Starley – Call On Me (Ryan Riback Remix)

I always wonder if artists get annoyed when a remix turns out to be more popular than the original. The interesting thing with this track is that it was specifically commissioned along with 5 other remixes as an small remix album to compliment the main release. Turns out though that Ryan Riback pulled out the best parts of the track, added some great house piano, sped it up a bit, enhance the beat, added some synth backing layers and voila! 4 million views on Youtube versus just 46 thousand for the original. Maybe that was the point of the remixes to begin with though: as a backup in case the original doesn’t quite hit the mark.

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Vallis Alps – Fading

I didn’t hear this track until it popped up on Australia’s famous Triple J countdown of the best songs of 2016 and I sure am glad I tuned in. A guy from Seattle and girl from Canberra created an entire album through collaboration, sending parts back and forth to one another for years. This is my favorite by the duo, but the album is quite good as a whole. The layering and vocal edits are exquisite and every time I listen I uncover another synth layer or drum fill that I didn’t catch on the last listen. With so much happening in the background the track never comes across as messy or sonically clogged. Impressive is all I can say.

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One Ok Rock – We Are

While this is a great song off their newest album, the live version of the song performed below really surprised me. I’ve never seen a band integrate their fans into a live performance like these guys did for this song. It’s really incredible to watch. I hope more artists try similar things as I think the result is quite powerful. Enjoy the video!

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Maggie Rogers – Alaska

Maggie Rogers who gained fame online for seriously impressing Pharrell in a NYU guest musical lecture has released the track that got both Pharrell and the online world’s attention. It certainly has character, and the uniqueness that so many heard on the initial video still holds true after some further mixing and mastering. I’ve included the video that brought her fame first, followed by her more recent release of the same track.

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Shapeshifter – Stars

These guys defined the standard for a live drum and bass group with vocals as far back as 2001. I’m honestly amazed that they are still turning out jams. This recent release is not just another generic musical offering for a band that has already established credibility, but a real banger that competes with any of the classics they’ve already released in their 15 years on the scene. These guys show no sign of slowing down and good on them. I hope they keep turning out more tunes like this one for as long as possible. I’m certainly going to keep paying attention.

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Calum Scott – Dancing On My Own (Tiesto Remix)

I feel like Tiesto did very little for this remix, and yet it’s all that was needed to make it perfect. It’s annoying when you hear so little created or added, and yet it’s the perfect touch so I can’t argue with the minimalism. Either way, if you’re outside of Britain you may not know this story. Essentially Calum Scott did his own slower re-work of the Robyn classic as his audition for Britain’s Got Talent (right after his sister was denied) and soon enough had his own release of his version of the song followed by a Tiesto remix which just was the icing on the musical cake. I’ve included his initial Britain’s Got Talent audition as a reference to how this all came about. There really isn’t any doubt that you won’t like the track either, it just works…and it’s even better than the original. Sorry Robyn.

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Adam Levine – Go Now (Sing Street Soundtrack)

I’ve loved every film John Carney has written and directed. His forte is writing and directing independent films based around relationships built on music and musicians. If you’ve not heard of him, check out “Once” and “Begin Again.” His latest, “Sing Street,” is no exception to his style and my favorite song off the soundtrack is the last one you’ll hear in the film. It sums up the storyline and captures the emotional ending beautifully. Enjoy!

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One Ok Rock – Taking Off

Well, a new album is soon to be released for my favorite Japanese rock band, and they’ve released their first single… It also looks like I’m not the only one in the USA that has taken notice of these guys. The record label Fueled By Ramen who’s previous artists include: Paramore, Panic at the Disco, and Fall Out Boy have scooped them up for an English release and if this first single is an example of what’s to come I’m excited. It’s certainly a bit more pop than they’ve released in the past but I think they still maintain their sound whilst adding catchiness for a potentially big new audience!

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