New Music: Selena Gomez – “Sad Serenade” & “Save the Day”


Selena Gomez’s new album, “Stars Dance” doesn’t come out until July 23rd, but two songs from the project hit the net this week: “Sad Serenade” and the demo for upcoming album track “Save the Day.”

“Sad Serenade,” which didn’t make the final cut for “Stars Dance,” is cute, but it doesn’t fit with the more mature, sexy image that Selena has been trying (and mostly succeeding) to portray this era.  Check out “Sad Serenade” via YouTube above.

“Save the Day,” on the other hand, is a global smash waiting to happen.  The demo, sung by singer-songwriter Livvi Franc (of “Now I’m That Bitch” fame), is full of energy and hummable hooks.  It would be a strong follow-up to lead single “Come & Get It.” Check out the demo for “Save the Day” via YouTube below.


New Music: Ellie Goulding – “Burn”


English singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding has recorded a discarded Leona Lewis demo and it is amazing.  Co-written by OneRepublic front-man Ryan Tedder, “Burn” is an uplifting party track with a repetitive, punchy chorus that you’re guaranteed to be chanting for hours.  Clive Davis was a fool to let this one go – it could’ve been a (minor) hit for Leona, but I’m actually really happy it didn’t end up on her last album “Glassheart.”  Leona has some powerful pipes, but she sings with all the conviction of a tranquilized sloth.  “Burn” benefits greatly from Ellie’s unmistakeable breathy vocals.

Ellie’s second studio album “Halcyon” was just released last October – could she be gearing up for a re-release?  We’ll have to wait and see.  Stream “Burn” via Ellie’s official Soundcloud below.

New Music: Little Daylight – “Glitter and Gold”


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: 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”


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

New Music: Sia – “Beautiful People Say” (Demo)


A new Sia demo titled, “Beautiful People Say” hit the net yesterday, and it’s a corker.  Initially attributed to David Guetta, Sia was quick to point out via Twitter that the song is not a Guetta production and was actually written for another artist.  Rihanna, perhaps?  Whoever it was written for, they’re a dope for passing it up!  “Beautiful people say, ‘Yes’,” is one of the best lines I’ve heard in a pop song in…I don’t even know how long!

Sia is the new Queen of pop music because she knows how to write about partying and drinking and loving and sexing in new, astonishing ways.  And that’s what it’s really all about, isn’t it?

Check out “Beautiful People Say” via YouTube above.  Do you think it could be a hit?

New Music: Icona Pop – “Girlfriend”


Okay, so there’s a new Icona Pop song out, and it’s kinda cute and it’s kinda fun, but it’s also kinda boring.  But don’t fret!  It’s not their new U.S. single.  According to Billboard, “Girlfriend,” which randomly bites its chorus from Tupac’s 1996 song “Me and My Girlfriend,” is “just a single for Europe and other international areas.”  You see, “I Love It,” which is currently smashing in the U.S., was released in Europe last summer, so it’s rather old hat now and Europeans needed something new.

This is good for two reasons: firstly, “Girlfriend” is repetitive and not nearly as charming as “I Love It” or many of the other songs from Icona Pop’s “Iconic” EP.  Secondly, the girls spilled at the Billboard Music Awards this month that they’ll have a new album out “before the end of the summer” which features production by Shellback, Stargate, and Benny Blanco (only further fueling those Katy Perry collaboration rumors).  We don’t want “Girlfriend,” we want the new stuff they were talking about!  And if they’re going to have a new album out before the end of the summer, we should be getting a new single any day now.  They’ve just got to wait for “I Love It” to slow down a little bit…

What do you think – is “Girlfriend” a good follow-up to “I Love It”?

New Music: Jessie J feat. Big Sean – “Wild”


Jessie J blasts back onto the pop music scene with “Wild,” the lead single from the British singer’s upcoming second studio album.  Co-written with Claude Kelly and produced by frequent Dr. Luke collaborator Ammo (Katy Perry’s “E.T.”), “Wild” is an electrically-charged “look at me now” anthem, a kiss-off to Jessie’s haters (of which, there are many).  I understand why some people don’t like Jessie J – her guppy mouth is bigger than Steven Tyler’s and sometimes she just doesn’t know when to shut up (her over-singing makes Xtina look subtle), but she actually does exercise some refreshing vocal restraint here.  The “wild, wild, whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh” hook is catchy, but otherwise the song is lacking the spark of past singles like, say, “Domino” (the standard to which all Jessie J songs are now held…according to me).

I will say this: Jessie looks pretty hot strutting around with her Susan Powter buzz cut, and rapper Big Sean does provide an entertaining guest verse.  Check out the “Wild” music video below (which also features an appearance by UK rapper Dizzee Rascal).  What do you think – is it lead single material?

Download “Wild” on iTunes

Music News: Did American Idol sabotage Angie Miller?


So if you were following American Idol this season, you know that Queen Angie Miller was wrongfully eliminated just before the finale, leaving the talented but yawn-inducing Candice Glover and Kree Harrison to limp towards the finish line.  Naturally, I was enraged, but HEY – the best person doesn’t always win these competitions and I can accept that.  What I cannot accept, however, is shady behind-the-scenes bull—-.  And I think the American Idol producers have some explaining to do.

Angie may not have been competing in the finale, but she still got her fair share of screen time, including an awesome duet with British pop star Jessie J (I’ve never used the word “awesome” to describe Jessie J before, but I really enjoyed the performance so I’m just going to go with it).  Afterwards, Ryan Seacrest announced that Angie’s original song, “You Set Me Free,” which she so brilliantly performed during auditions, would be available for download on iTunes after the show.  Huh.  So, even though this would put Angie’s single in direct competition with the winner’s single, they were still going to let her release it.  Seemed a bit odd, but I was so excited for Angie, I didn’t think much of it.  But as soon as the show drew to a close and Candice was crowned the winner and cruelly forced to ugly-cry her way through her mediocre new single, “I Am Beautiful,” the American Idol producers’ true intentions were revealed.

First, “You Set Me Free” was listed on iTunes under Angie Miler, with one L.  It could have been an honest mistake (in which case, iTunes, punish yourself), but it sure did make her single hard to find after the show.  Eventually, the misspelling was corrected, but then something even stranger happened: “You Set Me Free” wasn’t visible on the iTunes charts.  Fans quickly caught on to this problem and started tweeting Angie (who ironically just tweeted that she was hoping to wake up and see the song in the top 100), but she didn’t know what was going on either.  Eventually, Angie revealed that “You Set Me Free,” for reasons unexplained, would not be eligible to chart on iTunes period.  Hmm, could it be that the American Idol producers were afraid of Angie outshining their new winner and runner-up?  It certainly seems that way.  And I guess they were right to worry, because if you look at the numbers, it’s pretty clear whose single is resonating with the general public.

I’m so glad that we got to hear the full version of “You Set Me Free” – it’s a fantastic song, miles better than Candice’s paint-by-numbers inspirational ballad, but the American Idol producers should be ashamed of themselves for pulling this ridiculous stunt and for not being forthright with Angie.  It just makes them (and the show) look petty, sneaky, and insecure.  It’s OK, though – with her girl-next-door good looks and beautiful voice, I have a feeling Angie will have the last laugh.

Stream “You Set Me Free” via YouTube below and support Angie by downloading the song on iTunes!

New Music: Becky G – “Play It Again”


Let me fill you in on Becky G: she’s Dr. Luke’s new protege.  When Luke should have been focusing on Ke$ha’s “Warrior,” he was spending a lot of time in the studio with this little munchkin.  She raps, with varying degrees of success in my opinion, but not in Kanye West’s!  After Becky covered his song “Otis,” Kanye took to Twitter to proclaim, “THIS GIRL IS DOPE.”  She’s worked with the likes of Cody Simpson and Cher Lloyd, and she recently released a cover version of Jennifer Lopez’s “Jenny From the Block” called “Becky From the Block.”  It’s…fine.  I think that’s about it.

So Becky just came out with a new original song called, “Play It Again.”  Produced by Dr. Luke, Cirkut, and Max Martin (this girl is so lucky), “Play It Again” is all about suffering through the verses to get to the sweet, sweet pop chorus.  And the bridge, ahh, the bridge!  Pure pop perfection.  Seriously, this song would be total ear candy if it weren’t for Becky’s rapping.  She’s like what people find annoying about Ke$ha, only magnified 100 times.  I’m not exactly sure what Luke sees in her.  Sure, she’s cute, but that voice!  I just can’t get into her yet – which is really hard for me because I love Luke and obviously he thinks there’s some real potential here!

Becky’s been working on her debut album for what seems like a long time now, but there’s still no sign of a lead single.  I think “Play It Again,” like “Becky From the Block,” was just released to create buzz.  Is it working?  I don’t think so.  But with people like Dr. Luke, Cirkut, and Max Martin behind her, this girl could definitely have a breakthrough hit – they’ve just got to find a way to tone down her annoying factor and give her an insanely catchy hook.  I’m not writing Becky G off yet.  She’s only 16, so she’s got plenty of time to figure things out.  I’m keeping an open mind.

Check out the video for “Play It Again” via YouTube below.  When the chorus inevitably gets stuck in your head, consider downloading it on iTunes.