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The best hip-hop/rap jams out currently:

 


 

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Down the Rabbit Hole with Ashe

(Image via b-sides.tv)

Ashe’s big solo introduction to the world comes out strong on her EP, The Rabbit Hole. After becoming increasingly successful on several feature tracks with Louis the Child, Whethan, and more, the California native is finally stepping out with her own sound.

Opening song, “After Life” immediately takes you on a journey influenced by the 1865 Lewis Carroll story about Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. She gently sings, “Don’t need saving, I’m waking my mind, I’m not waiting until after life.” Ashe’s ability to make any song feel magical is so evident on this EP. We’ve heard similar magic on her single with Louis the Child, titled “World On Fire”.

The Rabbit Hole features trippy, fun, and romantic elements. Each song becomes a stem from the tree of Ashe’s mind but manages tackles a new concept. Her impressive roots are at Berklee College where she focused on swing music, composing for big bands/orchestras, etc. Listen to the enchanting Gatsby-esque “We Get High” and everything will make sense. Vintage trumpets and roller coaster vocals make this one a modern day novelty anthem.

“Real Love” and “Someone To Lose” prove to be the most romantic off the EP. “Lose” features powerful imagery and a bountiful chorus I can’t stop listening to on repeat. While the empowering “Real Love” is catchy as ever – something Ashe has mastered in her writing and melody abilities.

For an EP, I’m blown away and can’t wait to hear a full Ashe production in the near future.

 


 

 

OneRepublic’s New Song, “Connection”

(image via theweek.in)

It’s been two years since we’ve heard a new album from our favorite pop/alt band, OneRepublic. Lead singer, Ryan Tedder recently told Zane Lowe at Beats 1 it was definitely time for them to release some new music. “If we had to compile an album this week we could do it, but I’m kind of insatiable, so I’ll be writing up until probably September” he says.

The first single, “Connection” is another pop-infused alt anthem focusing on how hard it is to find genuine people in a world filled with false hope. Featuring a chanty chorus (“can I get a connection?”) and Tedder’s evergreen voice. Once again, he can do no wrong and I’m convinced this band will last forever.

As for more details on the album, the Oklahoma native says he’s trying to grab Mark Foster, Paul McCartney (yes, you read that right), THEY., and many others for possible collaborations and hoping we’ll see the album by the fall.

 

To see OneRepublic on tour, buy tickets here!

 


 

Paramore: After Laughter Tour

(Image via musicfeeds.com.au) 

Paramore’s main source of light is Hayley Williams. She twirls around the stage wearing red boyshort underwear and a large baggy t-shirt. Like she just rolled out of bed in the middle of the night to tiptoe to the kitchen and get some cereal. The Tennessee native looks far from 29, but she’s definitely lived.

If there’s one thing fans have learned on the After Laughter tour, it’s that Paramore is indeed still a band. Original member, Zac Farro is back and better than ever after several years away. The group vibed off eachother on old and new tracks in ways we haven’t seen before. Every sound/instrument had a human behind it, bopping their head, and tapping a foot or two. While the stage is large, the band seemed to be positioned close together while they smile and jam with eachother through every song. The genuine feeling of camaraderie is heartwarming.

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After Laughter sparked a pop-art inspired tour; something that now fits the band effortlessly. Hayley gives a mini-speech on how great it feels to be back and playing in large venues again. She says, “Let’s have some fun. We’re Paramore!” 

Within the first five songs, they’ve covered hits like, “Still Into You”, “That’s What You Get”, and even 2007’s epic “Crush Crush Crush”. Hayley nonchalantly steals the show while headbanging, dancing, and screaming on stage. Guitarist, Taylor York remains in his element stage left, head down, shredding on the guitar for a solid two hours. Zac Farro seems calm, cool, and collected on the drums, banging away like his life depends on it.

Newer tracks like, “Rose-Colored Boy,” “Forgiveness,” and “Caught In the Middle” brought a retro 80’s feel to the night. Mirrored screens lined the top of the stage in a “Saved by the Bell” blocky neon fashion. Over halfway through the set, they stopped for a quick acoustic session. Hayley gave a fitting intro, saying, “Some soft songs for your soft hearts.” They went on to play a cover of Drake’s “Passionfruit”, then melted fans’ hearts with 2009’s “Misguided Ghosts” and After Laughter’s emotional tribute to never losing hope, “26”.

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Before the end of the show, Hayley handed over the reigns to Zac Farro. We had the chance to hear his side band called HalfNoise. Hayley picked up backing vocals, hit a tambourine, and some drums, bouncing around like his biggest (or smallest?) cheerleader. HalfNoise’s “All That Love Is” fit right in with Paramore’s already frenetic theme.

The major finale? A wildly fun performance of the song that kicked off their latest era; “Hard Times”. Hayley forcefully sings, “All I want is a hole in the ground, you can tell me when it’s alright, for me to come out?” Oh, honey, it’s okay, come on out. We love you.

To catch Paramore on the After Laughter Tour, click here!