We haven’t heard much from Mikky Ekko since his “Stay” duet with Rihanna and his indie pop tune “Kids,” but the singer is back with a new single – titled “Smile.” The track, off his upcoming debut album Time, has an accompanying video that is the perfect summer send-off.
The Sarah Chatfield-directed visual tells a juxtaposed story, tossing and turning between idyllic scenes of Ekko frolicking in the grass with his girlfriend and a dreary police scene. There is a major plot twist, but you’ll just have to see it for yourself. More »
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 »
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 »
Ferras made headlines earlier this year when he became the first artist signed to Metamorphosis Music — otherwise known as Katy Perry‘s very own record label. He wasted no time dropping an excellent self-titled EP and even convinced his boss/close friend to share vocal duties on power ballad “Legends Never Die”. It was a complete rebirth for an impossible-to-pigeonhole artist, who never got his due the first time around.
The 30-year-old alien enthusiast dropped by the Idolator studio to chat about his new music and opened up about signing to Katy’s label, the evolution of their above-mentioned duet and even his favorite song on Prism. (He has great taste!) Ferras also spoke about the soon-to-be-released video for EP highlight “Speak In Tongues” and his experiences as an out artist. Watch after the jump. More »
Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics (due October 21) is a Clive Davis-curated covers album featuring tracks made famous by big-lunged female vocalists like Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand and Adele. Sounds like a great fit for the Queen of Soul, right? Well, last night’s (September 29) performance on the Late Show With David Letterman might change your mind.
The 72-year-old bravely mashed Adele‘s “Rolling In The Deep” with “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” but it wasn’t exactly a triumph. In fact, the video immediately went viral — generating nasty comments about Aretha’s voice and appearance. Trolls even came for Whitney’s mother Cissy Houston, who sang backing vocals (out of time with the rest of the choir). This isn’t the R&B legend’s finest moment but her lower register was on fire. The high notes, however, are best left unmentioned. Watch up top. More »
It took a minute to get my head around Pink‘s new side-project You + Me (a collaboration with folk singer City And Colour A.K.A. Dallas Green) but the music has been uniformly excellent and latest offering “Capsized” promises even better things from debut LP rose ave. (due October 14). It’s definitely the most quintessentially Alecia Moore track thus far.
For starters, “Capsized” veers a little closer to rock than “You And Me” or emotional ballad “Break The Cycle”. The brooding track starts with Dallas and Pink trading lyrics about a doomed relationship over strummed guitar before ramping things up for the bluesy chorus. “We were two ships in the night, passing by in the pale moonlight and capsized,” they chant. Watch the suitably moody lyric video up top. More »
Pharrell partners up with Takashi Murakami on the new video for “It Girl,” the latest single from his sophomore LP G I R L. The famous Japanese pop artist produced the visual, which is an anime-inspired adventure – complete with overly pixelated imagery, neon-colored pop-up text, cartoon illustrations and classic video game scenes.
The Fantasista Utamaro-directed video finds Pharrell on a psychedelic joyride, as he follows a group of teenage Japanese anime schoolgirls to the beach. Towards the end, they all take off on – get this – a dolphin spaceship. It’s a little pervy, totally nostalgic (catch the Pokemon references!), and very cool! More »
After the smash hit (and one of our Songs of the Summer contenders) that was “Am I Wrong,” Nico & Vinz have now picked their follow-up! “When The Day Comes” is the third single from the Norwegian duo’s forthcoming debut LP, Black Star Elephant, set for an October 14 release.
The single and video premiered simultaneously, and the six-minute visual is quite moving. The child-like piano melody of the tune is juxtaposed by the dramatic nature of the video, where a Japanese warrior is on a mission to save a young boy from dying. It will definitely bring you on the verge of tears! More »
Tinashe hasn’t put a foot wrong since breaking big with ratchet party anthem “2 On” earlier this year. She followed that up with A$AP Rocky-assisted, Janet Jackson-channeling single “Pretend” and a bunch of equally gorgeous buzz tracks (“Feels Like Vegas” and Dev Hynes duet “Bet”). As such, the 21-year-old’s debut LP Aquarius is one of the most eagerly-awaited of the year.
While we wait patiently for that to drop, check out her beautifully shot yet utterly confusing “Pretend” visual. From what I understand Tinashe and A$AP Rocky has a thing in high school but everything got twisted due to strip club drama. (It happens to the best of us). There are also panoramic views of mountains and streams, and a scene where the rising R&B diva stands in the snow. As for the twist ending? I have no idea. Feel free to explain it to me in the comments below. More »
As much as I love Sam Smith‘s serotonin-evaporating ballads, it’s always nice to hear him sing happier, upbeat fare. Think his Disclosure collaboration “Latch” or Naughty Boy-assisted earworm “La La La”. The only song resembling those hits on slow jam-heavy In The Lonely Hour is bonus track “Restart” and it has been selected as the set’s next single — at least internationally.
The fifth cut from the 22-year-old’s debut LP (I always thought the tunes released before “Stay With Me” were buzz tracks) is a perky ’80s-influenced synth-anthem about bouncing back from a break-up. It sounds heavy-going but it’s really just a beautifully executed bubblegum pop. The video arrived online today (September 29) and it’s comprised of behind-the-scenes footage from the Brit’s various tours and a group outing to Brighton. See the lighter side of Sam up top. More »