Ed Sheeran dropped by BBC Radio 1′s Live Lounge yesterday (September 30) and performed a typically brilliant cover of Hozier‘s breakthrough hit “Take Me To Church”. The Irish singer/songwriter’s gut-wrenching anthem, which is steadily climbing the Billboard Hot 100, is a perfect fit for the ginger genius and he manages to put his own spin on a song that doesn’t exactly lend itself to new interpretations.
As interesting and well-executed as Ed’s hip-hop/soul experiments are, I still prefer him in acoustic mode. (+ > x = sorry!) “Take Me To Church” provides a fertile middle ground for the 23-year-old. The backing vocalists/gospel elements fit in nicely with his new sound but the bare bones arrangement stays true to his roots. Watch the versatile hitmaker do his thing up top. More »
Hayley Kiyoko is the latest in a very long line of starlets (she is perhaps best known for Disney movie Lemonade Mouth) to dabble in music but her approach — and the end result — couldn’t be more atypical. The 23-year-old, who was recently cast in a big-screen adaptation of Jem And The Holograms, makes music in her parents’ LA basement and opts from ethereal, indie-leaning electro-pop.
Co-produced by James Flannigan, new single “This Side Of Paradise” is enchantingly soft and subtle. “I’ve got better luck in my head, playing poker with the dead,” sings Hayley over gentle layers of synths. It’s all very atmospheric and mysterious but doesn’t skimp on hooks or the memorable chorus. Listen to the title track of the budding diva’s upcoming EP after the jump. More »
Jessica Mauboy is bringing out the big guns for her fourth studio album. The Australian diva, who has already racked up 12 top 20 hits in her homeland, worked with Babyface on new single “Can I Get A Moment?” and it sounds like an on-trend, percussion-heavy club-banger — at least if the snippet that arrived online today (October 1) is any indication.
“Too hot to touch, I’m burnin’ up,” purrs the 25-year-old over chunky beats and hand claps before laying down the law. It sounds like a winning mix of B’Day-era Beyonce and Jessie J‘s “Bang Bang” — particularly in the fierce chorus. “No disrespect, I’m not impressed, right now I’m doing me,” sings Jess. “You do the most, you’re way too close, it’s hard for me to breathe! Can I get a moment?” Listen to a snippet after the jump. More »
Taylor Swift considers herself something of a fashionista, so probably got a kick out being British Vogue‘s new cover girl. The former country queen is almost unrecognizable in the pastel-themed shoot, which finds her rocking slicked-back hair and a knitted tank top. Apart from rocking granny fashions, the 24-year-old also opened up about her new LP 1989 and dating life.
“This time around I’ve chosen the brave and bold way of going about things,” she says of her new pop opus. “I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, I don’t want to betray Nashville… but essentially it comes down to challenging yourself as an artist.” Taylor also talked about dating and the gents of Hollywood will no doubt breathe a collective sigh of relief when they hear that she’s retired. “Dating or finding someone is the last thing on my mind, because I can’t picture how it could work with the way my life is.” See the “Shake It Off” hitmaker’s British Vogue cover and pictorial after the jump. More »
Mary J. Blige channels her inner deep house diva on her new single, “Nobody But You.” It is the latest from the singer’s forthcoming 13th album, The London Sessions, which is set for a December 2 release.
Previous songs like “Therapy” and “Whole Damn Year” were deemed too mournful for a record that involves the likes of Disclosure and Naughty Boy. But “Nobody But You” definitely gives what we’ve been looking for – full-bodied vocals and a smooth, slinky house-inspired beat. Blige’s signature wails soar high on the track as she boldly confesses, “You’re the only one I’m there for, the only one I’m there for!”
The combination of emotive vocals and club-ready production harkens back to the early ’90s, where powerhouse voices dominated the house and techno dancefloors. The track is co-written by Sam Smith, who has previously worked with Blige on “Therapy” off The London Sessions and their “Stay With Me” duet.
Listen to “Nobody But You” below. More »
Chet Faker and Flume drove Instagram hipsters (and other thirsty types) into a frenzy by posting a shirtless pic together last night (September 30). The Australian indie-darlings, who broke internationally with an epic collaboration called “Drop The Game”, are both currently on tour in their homeland and were obviously looking for some kind of relief from the heat.
Apart from upping their Instagram game, the rising stars are also busily promoting new projects. Chet (real name Nick Murphy) just released “Gold” (make sure you watch the genius Hiro Murai-directed video) as the latest single from critically acclaimed debut LP Built On Glass, while Flume (otherwise known as Harley Edward Streten) recently remixed Lorde‘s “Tennis Court” and made it even better. See their bromantic snap after the jump. More »
When you see Nicole Scherzinger strut her stuff live it’s unfathomable that she isn’t an even bigger star. The former Pussycat Doll performed new US single “Run” on Access Hollywood Live yesterday (September 30) and knocked it out of the park — oozing raw emotion and delivering goosebumps-inducing vocal acrobatics. In an era of struggle runs and playback, she is utterly refreshing.
Produced by Felix Snow, who is perhaps best known for his work with SZA, “Run” is an old-fashioned power ballad with a beautifully understated arrangement. It’s a brave change of pace for Nicole — she is the queen of sexy club bangers — but might just be left-field enough to work stateside. Her debut US album Big Fat Lie is expected to be released here early next year. Watch her stunning performance after the jump. More »
It’s been a minute since Miley Cyrus stripped off for a magazine shoot or single cover, so last night’s (September 30) sexy Instagram spree will come as sweet relief for restless fans thirsting for new nudes. The Bangerz diva really came through with an alluring bath pic. She’s topless — of course — with shiny disco balls cover her nipples. Now that’s what I call ARTPOP.
The 21-year-old also shared a bath video (it’s pretty tame by her standards) and another topless pic in bed, this time with flowers covering her breasts. “I like this daisy tit edit,” she elegantly captioned the black-and-white image. When is Miley going to come back with new music? Pop is really boring without her attention-whoring ways and iconic self-promotion. See the other pics and video after the jump. More »
Sam Smith recently sat down with Ryan Seacrest to chat it up on his radio show, On Air With Ryan Seacrest. In the interview, the “Restart” crooner spoke about how he’s handling the great success of In The Lonely Hour and that he’s started to write songs for his next album.
The singer reveals he was a bit nervous to release his debut, as he didn’t want people to think he was miserable: “I was scared before releasing this record because obviously Adele did her sad record, and there’s a lot of sad music out there. I don’t want to be sad as a person, but it’s where I was last year.”
He also shares the story behind “I’m Not The Only One,” which was about a married couple that he knew: “That song always makes me laugh, because I was really hungover when I vocaled it…it all added to the vibe. That very vocal was a hungover vocal!” More »
Ricky Reed was perhaps better-known as the frontman of hip-hop/pop collective Wallpaper until he co-produced Jason Derulo‘s monster hit “Talk Dirty” and instantly became one of the game’s hottest hitmakers. The influence of that song (and its killer sax hook) can be heard in everything from Ariana Grande‘s summer smash “Problem” to Cheryl Cole‘s UK chart-topper “Crazy Stupid Love”.
I spoke to Mr. Reed about the creative process behind “Talk Dirty” — it was originally intended for Missy Elliott! — and the opportunities that have since come his way. Like production duties on Fifth Harmony‘s recent earworm “Bo$$”, Jessie J‘s current single “Burnin’ Up” and an unlikely but exciting collaboration with country superstar Tim McGraw. Read our Q&A after the jump. More »