New Music: Natalia Kills – “Saturday Night”

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I’ve always been a little skeptical of Natalia Kills.  I saw her open for Katy Perry in 2011, and while she’s clearly very talented, her “dark” image has always seemed a little contrived to me.  Case in point, the video for promo single “Controversy,” which features Natalia dressed in all black, staring blankly into the camera while “creepy” images of Barbie dolls and Ronald McDonald flash across the screen at a seizure-inducing pace.  But Natalia’s most recent musical offering, the autobiographical “Saturday Night,” is a different story altogether.

Against a backdrop of electro synths and thundering drums, Natalia opens up about growing up in an abusive home, and somehow manages to make lines like, “The tears I cry all taste of blame,” and, “I’m a f—ing teenage tragedy,” sound completely authentic.  Produced by Jeff Bhasker (fun., Kanye West), the moody “Saturday Night” succeeds where Natalia’s other work has failed thanks to her raw, honest delivery.  Oh, and the chorus.  Despite its serious subject matter, “Saturday Night” still packs a big, sing-a-long chorus that’s likely to get stuck in your head even after just one listen.  Behind the bad girl facade and severe bangs, Natalia’s proven that she’s got a heart.

Check out “Saturday Night” via Idolator.  The song, which serves as the second single from Natalia’s forthcoming album “Trouble,” hits iTunes on July 2nd.  Let me know what you think in the comments!

The song of the summer is here!

It took until nearly the end of June, but the song of summer 2013 is FINALLY here: Bonnie McKee’s, “American Girl.”  Yeah, I know I’ve gushed about Bonnie’s live rendition of “American Girl” already, but the studio version, which premiered today via the above celebrity filled Youtube video, is truly something special.  It’s pure pop, but it’s disco.  It’s Blondie, but it’s also incredibly current.  There’s even shades of Katy and Ke$ha.  Bonnie may have crafted the perfect pop song.

“I’m describing my own coming of age as a teenage girl in America, and how the whole world was open to me and I could be anything,” Bonnie said of the song in an interview with KIIS FM on Monday.  And “American Girl” is so full of that teenage energy and joy, you just can’t help but sing along.  And that’s really the whole point of pop music – uniting listeners and inspiring them to sing with you.  Of course, it helps that Bonnie is one of the most talented hook writers in the business – the entire song was expertly designed to get stuck in your head.

So what about the song’s chart and radio potential?  Just look at who Bonnie recruited for the promo video – Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Kathy Griffin, Macklemore, Joan Rivers, Jewel, Jason DeRulo, George Takei, Jane Lynch, Carly Rae Jepsen, Adam Lambert, and Jenny McCarthy – just to name a few!  Bonnie’s years of songwriting for the pop elite have helped her to gain a ton of industry support.  I think there’s a good chance this video could go viral, hopefully igniting the public’s interest in Bonnie and the song.  “American Girl” just needs the right opportunity and I really think it could be a smash hit.

“American Girl” is currently available for free download via Bonnie’s official website.  Get it while you can, and tell your friends!!  I just love this girl.

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New Music: Krewella – “Live for the Night”

UPDATE: Krewella premiered “Live for the Night” today at the iHeartRadio Pool Party in Miami.  The song is a total banger, arriving just in time for 4th of July festivities in the U.S.  Listen to “Live for the Night” via iHeartRadio.  The song is out on iTunes on July 2nd!

 

Are you ready to RAVE?  You will be after you hear the preview for breakout dance trio Krewella’s new single, “Live for the Night.”  Seriously, based on this clip, “Live for the Night” is an all-out hands up, jump up and down, dance pop SMASH.  “I live for the night, I live for the lights, I live for the highs,” sisters Yasmine and Jahan Yousef sing over producer Kris “Rain Man” Trindl’s uplifting synths.  And then the track just explodes into a fit of total rave madness.  Later, the track explodes AGAIN into a fit of less appealing dubstep madness, but we’ll be getting a radio edit, so I’m not too worried about it.

“Live for the Night” impacts pop radio on July 9th, according to media website AllAccess.  I know the whole dance pop era of radio is slowly coming to an end, but I hope there’s still room for fun tracks like this on the airwaves.  “Live for the Night” serves as the follow-up to Krewella’s Billboard Dance Chart top 5 hit, “Alive.”  Their debut album is due out in September via Columbia Records.

New Music: Little Daylight – “Glitter and Gold”

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It’s summer time and I want to listen to music that makes me feel like I’m sitting on top of a Ferris wheel, eating a hot dog and waving an American flag!  And also eating a funnel cake!  And holding a sparkler!!

In that spirit, I give you Brooklyn pop trio Little Daylight.  Made up of friends Nikki, Matt, and Eric, Little Daylight got their start remixing tracks for the likes of Passion Pit and St. Lucia, but they’ve recently begun crafting their own original songs.  New release “Glitter and Gold” sounds like a John Hughes movie – an explosion of 80s synths, pounding drums, and spunky lyrics about taking on the world.  “You fly like a meteor, burn bright through the universe, ’cause you’re glitter and gold, you just gotta let go, ” Nikki sings on the song’s infectious chorus.  A fine summer reminder for us all.

Little Daylight’s debut EP, “Tunnel Vision,” is due out on August 8th.  Stream “Glitter and Gold” below and be sure to check out some of Little Daylight’s other awesome songs (like “Overdose“) via their official Soundcloud!

New Music: G.R.L. – “Vacation”

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The Pussycat Dolls are finally back!  Well, sort of.  Pussycat Doll founder (and all-around monster-face) Robin Antin has put together another girl group called…G.R.L.!  G.R.L. is made up of Lauren Bennett (of “Party Rock Anthem” fame), Simone Battle, Paula Van Oppen, Natasha Slayton, and Emmalyn Estrada.  They were going to be the new Pussycat Dolls, but then I guess there were rumors of a possible reunion of the original Pussycat Dolls, so they changed their name to G.R.L.  Or something like that.  The point is, they’ve released a new song called “Vacation” for The Smurfs 2 soundtrack and it’s definitely worth your time.

Created by pop masterminds Dr. Luke, Max Martin, Cirkut, and Bonnie McKee, “Vacation” is a delightful slice of upbeat dance pop that’s just perfect for a kids movie.  The only problem I have with the track is its lack of a bridge.  It feels kind of lazy to let some laughter and a refrain of the pre-chorus serve as your middle-eight, especially for people as experienced as Max Martin and Dr. Luke, but I guess it IS just for The Smurfs 2 movie…

“Vacation” comes as a free B-side to Britney Spears’s new Smurfs 2 soundtrack single “Ooh La La” on iTunes.  I don’t know, I might have to check for these girls if they keep releasing cute little songs like this!  Although I imagine their first official single will be a little more sexually-charged in the grand tradition of Pussycat Doll classics like “Buttons.”  But to be honest, I’d rather they model themselves after one of Robin Antin’s other failed girl groups, The Paradiso Girls.  Take a listen to “Patron Tequila” if you don’t believe me.  Timeless.

New Music: Fifth Harmony – “Miss Movin’ On”

 

Third place X-Factor girl group Fifth Harmony premiered the lead single from their upcoming debut album last night on radio show Saturday Night Online titled, “Miss Movin’ On.”  Produced by newcomers The Suspex (Demi Lovato’s “Heart Attack”), “Miss Movin’ On” is half power pop, half KidzBop – a straightforward break-up anthem that stands on the shoulders of classics like Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone.”  The song is a little Disney, but you’ll probably find yourself humming the chorus for a few hours.  Can Fifth Harmony become the first U.S. X-Factor act to have some real commercial success?  We’ll find out soon enough!

New Music: Ne-Yo – “Keep Talking”

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Every so often, an unfinished demo leaks online that just knocks you on your butt with its total perfection. The recent leak of Ne-Yo’s, “Keep Talking” is one of those times.  Yes, it’s a juvenile, “F— YOU!” anthem to the “haters,” and we’ve certainly heard enough of those to last a lifetime, but this one’s actually quite clever and quotable.  I mean, check out this pre-chorus: “How ’bout this? I’mma kiss who I wanna kiss, I’mma dance how I wanna dance, smoke my weed, love my man, do my shows and wear my clothes, talk about sex and do it often, ’til I’m dead and in my coffin, I’mma keep livin’ so they keep on keep on…”  It sounds like the mantra of one of those out of control teenage girls on the Jenny Jones show before it’s revealed that she’s been brought there under false pretenses and a screaming army sergeant explodes from backstage to drag her ass to bootcamp for the next 2 weeks.  Amazing.

And then there’s the matter of the “I Love It” sample – it’s too soon.  This song couldn’t exist on the radio right now, and I have a feeling Ne-Yo was probably just messing around in the studio with this one.  Still, it’s a cute little bop to add to your iTunes library.  Who knows, it might end up on some pop tart’s album in a couple years.

Ne-Yo_in_the_studio,” © 2011 JeffDam, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license