MIEARS is Michelle Miears, former frontwoman of the electronica band BLSHS. Her first solo efforts are captivating in a new way. The Houston native’s vocal prowess is mesmerizing as ticking electronics flood every second of “Directional.” Harmonies take the lead and pull you in even further. An 80’s-esque beat keeps her voice on the right track reminiscent of other electro-pop bands like, Broods and Oh Wonder. The chorus rings, “Ooo, I’ll be your directional” a phrase guaranteed to echo in your brain for days.
Her EP, Who Will Save You will encompass the new solo woman MIEARS has quickly become. Look for the release on Feb. 17 on Loose Narrative.
1.) “In My Foreign” – Ty Dolla $ign, French Montana, Lil Yachty, and Nicky Jam
A classic hip-hop vid featuring too many features, oversized fur coats, and sports cars parked at an angle… Sampling Chicago’s hit from 1973, “Saturday In the Park” you can’t help but bop along to this track.
2.) “Company” – Tinashe
Wow… this woman proves time and time again that R&B is HER thing. Not only is her singing impeccable, but her dance moves are insanely impressive. Hip popping and hair flipping at its finest. Try not to get body jealous after watching this.
3.) “Maniac” – Jhene Aiko
With lyrics like: “Gotta read the sign like a zodiac, I’m a lowkey freak, you don’t know me yet?” there’s only one way to make this video represent the lyrics. Aiko is seen chained down to a bed as masked people hover over her. An asylum could be the location… She writhes and twitches in her manic state as she sings about, well… you get the idea.
4.) “I Got You” – Bebe Rexha
Rexha flops around a desert, rolling in the cracked ground, booty poppin’ on a car, and whipping her blonde hair around her face. Her eyes captivate you until you can’t look away. Donning several dramatic & sexy outfits, she proves pop is her game and right now she’s #1.
My prediction? She will become a leader on the R&B charts, dominating every spot. Her raw honesty and sense of self made her a frontrunner in music this past year. Keeping simple R&B sounds with spicy lyrics that fit the bill (listen to “Distraction”). SweetSexySavage, will be what you’re bumping going into 2017.
Big Sean:I Decided, Feb. 3
It’s been a minute since his last album, Dark Sky Paradise (2015) which was flooded with all-star cameo’s like Ariana Grande and Kanye West. The rapper has slowly been releasing singles throughout 2016 with, “Living Single,” “Bounce Back,” “Moves,” and “No More Interviews.” Big Sean told Entertainment Weekly the album is focused on rebirth, saying “Sometimes I feel like I was an old man and didn’t succeed in life and asked for a second chance, and this is my second chance.”
The XX:I See You, Jan 13.
Mumbled rhyme schemes and pulsating guitar riffs litter every XX track. After their hit, “On Hold,” fans became once again addicted to the distinct XX sound. “There was so much pressure from ourselves about: What do people like about us? What makes us sound like us? What do we need to hang onto?” member Oliver Sim told Pitchfork. The trio remains out of the limelight as much as possible holding onto their privacy as much as they can. I See You could be their best yet.
Katy Perry: ??
It is rumored that Ms. Perry is back in the studio again working on new music. We haven’t heard much from the singer since her laid back 2013 album, Prism; garnering hits like, “Birthday,” “Dark Horse,” and “This Is How We Do.” Will she continue her pop-happy radio domination in 2017? Only time will tell…
Ed Sheeran: ??
Sheeran has been MIA for quite some time, perhaps perfecting his acoustic/pop sound? The crooner shared an Instagram with fans hinting that new music would be released this Friday (1/6). An album? single? music video? We just have to wait and see. In the past, he’s mentioned his progress on his third album (reportedly titled “÷”- following the numeric theme he’s titled past albums) calling it, “The best thing I have made thus far.”
A clever spin on the cliche saying, “We’ll leave the light on!” Well…not this time. “Blow Out the Light” focuses on the end of a relationship, hinting at some infidelity; “Don’t come home to me tonight, you’ve been holdin’ someone tight, you think you’re out there lovin’ someone right.” The soprano-like voices in GEMS provide a stark contrast to the actual harsh words being sung. “I can’t promise that I’ll ever be cool with you, but I’m tryna be kind.” The positivity is in the process of moving on.
These Washington, D.C. natives are starting a new music releasing process by putting out a new single every time there’s a full moon, hence the project title, Every Full Moon. A cool way of introducing new music to their fans that has already garnered some much needed attention to the group. “Blow Out the Light” is different from GEMS’ usual electro-pop. This one is plucking from the R&B/alternative field, with a dash of piano and a sprinkle of electronic, that seems to suit them flawlessly. Reminiscent of groups on the rise, like Broods, Phantogram, and Oh Wonder. The boy-girl coupling makes for a refreshing duet sound that has been growing popular in the music scene.
The most captivating element in “Light” are the snaps that overlap during the chorus as lead singer Lindsay sings sweetly, “blow out the light.” You can’t help but feel like it should be on a 24-hour loop in a Zen center somewhere to help people rid their mind of toxic exes.
“Stop all the clocks, I’ll be with you, you’re all that I think about” sings lead singer Jack Kenworthy in a high pop range as an electro beat migrates to the forefront. “About You” is one of their several singles released late this year. London natives, Colouring are doing just that. Coloring music with a blue hue (check out all their single artwork) and poetic lyrics. If One Republic and Coldplay had a baby, it would be these guys…
The group yanks at your heart strings with the sad yet beautiful “Everything Has Grown.” A light twinkle of piano chords played by Kenworthy graces your ears. He told Impose Magazine, “I could always work out melodies by ear on the piano, even before I knew what any of the notes were.” His voice is a steady strong alto as the lyrics overflow with honesty; “Now all these years have passed us by, and every tear has left your eyes, but how we try.” Kenworthy says, “It’s a pretty personal song to me. I think everyone knows the feeling of looking back on a difficult time in their lives and finally finding peace with it.”
This four-some met eachother over a span of years forming what would soon be their band. They played and listened to music together in their house in London. “From early on, we all realized we loved the same stuff. We quickly became pretty close,” said Kenworthy. It’s obvious they all work well together and are motivated to make more music. A debut album is in the works for 2017.
“Advice” is every conversation we’ve had with ourselves after heartbreak. The pain, the denial, the truth we’ve been neglecting to respect. Kehlani sings with a slight plead, “I don’t want you around, cause how is the man of my dreams, not a man of his words?” The chorus comes in strong, “It’s time to take my own advice.” One of the hardest things we as humans often have trouble doing. We trust and believe in others, but can’t seem to apply that to ourselves. It’s too easy to break our confidence and feel rejected. While the song is soaked in broken love, it thrives in hope, and pure honesty. “Advice” serves as her most emotional song to date. Proving her raw lasting beauty in the R&B genre.
Her debut album SWEETSEXYSAVAGE will FINALLY hit shelves on January 27. With a 19-song track list, it’s bound to be a saucy musical brew. In response to her album title, Kehlani tweeted, “As women we are told that we cannot be multi layered.. we are put in boxes.. we can’t be all the above.. reclaim yourself.” Then she goes on to say, “But really.. it’s me reclaiming myself. Me accepting myself. Good & bad. All the way around. It’s me. Thank you for loving me.”
Chamomile. It’s the name of one of my most beloved playlists. It literally means calm, healing, relaxing, etc. It’s what everyone needs a dose of. So in the mornings when I get up before the sun and can’t stand to turn a light on, I throw on some music. Or when I am on my way home from work and the sun is peeking right behind the wintry clouds, I throw on my Chamomile. Or on Saturday morning when I’m making bacon and eggs in my snowflake PJ’s, I turn up the Chamomile. It’s the perfect way to make a moment better. Here are some artists that are always on my Chamomile playlist.
James Vincent McMorrow
His angelic voice lingers so far in your head, you can’t ever get it out. “Cavalier” builds into something poetic, that makes you cry in the best way. His voice barely mumbles, “speak until the dust, settles in the same specific way” making you feel as if you’re already under his spell.
The Head and the Heart
Pack up the granola, converse, and best friends. The Head and the Heart teach us to be adventurous while falling in love with everything around us. Harmonic symphonies of stories prance through every track delicately touching sadness and happiness with the prettiest of acoustic tones. “Winter Song” warms your soul as much as the hot cocoa in your hand. Curl up and feel the warmth.
Need I say more? But it’s the old ones that comfort me the most. The stand-alone romantic, “Green Eyes,” insanely gorgeous, “Sparks,” and the break-up tune, “Warning Sign.” Rich acoustics echo the lyrics flawlessly, making you fall in love with Chris Martin over and over again. Coldplay never ceases to make you feel.
His lackadaisical vocals and slight tinge of folk sets him apart from other alt musicians. “Like Real People Do” is a standout among the rest off his debut album. A quirky guitar melody and “hoo-ing” backup vocals make you rest your head and drift away. The day he records a lullaby album will be the best day of my life.
Soulful falsetto packs a punch in every track off James’ album High. “Cross my heart and hope to try, I know that tears may fall, but you know I can’t help it,” he sings emotionally. Raw lyrics stripped to the core are James’ specialty, and he does it well. One of the most calm people I’ve ever seen live. His aura is mystical.
We all know I love her. I will never be sick of her. She’s perfect. Her vocals have power when needed and perfection when desired. In first hit, “Change” she sings, “Baby don’t go, I didn’t know, I’ll change I swear, I’ll change I swear.” Never shying away from her honesty has made Banks a huge force in the alt scene. She is unlike any other artist out there.
A drunken escapade takes on music video gold as a body cam spans the close to 4 minute video. The Chainsmokers have this “hit” thing down. See for yourself.
“Trust Nobody” – Cashmere Cat ft. Selena Gomez, Tory Lanez
A scenic sunset landscape provides the perfect backdrop for some dope dance moves. Instead of Gomez grinding against a shiny wallpaper in a crowded club, we see talented dancers breeze through beautiful body movements. Art & music together make this song even more magical.
“Distraction” – Kehlani
Color coordinated scenes and sexy dance moves with a body like Ciara. Kehlani is most definitely the hottest female R&B singer currently on the charts. This video is PROOF.
“Sleep On the Floor” – The Lumineers
A classic wanderlust tale about two love birds traveling across a hipster country. No cares, no qualms, no money. Flickering scenes tell a captivating story. The Lumineers have perfected this sound, and this image. What a beautiful video homage to love.
I came across an Instagram from the Warner/Chappel music label welcoming an artist named Youngr to their family. The name caught my attention and I noticed he had a new record out; “Out of My System.” Immediately scrolling to Spotify, I found his sound new age and fun. Something you’d hear at a Malibu beach party at sunset, when everyone is at their peak, and the fire is blazing.
Marry Passion Pit with HelloGoodbye and you’ve got Youngr. An electronic pattern pulsing with pop lyrics. The man behind it all? Dario Darnell. Hailing from the United Kingdom, Darnell is no stranger to the music industry. Him and his brother, Lorne formed the pop duo Picture Book back in 2012. Perhaps this was a foreshadowing of the upcoming success to happen to Darnell.
His latest single, “Too Keen” is another electric pop dream doused in soulful vocals and a rapture of a chorus. He opens with,“I wish it was still cool to text you, but you went and sent another clumsy message.” Predictable pop lyrics with a fun musical twist could be Youngr’s specialty.