Category: POP

HAIM – I Want You Back

After years of touring, HAIM have released what amazingly is just their second album. The rawness and uniqueness of their debut album is offset by the obvious advancement of their craft in the followup. This is a really solid album. I highly recommend you listen to the whole thing, but their first single is certainly a standout in its own right.

Download

Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill

I held off for awhile before posting this as it seems almost pointless. I’d be amazed if someone hasn’t heard this song yet as it’s been #1 or #2 in the UK and USA for quite some time, but I have to admit that it gave me a real respect for this songwriter for the first time. I’d of course heard a few solid songs off his last couple albums, but none of them spoke to me like this track did and I think he’s really reached another level of songwriting on this latest album. Forgo the fact that he delayed release to consult Rick Rubin (of countless masterpiece albums fame, seriously, if you don’t know who he is, google his name and prepare to be impressed), I’m giving Ed Sheeran a lot of credit for his new direction. I also love that there is no snare drum. Seriously, name the last popular rock/pop track with no snare drum anywhere in the track…

Download

 

 

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.

Download

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.

DOWNLOAD

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.

DOWNLOAD

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!

DOWNLOAD

Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop The Feeling

The latest from Swedish pop mastermind Max Martin. From “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys to this, Max Martin is the hidden producer behind almost every singalong pop song you’ve grown up with. Don’t believe me? Look him up. He’s created more pop singles than anyone in history. Period. His latest pop masterpiece, like all the ones that came before, is a catchy, funky and very, very danceable pop anthem.

Download

1975 – The Sound

Despite really loving their first album, I first heard this track in the movie “Me Before You.” I had to look it up afterwards and was depressed that I hadn’t heard it earlier. Either way, I’ve heard it now, and what a tune it is.

Download