The Jewel Wicker Show

RCA

RCA

Tinashe fans are having a good week. First the singer released a moody Dev Hynes-collaboration, then the extremely confusing music video for her latest single “Pretend” and now she’s placed her full-length debut album online for fans to stream ahead of it’s Oct. 7 release date.

The album features 18 tracks, including five interludes, one outro and Tinashe’s hit single “2 On.”

Will the album prove that the newcomer has what it takes to make it?

Stream the album over on iTunes Radio (here) and share your initial thoughts below!

Republic

Republic

Lorde has a lot on her plate right now. One year after the release of her critically acclaimed debut album, the young pop star is touring and curating the soundtrack for the forthcoming Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1 soundtrack, which is due out this Fall.

Today she released the first offering from the project. “Yellow Flicker Beat” is Lorde doing what Lorde does best. The track finds her singing about triumphing through the darkness over a synth-laden beat that sounds much like the productions on her debut album Pure Heroine. Nothing is novel. The humming. The anthemic chorus. We’ve heard it all before. And, it’s not bad, but it’s not a game changer, either.

Still, I can’t wait to hear what the rest of the soundtrack sounds like. I’m sure she’s tapped some amazing artists for material! Continue reading

Sam Smith's "Restart" video

Sam Smith’s “Restart” video

Sam Smith is currently touring the United States in support of his critically acclaimed debut album In The Lonely Hour.

The singer’s latest music video seems to be one song-length commercial for the tour in which he plays festivals, sings Beyonce’s “***Flawless,” eats and walks the beach with his band mates and a few familiar faces. And all while the 80-inspired In the Lonely Hour cut “Restart” plays.

If this video makes you want to head over to Ticketmaster to buy tickets, I have some bad news. The remainder of Smith’s U.S. dates are sold out. Continue reading

Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo in Maroon 5's "Animals" video

Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo in Maroon 5’s “Animals” video

Maroon 5’s “Animals” is about a relationship that is only great during sex, but the boys put an interesting spin on things for the single’s music video.

Lead singer Adam Levine plays a butcher that stalks his real-life wife Behati Prinsloo in the creepy visuals. He stands outside her window and snaps pictures of her in the pouring rain, before entering her home to get some pictures of her sleeping. He then lays beside her and fantasizes about having sex with her.

It’s insane! (And, also, shot very well.)

A remix of the song was also released today. The sexy track gets a new verse from rapper J. Cole, who raps about his former lover’s addictive qualities. “I’m addicted, one hit won’t do I need a lot of you. Overdosing, your potion has got me floating on cloud nine. Tell me what I’m supposed to do when I run out of you,” he raps.

Watch the new visuals below and check out the remix here! Continue reading

RCA

RCA

It looks like Tinashe’s debut album Aquarius is going to have something for everyone. After finding success with the party anthem “2 On” and releasing the sexy A$AP Rocky-assisted “Pretend,” the singer is moving in a moodier direction with “Bet.”

The new release features a crunchy guitar solo from Dev Hynes (aka Blood Orange), an intricate production that sounds like it would’ve fit right in on FKA Twigs’ latest album and vocals from Tinashe that bounce between airy adlibs to more poignant belts.

“Pay no mind to what the doubters all say. I’m gone be around forever, always. You can bet on it,” she sings.

Tinashe was one of many artists to perform at Centennial Park yesterday (Sunday, Sept. 28) for the last day of Outkast’s ATLast festival (Read my review of Saturday’s show here).

Aquarius will be released on Oct. 7

Update: Tinashe just released the video for “Pretend.” In the visuals, she shares a love connection with her friend (played by A$AP Rocky) despite the fact that she is in a relationship with someone else. Continue reading

Arista Nashville

Arista Nashville

While Carrie Underwood is preparing for her greatest creation thus far (a BABY), the singer is also looking back on her previous success. On December 9 she will release a compilation, Greatest Hits: Decade #1.

Today the singer debuted a new single that will also be featured on the greatest hits album. “Something in the Water” is a moving country cut about having faith in God. Underwood’s strong vocals are on full display once again, as is her gospel influence. This single features a choir, led by Underwood, covering “Amazing Grace.”

It certainly doesn’t feel like it’s been a decade since we first met this country powerhouse on American Idol, but her list of hits speaks for itself! Continue reading

RCA

RCA

Aretha Franklin is releasing an album full of covers of her favorite diva hits and today she’s delivered the first offering, a cover of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.”

She slides, growls, and vocal runs through the hit single before incorporating another hit (“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”). The old love song doesn’t necessarily make sense with Adele’s kiss-off track, but I reckon people will like it regardless. It’s Aretha Franklin, after all.

Great Diva Classics is due towards the end of October. Continue reading

Interscope

Interscope

Fergie’s back! The singer’s new single “L.A. Love (La La)” has leaked and it’s definitely a solid effort. The singer fittingly raps of the worldwide influence that California has on top of a DJ Mustard beat for her solo comeback effort. The production isn’t anything novel for the producer, who has definitely saturated the industry with his banging beats, but the single is a noteworthy return for Fergie.

It’s been eight years since Fergie released her debut solo album The Dutchess so new music is definitely overdue. If this is followed up with fun visuals and a second single with a bit more substance, I suspect people will be pretty interested in her sophomore effort. Continue reading

Ariana Grande performs on Saturday Night Live

Ariana Grande performs on Saturday Night Live

Ariana Grande made her debut on Saturday Night Live last night and she brought The Weeknd along for the ride.

For her first song, “Break Free,” Grande sported her now signature cat ears and thigh-high boots. The singer focused on singing, sitting down for the first half of the performance before joining her backup dancers for the remainder of the Zedd-produced EDM hit.

She brought out The Weekend during her second performance to perform their collaboration “Love Me Harder,” one of the standout cuts from her sophomore album My Everything.

This era’s releases and performances are definitely proving that Grande is a mainstay in pop music. Continue reading

Outkast |Rival

Outkast |Rival

When Outkast performed at Counterpoint in Rome, GA they were only three dates into their festival run. They delivered a solid set to the crowd of fans, many of which had traveled from their hometown, Atlanta, to see the duo. No doubt some of the 60,000 fans that bought tickets to see Outkast during this weekend’s (Sept. 26-28) three day ATLast festival in downtown Atlanta had already seen them at Counterpoint or elsewhere. I was one of them.

Perhaps it was the way the city embraced the hometown legends – with parties all week and nonstop Outkast mixes on the radio – but Big Boi and Andre 3000 were way better than they were at Counterpoint. With months of touring now under their belts the reunited hip hop duo was more comfortable being on stage together again and interacting with the audience. It didn’t feel like a rigid set. It felt like they were having fun and their energy was infectious. Continue reading

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