The Jewel Wicker Show

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

D∆WN in "Titans/James Dean" video

D∆WN in “Titans/James Dean” video

Dawn Richard has dropped her last name and is now going by D∆WN.

Her first release under the name change is the music video for a new song, “James Dean,” ahead of her forthcoming EP RedemptionHeart. The visuals actually include two parts, the first being for a Blackheart interlude titled “Titans.”

I’m always amazed by D∆WN’s videos and what she manages to display on a seemingly small budget. Her visuals usually take place on one set with minimal props. This time the credit for making the singer’s project visually appealing is Monty Marsh. In the new release, D∆WN can be seen dancing alone and with two male dancers as her hair blows. There’s a fog machine and mood lighting for added effect.

As for how the new song sounds, the signer’s vocal delivery sounds a lot like Frank Ocean’s on the second half of “Pyramids” and the lyrical content is isn’t anything novel (“He said love don’t really matter, you can just be my Marilyn.”).

The visuals are definitely the draw here. Which is fine, because they’re pretty stunning. Continue reading

Capitol Records & Schoolboy Records

Capitol Records & Schoolboy Records

Tori Kelly’s Max Martin-produced single “Nobody Love” ended up being the perfect mainstream introduction for the YouTube singer and now she is ready to follow it up with another solid release.

Following the release of the title track “Unbreakable Smile,” Kelly has unveiled the lyric video for the album’s second single “Should’ve Been Us.”

“Should’ve been a fire, should’ve been a perfect storm,” Kelly sings on the made-for-radio track. She sounds amazing despite the fact that the lyrics are incredibly reductive compared to the songs on her EPs.

The lyric video for the single follows a woman as she meets up with a love interest and displays their tumultuous relationship through dance. The catch? We never see above the couple’s torsos.

“Nobody Love” wasn’t a top 40 hit, but it did what it needed to do in getting Kelly’s name out and getting her on major stages such as the one at the Billboard Music Awards.

Let’s just hope she can capitalize off of that now. (With Scooter Braun at the wheel, I’m not too concerned.)

Unbreakable Smile will be released on June 23. Continue reading

Chuck Willis

Chuck Willis

I haven’t loved Joy Williams’ new solo material so far.

Maybe it’s because I’m craving the dynamics that The Civil Wars had sonically.

Since the group broke up, Joy Williams has been pretty vocal about her attempt to speak to John Paul White, her former bandmate, while White has failed to even utter her name during a Grammy acceptance speech. It’s bizarre. Dramatic, even.

It’s odd enough to make you wonder what went wrong and caused such a deep riff in a duo that once had such palpable chemistry.

Williams addresses the split without going into much details in the recently released “What A Good Woman Does”

“Hear me, I haven’t lost my voice without you near me. I could tell the truth about you leaving, but that’s not what a good woman does,” she sings during the piano ballad.

William’s soft vocals shine over the sparse production as she delivers lyrics that are simply heartbreaking.

We still don’t know exactly what happened to the duo, but it’s clear the scars from the fallout still haven’t healed.

Williams is scheduled to release her solo album, Venus on June 30.

Listen to “What A Good Woman Does” and share your thoughts below. Continue reading

TITLE 9 / PRIMARY WAVE / BMG

TITLE 9 / PRIMARY WAVE / BMG

Melanie Fiona is back and her new single will probably be on repeat through summer.

“Bite the Bullet” features the sharp lyrics we’ve come to expect from Fiona, over live horns and a Caribbean-influenced production.

“I remember when you said you loved me, three little words that burned into my soul. Maybe you didn’t mean those things you told me. Maybe you really didn’t mean those words at all,” she sings before the infectious chorus comes in.

Comparing the love from an unfaithful lover to a loaded gun, Fiona keeps in touch with her core audience. Her fans want to hear tales of heartbreak and resilience from her and that’s exactly what she’s delivered with this new single.

You’ll want to listen to it more than once for sure. The song is now available on iTunes.

Fiona released her third studio album The MF Life in 2012.  Continue reading

Bebe Rexha in "I'm Gonna Show You Crazy" video

Bebe Rexha in “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy” video

If you have $4.65 to spare, you should head over to iTunes and purchase Bebe Rexha’s debut EP I Don’t Wanna Grow Up.

The singer, who gained noteriety for singing on Cash Cash’s electronic smash hit “Take Me Home,” has been working on releasing a new project for quite some time now, and it was definitely worth the wait. The five-song EP features the catchy melodies and vivid lyrics we’ve come to expect from the newcomer. Rexha displays the type of lyrical vulnerability and honesty we’ve come to expect from singer/songwriters such as Tove Lo and it is certainly refreshing.

The EP’s title track is more subdued than we’re used to from Rexha, production wise. “Nothing makes me feel like you do,” she coos on the hook, showing off her beautiful head voice. And, the refrain on “Pray” will be stuck in your head for days. Guaranteed. Then, of course there are the emotionally-charged pop singles “I Can’t Stop Drinking About You” and “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy.”

If you’re still not convinced it’s worth purchasing, you can head below to stream the project in it’s entirety.

Sidenote: I didn’t realize Rexha co-wrote Tinashe’s “All Hands On Deck” until Jon Ali pointed it out! The singer/songwriter previously co-wrote Eminem and Rihanna’s “The Monster.” Continue reading

Digital Teddy Ltd.

Digital Teddy Ltd.

MNEK combined Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” with B-52’s’ “Love Shack” earlier this year and it is still in heavy rotation in my home and car. Over the past year or so the singer/songwriter/producer has proven he has a talent for combining popular songs that you may not have thought would go well together and turning them in electronic monsters.

This time he’s chosen to “refix” Cher’s “Believe” and Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do.” It’s unexpectedly awesome in all of the best ways. And, even with all of the production surrounding his voice, his vocals still manages to stand out.

This “refix” doesn’t have anything on the “A Thousand Miles” or “Never Leave You” (Lumidee) “refixes,” but it’s still pretty good.

MNEK recently released an EP titled Small Talk, which featured songs such as “Every Little Word,” “The Rhythm” and “Wrote A Song About You.” It was nice, but since fans had already heard many of those songs, I think it’s safe to say we’re already itching for new material. Continue reading

Tori Kelly in "Unbreakable Smile" video

Tori Kelly in “Unbreakable Smile” video

Tori Kelly‘s “Nobody Love” is pretty good as far as pop music goes. The feel-good Max Martin-produced track was a great way to introduce the YouTube star to a more mainstream audience. But, if you’ve been a fan of Kelly’s for a while, the single may have left you worrying about the singer’s future sound.

It’s not uncommon for singer’s to abandon their stripped-down, soulful sound the minute they find fame, but the title track for Kelly’s debut album Unbreakable Smile finds the singer promising not to sell out.

Not only is the song more aligned sonically with Kelly’s EPs, such as Forward, but the song also finds the singer promising she won’t be taking off her clothes (“God made me sexy I don’t care if only I know”) or making tabloid headlines any time soon (“I’d rather make them yawn than be a pawn on your chess board”).

Unbreakable Smile is scheduled for a June 23 release. Continue reading

Fueled by Ramen

Fueled by Ramen

I’ve been skeptical of Nate Ruess’ solo album ever since he announced it, mostly because I’m a selfish fun. fan and I worry about what his solo success and the success of Jack Antonoff’s side project Bleachers could mean for the band’s future.

Ruess has released a buzz track from his forthcoming album Grand Romantic. “AhHa” is a raucous cut that takes a nod lyrically from fun.’s “Some Nights” (“It’s for the best you didn’t listen. It’s for the best we get our distance.”), because this whole solo project isn’t confusing and emotional enough.

The song is as rambunctious and self-deprecating as anything you’d expect from Ruess, so his fans will certainly love it.

Grand Romantic is scheduled to be released on June 16. Continue reading

Bebe Rexha in "I'm Gonna Show You Crazy" music video

Bebe Rexha in “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy” music video

Bebe Rexha‘s “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy” has one of my favorite messages from the pop songs that have been released this year.

The song finds Rexha battling with mental illness and reeling against traditional methods of treatment. The newly released music video doesn’t stray too much from this, although it isn’t specifically about mental illness.

In the visuals, Rexha is sent to reform school after failing to get along with her prim and proper family members. Once there, she refuses to conform and ends up taking over the school, of course. This is a pop video, remember?

It’s worth noting Bebe Rexha does look absolutely stunning in this video. It’s great to see her coming into her own as an artists. She’s been writing hits for major pop stars and now it looks like it may finally be her time to shine.

(It’s also worth noting the acoustic version of this song is still amazing and way better than the single version.) Continue reading

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