New Music Releases: Week of July 20, 2015

Bea Miller Not An Apology

Former “X Factor USA” alum Bea Miller is all grown up and sounds superb. (Album cover property of SYCO Music & Hollywood Records)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Hello everyone!

This week’s New Music Features brings together a diverse group of talent from artists that are just starting out to music royalty.

Not An Apology by Bea Miller

I cannot believe it has been three years since Bea Miller first appeared on the now defunct American version of X Factor. Not An Apology marks the debut album of the Syco Music and Hollywood Records artist and it marks a new chapter for the pop rock ingénue. Her vocals have drastically improved and matured since she was Britney Spears’ mentee and what I admire about Bea is that she was able to co-write several tracks and work with several songwriting veterans including Kara DioGuardi, Autumn Rowe, Mike Del Rio and the Madden Brothers. Bea’s future in the music industry is strong and I think that we are going to hear some impeccable things from her. B+

Tracks to Download: “Young Blood,” “Fire N Gold,” “Paper Doll” & “Force of Nature”

 

Only on Tuesday Break Free EP

Pop folk band Only on Tuesdays’ “Break Free” EP showcases the group’s superb artistry. (Photo courtesy of LaFamos)

Break Free EP by Only on Tuesdays

In today’s music industry, countless artists have turned to crowd funding to help fund their endeavors. If you needed to look for a Kickstarter success story, look at pop folk band Only on Tuesdays. Founded by singer-songwriter Autumn Skibinski and made up of Skibinski, Martin Valencia and Gabby Casanova, Only on Tuesday’s Break Free is a breath of fresh air in the overcrowded Indie music scene. Their lyrics are impeccable and their sound could lead them to music festivals such as Burning Man, Wakarusa and more importantly, Bonnaroo! I hope that this band gets all the success that they deserve! A-

Tracks to Download: “Break Free,” “Fall,” “Rendezvous” & “Darling Dearest”

Hold Each Other” by A Great Big World featuring Futuristic

Ian Axel and Chad King are two of the biggest artists that have broken out of the New York City music scene. The duo known as A Great Big World has exponentially grown with their poignant and heartfelt tunes such as “Rockstar,” “Already Home” and “Say Something,” their Grammy-winning powerhouse collaboration with Christina Aguilera. Recently, the duo returned to the scene and dropped their latest single: “Hold Each Other.” Both Ian and Chad delivered a sturdy single that would tug at their listeners’ heartstrings and make them think about LGBT equality as well. In addition, I strongly believe that the duo found a potential rising star in the form of rapper Futuristic. Good work, guys! B+

 

Cee Lo Green Robin Williams single cover

Cee Lo Green’s poignant homage to the late Robin Williams perfectly honors the late iconic comedian. (Album cover property of Atlantic Records)

Robin Williams” by Cee Lo Green

A few days ago, we remembered the passing of entertainment icon Robin Williams, who would have celebrated his 64th birthday. Former Voice coach and five-time Grammy winner Cee Lo Green released a poignant tribute to the man who entertained millions of fans around the world. The lyrics gave me chills and Cee Lo’s vocals were superbly soothing to Mr. Williams’ fans. A-

That Old Flame” by Don Henley & Martina McBride

Don Henley is one of the greatest singers of all-time! From his countless hits with the Eagles to his solo career, Mr. Henley remains one of the best singer-songwriters of his generation. For his upcoming fifth studio album, Mr. Henley has recorded duets with some of music’s most recognizable voices. His first duet off the album, “That Old Flame,” features my fellow Kansasn and 14-time Grammy-nominated singer Martina McBride. The vocal chemistry between both Henley and McBride would not satisfy their respective fanbases, but also might be awarded by the country music industry when the 2016 award season starts up! A-

Let Me Stay” by Purple

This next artist takes us all the way to Europe! Purple is an enigmatic triple threat (singer-songwriter-producer) that hails from Berlin. The 31-year-old recently debuted his music video for “Let Me Stay’ on British magazine i-D website. While the song focuses on a twisted relationship between a man and a woman, “Let Me Stay” might give listeners a vibe that could make them think of 50 Shades of Grey, Prince funk and 80s synth pop in this latest single. Purple did a splendid job on both his vocal performance and I believe that he might find an audience if he should travel to the United States. B

She’s Kinda Hot” by 5 Seconds of Summer

While I admire 5 Seconds of Summer’s music, I thought that 5 Seconds of Summer’s latest single: “She’s Kinda Hot” was very subpar. First of all, the guitar riffs at times sounded very similar to Fountains of Wayne’s “Stacy’s Mom.” Second of all, I believe that the Aussies were attacking underdogs, late bloomers and down-on-their-luck entrepreneurs in their provocative lyrics. This song was a complete mess and I wish that the guys did better with their material. D

 

Duran Duran Janelle Monae Nile Rodgers Pressure Off

Duran Duran’s hot collaboration with Janelle Monae & Nile Rodgers, “Pressure Off,” is my Song of the Week! (Album cover property of Warner Bros. Records)

Pressure Off” by Duran Duran, Janelle Monae & Nile Rodgers

Over the past couple of years, Nile Rodgers has had the privilege of recording some of the greatest songs of 2010s. Between his Grammy-winning collaboration with Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams (“Get Lucky”) to his superb club hit “Lay Me Down” with Avicii and Adam Lambert, Mr. Rodgers’ astonishing guitar licks have made everyone get up and dance. This time, Duran Duran recruited him and Janelle Monae to release what might be the Song of 2015! Between the superb arrangements, Rodgers’ funky groove and Simon Le Bon and Janelle Monae’s fantastic harmonies, “Pressure Off” might be nominated for a lot of awards in the future. Congratulations, Duran Duran, Janelle and Nile! “Pressure Off” is my Song of the Week! A+

I do not own any of the clips that are featured in this edition of “New Music Releases.” They belong to the artists and their respective record labels.

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