Hot New Pop Alert: Listen to Galantis 'You' [Review]
Galantis makes seriously good dance-pop. And that should come as no surprise. Galantis are the duo of Christian Karlsson (of Miike Snow) and Linus Eklow (aka Style Of Eye) who combine their soundboard superpowers to create a fresh new sound that infuses their melodic pop sensibilities with gentle dance grooves. After unveiling their singles "Smile" and "You," the group unleashed the brand-new "Help" today that is taken from their self-titled EP that will be released via Big Beat/Atlantic on April 1.
To the uninitiated, Christian Karlsson and Linus Eklow have individually been celebrated for creating classic pop singles for other artists and their contributions to electronic music. Karlsson is not only a third of celebrated indie band Miike Snow but also one half of production duo Bloodshy & Avant who have helped reinvent pop stars from Madonna to Britney Spears. He co-wrote and produced "Toxic" for Spears for which he won a Best Dance Recording GRAMMY.
Eklow co- wrote and produced Icona Pop’s international No. 1 smash "I Love It" ft. Charli XCX and has left a singular stamp on electronic music, defying genre and releasing work on a diverse swath of iconic labels. "After admiring each other from afar, the pair set up a studio on a remote island in the Baltic Sea and Galantis was born," a press release explains about the group's inception.
Kicked off by a wistful piano melody, "Help" slowly builds into a soaring melodic production that is packed with hope and encouragement. It's another triumphant effort that puts the duo in pole position for breakout success. While we are enjoying Galantis' new music, the group is feverishly working on their big debut show at Coachella that is a pretty major look for this promising new upstart.
March 11, 2014 | Permalink
Must-Watch: Ginny Blackmore and Barry Southgate 'All Of Me' (Live)
Ginny Blackmore made some waves last year in America with "Bones" that hit Top 40 on Hot AC and was featured in a Microsoft commercial. The song was a memorable introduction to an artist who possesses one of the most touching pop vocals I've heard in a very long time. Blackmore has the power to deliver instant goose bumps and pull right on your heart strings with her soulful delivery that is subtle and understated yet so incredibly poignant. While she's working on new material back home in New Zealand she teamed up with newcomer Barry Southgate who appeared on the Australian version of X-Factor. Together they performed a cover of John Legend's "All Of Me" at Parachute Studios in New Zealand. It's a breathtaking performance that Southgate refers to as one of "the incredible recording experiences I’ve ever had." Watch and be moved.
March 10, 2014 | Permalink
Pop Alert! Betty Who Performs at Bravo's Watch What Happens Live
Pop Alert! Our beloved Betty Who received a mighty push forward towards superstardom tonight when she appeared on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live alongside guest Jimmy Kimmel. Yeah, not too shabby! Host Andy Cohen and his team will be broadcasting the daily late night talk show from Austin, TX this week to celebrate the South by Southwest festival. Andy is a massive fan of Betty Who just like us and he invited the singer and her crew to be the house band all week long. Totally amazing! I'm so proud of Who and excited about what's she'll do next. Tonight she gave us a little "High Society" and perhaps we'll get a bit of "Heartbreak Dream" on Monday? Tune in to find out. Bravo Betty!
March 9, 2014 | Permalink
Hot New Pop Alert: Listen to For BDK 'What I Must Find' [VIDEO]
Following the release of their debut single "New Ways Of Digging Deeper" in Sweden last year, emerging synth-pop duo For BDK return confidently with their excellent new single "What I Must Find."
For BDK (aka For Body, Drugs and Kicks) is the duo of Adele Kosman and Marcus Borrman who like to refer to their music as "drugbeat" pop. That is a pretty apt way to describe their infectious brand of pop that will have you hooked the moment it hits. It's sinfully good.
Their new "What I Must Find" is a perfect example of that. It's a formidable synth-pop tune that is ruled by a propulsive chorus and Kosman's soaring vocals that will have you sit up and listen from beginning to end.
The video for the song amplifies its bittersweet sentiment by fusing style with substance. Shot in sub-zero temperatures south of Stockholm earlier this year, the video depicts a cold and harsh world that is given a splash of color with the stylish pop of For BDK. The duo is currently working on their debut album that is expected this summer on Warner Music Sweden.
March 9, 2014 | Permalink
South by Southwest Class of 2014: Pop Artists to Watch in Austin
We're only days away to the official start of the Music portion of the annual South by Southwest Music, Film and Interactive festival that formally kicks off next week Wednesday. The action-packed Austin, TX festival has tradionally been a fantastic platform for young, up-and-coming artists to play lots of shows, get noticed and expand their fanbase among the many influencers and other tastemaker types that trek to South by Southwest from all over the world.
This year, I will be attending South by Southwest for the fourth year in a row. Over those past few years, the festival has ballooned into a gigantic happening with brands promoting their wares, labels parading their latest signings and promising indie upstars trying to get attention while we all stand in line for hours to get some authentic Austin BBQ for lunch.
For me personally, South by Southwest has been a great place to see many of the acts I'd been blogging about for months and also discover a few new ones. I remember the years I saw Frankmusik and Marina & The Diamonds for the first time while I zig-zagged around town to interview (then) newcomers like Ellie Goulding, Dev and Neon Hitch. My big discovery last year was Disclosure who played a 1 a.m. show just outside the Austin city center that was attended by a hundred people or so. The group was still unsigned in America at the time (they were scooped up by Cherrytree Records right after) but that performance put them in pole position for success stateside.
I will be spending a few days in Austin next week before heading to Miami for the Winter Music Conference. I compiled a shortlist of artists that will perform at South by Southwest that I believe will leave Austin by the end of next week with more momentum for continued success. Read on for a few notes about some of those artists to watch at South by Southwest and listen to all of my picks on the SXSW 2014: Pop playlist on Beats Music.
Betty Who: Frequent readers of this blog will certainly not be surprised by this selection. I've been a supporter of Betty Who since day one. I exclusively premiered her "Somebody Loves You" late 2012 that became a blog sensation and turned Who into one of the hottest new talents on the pop scene to watch. (Listen on Beats)
Chloe Howl: The British singer has been been a blog darling for years now and she's finally making it to the U.S. to properly kick off promo for her debut EP that is released in America on Tuesday. It's fun, clever and hooky electro-pop that pop lovers everywhere will embrace. (Listen on Beats)
Jetta: After blogging about her incredible "Start A Riot" years ago, I finally saw Jetta perform live at South by Southwest upstairs in a small dive bar on 6th Street. I was blown away by her confidence and powerful vocals. Now, one year later, she's one of the biggest priorities on Republic Records and her single "Feels Like Coming Home" is gaining heat on radio following its feature in a Google commercial. Jetta is the real deal and she's most definitely one to keep on the center of your radar. (Listen on Beats)
Tove Lo: The Swedish singer/songwriter has written many of your favorite pop songs including a few gems on Icona Pop's debut album. Following the release of the single "Habits," she's getting ready to step into the spotlight and her just-released EP Truth Serum gives a taste of what's to come. It combines brutally honest lyricism with a bittersweet sentiment that the Swedes have perfected. I'm a big fan and I'm very curious to see her live show. (Listen on Beats)
Sam Smith: Following his hits with Naughty Boy and Disclosure, Smith is about to release one of the most exciting albums of 2014. I've heard snippets of it and it blew me away. His music fits right on the bleeding edge of soul and pop much like how Adele positioned her first two albums. Seeing Sam Smith live is an equally impressive experience that is even more special in small, intimate venues that South by Southwest is made off. (Listen on Beats)
Gorgon City: Disclosure are the bonafide kings of the commercial deep house revival and they have paved the way for acts like Gorgon City to bring more of that viby house coolness. The duo just celebrated a massive U.K. hit with "Ready for Your Love" featuring MNEK that most certainly has the potential to crossover into the pop world with a little push and persistence. (Listen on Beats)
Liz: In recent weeks, I've been obsessed with Liz's new EP that is a collection of songs that celebrates everything that we love so much about '90s R&B and pop. It's a sound that is retro in its original but forward in its execution. She's could easily be one of the biggest new acts to emerge in 2014 with South by Southwest as a kick off point. (Listen on Beats)
Also on the list: RAC, Matthew Koma and Le Youth.
March 8, 2014 | Permalink