Boat rides, backyard BBQ’s, late nights with friends, long car rides. Welcome to summer! Let these artists help you enjoy the sunshine and good times.
The coolest brother-sister duo out there. These two are taking the electro-pop scene by storm. Their new album, Conscious made waves on iTunes the day it came out, and for good reason. Heavy synths and addicting drum beats line every song as Georgia’s vocals remain as heavenly as ever. They can make you dance on a boat or make out under the stars.
That’s right. The man is back at it again with some HOT jamz for those summer days. The R&B/hip-hop King released the Diplo-produced melancholy “Crash” and the straight up saucy, “No Limit” featuring newcomer Young Thug. Both show Usher’s range of musical talent that we’ve been missing for what feels like forever.
Tegan & Sara
Their new album, Love You To Death will put you back into a pop trance you haven’t been in for quite some time. 80’s synths and catchy lyrics are scattered through every track. The opening song, “That Girl” gives us a glimpse into what the rest of the album will be; a pretty/emotional/fun look at love. These two are far from the train track thud of 2007’s “Back In Your Head.”
There’s no doubt that NJ is at the top of his game in 2016. He’s currently on a mega-tour with pop sensation and BFF, Demi Lovato, and just released one of his most honest and experimental albums to date, Last Year Was Complicated. This album has it all, the sappy songs (listen to the emotionally charged “Chainsaw”), some pop/dance anthems (the sizzling “Bacon” feat. Ty Dolla $ign and the sultry “Under You”), and some R&B feelers (check out the beautifully layered “Comfortable”) His falsetto is better than ever, and so is his musicality. Jonas is everything pop music needs at the moment.
Color Concepts: All black everything with a pop or neutral
Shoe Situation: Raf Simons adidas collab.
Electro pop is what comes to mind when you hear Broods’ new song, “We Had Everything.” A thudding skip-beat follows lead singer Georgia Nott’s gentle pipes as she sings, “We were young, we were proud, we were promising.” You can almost see the indie film playing in the background; two young kids, crazy in love, running down moonlit streets, kissing in diner windows. It’s no doubt this brother-sister duo have made a name for themselves in the alternative genre. Their new album Conscious proves their powerful lyrical content is here to stay. “Everything” focuses on a naïve young relationship and all the good that comes with it, knowing that mistakes are inevitable. As usual, synths lead this song into a solid head-bopper you can’t resist but blast in your car.
R&B/ Hip-Hop spittin’ new hit man, Blackbear is back with a new EP, titled Drink Bleach. Despite the title, I have to say, this EP feels different. It’s older and slightly more mature. Bleach seems to be about moving on, realizations, and clarity. Not only are the lyrics more appealing this time, but his sound is evolving as well. Pop takes the lead on this EP.
One of the standout tracks, “Something Real” explores teenage nostalgia with adulthood decision making. Blackbear croons, “But maybe we were too young, too young to feel something real.” He goes back in time to a relationship that could’ve worked, but now never will. A consistent pop beat plays in the background while Blackbear explores with more synth and electronic sounds, straying from his usual R&B swag. This suits him well, while still keeping his unique half sing/rapping style.
Bear pulls Mike Posner out of the rap shadows for the melancholy, “Obvious.” A sad song that deals explicitly with the end of a relationship. “Girl, I can’t f**k with you anymore” Blackbear croons with delayed sadness. You feel for the man as the chorus honestly spits, “Let’s just state the obvious, you’re done with me and I’m done with you.” Posner gives the song the soft rap kick it needed without being too aggressive. The electro-breakdown at the end makes you hopeful that Blackbear will stick to this fresh and different sound.
Women still prove to be a driving force for Blackbear’s musical content. The dance-y “Shake Ya Ass” will make you sing every word (even if the lyrics are slightly vulgare.) While “Girls Like You” reminisces on being scorned by too many women.
I couldn’t be happier about this EP. I like that Blackbear strayed from his usual drug-induced stupor and stepped out with something much different. He’s still R&B but with a twinge of electro-pop, which fits into the slightly tame lyrics. Drink Bleach is pretty cool.
Both TAKU and Wafia manage to stay under the radar when it comes to their music. You won’t hear their names on E! News and you won’t see their faces on the cover of every tabloid magazine. That’s what makes them the best kept secret in music. Both come from powerful genres of music; TAKU from the electronic world and Wafia from the alternative world. It only seems natural that the two would come together and form some musical magic one day. Well, that day is coming August 5 of this year when their duet EP titled, (m)edian is released. A 5-song emotionally stacked project that can only serve as the melancholy soundtrack to the end of your summer.
The two recently brought their collaboration to life at the Sydney Opera House a couple weeks ago. With intensely subtle lights and visuals, TAKU started the show plucking at everyone’s emotions through his piano-driven sounds and vibes. “How’s everyone’s feelings?” he says into the mic as the crowd cheers back for him, waiting for their souls to be revived by his extremely beautiful sense of self.
Watch their concert at the Sydney Opera House here:
He told the story of how the duo met and how he instantly fell in love with Wafia’s music and immediately emailed her saying, “Lets work.” TAKU tells the crowd (m)edian is about, “experiences we’ve had throughout our lives with our families. About sacrifice, love, and compromise.” Although TAKU’s music is mostly non-vocal, Wafia and him have a wonderful vocal sound together. It’s a coffee-shop soundtrack with a little more pizazz. The two seem very humble, talented, and inspired when performing together.
“Love Somebody” is the closing track on the upcoming EP, keeping TAKU’s classic piano- driven melody alive. Wafia and TAKU compliment eachother’s sounds perfectly. They repeatedly harmonize to the words, “Oh, when you love somebody,” pushing the poetry right into your soul.
One can’t help but feel enlightened after witnessing a duo like this. Cue the incents and burgundy-hued wall tapestries.
Just when you thought you were off the Anti high… Rihanna comes back for more and teams up with Mike Will Made-It on “Nothing Is Promised.” In classic Rihanna banger fashion, she brags about shopping in Paris, money, cars, vacations, money, and did I mention money?? “Ten million in cash, put up in a stash, it’s under my mattress,” the Barbados-born singer confidently half raps. “Promised” is the newest addition to your workout playlist. Rih proves her crossover from pop star to hip-hop sensation is alive and dope as hell. She doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, and that’s okay with me.
Along with Ariana Grande’s new album, Dangerous Woman comes some saucy lyrics. Grande’s not one to swear and talk more on the sexy side, but “Everyday” is a step in that direction. She breathily sings, “He giving me that good s**t, that make me not quit” as a harsh back beat leads you into a soaring huge chorus. A feature from hip-hop/rap King right now, Future brings “Everyday” into a hip-hop sound we’re not used to hearing. Grande’s vocal runs, as usual, are just as flawless as ever. “Everyday” is one of the biggest songs off of Dangerous Woman, which is why it’s getting so much traction so far with fans. Listen to this song and try not to dance.
So, since I graduated college I had to make the big move back home. Back to my old room where all my old things reside. I am now plagued by everything that once was and everything that is supposed to be coming (jobs *cough *cough.) In turn, this has caused me several sleepless nights tossing and turning in my twin. Wondering if I’ll ever make it out alive in this world. Nightmares of student loans, and sleeping in cardboard boxes plague my thoughts. The one thing that seems to help me is a sleep playlist I have curated from my music library. I’m sharing it with you in hopes that you’re hot sleepless summer nights will be a little more bearable and peaceful with this.
Banks is perfect sleep music. Her voice can sweep the depths of the ocean or sing on top of a fluffy cloud. Her melancholy lyrics will help you relax into a dream state.
Majid Jordan is one artist who has truly made his own sound. They are one part R&B and one part completely hypnotic. Each song is a true love poem, with gorgeous composition you can’t help but close your eyes to.
One Republic has always been one of my go-to bands when I need a good cry, or a good lullaby. Lead singer, Ryan Tedder’s voice is one in a million. Every song these guys make is a true gem.
M83 is another great band that has established their own unique sound. It’s what I like to call emotional alternative. Elongated wavelengths, soaring vocals, and anthemic choruses leave you almost breathless.