Whooosh. What a week last week was, right? Between the shocking murder of up & coming singer/songwriter Christina Grimmie, the horrendous hate-motivated terrorist attack in Orlando that left the LGBTQ community REELING, my emotions have been ALL over the place. All I can really say is, THANK GOD for MUSIC.
Since there’s been such an abundance of QUALITY pop music lately, I thought I’d do a sort of “compilation” series, featuring songs that I have had #OnRepeat since the beginning of the month. Some of them, you might have heard, others—maybe you haven’t! Either way, I hope you dig. Here we go …
Alan Walker / Sing Me To Sleep
Alan Walker is a mysterious, often-hooded 18-year old electronic wunderkind hailing from Kygo‘s homeland of Norway. His breakthrough track, “Faded” blew up the pop and EDM blogosphere late last year following its release in December, going on to sell nearly 4 million copies worldwide, with the video racking up upwards of 400 million views on YouTube. The video for his equally mesmerizing follow-up, “Sing Me To Sleep” was released June 3rd (Sony Music Sweden / RCA Records) and has already amassed over 14 million views. Both songs feature the enchanting and ethereal vocal talents of British singer, Iselin Solheim. It’s hard to believe Alan Walker has only been making music since 2012, but if his first 2 releases are any indication, he’s going to be a gift that keeps on giving for the dance music world. Check out the Hong Kong-shot video for “Sing Me To Sleep” up top.
Big Wild feat. Tove Styrke / Aftergold
This past March, Los Angeles-based producer Big Wild, put out one of the catchiest songs of the year (imo), called “Aftergold.” This track has LITERALLY been #OnRepeat since the Sprin— I CANNOT get enough! Featuring the spunky vocals by Swedish singer/songwriter, Tove Styrke (the OTHER Tove)—one of my favorite finds of 2014, releasing one of my favorite SONGS of 2015. The song is straight up WACKY (in a good way). Chock-full of hand-claps and finger-snaps, cowbells-a-plenty, not to mention a smattering of random vocal effects—this song is a mishmash, it’s a hodgepodge—it’s a total patchwork of sounds but you can’t help but shimmy and shake throughout. Be sure you check out the video for “Aftergold,” which was actually released at the beginning of June and FEATURES our girl Tove Styrke prominently. The song is out now (iTunes / Spotify).
Chelsea Lankes / Bullet (Instant Karma Remix)
SO, while I do love this remix of “Bullet” by Texas-born/LA-based singer/songwriter Chelsea Lankes—I’m honestly just using it as an excuse to post about the original version of the song. Originally released this past February, “Bullet” served as a little taster from her (at-the-time) forthcoming self-titled EP (it’s out now). Despite the fact that I wasn’t blogging (regularly) at that point, “Bullet” hit me and has been a staple on my Spotify playlists ever since. In April, Lankes released a fiery little video for the track, which not only showcased her (choreographed) dance moves, but also her overall “GORGE” factor; as she pranced around an LA soundstage, decked out in a stunning red number. Girl could be a model, I swear. Earlier this month, USA Today premiered a new remix by London/Los Angeles-based production duo, Instant Karma. The girls take the original song—an infectious a-f, hook-heavy electronic pop bop with heaps of punchy, percussive rhythm—and turn it into a bona-fide electro BANGER, all while maintaining much of the melody I love so much. ACE job ladies. Check out Instant Karma‘s remix of “Bullet” below.
King Deco / Needed Me
New York based Jordanian pop artist King Deco (AKA Dana Salah) released her tropical infused pop-smash, “Castaway” earlier this year, which to this day remains one of my favorite pop cuts of 2016. Now just in time for summer, King Deco is back—this time with a scintillating cover. “Needed Me“—easily one of the standouts off Rihanna‘s 8th studio ANTI—was written by the Barbadian pop star, with help from Brittany Hazard, A. Sneed, Alicia Reneé, Charles Hinshaw and Derrus Rachel. The original song saw production duties fall on DJ Mustard, Twice as Nice and Frank Dukes. To handle the production on her version, Salah turned to New Immunity (check out his ace “Castaway” remix) and Dul Sae. While King Deco‘s “Needed Me” doesn’t stray too far from the original, arrangement-wise, it feels lighter and more ethereal—quite an interesting contrast, considering how dark and heavy the song’s lyrics are. According to Salah, she recorded the song a cappella before handing it off to the producers, who in turn worked around her celestial vocals to create the brilliant version we’re hearing today. Give “Needed Me” a listen below.
Little Boots / Staring At The Sun
Victoria Christina Hesketh, AKA Little Boots, might have only JUST released her third album a year ago next month, but that’s not stopping her from…erm…getting back to work (reference). That’s right, Little Boots is BACK, dragging our glitter-dusted asses onto the dance floor in the form a brand, spankin’-new 2-track Afterhours EP, which is out now through her own label On Repeat Records (iTunes). While I enjoy the Sam Sparro collaboration, “Face To Face,” the highlight for me hands down is the Richard X (Sugababes, Rachel Stevens, Annie—where’s he been btw?)-produced “Staring At The Sun.” With its glossy synths, raging house beats and euphoric chorus, “Staring At The Sun” is the very definition of a summertime BANGER—a total FLOOR-FILLER! If the song along with it’s artwork campaign (see above) looks like an extension of her BRILLIANT last album, Working Girl, that’s because it is. Little Boots explains,
“‘Afterhours’ is the soundtrack for when the photocopier powers down and the office is locked up and you want to find somewhere to let your hair down and forget about the day.”
The EP serves as sort of a final taste from her Working Girl album, as well as a massive “THANK YOU” to the fans.
“I really wanted to release something as a ‘thank you’ to my fans for all their incredible support over the years.”
Like what you’ve read/heard? Well, I created a Spotify Playlist below with ALL of the songs I just spotlighted above. I’ll be adding to it regularly, so give it a follow!