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Thursday, Feb 16, 2012
Though the vibe nostalgically recalls these bygone eras, the song still manages to feel very current, and practically demands that listeners make a trip to the dance floor.

Baron Von Luxxury, known to friends as Blake Robin, is a man of many talents. He wears the hats of producer, songwriter, blogger, DJ, vocalist and, having recently signed with Manimal Vinyl, the artist can now add another creative endeavor to his resume: a debut album, out 14 February, entitled The Last Seduction. Renowned for his funky electro-disco remixes of songs by artists like Hilary Duff and Dirty Sanchez, Baron Von Luxxury also operates a popular music blog called Disco Workout. He has written songs with talents like Little Boots and Bonnie McKee (who penned Katy Perry’s megahit “California Gurls”), and his work has recently been featured on a variety of TV shows, such as The Hills and CSI: Miami.


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Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012
by PopMatters Staff
In a perfect world, Black would be your new favorite diva, as she has all of the pop friendliness that the title implies, but grounded in a restless musicality.

Last year we introduced PopMatters readers to Betty Black, who we described as “a musical chameleon changing personas and genres with a natural ease”. At that time she was just about to release the Slow Dance EP and now she’s set to release a new EP this April. In anticipation of that new work, Black (a.k.a. Sylvia Gordon) brings us a video directed by Bijoux Altamirano for the new tune “Bad Weather”. “Bad Weather” is swathed in sexiness, sultry mid-temp beats and washes of swirling synth textures. In a perfect world, Black would be your new favorite diva, as she has all of the pop friendliness that the title implies, but grounded in a restless musicality that sees her constantly trying new things, never content to follow a formula. After you’ve watched the video below, head on over to Black’s Bandcamp page where you can check out six of her tunes.



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Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012
by PopMatters Staff
RACES' psych-influenced indie pop will be on full display when Year of the Witch releases on 27 March. In the meantime, check out today's premiere of a new remix.

Wade Ryff was disillusioned with music, holed up in his parent’s house, writing tunes in the bathroom. This economy has been tough on 20somethings and Ryff’s malaise seems part of a larger cultural phenomenon. Indeed, he wound up teaming with a group of fellow 20somethings who felt much in the same boat—Breanna Wood, Garth Herberg, Lucas Ventura, Devon Lee and Oliver Hild—to form RACES. Together they recorded the upcoming album Year of the Witch, which felt like a catharsis, bringing new found optimism to the musicians.


The name RACES is emblematic of the members’ overall mindset as well. As Ryff explains, “I relate to the name in the sense that it seems like there is always something to be up against, and strong desire to overcome whatever it is.” The band’s psych-influenced indie pop will be on full display when Year of the Witch releases on 27 March. In the meantime, check out today’s premiere of a new remix for album track “Living Cruel & Rude”. Fellow Californian DJ Vyxor brings a slick, electro sheen to the folk-poppy “Living Cruel & Rude”, bathing the tune in gentle blips and warm waves of synths, while managing to bring out more of the pure pop aesthetic of the song.



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Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012
The buoyant single “What Love Looks Like”, debuting here on PopMatters, is clearly the product of a life-learned maturity. Fittingly making its premiere on Valentine’s Day, the song is a portrait of modern-day love, set to an upbeat and melodious tune

Shannon Stephens began her musical career at a Christian art school called Hope College, where she comprised one-fourth of indie, folk-rockers Marzuki. It was there, while playing guitar and lending her vocals, that Stephens met bandmate Sufjan Stevens. After the dissolution of Marzuki, Stephens released her first solo album in 1999, before putting her pursuit of fame on pause, opting instead for a quiet life in Seattle with her husband. After nine years out of the business, Stephens resurfaced with 2009’s The Breadwinner, produced by Sufjan Stevens’ label, Asthmatic Kitty.


Now returning with her third album, backed again by Asthmatic Kitty, and produced by Grammy-winner Kory Kruckenberg, Stephens brings us Pull It Together, out May 22nd of this year. In this upcoming album fans will detect a new confidence in both Stephens’ lyrics and her vocals, the sign of an artist truly coming into her own. The buoyant single “What Love Looks Like”, debuting here on PopMatters, is clearly the product of a life-learned maturity. Fittingly making its premiere on Valentine’s Day, the song is a portrait of modern-day love, set to an upbeat and melodious tune. Much like all the songs on this album, “What Love Looks Like” allow Stephens to share her opinions as a lover, an artist, a mother, and a citizen of the world, balancing cynicism, optimism, and ear-catching vocals along the way.


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Friday, Feb 10, 2012
Brooklyn electro-dancers Tayisha Busay offer up a perfect new video for Valentine's Day, “Heartmeat, Lovemuscle”.

Tayisha Busay is an electro-dance band known for their energetic live performances and sparkle-heavy, bouncy, music videos. The band, comprised of Tessa G, Ariel Sims and Brandon LalaVek, is based in Brooklyn. Some of Tayisha Busay’s past popular tunes include such colorful titles as “WTF You Doin in My Mouth” and “Soul Power”. This highly unique band has their own sound and their own style, listing among their influences “Classy meets trashy, dancing like you mean it, glitter and sweat, heavy and hard, short and sweet”, just to name a few.


“Heartmeat, Lovemuscle” is Tayisha Busay’s newest single, and the video is all too appropriate for Valentine’s Day. The lyrics are clearly about love, past, present and future, and the overall vibe is quirky love story—we watch as different candy hearts and other holiday-themed sweets flash before us and shape shift into the lyrics of the track. Confection-like in its aesthetic, the video employs glitter in more diverse and inventive ways than a homemade valentine, and colorful graphics grab the eye while highlighting the pounding beat and echoing vocals. The overlapping close ups of the band members are playful and visually appealing, even, perhaps, evocative of the infamous morphing sequence in Michael Jackson’s iconic “Black or White” video.


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