This week’s playlist mixes a mesh of genres, from pop and soul to rock and alternative. Nice to hear some fresh tunes so close to the holidays!
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1. “Boys Like You” – Who Is Fancy feat. Ariana Grande and Meghan Trainor
With a bouncing baseline and a smooth slidin’ vocal style straight out of a ’50s diner, this jukebox ready pop-doo wop hybrid is catchy as all can get. Throw in current teeny bopper faves Ariana Grande and Meghan Trainor and the song takes an even bigger leap into the pop music stratosphere.
2. “Rise Up” – Andra Day
Soulful from the opening notes, this aching ballad is simultaneously uplifting and heart-wrenching – the former for its message of rising above troubles and setbacks, the latter due to Day’s powerful, retro-tinged vocals. (She recently appeared in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and alongside Stevie Wonder in a holiday-themed Apple commercial – fun fact: Wonder’s wife introduced him to Day’s music and the rest is history.) Looks like this may just be the beginning of Day’s day…
3. “LA Devotee” – Panic! At The Disco
You all know I can’t miss an opportunity to include a new track from one of my favorite bands, right? But more than the fact that I have been a fan for years, Panic! just never seems to put out a track or album that is less than great. This upbeat tune is fun and almost instantly singable – just listen to that hook-driven chorus with its playful melody a few times and you’ll be singing it by the end of the song. If this is what their new record “Death of a Bachelor” (out in January 2016) is shaping up to sound like, then I’m in.
4. “I Know What You Did Last Summer” Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello
This collaboration from two of teen-pop stars Mendes and Fifth Harmony standout Cabello is the perfect duet that you’ll hear every time you bring your youngest cousin to Claire’s at the mall to buy lipgloss and cat sunglasses. However, it’s also the song that will probably grow on you simply due to the catchy chorus and the nice pairing of the two’s voices. Mendes’ voice really shines on this number, but they both compliment each other well overall. *slides J-14 Magazine towards you slowly*
5. “Lost on You” – LP
Singer-songwriter LP (Laura Pergolizzi) has penned tracks for Rihanna, Christina Aguilera and more, but this sweeping, echoing solo track is mysterious yet infectious. The melody is made rough by her scratchy voice – it’s like Joan Jett meets Sia on this blues-tinged track. I’m definitely interested to hear where LP ranges into from here.
6. “Looking Up” – Safetysuit
With upbeat numbers like this one, this is a group that is practically tailor-made for the VH1 adult contemporary scene. And that’s not a negative thing – this track is formulaic, but catchy. Isn’t that what your average pop number is? The hook and the progression are both fun, which ultimately makes the song fun to listen to.
7. “Victorious” – Wolfmother
The return of these Australia rockers comes around the time of the 10th anniversary of their breakout self-titled record (the one that boasts “Woman” and “Joker and the Thief”). This new release is equally as raucous as their previous work, with thrashing guitars backing vocalist/guitarist Andrew Stockdale’s soaring vocals with ease. While the group has released more records in the years after their debut (and gone through line-up changes and a “temporary split”), here’s to hoping a new album will give us more songs like this one.
Video of the Week: “Water Under The Bridge” – Adele (from “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”)
With her new behemoth of a record boasting (and breaking the previous record) the largest first week U.S. album sales ever with 3.38 million, how could I not include one of the album’s standouts? Her performance of this track on The Tonight Show is note-for-note and ultimately outstanding. (I mean, every performance by her is, but hey…) This is only the beginning of the age of “25,” but why not jump right on this train and just enjoy the crap out of the ride? See you on the other side, friends.
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