Latest Blog Posts

by Brice Ezell

9 Feb 2015

After being the runner-up to the fourth season of the American version of The Voice, Michelle Chamuel hasn’t let her musical ambitions rest. Having already cut her teeth in a group dynamic with the band Ella Riot (formerly known as My Dear Disco), Chamuel has now readied her first full-length pop LP, Face the Fire, following several solo EPs, a duo album (2011’s s/he), and an electronic album (2013’s All I Want, under the name The Reverb Junkie).

To get a sense of Chamuel’s pop smarts, you can stream her remix of Usher’s “Climax” below. (Usher was her initial “mentor” during her stint on The Voice.) She’s already proven her remixing chops before, particularly with her spin on Adele’s “Turning Tables”, and now she can add this fine interpretation to her résumé.

by Brice Ezell

6 Feb 2015

Kate Barker-Froyland’s 2014 film Song One tells the story of a young woman called Franny Ellis (Anne Hathaway), whose life is thrown into emotional tumult when her brother falls into a coma after a car accident. Set in the ever-thriving Brooklyn music scene, the film is as much about the music of the city as it is the people who live within it; unsurprisingly, then, reputable musicians Jenny Lewis (The Postal Service) and Johnathan Rice were called upon to write songs for this musical tale. Below, you can view an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Song One Original Soundtrack (OST), focusing on the song “Big Black Cadillac”.

by Brice Ezell

5 Feb 2015

Rozwell Kid has a penchant for the absurd. The rock quartet’s bio on their Facebook page simply reads: “‘whose line is it anyway?’ fantasy draft 2014 champions”. (One supposes congratulations are in order?) Then there’s a title like “Hummus Vacuum”, a track off of their new release, the limited edition cassette Good Graphics. The song is noteworthy for its delightfully chunk guitar distortion, but perhaps more so for its lyrics. Take, for instance, the opening lines: “My guts are twisting / From that burger I ate / In the parking lot / In the dark”. From there, more and more aliments get added into the equation, namely pizza and the titular hummus. Echoes of Weezer’s off-kilter charms can be heard in this pleasantly odballish tune by this equally odballish group.

by Brice Ezell

4 Feb 2015

Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland are Whitehorse, a folk rock outfit from the Great White North. In their native Canada, Doucet and McClelland got a great deal of attention for their sophomore outing, The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss, which was shortlisted for the reputable Polaris Prize in 2013. (It also placed in PopMattersBest Canadian Albums of that year.) Now they’ve readied their followup to that LP, the assertively-titled Leave No Bridge Unburned.

“Baby What’s Wrong?”, a track off of the new album, highlights one of the many skills Whitehorse have: the ability to create the aura of a specific location. With this song, they conjure up the mood of an old Western, one set in a parched California desert, perhaps. This Canadian duo evokes the Wild West much better than many American (so-called) country artists do. With its back-and-forth vocal interplay and dusky guitars, “Baby What’s Wrong?” sounds like a would-be James Bond theme, if said James Bond movie were directed by John Hillcoat and was set in the desert.

by Brice Ezell

4 Feb 2015

Having already picked up some attention in their native United Kingdom, the all-sibling trio the Rua, comprised of 22-year old Roseanna Brown (voice and guitar), 24-year old Alanna Brown (piano and backing vocals) and 19-year old Jonathan Brown (violin, guitar, vocals and backing vocals), are preparing to bring their music across the pond. The classically trained trio’s debut LP Essence is being prepared for a spring 2015 release in the States. Already, the Rua have earned comparisons to the likes of Fleetwood Mac from publications like Q Magazine, and the association is certainly not off. Emotionally resonant and harmonically arresting, these siblings have put their best foot forward with their debut LP.

Last week, PopMatters premiered the first of six behind-the-scenes videos for the new album by the Rua, “Fight For What’s Right”. Below you can view the second entry into this series, “Without You”.

//Mixed media

A Chat with José González at Newport Folk Festival

// Notes from the Road

"José González's sets during Newport Folk Festival weren't on his birthday (that is today) but each looked to be a special intimate performance.

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