New Music Friday Picks!

1.) “Perfect Places” – Lorde

 

2.) “Know Me Better” – Major Lazer feat. Travi$ Scott, Camila Cabello, Quavo


3.) “Alone” – Halsey 

4.) “California” – The Band CAMINO

 

5.) “You Can Count On Me” – Ansel Elgort feat. Logic



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Queen Lorde

 

lorde
Image via theconcordian.com

“I’m waiting for it, that green light, I want it” marks Lorde’s return to pop radio. Spreading her anthemic breakup tune, “Green Light” accompanied by a joyous music video starring herself swirling through a city at night in a tight pink dress feeling a multitude of emotions.

Piano is the biggest element in this song. Starting as a ballad, the message quickly spreads into something more uplifting. The pre-chorus holds a silver lining element; “But I hear sounds in my mind, brand new sounds in my mind.” Clearly about a breakup, Lorde says, “The song is really about those moments kind of immediately after your life changes and about all the silly little things that you gravitate towards.” The singer manages to keep a low profile concerning her personal life but made “Green Light” something that millions will understand. She imagines a drunk girl embodying this song, saying, “This is that drunk girl at the party dancing around crying about her ex-boyfriend who everyone thinks is a mess. That’s her tonight and tomorrow she starts to rebuild.”

Her most recent single takes on a more somber tone. “Liability” is an ode to self-love as the inevitability of life can sometimes be overwhelming. In her case, being a superstar can scare people away; “The truth is I am a toy, that people enjoy, til all of the tricks don’t work anymore, and then they are bored of me.” She explains the love she has for herself and how she tries to please herself as best she can, referring to herself as a “forest fire.” Only backed by a subtle piano, Lorde’s voice wavers on an array of notes making you feel like you’re going up and down a never ending staircase. Piggy-backing off the breakup essence of “Green Light,” rebirth, will be an obvious theme on the upcoming album.

Watch a live performance of “Liability” on Saturday Night Live this past weekend, here.

Lorde’s album, Melodrama will be available June 16


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Who You Need: Alessia Cara

image: whycauseican.com
image: whycauseican.com

The truth is, I saw her potential the second I heard “Here”. I watched her homemade YouTube videos showing off her high school bedroom, her little brother jokingly chasing her through the streets, and a heavy amount of silly lip-syncing. Alessia Cara is here and she’s as real as it gets. Her music is a classy mix of Meghan Trainor and Lorde; destined for success. Her debut album Know-It-All is a grand entrance into the intricate mind of Ms. Cara.

Cara started Know-It-All when she was 17. “I think it’s just the story of what a teenager’s life is like, and with that comes themes of rebellions, confusion, and vulnerability, and I think that that comes through in in all of the songs,” Cara told 103.7 The Q.

image: dayandadream.com
image: dayandadream.com

A stripped down version of “Here” is featured on the deluxe version of this album. It’s much darker, guided only by a piano as Cara’s vocals perform impeccable runs to the lyrics about a sh***y night out with “friends”. After hearing this, I will never listen to the original again.

Her wavering alto-toned voice graces every track in the spunkiest ways. Upbeat bouncy tracks like, “Seventeen”, “Outlaws”, and “Four Pink Walls” make you feel nostalgic for your high school days trapped in your bedroom finishing your math homework and wondering what you’ll do with the rest of your life.

“Stone”, an acoustic ballad, provides lyrics that sound straight out of a scribbled in, slightly worn diary. Cara’s voice sweetly sings, “And I will follow where this takes me, and my tomorrows long to be unknown, when all is shaken, be my safety.” “Stars” is another beautiful ballad expressing young love in the purest form.

Know-It-All is the young adult CD every 16-22 year old needs. It has everything you want and more. A solid debut start to finish from someone who was meant to be in this business.


Abbey

Twitter: @bloggingblondie

Instagram: Blondieandthebeat

Music Video Roundup!

The latest music videos to hit the web!

1.) “Hotline Bling” – Drake

Groovy dancing and big booty women make this a classic Drake video. He goes for the minimalistic approach, using neon backdrops, large empty boxes, and geometric shapes to get his point across; “You used to call me on my cell phone.”

https://itunes.apple.com/us/post/idsa.76f47263-76c3-11e5-ad28-8822e79f57de

2.) “Waves” – Miguel

Miguel lets you dive into his psydalelic hippie R&B dream filled with sweaty dancing, lots of liquor, and cheetah print? (Only Miguel can make that look sexy anymore). Colorful explosions of party lights highlight the dance vibe of the song, making it one of Miguel’s catchiest to date.

3.) “Magnets” – Disclosure feat. Lorde

As if Lorde wasn’t cool enough, we see her wearing a long flowing villain-like cape/dress as she seduces a taken man into her arms. But stay tuned… she gets her revenge. This is the badass side of Lorde that we all love, not to mention, her quirky dancing gets its own scene near the end; you know you like it.

4.) “E Più Ti Penso” – Andrea Bocelli & Ariana Grande

Andrea Bocelli has one of the greatest voices of all time and Ariana’s voice is absolutely precious on this song. Grand landscapes and timeless moving portraits create the most exquisite music video I’ve seen in a long time.

5.) “Something In the Way You Move” – Ellie Goulding

Goulding’s newest single is catchy as hell. Although this isn’t the actual music video, it might as well be. The energy of what looks to be, Goulding’s most talented fans, is captured on a black and white filter as the lyrics grace the screen in lavender and pale blue colors. Cool mirrored effects prove how gorgeous this song really is.

6.) “Talk Me Down” -Troye Sivan

I will never not be obsessed with Troye. His Blue Neighbourhood music video series was generated in the most beautiful way. “Talk Me Down” is the third and last installment. It also serves as the most emotional video yet, taking place in a graveyard during a funeral. Gloomy skies and Troye’s loving eyes show the pure power of a loving friendship.

-Abbey

Disclosure’s Caracal

image via musictimes.com
image via musictimes.com

Brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence make up the electronic/dance duo Disclosure. Their sophomore album, Caracal, was released this past Friday. Featuring collaborations with some of the best voices in music today like, Lion Babe, Lorde, Miguel, The Weeknd, and the English King himself, Sam Smith. The album is an eclectic art concept from start to finish.

photovisi-download

I have spent days listening to every single song off the album and I have fallen in love with every single one. These guys go beyond the dance genre into some serious technical skill. Each song is almost reminiscent of a 70’s groovy sound illuminated by pulsating drum and bass beats. Every chorus is magnified by poetic lyrics and impeccable vocals.

image via pitchfork.com
image via pitchfork.com

I listened to “Superego” having never heard of the singer Nao before and instantly became obsessed with it. Her voice is smooth, angelic, and harsh all at once, making the song as hypnotizing as it is. “This ain’t the me show, keep it on the low
Where’s your superego? You let your head grow, I tried to let you know,” guide this song to be powerful and sassy.

Singles like, “Omen”, “Holding On”, and “Willing & Able” all capture the soul elements that sometimes get lost in dance and electronic music. When I heard each one of these singles, I became addicted, because no one else is doing this type of music. Disclosure has this ability to evoke so much emotion in each song; something very uncommon in this genre. Vocals are always executed brilliantly and echo the production flawlessly.

Big concepts are lining this album from top to bottom. “Moving Mountains” is an easy-going chill electronic tune until you reach the 3:50 mark where the song takes a subtle turn into hip-hop while still keeping the captivating angel-like vocals. It’s so incredible you can’t help but listen to it over and over. While, “Good Intentions” led by R&B crooner Miguel (you guys know how much I adore this man…), picks up right where Miguel left off on his album Wildheart. “Intentions” mimics everything you would hear in a standard Miguel song; dope electronics, an incredible consistent beat, and sultry vocals to no end. Lyrics like, “But I’m not perfect the way you’re perfect, and though it hurts, yeah, it hurts to say goodbye, I know I let you down…” make this song the perfect “I’m sorry”. Or, you could just make a skittles pizza like Mia Thermopolis.

image via chacha.com
image via chacha.com

I couldn’t be more amazed by Caracal. It is stuffed with one of a kind musical content that more people need to appreciate.

-Abbey 

AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS!

Pitbull, we get it…you’re Cuban.

dale
gif from giphy.com

Of course Taylor Swift had the opening spot for the night. She recreated her “Blank Space” video on stage featuring heavy, no, HEAVY backup vocals as she nonchalantly plays with flaming roses, mimes in golden picture frames, and a smoke filled stage. This performance was so choreographed it was actually hard to watch. Taylor was too focused on her acting role on the stage, when she should have focused on her vocals…as usual. Too bad the song is so damn addicting.

One Direction won for best Pop/Rock band or duo. The boys accepted the award by saying, “Thank you to Simon Cowell, who got us here” and “America feels like a second home.” Congrats gentlemen!

Charli XCX’s performance of “Boom Clap” made you feel as if you just stepped into a 90’s high school prom, complete with pink and white balloon arches, as well as an all girl band. Charli wore a pale blue dress with red rimmed sunglasses that look like they came free with a Happy Meal, but somehow she makes it work. But the vibe quickly shifted into a pop/punk infusion as Charli performed her song “Break the Rules.” She was accompanied by a leather clad clan as they flipped her now tight latex covered body into a fit of rock rage. The only thing I could think about was how hard it would be to try and squeeze out of that super tight sweaty leather outfit after that performance. OUCHHH!!

Magic paired with Wyclef Jean could not have been a better mix. Both stepped out of a hazy reggae dream. Lead singer, Nasri Tony Atweh blinded the crowd with his camo looking Tom’s and was throwing up the peace sign every chance he could.

Iggy Azalea won for best Rap/Hip-Hop album and accepted her award saying, ” This award is the first award I’ve ever won in my entire life.” T.I. looked on patting her back like the proudest Dad in the world.

I finally found the difference between 5 Seconds of Summer and One Direction. 5SOS were the kids smoking in the high school parking lot and One Direction were the kids studying in the library.

Imagine Dragons gave an electric performance of their new single “I Bet My Life.” These guys never disappoint and brought their A-game as a hyped up gospel choir danced and sang along to the song.

Sam Smith swept up the award for Pop/Rock Male. Obviously… Sam accepted the award saying, “Thank you to my fan base, you guys are amazing. Last year I wrote an album about being lonely and tonight I couldn’t feel futher from lonely.” AWWW! We love you Sam!

Sam Smith followed his award by a classy performance of his mega hit “I’m Not the Only One.” A$AP Rocky paid a visit during the performance. Smith followed the trend of rap cameos but kept it tasteful and true to his usual charm. Oh yeah, and his voice is as smooth and warm as cookie batter that came out of the oven a little too early.

Iggy Azalea stormed the stage with her song “Fancy” and then onto her newest hit “Beg For It.” Iggy strutted around the stage like she built it.

Lorde performed “Yellow Flicker Beat” starting with a melancholy close up of her classic deep dark lips and black diamond chokers gracefully draped around her neck. Taylor Swift dramatically sang and danced along to her BFF as she spasm’d on stage in the most perfect way.

Ariana Grande sang her soul out in a black lace gown complete with a jazzy rendition of her song “Problem” and “Break Free.” Ariana was so in her element, it was actually hypnotizing to watch. She then sang “Love Me Harder” accompanied by a burnt lobster…wait that was just The Weeknd. Brother Frankie looked like the heart-eye emoji as he watched his sister grace us all with her presence.

Pitbull performed on top of a huge globe just in case you forgot that one of his names is “Mr. Worldwide.” He sang “Fireball” with what looked to be the cast of Deal or No Deal but with way less clothes.

Imagine Dragons won for Alternative Artist and accepted the award saying, “To be a musician there is no better career.” These guys deserved it!

Selena Gomez gave her most emotional performance ever. Imagery flooded the large screen behind her as she poured her heart into the microphone singing “The Heart Wants What It Wants.” She ended the song with tears in her eyes and left the audience saying, “Wow, Selena Gomez can actually sing.”

One Direction played up the romance on stage with a dark blue moonlight scene behind them as they sang their beautiful new song “Night Changes.” Close up shots of each member singing their parts made the song more personal. It still amazes me how good they all sound together.

Nicki Minaj looked gorgeous in an all white gown; changing her image while spitting rhymes just like her “Pink Friday” days.

Taylor Swift won the Dick Clark Award for Excellence handed to her by the beautiful anti-aging Diana Ross. Taylor accepted the award and said, “Music should be consumed in albums and albums should be consumed as art.” PREACH.

Fergie was reppin’ the West coast and proud of it. Donned in way too much gold jewelry while back up dancers wore cropped sweatshirts and rocked corn rows. Although it’s easy to assume that “L.A. Love (lala)” won’t be around very long. Pop hit; hot now, gone forever.

Garth Brooks performed surrounded by die hard fans. Country concert: Where the people hold their beers up more than their phones.

Mary J. Blige – Girl… WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? By the way, she looks the same as she did 10 years ago. GORGEOUS.

Jessie J starts off “Bang Bang” by canoodling with celebs like Khloe Kardashian, Taylor Swift, and Sam Smith. Jessie’s sultry yet raspy voice is unbelievable. I have loved this woman since day one and I will continue to be in awe of her talent. Add a dash of Nicki Minaj and a side of Ariana Grande and you have a nice big diva salad. All together now…YAAAAAAAAAS!

Speaking of divas…JLO closed the show with her song “Booty.” She absolutely killed it. I felt like I was watching my good friend Jenny from the block dance her @$$ off for a solid four minutes. JLO walked across the stage with a flock of accomplished dancers as if we were watching JLO: The Musical. Damn…

God bless America and God bless music.

-Abbey

Praise the Lorde

lordeeeeeeeeeeee

Ever since the announcement that Lorde will be compiling The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack, I knew it would be magic. Lorde’s keen ear for dark themes, visual appeal, and genius lyrics will lead Hunger Games fans into a full blown frenzy.

“I’m a princess cut from marble, smoother than a storm,” are the first words from her single titled “Yellow Flicker Beat.” The song serves as a powerful homage to the start of a revolution (as we see in The Hunger Games.) Mixing dramatic synths and Lorde’s classic unique vocals, this song is pure fire. The music video shows Lorde in several places; a retro motel room, a dark foggy street, sitting by a dimly lit pool, and surrounded by a glamorous crowd in a black room. Not to mention the video gives fans a full serving of Lorde’s weird yet always captivating dancing as she bops her loose curls to every beat.

Lorde

Lorde recently told Rolling Stone that Kanye West reworked this single with her. Kanye freaking West. The song is called “Flicker” on the album and I’m sure it’s going to be massive.

KW

Another single off this soundtrack is “This Is Not A Game,” by The Chemical Brothers featuring vocals by Miguel and three quick words from Lorde: “There It Is.” This song is unlike anything I’ve ever heard. Miguel’s sexy raspy voice glides effortlessly over the hip-hop beats, electronic synths, and spaceship beeps. The theme of revolution comes appears again as Miguel sings “you talk about a revolution,” then Lorde says “there it is.” This song is so dope, I am actually really angry that more people don’t know about it yet.  The contrast between Miguel’s dreamy voice and the hard electronics in this song make it so incredibly unique.

Lorde is the absolute best person to give this project to. Her creativity with music is something young fans of The Hunger Games and of Lorde herself, will appreciate. The soundtrack is expected to be released Nov. 17. You can bet I’ll be listening.

-Abbey

All gifs from: giphy.com

Picture from: bing.com