I’m back, baby! Oh my, cannot believe we are already halfway through 2014! But that means more music recommendations from ME! I have for you some of my favourite songs that I’ve discovered in the last 3 months, from April to June. Great music always seems to find me! It’s amazing to me that there is always something new to find. For me, as much as I love songs that are amazing technically, I often lean towards the simple melody line with a powerful lyric. A well-written song can honestly make my day! There’s lots of those here. However, I’m not object to something with a good beat - sometimes a girl’s gotta dance!
Again, should point out that these are not all brand new songs - just new to me in the last 3 months. Also these are not listed in any particular order - here we go!
"Distance" - Emily King
First up today is by my favourite new artist, Emily King. She is seriously sooooo good. Definitely on my list of must-see artists whenever she comes to Toronto next. Her newest single is Distance and while the original is great (Official Music Video: http://youtu.be/4DbeYbcZAJE), I thought I’d include the live acoustic version which shows a lot more of her musicality and overall coolness— take a listen!
"Doesn’t Mean Goodbye" - Jon McLaughlin
Jon McLaughlin had a big single a few years ago called, “Beautiful Disaster”. He’s got that singer-songwriter, Billy Joel thing going on, but he’s also a Christian and that reflects in alot of his writing. This song is about the complexity of relationships and how usually what we say/do isn’t really how we feel: “Just cause I watched you drive away doesn’t mean I’m not still waiting by the door; Just cause you never hit the brakes doesn’t mean you don’t love me anymore”. Sing it, Jon.
"Colorblind" - Amber Riley
Once upon a time, I was a fan of the TV show, Glee. And then they ruined it. BUT there are still some very talented people involved so I keep track — especially of my girl, DWTS winner Amber Riley! Yes, she was the ‘token black girl’, but she honestly sings so well that it doesn’t matter. I believe this would be her first single on her own outside of the show, but she came back on the show to promote it — they were able to write in the storyline with a white boyfriend (Colour-blind, get it? lol Glee is dumb). The song was written by Claude Kelly & Emile Sande and naturally it’s about heartbreak, great writing — here’s “Colorblind”:
"Over You" - Ingrid Michaelson
Ingrid Michaelson is one of my faves! Quirky singer-songwriter, you’ve no doubt heard her songs on TV in something - she’s everywhere. This song, from her latest album, is a “duet” with A Great Big World - the group who had a big hit with Christina Aguilera last year. It’s a beautiful ballad with great harmonies between all three singers — loooovvve this one.
"Falling In Love" - Us The Duo
I discovered this duo through another one of my YouTube artists. You may know them from their popular Vine videos “6 sec Covers”. They were recently signed with the success of both their YouTube & Vine videos - what a new world this is! Social media is helping a lot of artists these days. I would compare their sound to The Civil Wars, but less folk, more pop. And to cap it all off, the love songs they are legit cuz they are actually married in real life! Too cute. I love the intricate harmonies in this song, especially at 2:53. So simple and lovely!
"Not In That Way" - Sam Smith
This guy has been blowing up and I was definitely late to the party on this one. His voice is pretty ridiculous, but really it’s this song that breaks my heart! It’s the ultimate “friend-zone” song - it’s about rejection, it’s about taking a risk, it’s about….geez louise! Very simple lyrics, but they hit the mark. Check out his other songs “Stay With Me” and “Latch”.
"Johnny & Donna" - Mali Music
Mali Music - a controversial figure, in some ways — he was once a gospel artist, but recently signed to a secular label. There are those who see this as a step in the wrong direction, but I think they are discrediting his work before hearing it. His style doesn’t fit in the typical “gospel” or “CCM” genres, so I can understand why he felt he needed to move his work elsewhere. I’ve been listening to his new album, “Mali Is…” and am liking it! This song here, “Johnny & Donna” is my fav, but another great one is “Little Lady” - check it out!
"Taking On Water" - John Mayer
Ahh….John Mayer - so misunderstood! lol I am a HUGE John Mayer fan, no matter what anyone says! You gotta appreciate this man’s musical/songwriting talents regardless of anything else. I love finding unreleased tracks of his so when I came across this one, I knew I had to share. “Hard to see I won’t always be alone” — he gets it! He says what we all want to say, but don’t know how to put it together. This song is truly relatable with such great imagery in the lyrics. So good.
"Rude (Live Acoustic)" - MAGIC!
MAGIC! is my latest obsession - their debut album came out this week and I already have most of it memorized. It’s the perfect summer album — the sounds of reggae mixed with a bit of Bruno Mars and Maroon 5. My fav track is “Mama Didn’t Raise No Fool”, but I wanted to share with live acoustic version of their first single, “Rude”. It shows a bit more of the group and already has over 1 million views. Plus: they’re Canadian, people!
"Take It Easy" - Jetta
Last one is a bit of a cheat — I heard this song on “So You Think You Can Dance” and bought it immediately after. I don’t know much about the artist, Jetta, yet, but I am now interested in whatever she has coming up. She’s from the UK (of course! So many good artists coming from there these days — her picture is at the bottom of this post). This song is other-wordly and really powerful - it just caught my attention, can’t say more than that! She has an EP on iTunes for $5 - check it out! I’ve included both the full song, plus a link to the SYTYCD performance that really captured the intentsity of the song.
And that’s that! Here are some honourable mentions:
- "It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" - Jason Mraz doing a Boyz II Men cover? Unexpected, but cool!
- "Glorious" - BJ Putnam — he sounds exactly like Israel Houghton, crazy!
- "The Words" - Christina Perri - love the sentiment of this song.
- "Nobody But You" - Kimbra — she’s back! This song was co-written by John Legend, and you can tell. Really good.
- Shameless plug: the entire "Made For Worship" album by the Toronto Mass Choir — it came out in May 2014 and is amazing! Buy it on iTunes!!
That’s all for this round — would love to get some recommendations from you — who is your latest musical obsession?