Posts Tagged ‘Acoustic’


By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

One of my most recent favorite indie finds, Atlas Genius, have finally released their full-length debut record, When It Was Now. The band wrote, recorded and produced the album independently at a studio they built in their hometown of Adelaide, Australia. It’s mixed by Michael Brauer of Electric Lady Studios in New York City. These guys are incredible. You may recognize them from their popular radio smash, Trojans, which picked up national attention last year.

Currently, the band’s on the road with another indie rock gem, Imagine Dragons, and will also be playing South By Southwest in March.

Their latest single, Symptoms, was released on iTunes for free this week. I personally downloaded the whole album, and love every last second of it.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Every now and again, an artist pops up from out of nowhere and creeps into your headphones. That’s exactly the case in my experience with Olivia Sebastianelli. An obvious talent upon first listen, the song and video you’re about to witness is alluring and comforting, yet haunting and unsettling all at the same time.

This isn’t music fluff. This is the makings of a true artist.

When asked to describe her sound, her reply was just as unconventional: “I keep describing it as a cross between Fleetwood Mac and Foo Fighters, which everybody gets really confused about. It’s the melodies of Fleetwood Mac, and the way they construct their harmonies — everything’s so tight — with the punk and anger of Foo Fighters. That kind of vibe.”

There ya go… Whatever it is, it’s working.

Olivia is certainly an artist to watch in 2013.

Video for Rose of Stone below.



By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Meet Matt Hires. He’s a master of the acoustic guitar, heart-thumping beats, and bombarding vocals. His single Restless Heart is a great preview of what a talented singer/songwriter he truly is. This Florida native is bound to be on your radar this year, for his insistent style and youthful energy is inescapable.

Regarding Restless Heart, I would be willing to bet that your reaction is going to be something along the lines of: “This song is amazing.”

‘Cause it is.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Sometimes, wasting our lives by watching reality TV can have its payoffs. Ya know, when you discover a fresh, new artist playing in the background as something dramatic happens on the screen. That’s exactly the story behind Midian’s Bitter, which had people buzzing after it was used on VH1’s Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.

Her massive and soulful voice may remind you of Etta James, Adele, or even Christina Aguilera. On first listen, I actually thought it was Adele singing, but then realized Midian’s voice paints a different shade as she pouts the lovesick blues.

Regardless, the sound stings and leaves a mark behind.

Bitter is one of five tracks on Midian’s debut, self-titled EP, which was released earlier this month.

Bask in the bittersweet glory of the live version of Bitter below.



By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

And I’m officially disturbed!

So I don’t keep up with all the stupid teeny-bopper nonsense in the world, so I’m a little late to this perhaps, but I just found out that Justin Bieber’s fans call his, um, wing wang, Jerry. Yup! As in your friend’s dad. Or the guy sitting next to you at Starbucks. Or that dude from Parks & Recreation.

Funny, because it’s absolutely ridiculous. Depressing, because I have no faith left in the human race. JK, you guys!

See Jerry in action below! The little fella’s got some moves, huh?

Wait a second. What the hell am I talking about?!

Is it Friday yet?

To redeem myself/make up for the stupidity of this post, check out the incredible Biebs cover by VanLadyLove below. Love!


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Hear me out on this one:

I’m back in New York with this sitting on my mantle and I feel compelled to share the story behind it.

I bought this handmade piece yesterday at the Abingdon Flea Market in Abingdon, Virginia (near my hometown of Richlands, VA). The minute I saw it, I was drawn to it. It stirred something in me. As a writer, I found it poetic and layered. As a person, one who often goes against the grain of society, I related to it.

“I’m a piece of forbidden fruit,” I thought to myself and laughed. Rough around the edges, abnormal, wild and full of life. I may not fit in or ever feel like I truly belong back home, but in my forbiddenness and rebellion, I think I’ve allowed myself the freedom to create something sweet (jam!) out of my ever-so-imperfect life.

The first time I saw it, I passed it up. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so as we were heading for the car (after looking through the entire warehouse), I went back to grab it. And when I did, this lovely country woman (who made it; Anne Wampler of Fire Light Candles to be exact) strikes up a conversation: “I noticed you when you first walked in. How tall are you, sweetie?” I answered. She then asked where I’m from, and I replied: “I’m originally from these parts. I’m visiting family for the holidays, but I now live in New York. Believe it or not.”

She instantly lit up. She then opened up to me about her 13-year-old son, who just came out of the closet and how she worries about him constantly because he gets bullied quite a bit at school. She said he had dreams of visiting New York one day because he loves musical theatre.

I immediately knew that I was meant to meet this woman.

She asked if she could give him my info because she knew I had been in the same situation years ago. I obliged. I told her if he ever needs to talk to someone he can always reach out to me. She was thrilled.

Going back home may be like crawling into an old wound for me, but it’s a place that is forever a part of me. And I’m grateful for the people there who embrace me with open arms.

Whenever I look at this, I will think of this kid and pray that people are kind to him.

My mom always tells me: “Rob, you can’t save the world.” And man, have I learned how true that is. But if I can save just one person, if I can make their life have meaning and hope, I think that’s all that really matters.

So blessed for the people God has brought into my life over the past few months, and so excited for another year of unexpected encounters.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

It’s been a while
I’m not who I was before
You look surprised
Your words don’t burn me anymore
Been meanin’ to tell ya
But I guess it’s clear to see
Don’t be mad
It’s just a brand new kinda me
Can’t be bad
I found a brand new kinda free

Careful with your ego
He’s the one that we should blame
Had to grab my heart back
God knows something had to change
I thought that you’d be happy
I found the one thing I need
Why you mad?
It’s just a brand new kinda me

It took a long long time to get here
It took a brave, brave girl to try
It took one too many excuses
One too many lies
Don’t be surprised, don’t be surprised

If I talk a little louder
If I speak up when you’re wrong
If I walk a little taller
I’ve been under you too long
If you notice that I’m different
Don’t take it personally
Don’t be mad
It’s just a brand new kinda me
That ain’t bad
I found a brand new kinda free

It took a long, long road to get here
It took a brave, brave girl to try
I’ve taken one too many excuses
One to many lies
Don’t be surprised, oh, said, you look surprised

Hey, if you were a friend
You’d wanna get to know me again
If you were worth the while
You’d be happy to see me smile
I’m not expecting sorry
I’m too busy finding myself
I got this
I found me, I found me

I don’t need your opinion
I’m not waiting for your okay
I’ll never be perfect,
But at least now I’m brave
I know my heart is open
I can finally breathe
Don’t be mad
It’s just a brand new kinda free
That ain’t bad
I found a brand new kinda me
Don’t be mad
It’s just a brand new time for me

[Related Post: Alicia Keys Debuts ‘Brand New Me’]


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I must give props to Mike Posner, who has created a touching tribute in response to the 26 victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Entitled Heaven, the new acoustic track is simply Posner’s way of giving, trying to make sense of, and hoping to lift those affected by Friday’s tragedy.

In his dedication, the Detroit native wrote: “Hey guys… I wanted to do SOMETHING for the victims’ families and I didn’t really know what else to do. Writing songs is pretty much the only thing I’m any good at, so I hope you’ll share this as you see fit.”

What a sweet song and gesture! Kudos, Mike!

Listen to Heaven in full below.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

She can’t tell me that all of the love songs have been written,
‘Cause she’s never been in love with you before.

Your skin smells lovely like sandalwood.
Your hair falls soft like animals.
I’m tryin’ to keep cool, but everyone here likes you.

I want to kiss the back of your neck,
The top of your spine where your hair hits, and gnaw on your fingertips and fall asleep,
I’ll talk you to sleep.

But I’ll be the one, I will have chosen.

I’m tryin’ to keep cool, but everyone here likes you, I’m not the only one.

Your skin smells lovely like sandalwood.
You hair falls soft like animals,
And nothing else matters to me.

She can’t tell me that all of the love songs have been written,
‘Cause she’s never been in love with you before.

Your hand,
So hot,
Burns a hole in
My hand.
I wanted to show you.

[Click HERE for more Lisa Loeb beautifulness.]


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: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

^BiggerThanBeyonce.Com sticker graffiti! Love it!

“Sia and I have done amazing collaborations together. She worked with me on the movie soundtrack ‘Burlesque’, which we got a Golden Globe nomination for. We also did a lot of work on my ‘Bionic’ record that was very sentimental and very intimate and vulnerable feeling, and that’s what I love about working with her. It’s a very natural process and we wrote a beautiful song together called ‘Blank Page’. A lot of people that hear the record say ‘That’s my favorite song on the whole record’. It’s one of those songs that I think everyone can connect to on a certain level.”


Experience the epicsauce below.

Cannot wait for Lotus!

[Related Post: Dirrty Aguilera Re-Emerges In New ‘Your Body’ Clip]


By: Natalie Yarden
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Very few vocals are literally heartwarming, but Israeli-born Asaf Avidan’s voice truly is. Every time I hear him sing, I immediately smile. A lot of people say that his voice is the male equivalent to Janis Joplin’s legendary pipes.

So far, Asaf Avidan has released four albums and has one on the way. Despite being based in Israel, Avidan sings only in English, because according to himself, he sounds better in English than he does in Hebrew.

The album that first got him noticed was The Reckoning, in which he collaborated with (now previous) bandmates called “The Mojos”. The album is a blend of folk, blues and rock, and was a success back in Israel, gaining Asaf some international respect. The group later went on to release the albums Poor Boy/Lucky Man (which included their hit song Small Change Girl) and Through the Gale, both just as successful as their debut. As the years went by, Asaf Avidan and the Mojos gained more and more international success and respect.

Avidan sings with such soul and power, which is very rare nowadays. His self-written lyrics are about love, heartbreak, life and death. He is great both recorded and live, so much so that it’s often hard to tell the difference.

Asaf is now set to release his solo album, Different Pulses, in 2013.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Over the weekend, at the iTunes Festival in London, Alicia Keys debuted a blazing new track from her forthcoming Girl on Fire LP, entitled Brand New Me. The somber track, which Alicia introduced as “my biography”, is the Alicia I love to pieces, the Alicia that understands what it’s like to be shattered.

Diving into some heartfelt/personal lyrics, she sings: “I don’t need your opinion, I’m not waiting for your okay/ I’ll never be perfect, but at least now I’m brave/ Now my heart is open, and I can finally breathe/ Don’t be mad, it’s just a brand new kinda free/ That ain’t bad — I found a brand new kinda me.”

Listen to the beautiful track below.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Ok, you guys. Confession time. I’ve been on the Hanson bandwagon since their MMMBop days and I’ve never quite fallen off. If that somehow makes me not as cool now, I really don’t give a rat’s ass. These guys are incredibly talented, writing and constructing pitch perfect pop songs with more hooks than a Bass Pro store. (See what I did there?)

And personally, I can’t get enough!

The boys recently paid a visit to Australian drive radio show Fifi and Jules, where they tackled Taylor Swift’s We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, reminding the world of their awesomeness.

Check out the acoustic makeover of the song below.

[Related Post: The Vaccines Take On Taylor Swift]

[Related Post: Hanson Realness]


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

What can I say? I have a thing for underground artists. Literally!

Besides the fact that this singer is fabulous, there’s just something about this particular song being belted underneath the City of Dreams, that leaves a smile upon the heart. So damn authentic! Nothing but pure, honest emotion.

I’m completely head over heels in love with New York.

So proud to call this beautiful city home.

***I shot this on my iPhone, so excuse the quality.

***Update: “Like” Silvia Jhony (the subway performer above) on Facebook.

And in case you missed it, check out my feature + interview with the incredible subway artist, Freddy Marx Street, HERE.

***UPDATE: The singer in the above video can be