Archive for July, 2012

KELLY CLARKSON FREAKIN’ NAILS KATY

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

As in, she nails the cover. No actual nails were involved in this performance. Sorry if you’re disappointed, but I disgress…

After seeing Kelly Clarkson live from Radio City earlier this year, I know there’s absolutely nothing the girl can’t sing. Hell, she could probably sing the phone book and somehow it would still sound purdy in our little eardrums. That’s just the kind of raw talent that runs through her veins.

Recently, Kelly put her stamp of beautiful awesomeness all over Katy Perry’s Wide Awake, her raspy vocals delivering the pop ballad in a way none of her contemporaries can.

Stunning/vulnerable/REAL. This is one pop star who never needs a facade.

THE VERONICAS RETURN AFTER 5 YEARS

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

It’s been five long years since Lisa and Jessica of The Veronicas dropped their insanely infectious sophomore LP Hook Me Up. But with the release of their new single Lolita, the wait is finally over. (About damn time, you two!)

The Toby Gad-produced single from their upcoming third album, Life on Mars, is The Veronicas at their finest. The girls set out on a tour of their poetic darker side, creating a brooding dance pop record that’s both current and radio-friendly.

Welcome back, ladies.

P!NK GETS REVENGE IN ‘BLOW ME’ VID

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


Ok, here’s the thing. Saying that I love P!nk would be a huge understatement. I truly admire/love/respect and cherish the beautiful being that is her music. However, I am not a fan of the new music video for her latest hit single Blow Me (One Last Kiss). It’s just missing, I dunno… COLOR?!

The black and white Dave Meyers-directed clip has some interesting visuals, but the overall concept fails short for me. I found myself yelling at the screen: “Give me realness! Stop with the instagram grainy crap!” I mean, it’s not terrible. And I do love black and white clips usually, but this particular song is anthemic and P!nk-y, which means it requires something vivid and spark-inducing to keep up.

Oh well. I still love the song, and really, that’s all that matters.

When I want to feel that kick-him-in-the-balls power, P!nk is the lady!

COMPLETELY IN LOVE WITH DELTA RAE

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Imagine chopping up parts of Fleetwood Mac, Mumford & Sons, and Adele, and throwing it all into a blender with bluegrass twang. That’s the pseudo formula for Durham, North Carolina six-piece band, Delta Rae.

This band is one ginormous family. Literally. Made up of siblings Ian Holljes, Eric Holljes, Brittany Holljes and their buddies Elizabeth Hopkins, Mike McKee, and Grant Emerson. The band was created when Ian and Eric graduated college and asked Brittany to jump on board with their idea of forming a music group. Soon after, they brought in Elizabeth Hopkins, as well as Mike and Grant, who joined in 2010. And the rest, as they say, is history.

The band has recently released their killer debut album, the noteworthy Carry The Fire, which has received praise from Rolling Stone and Billboard.

Honestly, this band has completely blown me away.

Case in point? Press play.

NEW OBSESSION: for KING & COUNTRY

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


The Christian music scene isn’t usually stomping grounds for the most innovative or unique artists. However, brothers Joel and Luke of for King & Country are the exception to the rule. Together, they have the potential to change the genre completely, leading a new wave of fresh and interesting Christian talent who not only fuse real, passionate faith into their music, but do it in a way that’s modern and refreshing.

Their philosophy is simple: “The power of music can impact our mood, emotions, our day. But when you merge the strength of music with the heart, hope and passion of the Gospel…it has the ultimate power not only to change someone’s day, but to impact them for eternity. This is why we write music and sing songs – we hope that people will be moved, encouraged and stirred to live a life for Someone greater than themselves.”

I friggin’ love their debut album! Def. a record you need to be playing.

Check out a live performance of my favorite track from the release below, the emotionally charged The Proof Of Your Love.

Ummm, yeah… These boys are nothing short of incredible!

Beautiful stuff.

YESSUM

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

NELLY FURTADO IS FRIGGIN’ GORGEOUS

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Wow! I never realized how gorgeous she is until I saw this photo… But anywho, that’s beside the point.

Nelly Furtado has just released the music video for her new single Spirit Indestructible. This is the second single from her upcoming album, which is set to drop September 18th via Interscope. The Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins produced track is infused with an empowering message, layered over Nelly’s signature beats. Shot on the gorgeous Grouse Mountain in Vancouver, the video captures the song’s spiritual message perfectly.

Says Nelly: “It’s an ode to the spirit which resides in all of us and triumphs over anything. It is inspired by people I have met, and special moments in history that I have read about. Spirituality is one of the underlying themes on the album. The video is meant to be empowering and it’s meant to be a tribute to all of us. We all have indestructible spirits.”

Check it, kiddies!

[Related Post: Nelly Furtado Is Such A Size Queen]

LOVE AND SATELLITES

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


I don’t know much about these guys, but I know they’ve got a cute look and a tight sound. Name: Love and Satellites. Mission: to light up your ears with glow-in-the-dark sugar dust. Their first recording (free for download, by the way) has a pulse akin to All Time Low or Boys Like Girls- light and fresh with a lot of bounce to the guitar. The track in question Girl I Used To Know is the rocket ship on which they will blast into public attention. Truth be told, it’s already been sending pulses through the solar system.

My one miff is their repping for a few brands. I know we artists need food same as the next bloke, but c’mon guys! Let’s keep it sweet and keep it real!

Ah well. Their single has done its job in getting me intrigued (and excited) for their debut compilation.

How about you?

NO DOUBT RETURNS WITH FIRST SINGLE IN 10 YEARS

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

The Queen “G” and her posse are back with a new smash, and I could not be happier. After all, not many females can do it like Gwen can. It’s been a long time coming, but No Doubt, the multi-platinum selling band that yoked the third-wave ska rebellion of the 1990s to create a marathon run of chart-dominating trinkets, has released its first new music in over a decade this week. Can you believe it’s been that long? I feel like just yesterday we were walking into spider webs.

Named Settle Down, the song is from the band’s much anticipated studio follow-up to 2001’s Rock Steady, titled Push and Shove, which comes out Sept. 25. This is the classification of a limber and sparkling new-wave smash that lasts over six minutes.

Check it out.

MADONNA GOES ON A JOY RIDE IN NEW ‘TURN UP THE RADIO’ CLIP

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


Leave it to Madonna to release a music video and change my entire opinion on a song. Just the other day, I was listening to this track thinking about how ridiculously simple it is, and how I would expect more from a person that many label the Queen of Pop. Flash forward to moments after watching the new video, and all my previous f*cking thoughts have gone out the window!

I’m living for this video… It simply works.

Turn Up the Radio is the third single from Madonna’s latest album, MDNA. The video was shot in Florence, Italy and directed by Tom Munro, who also shot M’s Give It 2 Me clip back in 2008.

Oh, and PS! If you’re curious about what the driver says at the end of the video, it translates to dis: “The party’s over now. Buckle [your] belt, b—-!”

Recent European interview + brand spankin’ new video following.

BLACK CARDS (WELCOME BACK, PETEY)

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com


Imma little boy crazy lately, so excuse my while I swoon… Ok, I’m good.

Pete Wentz is back, y’all. Yup! With his new band, Black Cards, an EDM project consisting of sick synth-electro-dubstep beats. Basically, it’s gooey pop yumminess. With Wentz holding down the bass/lyrics, and a helping hand from Spencer Peterson on drums, the group has just released an EP titled Use Your Disillusion.

The track you’re about to hear is End of Pretend, a dancefloor banger that feels kerosene soaked. That’s code for “It’s fire, people.”

Singer Matthew Koma completes the track’s package, tackling Wentz’s recognizable vocals with ease.

The EP is out today (July 17th)!

Listen to the fierce, slick beats below.

Black Cards’ End of Pretend, an obvious contender for song of the summer.

JESUS CHRIST, MIKA’S TOO ADORABLE!

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Wotyougot recently chatted it up with the cutie pie that is Mika, discussing his upcoming third album The Origin Of Love + his new relationship, his career, music piracy, and a little song he wrote for Madonna’s new album called Gang Bang:

“It was full of all these statements that my grandfather used to say, like a fish out of water, like a bat out of hell, things like you may think it’s you I like the most but I’m just keeping my enemies close. These are all things that my granddad used to say. He was kind of this burly Arab guy who lived in New York. Madonna heard this song because William Orbit presented it to her, and I didn’t know. As far as I was concerned it was just a song that I was writing for myself, and then Madonna liked it and she recorded her version and in the end she adapted it. I was never in the studio with Madonna. The song got changed I think countless times and in the end it was called ‘Gang Bang’, probably because there was so many people that worked on it and it’s kind of cool. I think it’s probably my favorite thing off that last record. It’s kind of grown up in a weird sort of way. It’s got this bitterness about it which is kind of cool to hear from her.”

Interview + Make You Happy vid below.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: JENEFER SIAN

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

ROB BRAYL: Let’s dive right in. So you’re this fresh, blossoming artist based out of LA, but you’re originally from Wales. I’m always interested in the geographical perspective of artists. What’s your thoughts on LA and the music scene? Has it been nurturing to your music?

JENEFER SIAN: You know, the UK has a huge place in my heart (not to mention my whole family still lives there and I visit often), but I have lived in Southern California for about 10 years now. I have grown into who I am in California. I feel like I am a “California girl”. My music displays that, too. When I hear artists like Ellie Goulding or Marina and the Diamonds, I think to myself how that might have been what my sound would’ve turned into had I stayed in Wales. The music scene in LA has made me realize what you need to do to make a “hit”. This chord progression, what time the chorus comes in, verse needs a hook, pre-chorus needs a hook, bridge needs a hook.

If anything doing music in LA is the opposite of nurturing. I feel like the UK is a better place for artists to grow and have more freedom and creativity with their sound. But I do love me some top 40 pop hits, and that’s what doing music in LA is. So it’s all good!

RB: So I read that you started singing Selena songs at age 10. Obviously you must’ve been surrounded by music from an early age?

JS: Yes. My mother was a singer, my father was a musician. I was exposed to Motown and (what is now) classic rock from a very early age. My sister was a big clubber and listened to lots of dance and top 40, and my brother, well he introduced me to the world of Guns N Roses. [Laughs]

Music was all around. All day every day.

RB: I understand that your family owned a bed and breakfast when you were a teenager. A residence that used to belong to Miss Donna Summer? That’s kinda crazy! That must’ve been pretty freakin’ cool, no?

JS: It was pretty rad. We got to meet so many cool people. We hosted weddings there and the guests would ask me to sing at their weddings, so I loved it! The location also had a massive recording studio assembled from two double wide trailers, fancily put together with a view from 7,000 feet over Lake Tahoe. Pretty incredible when I think back to it. I spent the majority of my high school life in that studio singing my head off for anyone who would listen.

RB: You’ve just released your first mixtape, ‘I Wish A Bitch Would!’. How does it feel?

JS: It feels awesome! I love it! I’m not one to listen to my own music, but I have been playing it in my car and thinking: “Damn, girl. Ya did good!” [Laughs]

RB: The project is clearly pop. Any current pop stars that are compelling to you?

JS: If we’re talking strictly pop, I gotta say the hit machine that is Rihanna. She’s just everything you look for in a pop star. She’s a good singer, she puts on a great show, she’s stunning, and she’s naughty. Also, Demi Lovato has caught my attention recently. I can’t stop listening to ‘Give Your Heart A Break’ — I never realized what a great voice she has!

RB: My favorite track on the mixtape is the Neil Young cover. I’m a sucker for a vulnerable pop record (or any vulnerable record for that matter) because those songs are more real and heartfelt. No need to comment unless you wish, just wanted to say that you did a great job on this track.

JS: I did this song for my dad. When I started singing it, it was not pop. I sung any song I knew. Then it went to Spanish, then country, then just became a mish mash of everything. I know my dad loved to hear me sing the bare bones songs. He loved my voice and was always encouraging me to keep singing. This song just felt right. My dad passing was a sad situation; it is a sad situation. The song is sad. It was the right song for me to do for him. It felt right to me, and it’s by one of his favorite artists. I know he’s proud of it and understands why I chose it.

RB: The rest of the mixtape is more urban, pop, electronic and upbeat. Do you see yourself more in this vein?

JS: Yes. I think everything about me screams “POP MUSICIAN!” — maybe even as a warning. [Laughs]

I think it’s fun to mess around with other music, but my heart will always be wanting to be the next Britney… Just kidding. But not really.

RB: I ask this question a lot, so forgive me… But what’s your current guilty pleasure(s)?

JS: Musically? ‘Call Me Maybe’ and that one song by The Wanted. Yep. In life? Watching far too much of the Real Housewives and Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

RB: Finally, for those new to your music, give us a punchline describing who you are as an artist.

JS: If you’re new to my music, you can expect to hear me being me. Which is a girls’ girl. I like to sing about what’s fun about being a girl, whether it’s partying and hitting on boys, to being sexy and saying some naughtier things you might not be able to say every day… And of course, occasionally puttin’ a bitch in check. [Laughs]

Download Jenefer Sian’s ‘I Wish A Bitch Would’ (out today) + listen to my favorite track from the project, the stunning Neil Young cover below!

Hey Hey My My by JeneferSian

LOST IN SOCIETY DROP ‘LET IT SAIL’

By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Throughout time, meticulous punk rock bands have been known to become cynical and lose their way. This may just be my opinion, but I can find proof throughout the music scene. Clearly, it’s hard to keep up the level of robustness to rail against politics, or conveniently enough, “society” for too long; ultimately they just stop finding notions or people to be angry with. And quite honestly, there is nothing wrong with that. After all, pop stars run out of boyfriends to break up with. However, that doesn’t seem to be a problem for BTB favorites, Lost In Society, as the ingredients of their scorn only continue to give them fuel; fuel that is bound to cause a massive explosion.

Lost In Society is back with a new album entitled Let It Sail. Continuing the procession of talented New Jersey bands, their music is both robust and entertaining. Zach, Nick, and Hector have a sick summer ahead of them, going on Warped Tour, promoting their new record, and playing shows all over the tri-state area. Lost In Society has been a thriving force in punk rock for just a short time, but there presence is set in stone. Music-wise, these kids are as punk as it gets — simple and full of power chords. Their new LP is sure to be a pleaser; 11 songs of pure goodness with haunting hooks and rhythms.

This record will not only hail new fans, but satisfy/take current groupies to a whole new level. It has a little more of a commercial sound than their previous efforts, in the best way possible. There exists a track for everyone. The beauty of their music in this vein is not a position, but a universal acceptance that swallows everything in its path, while each individual tastes something exclusive while listening to the band.

The album has a good sound quality and is well produced. This polish adds to their pop sound. The band wastes no time coming out of the starting gate, going hard with the first two opening fast-paced tracks (and my favorites) Guns and new single Halloween Song (see new music video below). If you are a follower of the three-piece, you will find it picks up right where their last video Wrong Direction left off.

The band has matured considerably as musicians, and their energy has grown with it. Anyone that’s a fan of music will have an incomplete musical library without Let It Sail.

Pick up this album. Take a chance. Don’t ever look back, punks.

BUTCHER BABIES

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

[Photo by Nick Pickles, UK-based Music Photographer]

Everyone has a drop or two of darkness spiking their soul. Most of us do our best to ignore it. I have never been one to accept this, and neither are the Butcher Babies. They define themselves as Slut Metal, but I assure you there is a lot more to them than luscious good looks. Carla and Heidi share centre stage with a sunder of screams. I haven’t heard leading ladies with this much power in their lungs since… ever. Conjoin these with metallicious instrumentals, and you’ve got yourself a force to be reckoned with.

They are unmistakably brutal. They are Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie’s rogue love-child. They are prepared to exorcise the demons you can’t face.

This kind of arsenic juice isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I must admit I don’t care. They have got me thrashing around my living room like I’ve got two weeks paid vacation.

The best part is they have no shame in breaking rules. Their lyrics have substance, their videos touch on sensitive issues, and the girls have no issue with kicking ass while they shake their own.

This is what happens when the hardcore reject corporate influence. They bring rebellion to a scene that has become impossibly formulaic. I hope these guys can get signed without selling out. If anyone can do it, they can.

Did I mention they’ll be touring with Otep? If the metal scene has a seventh heaven, I’m getting close to those clouds.

Forget a slap on the back- these guys are a punch to the face. I for one enjoyed having my nose broken.

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