You never know what you’re going to get with the iTunes Single Of The Week — a diamond in the rough or a lump of coal. Happily, this week’s selection is definitely the former. George Ezra‘s melodic folk-pop anthem “Budapest” has been a phenomenon in Europe, reaching the top 10 in the UK, Germany and Italy (among other nations) and then proved just as popular in Australia and New Zealand.
What’s so intoxicating about the Brit’s breakthrough single? Well, it has a probably lot to do with George’s sleepy voice and timeless melodies. His sound is unique but if you need a comparison, the closest is probably Ed Sheeran circa + mixed with a little Vance Joy. Hell, Ryan Tedder called “Budapest” the song of the summer, so it has to be good! Listen after the jump. More »
Mary Lambert is probably best-known for singing the hook on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis‘ marriage-equality anthem “Same Love” but that could all change with serotonin-raising new hit “Secrets”, which is steadily climbing iTunes. The lead single from the 25-year-old’s debut album Heart On My Sleeve (due October 14) takes feel-good pop to the next level with some of the realest lyrics you are ever likely to hear on top 40 radio.
“I’ve got bipolar disorder, my shit’s not in order,” Mary sing-talks over jaunty piano. “I’m overweight, I’m always late.” Nothing, it seems, is off the table in this euphoric plea for self-acceptance. She admits to wearing mom jeans, boasts about being “so gay” and having a dysfunctional family. I was a little concerned about the addition of B.o.B. but his verse is just as sincere — rapping about stuttering and growing up poor. Listen to “Secrets” after the jump. More »
Get off your phone if you want a piece of Sam Smith. The British crooner likes to meet guys in the flesh and spoke out against hook-up apps during an interview at V Festival. “No offense to people who go on Tinder but I just feel like it’s ruining romance,” he is reported as saying. “We’re losing the art of conversation and being able to go and speak to people.”
But that’s not all. The “Stay With Me” hitmaker also thinks sex apps are making people more superficial. “From my experience, the most beautiful people I’ve been on dates with are the dumbest, so why would I swipe people (a reference to the selection process on Tinder) who are unattractive when I could potentially fall in love with them?” The 22-year-old reasoned. “Stop Tinder and Grindr!” More »
Mapei was voted Sweden’s next big thing by the fine people of the internet when debut single “Don’t Wait” became an instant blog favorite in 2013. She followed that up with the equally impressive “Change” and today (August 19) delivers her third sublime pop song in a row. “Believe” finds the 30-year-old in a mellow mood as she sends a message of love and encouragement.
“When your back is against a wall and you thought you lost it all,” she sings over staccato beats and gritty guitar riffs. “Don’t worry, I’ve been here before baby.” That builds into the kind of soaring chorus that would be cheesy in anyone else’s hands but sounds like a simple statement of truth in Mapei’s. If these singles are any indication, the rising diva’s Hey Hey LP (due September 23) could be one of the year’s best. See the full tracklist and listen to “Believe” after the jump. More »
Watch out now: Jennifer Hudson‘s back with a fierce new attitude.
Following the announcement of her upcoming third studio album JHUD, the American Idol alum just dropped the disco-tinged uptempo, “Dangerous,” originally teased on her album sampler in July.
Gliding across a slick dance floor strut, the songstress has no qualms about going all in for her man — even if it kills: “I do it for the thrill, even if it kills/You make me feel dangerous,” she cooly croons. There’s lot to love here — from the infectious beat to the whispered bridge toward the end. It’s surely one of JHud’s hottest dance floor moments since “Spotlight” — could this be her next big single? More »
Sam Smith‘s “Stay With Me” is pretty close to perfect in its original state, which makes a remix an unsettling proposition. There have been a couple of decent efforts but no one has approached the track with as much reverence as rising DJ Cole Plante. He completely deconstructed the ballad and pieced together his version from scratch — using only the Brit’s powerful vocal and a piece of the organ refrain.
“As I sat and listened to each and every not[e], chord progression and element that went into the original, I knew I wanted to build this remix not as a normal remix but one as if Sam and I sat together in a room,” the 17-year-old explains. “From the original parts I only kept the vocals [and] the light organ that comes in at the very ending.” As it turns out, Sam’s voice blends perfectly with Cole’s beautiful synthscape. Listen to his loving overhaul after the jump. More »