The Jewel Wicker Show

Republic

Republic

By now I’m sure you’ve seen the names of a few of the artists Lorde has tapped for the Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 soundtrack floating around on social media. As the soundtrack curator a lot of pressure has been put on the young artist to create a great album, but the first single from the project should give you all of the faith you need that she’s more than up to the task.

“Find what you love and let it kill you,” Miguel sings in “This is Not a Game” as the Chemical Brothers’ huge production revs up and crashes behind him. “Play the game to change the game. Word to Gucci, that’s my hitter,” he later adds.

The high energy single, which also features background vocals from Lorde, is exactly the huge sound you expect from a Hunger Games soundtrack, making it a safe and solid first offering.

The soundtrack will also feature new material from Grace Jones, CHVRCHES, Tove Lo, Charli XCX, Raury, Tinashe and more. It comes out on Nov. 17. Continue reading

Georgia Nott (of Broods) in "Four Walls" video

Georgia Nott (of Broods) in “Four Walls” video

I know I’ve made my obsession with Broods perfectly clear, but there’s a new live video out that I couldn’t resist sharing.

Georgia Nott’s voice is absolutely stunning in the live version of “Four Walls.” The song’s line “I want to make you feel how I feel when I’m listening to love songs” was already one of my favorite lyrics at the moment, but Nott’s decision to transpose most of the song to a higher key, along with the staccato strings towards the end, definitely heightens the emotions.

The song’s music video not only features shots of Nott performing the song, but it also includes the lyrics.

It’s a live lyrics video. (Just go with it.) Continue reading

Gwen Stefani in "Baby Don't Lie" video

Gwen Stefani in “Baby Don’t Lie” video

Yesterday I said Gwen Stefani’s comeback single would definitely be a grower, especially with the help of a fun music video and some energetic performances.

The video is here. It’s not that great.

The visuals begin with Stefani posing and serving face for the camera, proving why she once teamed up with L’Oreal. The scene gives way to a colorful scene in which Stefani walks down a yellow road. A majority of the video focuses on this scene.

Her strut is strong, but it’s not THAT strong. I mean, really.

There’s some fun dancing in there and the colors and bright, but I’m extremely overwhelmed.

In related news, TIME did an article on Stefani’s appropriation of Asian culture yesterday. There’s no way the Harajuku lover was going to make a comeback in 2014 when cultural appropriation is such a hot topic without being criticized for that time in her career. Continue reading

ILoveMakonnen and Drake in "Tuesday" remix video

ILoveMakonnen and Drake in “Tuesday” remix video

I didn’t want to like “Tuesday.” Honestly, I didn’t. I wanted to believe Drake didn’t know what he was doing when he decided to show off his falsetto, but it turns out, he was right…again. “Tuesday” is addictive.

The music video is a bit odd, though. The new visuals show Makonen and Drake partying in the club and drinking from Styrofoam cups as every day people perform their daily tasks while singing the words to the hit song. There are also really strange mannequin heads flying through the air and girls with white and red paint on their faces. Continue reading

Stereotypes

Stereotypes

Today started off as a normal Monday, but it certainly isn’t ending that way. Danity Kane’s “All In A Day’s Work” has leaked and I can’t go to sleep until I do the live choreography at least 20 times and learn all of the words.

“What you doing, huh?” Something more productive? Probably. “Racking in some bacon in some high heels and a skirt?” Probably not at this hour (Although if you are I certainly won’t judge.).

Youtube

Youtube

Is the studio version of “All In a Day’s Work” anything new? Not really. It’s actually exactly what the extended preview and live version made it out to be, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s a pretty solid girl anthem from the now defunct girl group.

At least the quintet turned quartet turned trio (turned duo?) is going out on a high note.

DK3 is out on Oct. 27.

Listen here.

Big Machine

Big Machine

It’s hard to believe Taylor Swift’s 1989 is only a week away from being released. If you were hoping for an album stream we haven’t gotten that, yet, but we do have the album’s opening track “Welcome To New York.”

Swift described the importance of starting the album with the song in an interview. “I wanted to start the album with this song because New York has been an important landscape and location for the story of my life in the last couple of years,” she said. “The inspiration that I found in that city is kind of hard to describe and hard to compare to any other force of inspiration I’ve ever felt in my life.”

The fun cut follows the 80s synth-pop sound that Swift promised to explore on 1989.

Its repetitive. It’s catchy. It shows Swift continuing to make her official crossover into pop music with ease.

“Welcome To New York” will be available on iTunes at midnight. Continue reading

Jess Glynne in "Real Love" video

Jess Glynne in “Real Love” video

There are few songs that currently make me happier than Clean Bandit and Jess Glynne’s “Rather Be” and “Real Love.” While “Rather Be” is nearly a year old, it is still doing well in the U.S. (it’s no. 12 on the Billboard Hot 11 right now). Meanwhile, “Real Love” has only been out for a few weeks, but I suspect it will be pretty big, too.

The UK collaborators have just released the music video for “Real Love” and the visuals are as infectious as the song’s production.

The video shows Clean Bandit and Glynne in the studio recording the single and performing on stage, in between shots of couples locking lips.

This is real love, people. And real love involves a lot of making out in public places.

Get into my latest obsession below. Continue reading

Instagram

Instagram

I’m not entirely sure when Cuffing Season starts but I’m pretty sure it’s either already started or right around the corner. Either way, it’s only right that a new Drake song is dropped into the mix. AND, not just any Drake song. A Drake song that samples Jodeci (“My Heart Belongs To You”).

The rapper wasn’t being thoughtful and dropping a new song for your late night, cold weather, emotions, though. “How About Now” was apparently leaked by a teenager in Marietta, Georgia. He claimed the song was from Drizzy’s forthcoming album, but there’s honestly no way of knowing.

And, honestly, I don’t care. When a new Drake song drops out of thin air you don’t waste time asking questions.

“Crazy how you gotta wait until it’s dark out to see who’s really with you,” Drake raps in the new leak before reminiscing on the time when he dropped his other prospects and drove in the snow for his girl. So romantic.

The internet is buzzing with claims that the voicemail at the beginning may be from Drake’s friend Nicki Minaj. It doesn’t sound like her TO ME, unless, of course, the rapper put on one of her famous accents for the voicemail… Still, I can’t imagine Minaj telling someone they “cheese her, dog.”

The song has unsurprisingly been taken off Soundcloud, but you can hear it here.

Interscope

Interscope

There was a point in time when fans thought they’d never get another solo project from No Doubt’s leading lady Gwen Stefani, but shortly after the singer confirmed her spot as a judge on on NBC’s The Voice, rumors about a solo single began to swirl.

This weekend “Baby Don’t Lie” leaked.

The song was written and produced by Benny Blanco and Ryan Tedder and it’s everything you’d expect from a Gwen Stefani comeback single. Stefani’s signature vocal delivery and the song’s breakdown make the cut distinctly hers, while the bright production could’ve easily gone to another pop star (hey, Rihanna).

The new single may not instantly spark your attention, but after a performance, music video and some promo, I suspect it will catch on.

Stefani’s forthcoming album will be her third solo album and her first since 2006’s The Sweet Escape. No Doubt released¬†Push and Shove, their first album in over a decade in 2012.

Update: If “Baby Don’t Lie” doesn’t do the trick, perhaps “Spark the Fire” will. A snippet of the new cut, a collaboration with fellow The Voice judge Pharrell, finds Stefani rapping instead of singing. The two have certainly created magic in the past (“Hollaback Girl”). Let’s see if they can do it again. Continue reading

Karmin in "Sugar" video

Karmin in “Sugar” video

Karmin’s journey has been interesting, albeit a bit bumpy. The real-life couple that made it big off YouTube covers released their debut album Pulses earlier this year but the album didn’t do much commercially and the band has since parted ways with Epic.

If you’re worried about what’s next for the duo, their newest offering “Sugar” should ease your mind. The sexy strings and bass-driven cut finds lead singer Amy Heidemann admitting her obsession with her new lover. “I can’t think about anybody but you,” she sings in the earworm hook. You won’t realize how addictive it is right away, but you’ll probably wake up tomorrow morning singing it.

Heidemann’s rap verse is as corny as ever, but the other verses and catchy hook make up for it.

For the visuals, Heidemann and her beau/bandmate Nick Noonan sit on a couch and pose in slow motion. Towards the end of the song, the bass is the only thing that remains of the instrumentation as Heidemann delivers a few memorable melismas and grabs her lover’s face for a kiss. Continue reading

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