy performance will surely be the highlight of the night and hopefully, will give "Elastic Heart" the push it needs to be as big a hit as "Chandelier"

6. Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett

The only way I'm getting through this jazz album debacle that Lady Gaga is putting me through is by pretending it never happened. My life is a lot happier since I've done it, so you might want to try it out. A new album would be welcome anytime now Stefani G.

7. Rihanna, Kanye, McCartney

This was not what I wanted from Rihanna and I refuse to support this side of her. I barely got around to liking "Diamonds" but this acoustic bullshit is too much. She better have something astronomical up her sleeve because she is slowly losing her status as Holy Priestess of my Illuminati Church.

8. AC/DC

Alert your Mom and Dad!

9. Ed Sheeran & ELO

Alert the Queen!

10. Eric Church

Country and boring.

11. Beck & Chris Martin

Alternative and boring.

12. Sam Smith & Mary J. Blige

Gospel and boring (unless they bring Disclosure out for some deep house action).

13. Beyonce, Common, & John Legend

This will be gospel and not boring. Though Common's involvement is a little weird, Beyoncé and John Legend know how to deliver heartfelt lyrics in a beautiful non-melodramatic way. This will probably be the part where everyone cries a little.

14. Ed Sheeran and some other people

Unless he does "Sing," this will be acoustic and boring.

15. Juanes

Loud and in Spanish. Will they even air this one?

16. Kanye West

It will be a new solo song but will probably be shit. Hopefully he pulls a "Stronger" and make me like him for a week.

17. Pharrell Williams

What is Pharrell even doing now? Does he have a single out? If he does "Happy" one more time...

18. Usher

Sometimes people need to know when to give up on one career and move on...

19. Miranda Lambert

Maybe I'll just stop watching after the Sia performance.

20. Tom Jones and Jessie J

Will Tom Jones take the Ariana part in "Bang Bang"? Maybe they can bring Paul McCartney to come and do Nicki's part? That would be the only way this would be entertaining.

21. Hozier & Annie Lennox


So... it looks like performances will not be the best this year. But what about the awards!?!?

The Awards

I'll just be doing some highlights from the ceremony because I couldn't care less about most of these categories.

Best Music Video

The Clear Winner: "Chandelier" by Sia

One of the most iconic music videos of last year and the only one on the list that will have you wanting to see it again. Hopefully Sia can be the Adele of this year since she probably is the most Grammy worthy artist of 2014.

Best Dance Recording

NSOTP Winner: "Rather Be" by Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne
Who will probably win: "Rather Be" by Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne

If nothing else, the Grammys should be a time to celebrate innovation and reinvention of music. No other artist has accomplished this as well as Clean Bandit on "Rather Be." Merging classical acoustics with house beats can only be considered ingenious.

Best Pop Solo Performance

NSOTP Winner: "Chandelier" by Sia
Who will probably win: "Stay With Me" by Sam Smith

Since the Adele comparisons early in his career, it looks like Sam Smith will probably clear most of his categories. HOWEVER, I still refuse to consider him a popstar, and certainly not the gay popstar we have all been waiting for. Sia's powerhouse vocal acrobatics deserve this one and I will take on anyone who disagrees.

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

NSOTP Winner: "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea & Charli XCX
Who will probably win: "Dark Horse" by Katy Perry & Juicy J

With Katy's performance at the Super Bowl and the Grammys, it's hard to think the Academy won't want to give her something as a thank you. But you and I both know that "Fancy" deserved this as a sign of female pop power and Charli XCX's first time being recognized as the amazing pop entity she was always destined to be.

Best Pop Vocal Album

NSOTP Winner: Prism by Katy Perry
Who will probably win: My Everything by Ariana Grande

I'm still surprised Taylor Swift wasn't nominated for this, as she clearly had the biggest album of the past year. Nonetheless, Katy Perry's album had a lot to offer sonically despite many of the missteps. If Ariana were to win, I wouldn't be fuming but I'm still expecting something gravity-bending from the third album Ari.

Best New Artist

NSOTP Winner: Iggy Azalea or HAIM
Who will probably win: Sam Smith

Regardless of whatever most of the Twitterverse is saying, I actually enjoy most of Iggy's output. It is mainstream rap but I think we can all agree that some of y'all are getting a little too crazy about an artist trying to pave a career. And with four top 20 hits to her name, it makes sense she would be the biggest new artist of 2014. Nonetheless, the Cali rock trio made up of the HAIM sisters also deserve some recognition considering their debut album was very good indeed.

Song Of The Year

NSOTP Winner: "Chandelier" by Sia
Who will probably win: "All About That Bass" by Meghan Trainor

It's safe to say that Meghan Trainor is definitely about that fucking bass. The biggest surprise hit of the year certainly deserves some recognition but I think it is clear that the amount of thought going into Chandelier by songwriter-extroardinaire Sia is leaps and bounds above Meghan's. Chandelier was 2014, a giant swinging mess but everyone got through it with sheer determination and that is why Sia should be applauded.

Album Of The Year

NSOTP Winner: Beyoncé by Beyoncé
Who Will Probably Win: In The Lonely Hour by Sam Smith

Beyoncé's visual album had to be the absolute highlight of 2013. The music may not have been up to my usual tastes but it was a forward-thinking zeitgeist-producing collection of jams whose visuals only immersed you deeper in the song's productions. And I don't see Sam Smith riding no #Surfboarts on his blubbathon of an album, do you?

Record Of The Year

NSOTP Winner: "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea & Charli XCX
Who Will Probably Win: "Stay With Me" by Sam Smith

Yeah, I do think "Fancy" was the best record of the year. It established Iggy Azalea as the superstar she is today. It brought Charli XCX to the forefront as the premiere songwriting hit maker of 2014. It ushered in a new trend of not-shit music videos with a lot of retro vibes. It was the biggest song of the summer and of the year. While "Chandelier" and "Shake It Off" were very amazing indeed, they did not make make the world a better place. "Stay With Me" might have made it worse. So, sorry haterz but "Fancy" had better win this one or the 2015 Grammys will have been the worst ceremony in recent history.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Pop Roundup: December 2014 - January 2015

Because I've been busy traveling these past couple of months, I haven't been as up to date in introducing some really amazing music to you all. So from now on, I will try to wrap up the month with a selection of songs I think deserve some credit. Here are some highlights I've been listening to lately.