pop

New Music Spotlight: Serena Ryder, David James, KPT, The Lovelocks, Bülow, and Taylor Swift

We love sharing new music with the world. Across genres, from indie artists and well known stars, new songs have the ability to grab you by the ears and take you away… even if it’s just for three minutes.

Today we’ve got a mix of genres, some artists that you may or may not know, and five songs (and a special bonus, sixth) that we think are definitely worth a listen.

Ready? Let’s do this!

The Music

Artist: Serena Ryder
Hometown: Millbrook, ON
Genre: Pop/Rock
Related Artists: Sarah Harmer, Jann Arden, Chantal Kreviazuk
Single: Ice Age
Notes: With Serena Ryder’s recognizable voice and sound shining throughout the song, Ice Age‘s video shows a withdrawn elderly woman who is reinvigorated when music causes a flood of long-lost memories to return to her. It’s a message of the power of music, and we dig it.
Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Artist: David James
Hometown: Winnipeg, MB
Genre: Country
Related Artists: Jojo Mason, Dan Davidson, Chad Brownlee
Single: Sun Set On It
Notes: If you want to have a laugh, hit play on this video from David James. Sun Set On It is a whole lot of fun on its own – and this no frills, zero pretension, smile on everyone’s faces, music video is a perfectly put together, good timin’ companion.
Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Artist: KPT
Hometown: MLPS.
Genre: Dark Electronic
Related Artists: Die Antwoord, Justice, The Orb
Single: Sequel
Notes: The video for Sequel is straight-up cinema. Watch it with your attention on the screen as the music hits and the visuals take over your screen. If you really want it to have its full effect, turn the lights off first.
Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Soundcloud

Artist: The Lovelocks – Staycation
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Genre: Country
Related Artists: Jessica Mitchell, Jess Moskaluke, Meghan Patrick
Single: Staycation
Notes: The Lovelocks are back with something a little different than fans are most used to from the Toronto country duo. Staycation could be a breakthrough radio and mainstream track for Ali and Zoe, and if it is, it will be well earned. Have a listen today and have yourself a little staycation.
Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Artist: Bülow
Hometown: Worldwide
Genre: Pop/Electronic
Related Artists: Blitz//Berlin, ROMES, Ria Mae
Single: Not A Love Song
Notes: If you want new everything… here you go. Bülow, the teenage pop breakthrough, offers a fresh sound, fresh voice, and a sound that’s going to get stuck somewhere in your head. Get ready for it. And more where this came from.
Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

BONUS

Artist: Taylor Swift
Hometown: Reading, PA
Genre: Pop/Country
Related Artists: Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Selena Gomez
Single: New Year’s Day
Notes: New Year’s Day is the 15th and final track on Swift’s new album, reputation, and is the closest to the country Taylor that her early fans remember. The ballad fits perfectly with her very first single, Tim McGraw, and now that it’s been released to country radio, we’ll all have a chance to see how the multi-genre star performs in her original setting.
Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

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reputation: Taylor Swift Album Review

In case you missed it, Taylor Swift dropped a monster 15 track record on Friday, officially beginning the reputation era.

It’s impossible not to know that this album was coming, or that it’s here. T.Swift is a star as bright as we have in music. And whether you wish you were part of her squad or not, you know that she’s got a million eyes and ears on her.

The 27 year old singer shows off her pop life on all 15 songs on reputation. From the songwriting to the production, there’s no country here. And while many fans of her early work will still bitch about the music she makes now, and pine over the music they loved, the Swifties that are still by her side are in on this album. And so am I.

Whether it’s …Ready For It?, End Game (ft. Ed Sheeran and Future), Getaway Car, or King Of My Heart, I find myself jamming along in my chair and confirming that Taylor Swift is a hit maker, and I’m here for it now and already can’t wait to see what she does next.

Note: Congratulations to Taylor on her Country Music Association award win for writing Song Of The Year, Better Man, performed by Little Big Town. Not a bad addition to a big week!

If you’ve been on the internet at all anytime after Friday’s release (especially on Buzzfeed Music) you’ve seen the think pieces and reactions and 98 thoughts people have had listening to reputation.

And because the internet can’t help but love and hate Taylor Swift, there are a lot of hot takes and theories about this record. We haven’t talked to T.Swizzle about the songs here, but there’s a lot of sex and drinking – and while this doesn’t feel like a concept album dedicated to those themes, it’s a pop record that isn’t shying away from either subject, and clearly embraces them.

Taylor also continues to do what she does, writing and singing about her life, the headlines, the behind-the-scenes, and the carefully decided details that she’s willing to share. We know that this is the way it’s always been. We know that it’s going to cause raised eyebrows. And we definitely know that it’s going to cause theories like ‘Dress is about Ed Sheeran’ from fans, because it feels like every story must be a true story.

Note: I’d like to take a quick second to applaud Taylor for putting 15 songs on reputation. We’re so used to shorter EPs now, and even 10 track full albums, that this feels like special bonus of music that we didn’t know we were actually going to get.

As every album I love does, reputation has one song that I can’t stop listening to…

Don’t Blame Me is a killer track and wins the album for me. From the first time I listened through the album, track four slapped me in the face in the best way. From the beats to the vocals, the lyrics, and the moment at the three minute mark where the music’s gone and we hear “Lord save me, my drug is my baby, I’ll be usin’ for the rest of my life” as strong as she’s ever been – damn, it wins!

It’s a huge bummer that reputation is not yet available on streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify – however, it’s coming, we’re sure. And reputation is available for purchase, which, we recommend.

Not everyone is going to love this album. That’s the reality of pop music and the polarizing figure that is Taylor Swift. BUT, if you like Taylor, and you’re looking for 15 songs that will contribute 56 minutes to your day’s soundtrack – we recommend you check it out.

Taylor Swift, Reputation Tracklist

1. …Ready For It?
2. End Game (ft. Ed Sheeran & Future)
3. I Did Something Bad
4. Don’t Blame Me
5. Delicate
6. Look What You Made Me Do
7. So It Goes…
8. Gorgeous
9. Getaway Car
10. King Of My Heart
11. Dancing With Our Hands Tied
12. Dress
13. This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
14. Call It What You Want
15. New Year’s Day



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Indie Week 2017 Independent Women: Supermarket, presented by M88 Entertainment Group

M88 Entertainment Group LogoPresented by M88 Entertainment Group

Indie Week continued on Thursday night as we hit the Supermarket to see more talented women show Toronto music fans what they’ve got.

The M88 Entertainment Group showcase had a stacked bill which had us stopping in to check out Amanda Jordan, Alessia Cohle, and Alexis Lynn. It was fantastic to see more women on stage, and experiencing their sets.

As a sponsor of Indie Week, and the showcase organizers, M88 continued to show their support for emerging talent. We’ve seen it at events like this before, and we know that artists like Alessia Cohle have greatly benefitted from the branding, development, strategy, and management services that they offer to up and coming artists. They’re tag line is pretty clear, “We focus on the business, so you can focus on the music.”.

Amanda Jordan started the show, working with her guitar player to fill the room with music and start grabbing the attention of the assembled Indie Week crowd.

The Smith Falls, ON native was strong and smooth on stage, with a sweet voice and seemed to be effortless as she displayed all the little nuances that makes a live vocal performance special.

Amanda worked through her set of originals and covers, playing her 2014 single, Lettin’ It Go Tonight, as well as more recently tracks including Driving In The Dark, Unknow You, You Fit Me Better, and Kinda Like A Guy Like You, which Amanda performed for the first time in front of a live crowd.

It was great to hear Amanda’s versions of Miranda Lambert’s heartbreaking Tin Man, as well as Rascal Flatts more upbeat, I Like The Sound Of That. The two covers were a good balance, and rounded out the set well.

We’re not sure what’s coming next for Amanda, but we won’t at all be surprised if we start seeing and hearing more from her in the near future.

Alessia Cohle hit the stage next, bringing a full band and her own mix of originals and covers to the Supermarket crowd for Indie Week.

The Mississauga, On native came prepared to show off her voice, and her ability to perform on stage. Her energy was palpable, and it was easy to see the growth and strength that has come over the last couple of years since we were first introduced to the country singer.

Alessia played a selection of songs from her 2016 album, Talk To Me, as well as her brand new EP, Wanderlust, which was released on November 3.

Songs like the two title tracks, along with How Bad, Two Steps Ahead, and More all helped to show off the sound and vibe that Cohle is cultivating in her young career, and they offer a look into where she may be headed in the future.

Her choices of covers on the evening were a lot of fun too. With Kelsea Ballerini’s Love Me Like You Mean It, Lady Antebellum’s You Look Good, Elle King’s Ex’s And Oh’s, Carrie Underwood’s Smoke Break, Dusty Springfield’s Son Of A Preacher Man, and Maren Morris’s My Church all hitting their mark and encouraging the Thursday night audience to sing along.

Look for Alessia to hit a lot of stages in the next few months to play her new material, and then be ready for what comes next after that.

Alexis Lynn, all the way from Vancouver, BC was our last Indie Week act of the evening. The teenaged singer/songwriter brought her pop/R&B vibe to the stage and showed off what she’s got in a strong way.

Already tabbed as a top 20 under 20 talent in the 2016 CBC Searchlight Contest, the 18 year old showed all of the confidence you’d ever hope to see from a teenager on stage. And while she admitted that she’s most comfortable on the keys, she stripped it down to play her own acoustic guitar and didn’t miss a beat.

Alexis Lynn told the Toronto crowd that she’s working towards an EP release sometime soon, and to be honest, it won’t be soon enough. The power and smoothness in her voice was attention grabbing, and when she announced that she was going to play a cover by one of her favourites, nobody should have been surprised when she started singing Alicia Keys’ Fallin’.

Original songs like Same Girl, That Kiss, Even Friends, and I Love You I Do, all worked to show off what she’s got ready to share with the musical world. And her closing number, Promises, did an excellent job of wrapping things up in style.

Alexis Lynn, along with her guitar/keys/beats player Caesar, brought a groove that people danced and bobbed and rocked to from start to finish.

She’s one to watch.

Check out some more photos from Thursday night at Indie Week, and stay tuned for more live music coverage!

Amanda Jordan

Alessia Cohle

Alexis Lynn

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