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Kelly Clarkson - Love So Soft

 

album picks

Niall Horan Shows Us A Different Side Of Him In 'Flicker'
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Album Review: Our Top 3 Tracks From BTS' EP 'Love Yourself: Her'
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Album Review: 5 Must-Hear Tracks From Paramore’s Latest Record, ‘After Laughter’
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World Bloggers And Social Media Awards
SBA 2014
SBA 2013
SBA 2012

 

 

 

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Following the release of his second record, The Thrill of It All, Sam Smith surprises fans with ethereal performances of old and new songs along with The BBC Concert Orchestra.

Originally a 60-minute broadcast, the session featured Smith’s live debut performance of Burning – a new track off his latest record.

Smith has since been pulling our heartstrings with his gut-wrenching melodies. But the British singer has yet again invoked melancholy with this session's harmonic accompaniment, making our overall listening experience almost cinematic.

Call me basic, but hearing a symphonic version of Stay With Me proved that the hit song can be made even more celestial than the well-received studio version.

Don’t believe me? Listen to it here:

 

 

Watch his other performances here:

 

Photo Credit: BBC

Stranger Things’ magnetic appeal might have resulted to guilt-inducing binging, but the series’ undying influence has also reached the music scene.

We all know about the series’ nostalgic soundtrack, but have you heard of the opening theme’s captivating mashups?

It’s been a year since the show’s spooky theme has been remixed with several pop hits. We’ve had Childish Gambino’s Bonfire, The Weeknd’s Starboy, and even Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

But what’s been making rounds on the internet this past week is Ariana Grande’s Into You remixed with the theme’s eerie melody.

If you’re wondering what Into You would sound like with a slower tempo and a sinister vibe, you’ve come to the right place!

Listen to the remix here:

 

Photo credit: Netflix

The penultimate month of the year is around the corner, which makes it the perfect time to indulge in some nostalgia and wax lyrical about how time flies.

We've compiled a list of 5 renowned albums that came out 10 years ago in November for this purpose - see if you can read through this without feeling that physical nag of age in your soul.

 

1. Jay-Z - American Gangster

Inspired by the film of the same name directed by Ridley Scott, Jay-Z’s critically acclaimed 10th studio album was regarded as a return to form for the rapper. Its soulful jazz-rap single Roc Boys (And the Winner Is)... was named the best song of 2007 by music publication Rolling Stone.

 

2. Leona Lewis - Spirit

The X Factor champion’s debut album was a massive hit, racking up over 8 million sales and scoring Grammy nominations for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Record of the Year. You’re most likely familiar with the lead single Bleeding Love- yes, the song came out a decade ago. Crazy, huh?

 

3, Alicia Keys - As I Am

The R&B songstress’ chart-smashing album earned numerous accolades, including 3 Grammy Awards. Her most famous song from the album, No One, clinched the no. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for 5 weeks straight. It may have been released 10 years ago, but it’s still a very much beloved ballad in the hearts of many.

 

4. Girls Aloud - Tangled Up

One of the most successful girl groups to have come out of the UK, Girls Aloud were known for releasing a constant stream of catchy but innovative pop songs. Tangled Up is widely regarded as their best album, and its single Call The Shots has been praised by critics for being one of the best pop singles of 2007.

 

5. OneRepublic - Dreaming Out Loud

This was the album that spawned Apologize, the hit single that spent 25 consecutive weeks in the top 10 of Billboard Hot 100. The Timbaland rework of the song needs no introduction either- it’s just one of those songs that everyone knows the lyrics and melody to. It’s been 10 years since and the nostalgia is definitely creeping in. Along with the realization that we are getting old. Oh well. 

Photo Credit: Sony Music Entertainment UK

Us The Duo finally posted a full cover of The Foundations’ pop hit, Build Me Up Buttercup!

This is after a year of uploading a short version of the song that certainly left many fans hanging, myself included.

For someone who grew up loving the original version, I refrained from listening to covers that would potentially ruin the song for me. But as expected, Us The Duo did not disappoint.

Blending in their signature harmonies, the ‘60s song was delivered with an acoustic twist.

Carissa and Michael Alvarado still carry with them the alluring charm that captivated the Internet in 2013.

Vine might no longer exist, but the six-second video sharing application undoubtedly left us with a talented set of husband-and-wife that’s here to delight us with long(er) song covers.

Watch the full cover of Build Me Up Buttercup here:

 

Photo credit: UsTheDuoVEVO on Youtube

You might have already heard that Lorde did a majestic cover of The 1975’s Somebody Else a few days ago.

The 20-year-old pop star delighted her fans with a dramatic rendition in Paris while on her Melodrama world tour. Lorde shared, “This is a song that I really, really love. It was one of my favorite songs of last year, and it really influenced Melodrama. It influenced the tones and the colors and the emotions. I hope you like it.”

The cover received immediate approval from Matty Healy, The 1975’s frontman himself, and it seems like both artists are big fans of each other.

With this, we think it wouldn’t hurt for Lorde to cover a couple more of the band’s songs.

Here are other The 1975 hits that will be perfect for Lorde’s raw and melodramatic (pun intended) vocals:

 

Robbers

 

Fallingforyou

 

 

You

 

 

Heart Out

 

 

A Change Of Heart

 

Photo credit: Rich Fury/Invision/AP

Finding a band that doesn’t charge fans for meet n’ greets is almost impossible in this capitalist society. But The Maine continuously proves that genuine appreciation of music should not be monetized, at least heavily, in this article on Medium.

In the article, The Maine have made some valid arguments about their beliefs while still not dismissing the fact that the music industry today is in decline – that the existence of overpriced merchandise and VIP tickets is essential to cover the mere costs of touring, when it is basically an act of exploitation over people who’ve done nothing but support a group’s music.

Despite this acknowledgement and depressing reality, the band still holds onto the principle, “If you are a fan of something, you shouldn’t have to go broke supporting it.”

The Maine erases the idea of the egoistic “rock star image” that comes with fame and success. Instead, they show their appreciation to fans by not putting themselves on pedestals and finding every means to do it personally.

They have been doing free meetups at shows for 10 years now. It’s truly hard to describe sincerity unless you've been in the presence of genuinely good people and I’m glad I’ve experienced it having met the band prior to one of their shows in Singapore.

It’s heartwarming to know that a band isn’t grabbing every opportunity to capitalize on your emotions. This is why The Maine undoubtedly sets a great example on how music (and everything else that comes with it) should be done. 

 

Photo Credit: Cole Kiburz

To promote the release of her latest album, Younger Now, Miley Cyrus treated her fans to a short live stream performance of The Climb.

It’s been 6 years since the singer belted out those nostalgic melodies of the song that captured everyone’s hearts in Hannah Montana: The Movie. But Cyrus still carries the same vigor, if not stronger, she had when the song first came out.

In view of this sudden “blast from the past,” here are other old Miley Cyrus songs that we want to hear her sing again live!

 

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Truth be told, this Cyndi Lauper cover was a hit in my early teens.

 

When I Look At You

It’s hard not to listen to this soulful ballad and not get flashbacks of scenes from The Last Song.

 

One In A Million

Let’s just say I was more into Hannah Montana’s less upbeat material.

 

7 Things

I remember listening to this song for the first time as a 12-year-old and being taken aback by Miley Cyrus’ apparent existence outside of Hannah Montana.

 

You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home

I'm just gonna leave this right here:

*****

Feeling old yet? Which of these songs is your favorite?

 

Photo credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images North America, @viniius via Twitter

Every so often, we get bombarded by commercialized songs with formulaic structures - 3 notes and a hook - that we forget to explore other artists’ music.

The thing is, there’s an abundance of music out there for us to discover, we just need to dig deep and give our ears a treat from time to time.

With this, I’ve recently come across a handful of female artists that I wish I discovered sooner. Upon this “discovery,” I realized that most female singer-songwriters that are being severely advertised these days fall under the category of “pop stars.” There is definitely nothing wrong with that, per se.

It just perpetuates the idea that females are only capable of producing music like this, and that female artists on par with the likes of John Mayer rarely exist, WHICH IS DEFINITELY NOT TRUE!

We can’t deny the fact that we still live in a world where there’s a need to highlight one’s gender upon reference, especially when you're a woman in the music industry.

But since we’re still doing so, here's a list of 5 talented FEMALE singer-songwriters you should be listening to.

 

Mitski

Mitski has been described as an artist who’s “anti-melody,” making Björk comparisons unavoidable. Her seemingly aggressive sound can also be easily assumed to have no end-goal, but Mitski transcends all of these through her expressive songs. Watch her crush it on this KEXP performance.

 

 

Courtney Barnett

Her honest-to-goodness lyrical poetry is probably what’s attracting thousands of listeners right now. Barnett is able to transform the mundane into a palpable, vivid imagery through her narrative and melody. Listen to her reference coffee in the song, Depreston.

 

 

Frankie Cosmos

Her lo-fi influence might strike most listeners as dreamy, but Frankie Cosmos knows how to condense our daily what-ifs into refreshing 2-minute wonders.

 

 

Angel Olsen

Olsen is more than just an “aesthetic figure.” Her raspy and stirring vocals beautifully blend with her ever-changing guitar accompaniment. In one song she revives Stevie Nick’s velvety vocals and in another, she reincarnates Sleater-Kinney’s melodic angst. Either way, she remains an artist to look out for. I highly recommend listening to her perform “Sister” in the video below.

 

 

Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief

Lenker might be the odd one on this list, being the only one in a band, but this frontwoman is as equally talented as the rest. She has brought her listeners to tears, myself included, with her soul-wrenching lyrics and melody. This NPR live session is a must-watch for anyone who’s in despair and just want to momentarily drown in their emotions. Paul and Mary are perfect songs to start with.

Photo Credit: Lucy Johnston, Mia Mala McDonald, Matthew James-Wilson, Shervin Lainez, D.C. Music Download

It’s not everyday that you get to see two of the most iconic pop singers in this generation with none other than Jack Antonoff.

The Bleachers frontman recently had Lorde and Carly Rae Jepsen join his band onstage for an MTV Unplugged performance of Hate That You Know Me, a song that originally features Jepsen.

The trio is known to have been longtime collaborators and real-life buddies - much evident in Lorde and Jepsen's comfortable stage presence with Antonoff. Talk about an expensive pair of backup singers, eh?

Listening to these three artists jam to a song live while belting out incredibly high notes is indeed a breath of fresh air.

Watch the video here:

 

Watch the rest of Bleachers' MTV Unplugged performances here.

 

Photo Credit: MTV

Catching Ariana Grande’s Singapore debut next week, but not a full-fledged Arianator? We’ve got you covered!

Ariana Grande has been dominating the pop scene ever since her breakthrough on the Nickelodeon show, Victorious.

What the 24-year-old is mostly famous for is her Mariah Carey-esque whistle tones that often dominate public spaces in Singapore – an infectious virus that leaves you with no choice but to eventually be familiar with some of her top hits.

But we’re not even complaining! Grande is one of today’s most talented artists who can effortlessly deliver stunning vocal quality and at the same time bop along to her catchy melodies.

So, almost everyone can hum to at least one Ariana Grande song by now. But the question is, can you sing along?

If you’re one of those people who need to know the lyrics to get the full concert experience, you’ve come to the right place.

We know it’s a challenge to even try to match Grande’s vocal prowess, but one can try.

Here are 5 Ariana Grande songs you need to memorize before her Singapore debut!*

*If you're attempting to practice these songs in your room, please inform your family members beforehand. Loud squealing might occur.

 

1. One Last Time

 

2. Into You

 

3. Break Free

 

4. Dangerous Woman

 

5. Problem

Photo credit: Ethan Miller

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