Archive for November, 2012


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Love and heartache is the peanut butter and jelly to any good breakup anthem, but when you take those two elements and throw them into a media scandal, the ingredients get amplified and the taste can often be more bitter than sweet, more brutal than comforting.

That’s certainly been true for LeAnn Rimes, whose personal life revolving around her now ex-husband hit every gossip rag over an affair with a married man, actor Eddie Cibrian.

However, when fuel turns to fire, what do you do with it? If you’re a talented artist, you turn it into something mesmerizing and real, and that’s exactly what LeAnn has done. On her new stunning track What Have I Done, LeAnn is as vulnerable and broken open as a thousand tiny shards of glass.

This song is truly the apologetic post-breakup letter to an ex we’ve never heard before. It’s exquisite, beautiful, haunting. And so damn real…

This is one of the best country records I have heard in years.

I love it so much!

Thank you, LeAnn… For such an incredible, HONEST song. I knew upon first listen, that this song was truly from the gut.

Listen to an intimate, acoustic performance of the track below.


By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I’m oggling at what happens when folk meets electronica and that genius gets re-mixed.

Jason Garriotte started with no more than an acoustic guitar and self-sewn lyrical content like many folk artists before him. It’s what he did with that ammunition that makes him so intriguing. From those minimalist roots he conjured up Chords of Truth, taking the wholesome tones of acoustic folk and partnering it up with dizzying distortion.

Chords of Truth: Remixed is two discs crammed with trancey goodness. Jason collaborated with FOURTEEN different producers for this project. That’s a lot of cooks, but surprisingly the broth comes out unspoiled. Seven original songs were blended, bulldozed and re-stitched to merit twenty-six varying musical approaches. The result is a staggering if not eye-opening journey into the heart of the creative process.

Jason speaks of the transformation found in the re-mixes: “It is truly amazing how a different perspective on even a song can change almost every aspect of the experience.”

Folktronica is born. Who said every musical frontier was mapped?


By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Punk music is just something that always makes me weak in the knees, yet few bands in particular really stand out in the genre. That being said, one of them goes by the name of Sum 41.

On Sunday night, I celebrated 10 years of amazing music with their album Does This Look Infected, to a line around the infamous Stone Pony in Asbury Park. As we all know, the Jersey Shore has been devastated due to Hurricane Sandy, and some good music is just what we needed. Little did I know that I was in for one of the most epic nights, ever.

The night kicked off with some local openers including NJ rockers Set It Free, along with a two-piece called I Am Dynamite. As the night progressed, the venue got more and more crowded. I could only imagine how hyper the pit was going to be when Deryck and the boys hit the stage, for the crowd was getting warmed up with some Beastie Boys and Kiss blaring through the house system. 10:15 rolls around, and Sum 41 finally take the stage, kicking the night off with a bang with Hell Song, as hundreds of fans start to mosh, crowd surfing and fist pumping in full affect.

It had been quite some time since I had seen Sum 41 in concert, and I was amazed to see how tight they were. They literally sounded exactly like they do on their records, and their sound had aged incredibly. Maybe it was because I was so young the last time I saw them, but I really appreciated it more this time around.

Deryck’s vocals were extremely on point, Cone and Steve did their thing as always, and Steve-O mastered the drums like a king. Their energy was just indescribable. They continued to soar through hits on Does This Looked Infected, including Still Waiting, which turned the energy in a whole new direction. You could feel the room shake on this one, while Deryck and Cone stood high above the crowd on speakers, bringing five lucky fans on stage to watch the entire concert from an extremely intimate view.

As the night went on, the boys took on some partial covers, including We Will Rock You and even a little Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes. Of course, their biggest hits were thrown in the mix as well, including In Too Deep and Fat Lip.

All in all, it took one show to make me realize how much this band truly rules. They deserve to have been in the business for 10 years, and I hope this anniversary tour embeds that in people’s brains. If you’re lucky enough to have this tour wreck your town, do yourself a favor and get tickets as soon as you can. It’s honestly one of the best shows I have been to in quite some time.

Long live the punk revival that is Sum 41!


By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Test your trivia! What band won “Best International Rock Act” at the LA Music Awards?

Hint: they’re Australian.

Double hint: they’re super duper talented.

Give up? It’s Monks of Mellonwah, and they’re a group worth knowing. They have a depth I can’t quite put my finger on; their charm is as decisive as it is elusive.

Such a ghostly allure is totally apparent in Neurogenesis, an EP that’s still hot from the studio. Thus far it’s been getting excellent reviews and I’m hardly surprised. This wee EP packs a punch, with four songs saturated in world-wide appeal. At the same time they dare to unsettle, drawing you in like a finely-tuned trance. The title track pulls you in, as if waking up in the middle of a dream. Neverending Spirit then showers you with a slow-going epiphany, only to have Kyoto attack you with solidity. The last piece You Shine rounds it all out, casting the credit roll on this brief but multi-layered experience.

Kyoto was the track elected as my personal favourite. It has a great underground grab and the string-plucking borders on hypnotizing.

What can I say? I’m a sucker for new talent.

With tours and a full-length album debut on the way, I don’t doubt they’re due for a spotlight. That, or they’ll keep making ripples in the darkness.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Ryan Leslie has officially announced Ups & Downs as the second single off of his top-notch rap album Les Is More, and personally, I can’t get enuff of it! Described by the Associated Press to “surely send you up,” the feel-good jam is all kinds of right!

In conjunction with the release of Les is More, Leslie has been chosen as a brand ambassador for the Sony X Headphones (#SonyX) for their “Love To Give” (#SonyLove) campaign this holiday season. Ups & Downs is featured in a video vignette for the Sony X’s, where Leslie discusses the importance of having headphones that don’t dilute the honesty of the recording. The “Love To Give” campaign celebrates the spirit of giving, and features various other artists, including country pop singer Taylor Swift and hottie photographer Nigel Barker.

The first rap album from Ryan Leslie, Les Is More, debuted at #1 on the iTunes Hip Hop Charts simultaneously in 8 countries, including the U.S., Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, and Switzerland.

Bask in the greatness that is Ryan Leslie below!

Happy Holidays, errbody!


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Meet Nikki Williams: A fresh 22-year-old South African talent who’s making a splash with her debut single Kill, F*ck, Marry.

According to the interwebs, at age 16, Nikki moved to the States and was discovered while singing to herself at the Roosevelt Hotel in L.A. Like REALLY? What are the effin’ chances, right?!

And if that isn’t enough, the icing on top of the already-scrumptious cake, is that homegirl’s debut single was written by the incredible Sia and mega-producer Stargate.

Talk about a musical fairytale!

Watch Nikki Williams’ stunning music video for Kill, F*ck, Marry below.

Lovin’ this chick!


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Is JoJo taking a break from her usual pop-perfected self? In the just-released We Get By, JoJo takes listeners on a ride that, according to producers The Backpackkids, is “genreless”. The track is the first single to drop from her forthcoming mixtape, Agápē. Which, BTdubb, is the Classical Greek word for spiritual love… Get into it!

Unlike her previous pop and r&b-tinged hits, We Get By showcases JoJo experimenting with a sound that simmers over a jagged hip hop beat.

Check it!


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Go Radio has premiered the official music video for new single Go To Hell.

The clip presents the Floridian four-piece in a story of post-breakup revenge, with a tongue-in-cheek performance on a bright yellow parade float alongside a marching band.

Featured on the band’s sophomore album Close The Distance, the song debuted at #54 on the Billboard Top 200, and is receiving rave reviews from critics:

“Go Radio have turned in the best album of their career.” –Alternative Press

In support of album’s release, the band recently kicked off the #GoToHell tour in the band’s hometown of Tallahassee, FL, and will continue their live onslaught through December.

Close The Distance is available now on iTunes and in stores.

Go Radio #GoToHell Tour Dates:

11.16 -Buffalo, NY @ Xtreme Wheels
11.17 – Gettysburg, PA @ Gettysburg College (supporting Timeflies)
11.18 – Teaneck, NJ @ Mexicali Live
11.20 – New York, NY @ The Studio at Webster Hall
11.21 – Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Loft
11.23 – Philadelphia, PA @ North Star Bar
11.24 – Canton, OH @ The Auricle
11.25 – Detroit, MI @ Shelter
11.27 – Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection
11.28 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Irving Theatre
11.29 – Joliet, IL @ Mojoes
11.30 – St. Paul, MN @ Station 4
12.1 – Iowa City, IA @ Gabe’s Oasis
12.2 – St. Louis, MO @ The Firebird
12.4 – Nashville, TN @ Rocketown

Go To Hell, y’all!


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Think I’m steel
Tough as nails
Never feel
Never fail
But you’re wrong
So damn wrong
Feel the weight
Of your hate
I still bleed
My heart aches
As you take
And You take

Words cut through my skin
Tears roll down my chin
My walls crumble within
But I’ll take it all on
And get up when I fall
Till the last curtain call

But you’ll never get the best of me
No more
Said you’ll never get the best of me
No more
Aren’t you tired of throwing stones
Trying to kick me when I’m down
But you’ll never get the best of me
No more

So you’re cold
Made of ice
Heart of stone
Born to fight
But I cry
I still cry
Are you happy
To know
I’m unhappy alone
Take your shot
I’m wide open

Words cut through my skin
Tears roll down my chin
My walls crumble within
But I’ll take it all on
And get up when I fall
Till the last curtain call
But you’ll never get the best of me
No more
Said you’ll never get the best of me
No more
Aren’t you tired of throwing stones
Trying to kick me when I’m down
But you’ll never get the best of me
No more

Heartbroken and beaten
Knocked down and mistreated
I will rise undefeated
I will not let you bring me down
Now the pain is deleted
And I will never repeat it
I will rise and defeat it
I will not let you bring me down
No I won’t let you bring me down

[Related Post: First Listen: Christina Aguilera ‐ ‘Blank Page’]


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

J. Cole is out with the lead single from his forthcoming sophomore album, Born Sinner. Entitled Miss America, the gritty track possesses lyrical fangs: “F*ck the man, Uncle Sam / I won’t sell your crack / I won’t fight your wars / I won’t wear your hat,” he bites.

Miss America presents Cole as a rap beast, fusing well played rhymes with intelligent aggression.

Born Sinner is set to drop via Roc Nation on January 28th, which also happens to be the North Carolina rapper’s birthday.

Listen to the blazing new single below.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Two things we all have in common: Everyone has a story to tell, and everyone has a wound to be healed.

A beautiful truth found in the new single from Tiffany Arbuckle Lee, better known as Plumb. Need You Now (How Many Times) showcases Plumb’s soulful vocals poured over her always sincere/always heartfelt lyrics.

Plumb’s new album, Faster Than A Bullet, will be released in early 2013.

Listen to the gorgeous new single below.


By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

What do you get when you combine the raw power of the Stooges with a modern grip and a long roll in the mud? Vulture Kult, that’s what.

(Ha! “Raw power”. Iggy Pop. I crack myself up.)

I am so happy to feature another Canadian-borne talent. This duo is juicy punk seared off the edge of rock.

Yes, the distortion in the amps and weight to the rhythm is more h-core than I usually endorse, but these guys make the extra bulk work to their advantage. They fall forward on your face, dragging picks across your cheeks and poking your eyes with free drumsticks. In that way they’re rock marinated in grunge- it’s all messy, screaming of greasy hair and exposed secrets. You can feel the sweaty grime recorded with the music. Even if they make the beats slosh about, every stain is intentional.

Don’t Let Rock n’ Roll Ruin Your Life (their second album, plucked out this year) is waiting to get stuck in your head. Anyone who ventures on the alt side of genres will likely appreciate this compilation. It reeks of classic underground influence without sacrificing the contemporary.

Get ready to pogo. (Or headbang. You choose.)


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

That is all.

[Related Post: Katy Perry Covers Bonnie Raitt]


By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Matt & Toby have released a new video for their single Life of the Party. The production and scheme is completely low-key, stripped down, and easy to appreciate. Their new self-titled album is expected to be released on November 19th.

(If you do not know who these dudes are, they played in a band called Emery for over a decade, and this is their new project.)

This song is insanely appealing and original in its own right.

Check these guys out!


By: Natalie Yarden
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

One of the best feelings in the world is listening to a song and not only enjoying the music, but also hearing the artist’s passion, knowing they put everything they could into making the track come to life.

You can definitely hear that in all of Fun’s songs.

The band was formed back in 2008, after lead singer Nate Ruess’s former band The Format split. Ruess then asked Andrew Dost (pianist) and Jack Antonoff (guitarist/drummer) to join his new indie pop rock project Fun (after previously touring with them both), and the rest as they say, is history.

Fun has released two albums: One in 2009 called Aim and Ignite, and another one which was released more recently, in February of 2012, called Some Nights. Fun has a very unique sound, with a lot of their material influenced by Queen and sounding like they just came out of a Broadway musical. Fun songs a have a mixture of gospel choirs, orchestra instruments and lyrics which tell stories upon which characters are created and emotions are strongly felt. Fun songs are very energetic yet delicate.

There are so many outstanding songs in their two albums, including the worldwide summer hit We Are Young (which, I have to confess, I first heard on an episode of Glee…). However, my two favorite songs from their collection are One Foot and At Least I’m Not As Sad (As I Used To Be). One Foot is a very playful, very young song. It’s the sort of song that makes you bob your head. It’s a very inspirational song if you actually listen to the lyrics, talking about how you need to just keep going on no matter what. At Least I’m Not as Sad (As I Used to be) is also a lighthearted, entertaining song, and my personal favorite. The melody is great and unexpected, and the lyrics are a dialog between Ruess and someone from his past.

Simply put, Fun is a great band.

I can’t wait to hear what they‘ll deliver next.

Their latest, plus one of the above-mentioned tracks below.

[Related Post: Fun Loves The Gays]