The Jewel Wicker Show

Dumblonde in "white lightening" video

Dumblonde in “white lightening” video

The silver lining in Danity Kane breaking up (if there is one) is that the three final members are all still making music.

Dawn Richard (or D∆WN) is preparing to release a new EP, RedemptionHeart, and Aubry O’Day and Shannon Bex are preparing to do the same.

Whereas Richard is already an established solo artist, O’Day and Bex are introducing the world to a new group and sound.

The ladies have become a duo under the moniker Dumblonde. According to a press release from a few months ago, the duo is striving to make “independent alternative dance/pop.”

Their debut song “white lightening” certainly falls into that category. Unfortunately, it also gets swallowed into the generic sound of it, making for a pretty bland debut.

The electronic production is predictable and the ladies’ vocals and lyrics lack any memorable moments. But that hasn’t stopped it from reaching no. 6 on the iTunes’ Dance chart.

The duo is scheduled to release their self-titled debut album on Sept. 25, meaning there is plenty of time for me to be sold on this new sound. Continue reading

Carly Rae Jepsen in "Run Away with Me" video

Carly Rae Jepsen in “Run Away with Me” video

…but it probably won’t be.

Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen released the music video for the second single off her new album E.mo.tion today, which excited me because the new single is really good.

It’s obvious Jepesn’s team is trying to push “Run Away with Me” ahead of the album’s U.S. release date (August 21) in order to spark some interest for the project.

The video is pretty standard, though. Jepsen runs around various cities twirling around gleefully and doing karaoke with friends in the footage.

As far as the single goes, it’s amazing. The horn refrain. The suggestive chorus (“Baby, take me to the feeling. I’ll be your sinner and secret when the lights go out. Run away with me.”). The catchy chorus. It’s everything you expect from a Carly Rae Jepsen single.

The unfortunate thing is the album has been out overseas for weeks now, meaning anyone who really wanted to hear the album probably already has.

Still, the cards may not be stacked in her favor but I will remain team #JusticeforCarlyRaeJepsen. Continue reading

Shawn Mendes (Instagram)

Shawn Mendes (Instagram)

“And now that I’m without your kisses, I’ll be needed stitches.”

I know that 16-year old Shawn Mendes was not writing for my age group when he wrote it, but “Stitches” is my guilty pleasure and there have been moments where I’ve shouted those lyrics and I refuse to be ashamed.

If you’re not familiar with Mendes, he’s one of the opening acts on Taylor Swift’s current 1989 tour. He got his start on vine before releasing his debut album Handwritten earlier this year.

The Canadian star hasn’t snagged a hit big enough to become the next Bieber, yet, but I’m still pretty intrigued by him.

Songs such as “Something Big” and “Life of the Party” are very catchy, but “Stitches” is his best single yet.

It’s dramatic enough for teenage girls everywhere to be able to relate to it (“needle in the thread, gotta get you out of my head. needle in the thread, going to wind up dead.) and melodic enough that it will get stuck in everyone else’s heads and they, too, will become fans.

Mendes performed the single on Live With Kelly & Michael this morning, adding to my hope that this song will gain some attention and turn into a huge hit.

The performance was a bit shaky and not as good as the studio version, but Mendes is playing a guitar and that’s enough to make young girls swoon.

Something big, I feel it happening… Continue reading

Sevyn Streeter in “B.A.N.S.” video

Sevyn Streeter in “B.A.N.S.” video

Sevyn Streeter and B.o.B have been taking over Instagram on Mondays and Wednesdays for a few months now.

Now they’re taking their Man Crush Monday and Woman Crush Wednesday posts to YouTube.

Streeter tapped her boyfriend for her new song “Should Been There” and uses her social media posts for the lyric video.

The video follows the singer’s social media posts as she breaks up with her ex who isn’t treating her right and gets with Bobby Ray. In between there is a very cute scene of the two rehearsing the song together.

The song itself is one of the weaker offerings lyrically from Streeter, but it’s a great choice if you’re looking for something to listen to when you’re headed out with your friends after a fight with your significant other.

Just don’t watch the lyric video or you’ll be #salty.

This isn’t the first time Streeter and B.o.B have worked together. They remade K.P. and Envyi’s “Shorty Swing My Way” in 2014.

Streeter still hasn’t revealed a release date for her debut album, but she will release a new project, Shoulda Been There Pt. 1, this Friday, July 17.

(In case you missed it, new music is released globally on Fridays now.)

Shoulda Been There Pt. 1 will feature 13 tracks, including the Chris Brown-assisted single “Don’t Kill the Fun.” Continue reading

OVO Sound/Warner Bros. Records Inc

OVO Sound/Warner Bros. Records Inc

“All the things that I put a hold on just for you to hit me with a hold on.”

Majid Jordan dropped a new single a few days ago and it’s proof that Drake was smart in snatching them up and signing them to OVO.

Drake premiered the new single, “My Love,” last week during an interview with Zane Lowe on Beats 1, according to Billboard, because he’s team Apple Music and the streaming war for exclusive content rages on.

Sonically the simple production makes way for the duo and Drake’s verses that are brimming with questions, regret and a smidgen of resentment.

“I’m not your trophy baby I won’t let you show me off or shine me up or line me up,” Drake sings at one point during the song.

It will be tempting to subtweet the lyrics of “My Love” at your unofficial boo, but you must resist.

You may remember Majid Jordan from Drake’s hit song “Hold On, We’re Going Home.” Back then people assumed the duo was one person. Since them they have release an awesome EP, A Place Like This, to cement their sound and place on the OVO roster. The 2014 project featured songs such as “Forever,” “Her” and “A Place Like This.” Continue reading

Karmin in “Sugar” video

Karmin in “Sugar” video

Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have Me” is the very definition of #Boss.

The menacing pop cut finds Rihanna talking her sh*t in a way that is completely expected, without feeling old, and the video takes the lyrics to an entirely different level. (There really is a kidnapped wife in the backseat of her foreign car, oh my God.)

Karmin’s new cover of the single is equally as badass, but in a different way.

The group turns the chant-worthy title into a melodic hook and takes on RihRih’s verses over a bass guitar.

Over the past few years it has become apparent that Karmin is still trying to find their lane in the pop world, but I like this new sound. A lot. It’s the same nostalgic feel they went for with “Sugar” last year and it totally works.

I only they could capture everyone’s attention and make them believe they’re worth all of the hype again. Continue reading

Alessia Cara covers Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood"

Alessia Cara covers Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood”

“Bad Blood” is one of my least favorite Taylor Swift songs. I’ve said it since 1989 was released and I still feel that way even though the song has become a single.

For me, its only saving grace is the appearance of Kendrick Lamar on the single version. Kendrick makes everything better.

Newcomer Alessia Cara took on the hit single for BBC Radio 1 and she stuck to the single version instead of the album version, meaning she mostly sung Kendrick Lamar’s verses and the hook. It’s not hard to rap along to King Kendrick’s verses, but Cara did it with ease. And all while adding her own style to it.

I’m not ashamed to say I like this cover better than Swift’s original version.

The 18-year-old’s flow and the way she sings the chorus are so awesome that the cover garnered attention from Swift.

And, thus, Taylor Swift made the day of yet another teenager.

Also, if you’re wondering, Cara’s original material is awesome, too. Her song “Here” is all about being socially awkward at a party and it’s something I’m sure a lot of introverts can relate to.

School Boy/Interscope Records

School Boy/Interscope Records

These past few weeks have been hard for me.

Ever since I realized 2015 would not be the year that Carly Rae Jepsen finally received the justice she deserves, I’ve just felt numb. What is there to love about a world that doesn’t recognize that her 80s-inspried pop music is some of the best of it’s kind in recent years?

Anyway, there’s a new Bleachers remix of “I Really Like You.” It sounds just like a Bleachers remix should.

Heavy on the percussion.

MORE SYNTHS.

And all without taking away from that infectiously repetitive chorus.

It’s good stuff, indeed.

It won’t do anything to help with album sales, though, since the album is already in Japan (and, thus, has already leaked globally), but doesn’t come out in America until August 21.

It’s very typical of Jack Antonoff to provide hope where there is none. It’s like a requirement for all fun. band members, I think. (Assuming fun. will continue to be a thing in the future. OMG. What if it doesn’t?!) Continue reading

Facebook

Facebook

There has never been a time in the history of this blog that I have not blogged for over a month. Until now.

For a little over half a year now I have been struggling to figure out the identity of my blog now that I am an entertainment reporter for another publication and cannot write about all of the same artists I usually write about. As a result, I’ve struggled to stay motivated.

I’m still not sure what shape my blog will take while I’m at my current job, but I’m determined to figure it out. I’m much happier when I’m writing about music.

Anyway, I’m returning with a song that is something you should to listen if you’re going through a breakup.

Ann-Marie’s “Stole” is a striking tale about a failing relationship that will probably stop you in your tracks.

“A shadow’s laying where you should. So tell me where you’ve gone with my heart,” she sings in the song’s hook.

Ann-Marie’s voice contains a hint of raspiness that gives her vocals a bit of edge over the steady percussion. The instrumental is simple, as are the lyrics. It’s her voice that ties it all together with a passion that is heartbreaking.

The British artist currently sings with popular English band Rudimental.

Listen to the song and share your thoughts below. Continue reading

Epic

Epic

In case you forgot, Tamar Braxton doesn’t just host the talk show The Real. Braxton has unveiled her new single to remind you that she has vocals for days ahead of her new album Calling All Lovers (July 31).

“If I Don’t Have You” is a refreshing R&B cut about being hopelessly in love. The soulful cut, produced by Da Internz, definitely centers around Braxton’s vocal prowess.

“If I don’t have you, cuts me to the core, I can’t love no more,” she sings, delivering heartfelt ad libs over background harmonies.

SHE.DID.THAT.

Get every bit of your life below.

(In case you missed it: Braxton released a video for the Aaliyah-sampling “Let Me Know” last year.) Continue reading

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