Vocalist Adra Boo and DJ/Producer/MC Action J, who go by the name Fly Moon Royalty as a recording duo, have taken up a reasonably lofty task as far as cover versions go: Sir Mix-a-Lot’s ubiquitous “Baby Got Back.” While Meghan Trainor caused a minor frenzy this summer with her take on the derriere-centric dance number, Fly Moon Royalty has offered up something quite interesting. The duo’s version of “Baby Got Back” takes a different turn than Mix-a-Lot’s vivacious original; with its minimalist arrangements (a beat and some non-intrusive electronics) and Adra Boo’s fierce vocals, the song takes on a slightly dark edge, but one that still highlights the comedic aspects of the lyrics.
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“Phoenix”, the latest song by New York City-based songwriter Kat Quinn, is very clearly about a relationship gone wrong. Yet rather than opt for straightforward declarations for her former beloved, Quinn opts for the language of simile, crafting some droll and striking comparisons that both underscore and euphemize the harm done by the relationship. “Your love saved me like a broken raft / And I clung steady like I wanted to sink fast,” she sings in one of the song’s funnier couplets. There are also some dark observations: “Your eyes are cozy like a kitchen knife / And I wish I hadn’t cut myself so many times.” These lyrics form a distinctive take on the breakup song; Quinn’s unique perspective reveals her to be a songwriter with a perceptive pen.
Following PopMatters’ July premiere of New York City singer/songwriter Mackenzie Shivers’ ballad “4th of July”, you can stream her new album, Neverland, in its entirety below. Like “4th of July”, Neverland showcases Shiver’s vocal and piano skills. The gospel flourishes in Shivers’ piano playing heighten the record’s emotional range; this music is ideal to listen to while walking through paths and roads lined with the orange leaves of fall.
Based on the neon glitz and roller rink setting that make up the sleeve art to the latest LP by the Canadian indie outfit Stars, entitled No One Is Lost, you’d be pretty reasonable to infer a sonic indebted to the ‘80s. With the title track of the album now available to stream, it’s clear that Stars are aiming at something along those lines. Despite the song’s odd chorus refrain (“Put your hands up/Because everyone dies”), the track is nonetheless a real earworm, and a perfect primer for the music that’s to come on No One Is Lost.
Following several albums on a major label, Boston singer-songwriter Will Dailey released his new album National Throat independently, and with considerable success: the album debuted in the top 20 of Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. Dailey’s latest video for the album, “Higher Education”, which you can view below, derives from his experience working as an artist ambassador at ZUMIX, an East Boston-based nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering youth and building communities through music and the arts. Since he was so inspired by his experience at ZUMIX, he decided to film the “Higher Education” music video at the organization, including several of the children he worked with during his time there.