The Jewel Wicker Show

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

Travis Garland covers The Weeknd's "Earned It"

Travis Garland covers The Weeknd’s “Earned It”

What is air?

After hearing Travis Garland‘s cover of The Weeknd’s “Earned It,” I’m not entirely sure.

Travis Garland has always been able to make me swoon with his light falsetto, soulful vocal runs and sensual lyrics, but this cover takes all of that to new heights.

I like The Weeknd’s version, which was created for the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack, but it doesn’t have anything on this version.

According to Garland’s YouTube channel, the cover was recorded live at The Green Room in L.A.

I just want a new album. Is that too much to ask? Continue reading

Atlantic

Atlantic

“If no one knows it, it ain’t really cheating.”

No, Charlie, that’s not really how this works, sir.

Singer Charlie Puth (you may know him from collaborating with Wiz Khalifa on the recent Furious 7 hit “See You Again”) has released a new single (“I Won’t Tell A Soul”) ahead of his debut album and it and it’s message is ridiculous, but the song itself is pretty darn catchy.

The doo-wop inspired ballad really highlights Puth’s vocals and, to be fair, the lyrics lay out his argument in a way that could be convincing (and, almost romantic?) if you’re not careful.

This song will likely be the future anthem for side baes everywhere, but it can also be enjoyed by the people who don’t agree with that arrangement.

Listen to the new release below. It’s okay if you like it. We won’t tell a soul. Continue reading

Deco Recording Group/Primary Wave BMG

Deco Recording Group/Primary Wave BMG

I’ve been waiting for Deborah Cox to make an album announcement since she recreated some of Whitney Houston’s songs for the Lifetime biopic I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story.

For a quick minute I’d forgotten just how amazing her voice is.

Releasing the first single from her forthcoming six studio album, Cox revisits an old relationship on “More Than I Knew” with those powerhouse vocals that she’s known for. “I miss you so much more than I ever loved you,” she sings. Her raspy vocals really shine on this ballad and the lyrics are something I’m sure many people can relate to.

Cox is scheduled to release Work of Art on Aug. 15. Continue reading

Jessie Ware performs "Say You Love Me"

Jessie Ware performs “Say You Love Me”

Jessie Ware’s “Say You Love Me” was one of my favorite love songs from 2014, which isn’t surprising since Ed Sheeran co-wrote it.

The UK star appeared on CBS’ Late Late Show with James Corden recently to perform the emotional track and she definitely did not disappoint.

Ware kept the performance simple, focusing on emoting and singing, but that’s all that was needed for this type of song.

“Say You Love Me” is a single from Ware’s 2014 sophomore album Tough Love

Watch the performance and share your thoughts below. Continue reading

RCA

RCA

Hilary Duff attempted a comeback last year, but it didn’t go far. Songs like “Chasing the Sun” and “All About You” just weren’t the monumental hits the singer needed to get fans excited for a comeback album. Duff wasn’t alone in this, however. Gwen Stefani and Fergie’s comeback efforts both had similar fates.

Duff isn’t done trying, though. With the help of pop songwriter Tove Lo, the singer has made a solid attempt at radio gold. Her latest release, “Sparks,” features a whistle refrain similar to Flo Rida’s “Whistle” and a melody that would’ve fit right in on Lo’s Queen of the Clouds debut album. It has all of the markings for a pop hit, but that may be the problem. It feels a little too manufactured at times.

That won’t stop it from getting stuck in your head, though.

Give it a listen and share your thoughts below. Continue reading

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 3.28.40 PM

I only had one request for Tinashe’s “All Hands on Deck” video: I just wanted dancing. Tons of dancing.

And that’s exactly what the singer delivered, along with a some killer outfits.

Tinashe and her dancers take over an abandoned shipyard in the video for her latest single from her 2014 debut album Aquarius.

If you’ve seen a live performance of this single, you’ll likely recognize the choreography, but that doesn’t make the new release any less entertaining.

Watch the video and share your thoughts below! Continue reading

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