The Jewel Wicker Show

Island

Island

There’s really only one version of Nick Jonas’ “Chains” that you should concern yourself with. And it’s not the new remix with Jhene Aiko, although her sexy new verse is a nice addition to the track.

The best version is actually Jonas’ recent performance of the single on The Tonight Show and it has nothing to do with the singer’s vocal performance (which is pretty mediocre) and everything to do with his backup dancers/percussionists.

Aiko’s verse on the song’s remix does mirror the ladies’ choreography, however, in that it’s quite sensual despite the original song being about feeling weighed down by a significant other. Niko takes the “chain” metaphor and adds a little kinkiness to the meaning (word to 50 Shades of Grey).

It’s not nearly as catchy as “Jealous,” but it’s still worth a few plays. Continue reading

School Boy/Interscope Records

School Boy/Interscope Records


The campaign for justice for Carly Rae Jepsen has officially begun.

The “Call Me Maybe” singer is finally ready to return to the pop world that completely disregarded her really really good sophomore album Kiss.

“I Really Like You” is a repetitive synth-pop number (“I really really really really really really like you”) in the same vein as Jepsen’s previous releases. It’s jubilant. It’s carefree. It’s childish.

I promise you it will be stuck in your head with just one listen.

Now, let’s just hope the follow up and the album builds on this sound and proves that the singer has what it takes to make people pay attention. Continue reading

Tori Kelly in "Nobody Love" video

Tori Kelly in “Nobody Love” video

For many people, Tori Kelly’s new Max Martin-produced single “Nobody Love” will be their first introduction to the soulful pop singer.

(Which is sad. She has some amazing material!)

Following the release of the single, the first from her forthcoming album, Kelly has released a feel-good music video.

I’ll admit, the song and the video feel far too polished for Kelly. Her voice is incredible and her EP Forward showed that she sounds best when the production is stripped down. Still, the horns in the single’s production and the dancing in the video is irresistible. Continue reading

Verite

Verite

Vérité quickly positioned herself as an artist to watch last year starting with the release of “Strange Enough” and continuing with songs like “Weekend” and “Echo.”

The New Yorker released an EP, Echo, last year and now she’s preparing to release a full-length album. This week she premiered “Wasteland.”

Sticking true to her sound, the new song finds Vérité’s light vocals layered over synths, but this production feels like an attempt at gaining the attention of mainstream pop fans.

I don’t dislike it, but, admittedly, it lacks the depth lyrically and sonically of her previous releases. Continue reading

Interscope

Interscope

This may be the first time you’ve heard of Emile Haynie, but it won’t be the last.

The musician isn’t a stranger to the music industry by any stretch, though. Collaborating on popular songs for artists such as Kanye West, Eminem, Kid Cudi, Lana Del Rey and Bruno Mars, the producer has definitely been working hard behind the scenes.

The connections Haynie has made along the way play a large part in his debut album We Fall. Nate Ruess, Lana Del Rey and Lykke Li are just a few of the artists that join him on the project, which was released yesterday (Feb. 24).

I haven’t given the entire album a thorough listen yet, but I’m loving what I’ve heard so far.

Melancholy cuts like the album opener “Falling Apart” (“You’re falling apart, just another little lonely broken heart.”) is almost unlistenable due to the vulnerability.

The album is currently streaming on Spotify.

Raury in "PSA (Seven Suns)" video

Raury in “PSA (Seven Suns)” video

FOMO is real. Raury is here to help us overcome it by stealing our phones (and smashing the windows of cars?).

I’m assuming the smashing of car windows was just for added bad-ass effect, actually. Still, the message is clear: Raury and the LoveRenaissance crew are a bunch of crazy young kids with bats and a message.

Watch as they snatch the phones of unsuspecting strangers in the video below. Continue reading

Nate Ruess in "Nothing Without Love" video

Nate Ruess in “Nothing Without Love” video

fun. is on an indefinite hiatus.

I’ve been grappling with this fact since the band announced it earlier this month, but I’m still struggling.

When Jack Antonoff started his side band Bleachers last year it didn’t feel like an ending to the Some Nights trio, especially because they were still performing new material as a band.

Now, though, their fate doesn’t seem so certain.

Nate Ruess is releasing a solo album this year and today he released the music video for the lead single “Nothing Without Love.” According to Rolling Stone, the song was originally created for fun.’s next project, but Ruess decided to keep it for himself instead. The song and video are both grand pop anthems in typical Nate Ruess fashion, although lyrically the content is far more optimistic than fun’s last album or some of the songs Ruess has written for other artists (think Pink’s “Just Give Me A Reason”). It wouldn’t have been far fetched at all if fun. would’ve released the piano-backed track with the euphoric refrain and vulnerable lyrics as a single.

There’s a lot of interesting scenes in the video: Ruess floating in the middle of a body of water, standing on a bridge as snow falls (you don’t get cold when you’re in love, apparently, because he’s not wearing a coat) and skipping away from an exploding piano. If Ruess’ manic behavior reminds you of Tom from 500 Days of Summer, you’re not alone. This entire video reads like a cheesy romantic comedy. (Please note: I love cheesy romantic comedies), right down to the scene where Ruess and his love interest lie down in the middle of a street Notebook style.

“Nothing Without Love” is a grand and solid start to what could be a huge solo career for Nate Ruess and I’m definitely excited for him. But I still want another fun. album. Preferably sooner than later. Continue reading

alt-J's 'This is All Yours' album cover.(Canvasback/Infectious)

alt-J’s ‘This is All Yours’ album cover.(Canvasback/Infectious)

alt-J has a knack for making videos that are stunning, but hard to watch.

From “Breezeblocks” and “Hunger of the Pine” to their newest release “Pusher,” the band has a knack for releasing unsettling imagery that is centered around some sort of violent act.

In “Pusher,” the main character is an orator of sorts, attempting to persuade a group of disinterested men. He actions in the video grow more and more erratic and then the unspeakable happens…

I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I also realize warning people who this may be a trigger for is more important. The end of the video features a suicide. It’s a pretty gruesome thing to watch, honestly. Admittedly, I watched the ending with one of my eyes closed, so if that kind of imagery makes you uncomfortable I would sit this one out. Just listen to the audio version. It’s much more subdued and absolutely worth it.

Everyone else, the video is below. Continue reading

Columbia

Columbia

The Neighbourhood and Raury hang out at a barn in the black and white video for their moody collaboration “Warm.”

The video focuses more on the men chopping wood and watering plants than it does on a relationship with a significant other, but somehow it still works.

If nothing else, it gives you a reason to revisit the song and maybe The Neighbourhood’s mixtape #000000 & #FFFFFF.

In related news, Raury has a new song with GoDreamer and it.is.amazing. Continue reading

India Shawn

India Shawn

When India Shawn and James Fauntleroy get together they make magic.

Don’t believe me? Just listen to their 2014 collaboration “Floating Away.”

The singer/songwriter duo has a way of coupling their soothing vocals with minimal productions for maximum effect.

“I know you love me, does that make me yours,” the two sing in their latest release “One Sun.”

If you love their offerings so far, you’re in luck. They will release a collaborative EP, Outer Limits on March 4.

Listen to more from the duo here. Continue reading