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Popsessed! Listen to New Karmin Single 'I Want It All' [Review]


Karmin makes a sonic one-eighty on their fantastic new single, entitled "I Want It All," that is a glowing, disco-pop stomper that puts the duo back in pole position for success in 2014. The retro-styled and feel-good "I Want It All" follows the flaming pop outing " Acapella" that was built around a compelling sonic concept but failed to impress the charts. Don't be alarmed though. Karmin's Amy and Nick are a talented and hyper-musical bunch who always have a few more surprises on their sleeves to prove the naysayers wrong. Inspired by the recent resurgence of disco, they crafted a triumphant pop tune that is ruled by a breezy disco groove, peppy horns and Amy's soaring pop vocals. Reports are that "I Want It All" will be released sometime in January that will be followed by a full album release later next year. 

December 12, 2013 | Permalink

Midnight Red Releases New EP, Unveils Three Brand-New Songs [Review]


Frequent readers of this blog know that I've championed Midnight Red ever since the group dropped their debut single "One Club At A Time" back in 2011. There are a few reasons for my support of the group. First of all, Midnight Red delivers finely-tuned, perfectly-crafted pop music that has the potential to reach people far and wide. Second of all, Midnight Red are a fresh (and very worthy) addition to the boyband scene by combining strong pop vocals with airtight choreography that warrants their reputation as America's one and only boyband.

In recent months, the group has been on a whirlwind tour zig-zagging all over the country to promote their single "Take Me Home" that is taken from their self-titled EP that was released this week. To the uninitiated, the group is the teaming of Joey Diggs Jr., Thomas Augusto, Anthony Ladao, Colton Rudloff and Eric Secharia who all bring their own skill, focus and unique sensibilities to the group. The five got together back in 2009 through the efforts of superstar hitmaker RedOne (Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Havana Brown). RedOne signed the group to his 2101 Records imprint that is distributed by Universal Music Group's Capitol Records. 

Midnight Red's new 5-track EP kicks off with the group's summer pop rager "Take Me Home" and Wildboyz's fiery remake of that song. The collection then changes gears and introduces listeners to three brand-new tracks that fit the group's developing brand of pop perfectly. "Miss Firestarter" is a gentle, instantly hooky pop confection that is followed by the equally infectious  "Where Did You Go" that has hit, hit, hit written all over with its summery pop sensibilities. The EP concludes with "Nothing Lasts Forever," a moving ballad that shows off the group's slick vocal harmonies and will have you swooning, swaying and singing along the moment the needle drops. Guaranteed. Midnight Red serves up perfectly crafted and totally fun pop that is destined for the top of the charts.

December 12, 2013 | Permalink

Neon Jungle Unleashes Video for Massive New Single 'Braveheart' [Review]


The ladies of Neon Jungle put girl power firmly back on the map with their new single "Braveheart" that they performed tonight at the CBS telecast of the Victoria Secret Fashion Show in New Yotk. In conjunction with this major look and debut performance on American TV, the freshly-formed British girl group unleashed the stylish video for "Braveheart" that puts them in pole position for chart success on both sides of the Atlantic.

After sending shockwaves through the pop scene with their debut single "Trouble," Neon Jungle takes their potent brand of girl pop to a whole new level of excellence with this new effort. "Braveheart" sounds like a massive hit waiting to happen that combines an intensely soaring pre-chorus with a gigantic pop chorus that is ruled by a hard-driving, electro-edged production that is courtesy of production outfit More Mega (who previously co-produced Havana Brown's "We Run The Night"). It's pop-rave stomper of the most flaming kind. It's bold, loud and legitimately massive.

The premise of the song is simple and to the point. "['Braveheart'] is about letting go and having a good time. I experience a lot of different emotions performing and listening to the song. Having it loud pumping through speakers it's just like a rave every time it plays."

The video for "Braveheart" perfectly captures the energy of the song. Drenched in bright hues of red and green (that looks like a Beats by Dr. Dre commercial), Jess, Asami, Amira and Shereen step out in the lime light to show their individual personalities while performing the song together as a solid union. The four turn it up to spark a massive dance party that will have you waving your palms to the sky the moment the chorus it hits. 

December 10, 2013 | Permalink

Hot New Talent Alert: Listen to Broods 'Bridges' [Review]


While Lorde is topping the charts around the world, there's another exciting new act from New Zealand that is rapidly emerging and making waves on this side of the Pacific. Meet Broods, the brother-sister duo of Georgia and Caleb Nott who hail from Nelson, New Zealand and are now based in Auckland. It's been whirlwind year for the two who independently released their debut single "Bridges" earlier this year that set of a heated bidding war to sign the group. They ended up signing this week with Capitol Records in the U.S. and Polydor Records in the U.K. 

Georgia and Caleb started playing together around the age of ten when they entered a talent contest in middle school to perform "Big Yellow Taxi" together. More recently, they decided to continue playing together after first being part of (the now defunct) Peasants. The group started spending time with Joel Little in the studio late last year while he was also working on Lorde's GRAMMY nominated Pure Heroine

One of the first songs Broods and Little finished up is the stirring "Bridges" that is ruled by a precious pop melody, atmospheric production stylings and Georgia's soaring vocals. The song tells a powerful tale about letting go of love with poignant lyrics like, "If any word that I said/Could have made you forget/I'd have given you them all/And we're burning all the bridges down/Because it was sink or swim all the way down, down, down." Look for Broods' debut EP in January. Fans of Lorde, CHVRCHES, Ellie Goulding and Kate Boy will be in for a treat. (Download a free MP3 of Broods 'Bridges' here.)

December 9, 2013 | Permalink

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' 'Same Love' Featured in U.N. LGBT Rights Campaign

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis backstage at the GRAMMY Nominations on Friday (credit: Arjan Writes)

Today, Free & Equal, the United Nations campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, released "A History of LGBT RIghts at the UN," a short infographic video telling the story of LGBT rights at the UN in advance of International Human Rights Day, 10 December.  This year’s Human Rights Day marks the 65th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly in 1948.

The video includes the instrumental version of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' GRAMMY-nominated hit song "Same Love," which was generously donated by the artists who also serve as Free & Equal equality champions. The Seattle hip hop received a total of seven GRAMMY nominations on Friday including nods for Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Best New Artist and Best Rap Song.

The U.N. video will be screened at United Nations Headquarters in New York tomorrow at a Human Rights Day event with speakers including tennis legend Martina Navratilova, NBA star Jason Collins, MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay and human rights activists from Russia, South Africa and the USA. 

"The history of human rights at the United Nations is as old as the institution itself,” said Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the UN.  "Today we remember where we came from and redouble our efforts to create a world in which no one is discriminated against because of who they are or whom they love."

On 10 December, 1948, The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."

The Free & Equal campaign aims to raise awareness of homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination, and encourage greater respect for the rights of LGBT people everywhere.  The campaign was launched by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in Cape Town, South Africa on 27 July 2013 at an event featuring Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, and South Africa Constitutional Court Justice Edwin Cameron.

December 9, 2013 | Permalink