The Jewel Wicker Show

MNEK

MNEK

MNEK is known for his singing and songwriting abilities, but his newest release focuses heavily on the production.

“The Rhythm” is a dance cut, but minus the emotional lyrics that are prominent in songs like “Every Little Word” and “Wrote A Song About You.” Which is fine. We needed a break from MNEK-induced feelings anyway, right?

We still don’t have his debut album yet, but as long as MNEK keeps releasing infectious songs like this I’m willing to remain patient.

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SZA in “Julia/Tender” video

“Love will make it hard to stay sober.”

SZA must have been going through it when she wrote “Sobriety.” The new song finds the TDE singer attempting to escape relationship problems with family members and a previous lover.

As the title suggests, “Sobriety” feels almost uncomfortable in it’s unfiltered approach, but that’s all a part of it’s appeal. “Ima be fine anyway. Ima be cool. Ima keep calm,” she sings. It’s hard to believe her when she’s listing off her problems in the verses, but you get the feeling that she’s going to keep repeating the positive thoughts until they become her reality.

SZA just released her EP, Z earlier this year but “Sobriety’ has definitely raised my exceptions for her next project. Continue reading

Sony Music Entertainment Australia

Sony Music Entertainment Australia

Australian singer songwriter and X Factor Australia winner Samantha Jade released a new single last week and I don’t know how I missed it but it’s definitely something worth talking about.

The retro-inspired pop track finds Jade delivering a seemingly innocent hook about needing some sweet loving. (According to the Daily Mail, Jade has dedicated the song to her mother who passed away earlier this year.)

Vocally, the singer’s Mariah Carey influences are pretty evident in her songbird melismas (move over, Ariana Grande) and production-wise the song follows closely to the guitar licks and horn-filled productions that have been popular over the last year. With a combination like that, it’s kind of hard to hate “Sweet Talk!”

The new single is from Jade’s forthcoming sophomore album, the follow up to her 2012 self-titled debut LP.

Listen to “Sweet Talk” below and let me know if the singer has a solid track on her hands. Continue reading

Mikky Ekko in "Mourning Doves" video

Mikky Ekko in “Mourning Doves” video

Mikky Ekko has one of those voices that can break your heart (See: “Stay” and “Smile“). Even when he’s not singing about anything sad, there is an element of longing and aching to his voice that makes everything seem fragile. But, that’s rare. Ekko’s lyrics are usually drenched in misery.

“Look at how far we’ve come. Look at this mess we’ve made. I’m still hoping that the sun tears my body from this grave,” he sings in “Mourning Doves,” the latest offering from his forthcoming debut album Time.

Sung mostly in his head voice over a minimal piano-based production, “Mourning Doves” is as depressing as its title suggests.

But, it’s also good.

The scary thing about Ekko is even when he’s drowning in a pool of sorrow, his voice still manages to out pull you into the deep in with him.

Time is scheduled to be released in January. Continue reading

Moxiie in "Anyway" video

Moxiie in “Anyway” video

I first wrote about Moxiie when I posted her awesome single “Anyway” earlier this year. The New York-based indie artist is known for creating catchy synth pop, but her new offering is the best I’ve heard from her thus far.

“Jilted” features the emotional depth that “Anyway” lacks without losing the catchiness.

“Am I just somebody that you used to know, when you chose to know? That’s dangerous,” she sings in the opening verse.

The song is most effective when it sounds like Moxiie is teetering on the edge of control vocally, but the song’s catchy refrain is sure to draw you in even if you can’t relate to the singer’s nostalgic tales of a love gone wrong.

With this year’s new releases, Moxiie is quickly proving that she’s an artist to watch. Continue reading

Danity Kane in "Blow" video

Danity Kane in “Blow” video

While Danity Kane released their final album, a mediocre and likely rushed effort due to the physical altercation and eventual disbandment of the troubled group, on Tuesday (Oct. 27), former member Dawn Richard was gearing up to announce her next solo project.

Blackheart is due Jan. 15 and she has already treated fans to the first song and video from the project. “Blow” is a minimally produced track, in a similar vein of Richard’s previous solo efforts.

“They think it’s over, but we are stronger,” she sings fittingly in the new release.

Admittedly, I was a little bitter when I started off watching this. I mean, Richard is one of the reasons Danity Kane is over, but I can’t deny this girl’s talent.

Let’s hope she can pull this solo effort off. Continue reading

Jack Antonoff (of Bleachers) in "Rollercoaster" video

Jack Antonoff (of Bleachers) in “Rollercoaster” video

Bleachers’ “Rollercoaster” was easily one of my favorite summer anthems this year. The euphoric feel of the song is instantly palpable and, luckily, Jack Antonoff was able to to translate it well visually with the help of director Richard Shepard.

After a girl throws her stockings at him, Antonoff and his bandmates decided to serenade her on top of a moving ice cream truck. It may not have gone so well in real life – apparently the brakes failed and the group “almost died” – but visually it looks awesome!

The ending of the video might through you for a loop, though.

Rollercoaster is featured on Bleachers’ debut album Strange Desires. If you’re a huge fan of Taylor Swift’s “Out of the Woods,” which Antonoff co-wrote and co-produced, then you should definitely give Bleachers’ music a shot. Continue reading

FKA Twigs in "Video Girl"

FKA Twigs in “Video Girl”

FKA Twigs is known for her vivid music videos, but the new visuals for “Video Girls” features her most jarring imagery thus far.

The song is about Twigs’ career as a dancer that appeared in several music videos prior to her music career. The video is about a man receiving lethal injection.

Twigs dances around the room as the injection is administered and even climbs on top of the man in the video. Elsewhere, Travi$ Scott appear with blood dripping from his mouth.

I don’t necessarily get the meaning since she isn’t exactly killing her old self. Dancing is still a major part of who she is as an artist.

Anyway, if you don’t like the ideas of blood and death you might find it hard to enjoy this video.

Just consider this a reminder that LP1 is a pretty awesome album. Continue reading

SoundCloud

SoundCloud

I’ll admit I’ve never been a Mahomie (really can these fan names get any worse?), but this new release from Austin Mahone just might make me a believer.

The singer’s new sexy track “Places” reminds me of the R&B tracks Justin Bieber released about a year ago. Right down to the background vocal runs. The production features a simple drum pattern, piano and electric guitar melody.

Mahone is only 18, but he clearly knows how to make a good slow jam. He’s even added a few suggestive lyrics into the mix for good measure (“Got you screaming out oh-oh-oh-oh”).

Listen to “Places” and download it for free below. Continue reading

YMCMB

YMCMB

The bond between Young Money artists Drake, Nicki Minaj and their boss Lil Wayne seems stronger than ever. Sorry, Tyga.

The trio has teamed up for Nicki Minaj’s latest The Pinkprint release and the main topic is Minaj’s sex life. The rapper has always been clear on the fact that she’s all abut business and doesn’t sleep with men in the industry, but that doesn’t stop fans from wondering what’s going on between her and Drake. One minute she’s calling him her brother and the next she’s giving him a lap dance in her “Anaconda” video.

“I never f*cked Wayne, I never f*cked Drake. On my life man f*ck sake. If I did I would menage with ‘em and let them eat my ass like a cupcake.” she spits in the opening lines of “Only.”

Drake’s response?

“I never f*cked Nicki cuz she got a man, but when that’s over then I’m first in line.”

TMZ says that’s over so let the Dricki shipping begin.

With the three popular rappers and Chris Brown on the hook, this song should be received well by fans. Sonically, it’s nothing new for the YMCMB crew, but Minaj’s fans are always excited when the rapper goes back to her hip hop roots.

The Pinkprint just got a new release date. It’s scheduled for a Dec. 15 release now. Continue reading

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