All posts filed under: Song of the Day

Sun Culture Young Blood

A Popdose World Premiere: Sun Culture ‘Young Blood’

You know the story… boy meets record label, record label sees handsome face and dreamy eyes and can smell the sweat dripping from millions of teenage girls, boy can actually play music and write good songs, girls opt for generic tuneless audio product from Justin Bieber who sells as many calendars and perfumes as he does records. Boy parts ways with label and life goes on. Thankfully, in this day and age, you don’t need a major label to keep making great music and upping your game — and Chase Coy’s latest project, Sun Culture, is testament to that. Sun Culture’s self-titled debut EP (it looks like an album at 8 tracks, but clocks in at 24 minutes) will easily rank high among my year-end best records. Comparisons to Vampire Weekend and the 1975 are easy to make, but Sun Culture one-ups those excellent records by being a bit easier to digest. All three discs are filled with delicious hooks, inventive twists and turns and imaginative songwriting, but Sun Culture takes it down a notch to …

Home Movies

Song of the Day: Home Video, “Forget”

Marshall Crenshaw told us that every musician has an internal clock that tells them when it’s time to make a new record. For the New York electronic duo Home Video, their clock is clearly set to four years, because their (fabulous) sophomore album The Automatic Process was released four years after their debut No Certain Night or Morning, and here we are four years later, and the band is about to release their third album, Here in Weightless Fall. The band’s love for atmospherics and slow buildups remains, but for the lead single “Forget,” they work in a dash of melancholia, and the end result is audio catnip. Some bands don’t like this word – though we’re not sure why – but “Forget” is arguably the most accessible song the band has ever done. Armed with a pulsing drum track, sparse percussion, and that minor key melody, “Forget” is the kind of song that will cause people to do anything but. Get on the bandwagon now while there’s still room.


SONG OF THE DAY: Glenn Tilbrook, “Everybody Sometimes”

Coming from the lead singer/guitarist/songwriter of new-wave veterans Squeeze, Glenn Tilbrook’s voice hasn’t aged one bit – it sounds just as sweet as it did when I first heard “Slightly Drunk” back in 1979.  This song, which is the “taster track” (if you will) for Mr. Tilbrook’s upcoming solo album, Happy Ending.  If the single is an indication of how the album will be, it’s a must-get. After all these years, Glenn Tilbrook has lost none of his skill for well-crafted, strongly-melodic songs that instantly burrow their way into your ears and mind.  Once a master of pop, always a master of pop.  Look for the vinyl on June 10th as part of a bundle with CD and download links. Glenn Tilbrook will be on tour in the United States starting September 23rd, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Big Country

Dreams Stay with You: Big Country and the Song That Saved My Life

Today marks the approximate 30th anniversary of the release of “In a Big Country,” the hit single by Scottish rockers Big Country. In honor of the occasion, Mike Duquette of The Second Disc and Popdose shares a deeply personal story of the song’s effect on his livelihood. In all honesty, I’d never intended to off myself. And if I’m lying – well, my friends, my family, even I wouldn’t have known. Aside from the occasional angry slap to the forehead, I’ve never been much of a self-harmer, and certainly had no well thought-out plans about how to remove myself from the face of the earth. But my “intentions” of whether to end my own life are merely one piece of my fight against depression, or low feelings, or whatever you want to call it. And, as is the case for so many people, the weapons we have to stave off those feelings sometimes seem like they’ll never work. Worse still, sometimes they don’t work at all. But, inasmuch as one can in such situations, mine …

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The Popdose Interview: Brooke White (free holiday MP3)

Brooke White is one of the sharpest, most prolific singer/songwriters in pop music today — her natural beauty, charm and style are simply sprinkles, whip cream and Cap’n Crunch atop an already perfect sundae. Sure a certain TV juggernaut catapulted her to international fame in 2008, but of the 120 American Idol Top 10’ers to date, she’s one of the few who still has bankable name brand recognition more than a season later. You can read all about my beef with the show here — but in a nutshell, what is now a popularity contest used to be about talent, and talent is something White has in spades. I drank the Brooke White Lemonade long before Idol. I bought her self-released debut CD, Songs From The Attic, at a rousing club show in LA two years before she went face to face with Simon, Randy and Paula. Attic steadily became one of my favorite pop albums of the decade; it is packed with powerful, exquisitely produced, full band originals that would have sounded as good …

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2012 Holiday Gift Guide: Best Pop And Rock Albums • 10 FREE MP3s

As 2012 draws to a close, most of the POPDOSE writers will painstakingly select their top albums, movies and TV shows of the year with all of the drama of the Bachelor’s “Most Shocking Rose Ceremony Ever.” I joined the staff mid-year, and by then had already amassed a stack of CDs from Amazon US, Amazon UK and a variety of local Seattle stores. By year’s end, I bought or acquired more than 100 albums. Here’s where my money and time were best spent. Editor’s Note: Grab the free MP3’s below while you can — most will disappear within 24 hours due to our agreements with the artists, publicists and their labels. Thank you to everyone involved for making this gift-packed post possible! UPDATE: Due to popular demand, many of the MP3s have been given an extended stay below — enjoy! POP ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Amanda Mair Amanda Mair (Labrador Records) The seeds of 2012’s most fruitful tree were planted a year earlier in the summer of 2011. It was a simpler time in US …

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Download Now: Dom La Nena “No Meu Pais”

Today’s essential download is by a beautiful Brazilian cellist, Dominique Pinto, who performs under the name Dom La Nena. Brazilian Girls, the debut album by the band of the same name is one of my favorite albums of the past decade, so I was intrigued to hear the output of an actual Brazilian girl — and a classically trained one at that. Her debut album, Ela, is a delicate, intricate flower; each petal a lovely understated melody. If Cat Power had a lost sister in the Southern Hemisphere, her name would be Dom La Nena. As a young girl. Dom honed her craft under the guidance of Christine Walevska, an American cellist living in Buenos Aires. Years later, she performed cello on tour with French actress Jeanne Moreau and Serge Gainsbourg’s beloved Jane Birkin. After the Birkin tour wrapped in 2009, Dom set about composing the songs that would create Ela. She traveled to the south of France and recorded voice, piano and cello multitracks all by herself during a weeklong session at producer Piers Faccini’s cottage studio in the …

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Download Now: The Winter Tradition “Tides and Telegrams”

Edinburgh pop/rock quartet, The Winter Tradition, rattle off arena sized stadium hooks so effortlessly, you wonder why every band doesn’t do it.  Granted, they’re still in the club era of their career, but you can hear where they’re headed. Their debut album, Gradients, came out this summer and is steadily building steam on both sides of the pond. You gotta hand it to the Scots, unlike many of their English counterparts, when they sing, they retain their intriguing accents. Ewan Simpson’s rich, soulful brogue lifts The Winter Tradition’s songs up of the Scottish highlands and into the heavens. Gradients is the perfect album for Editors fans who did not dig that band’s synthier new direction. It stands in kindred spirit with The National, Coldplay, Idlewild, Foo Fighters and my favorite Scottish export, Big Country (a band whose entire catalog is under appreciated in the States). “Tides and Telegrams” is latest single off Gradients. Whereas earlier singles “Firelight” and “San Diego” hit you right out of the gate with massive guitar lines courtesy of Mark Morrow …

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Song of the Day: Annie Dressner “Hardy Boys” (Free MP3)

Annie Dressner is the barista you secretly have a crush on, but are afraid to speak a word besides your order to. She is the girl in the library who sits across the table with her mind and imagination a million miles away. She is the heroine in an un-filmed John Hughes movie. … at least that’s who I imagine she is while listening to the songs on her charming debut, Strangers Who Knew Each Other’s Names. Even though she’s beautiful, she skates along very thin artistic ice (much like the girl in the opening sequence of Kate Bush’s The Ninth Wave).  In this case, the ice being a subgenre of music that separates folk music from pop: Twee. Girls in thrift store dresses and cute glasses. Guys singing in a whisper. Mandolins. Zooey Deschanel. Hipsters adore it. It makes me want to smash my head through the wall. Well, most of the time. Dressner’s lilting, light as a feather, butterfly voice could easily romp through the Twee poppy field like a rabbit in a pink …


Song of the Day: Kris Menace ft. Miss Kitten “Hide (Nhar Remix)”

Miss Kitten, aka: Caroline Hervé of Grenoble, France is the crushed red pepper of EDM (and before that, Electro Clash) — her seductive and delicious vocals spice up just about everything. My CD wall is packed full of her seductive femme bot dance floor diva albums with The Hacker, Golden Boy and Felix da Housecat (Kittenz & thee Glitz is an absolute masterpiece) as well as her adventurous solo work. Add to this impressive list, Kris Menace, an equally legendary producer and remixer who has re-imagined tracks by Depeche Mode, LCD Soundsystem, Underworld and Lana Del Rey to name a few. On his new album, Features, Menace creates a variety of electronic soundscapes while pushing guest vocalists into new territory. In addition to Miss Kitten, Features will feature Julian Hamilton (The Presets), house music legend Robert Owens, Daft Punk collaborator Romanthony, German soul singer Xavier Naidoo, Chelonis R Jones (Royksopp and Booka Shade collaborator) and Simon Lord (singer for Justice’s ‘We Are Your Friends’). You might not know the names, but if you’ve spent anytime looking good on the dancefloor lately, …

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Song of the Day: Elim Bolt “Farm Kid”

Imagine Roy Orbison fronting a band halfway between Arcade Fire and Delta Spirit and that lands you in the same zip code as upstart indie rockers Elim Bolt. “Farm Kid” is the first single from the band’s debut 7-track EP, Nude South, out now on Hearts & Plugs. Elim refers to the small South Carolina town that frontman Johnnie Edward Matthews III (what a mighty fine Southern name) bolted for a career in music playing bass for coulda-been indie pop act Sequoyah Prep School. Elim Bolt – Farm Kid (PC: Right Click, Save File As • Mac: Option/Click to Download) “Farm Kid” knocked my socks off on first listen, and the EP only got better from there. Pardon my Yankee manners, but I fucking love this record. Along a crackling guitar line, Matthews sings: “And, All I wanna do is truly love you/But all I seem to do is deeply hurt you.” I imagine this song will make the next mixtape Chris Brown gives to you know who. Earlier this year, Matthews hooked up with …

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Song of the Day: Southside Johnny Honors Steven’s “Forever”

Men Without Women Live is a concert recording by one band, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, performing an under appreciated and longtime out-of-print album by another band, Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul. What could possibly go wrong? Absolutely nothing. The result is a majestic testament to the enduring power of the Jersey Shore sound popularized by these artists and ultimate ampersand band: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band. Long before Snooki and MTV dragged the Jersey Shore’s name through the mud and Hurricane Sandy swept the shore out to sea, the area was defined by The Boss and his armies of singers, horns, guitars and pianos. So much music was pouring out of Springsteen and Little Steven Van Zandt during their genius era, they handed stacks of premium quality songs to their friend Southside Johnny Lyon. This was both a blessing and a curse. The albums were hits, but many perceived Lyon and his formidable live band to be The Time to Springsteen & Van Zandt’s Prince. While much of the …

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Song of the Day: Alexandra Starlight “Without My Sunshine”

Alexandra Starlight is so outlandishly beautiful, she could easily stand there, look pretty and become an international superstar. But when she struts onto the stage and unleashes that voice of hers, that’s when you know you’re in for something spectacular. She is Tina Turner, Shakira, Amy Winehouse, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Janis Joplin and Joan Jett wrapped in silk and sequins, commanding the room from her platform sparkle heels. I can only wonder how she’s going to take her larger than life persona, ferocious band and heavenly backup singers and cram them onto the car hood sized stage at Hollywood’s legendary Hotel Cafe. Find out for yourself this Friday, November 9, at 9:00 PM (get tickets). Bring your sunglasses, there is going to be a lot of glitter, rhinestones and sequins. Starlight’s dazzling wardrobe (including many self-made or customized pieces) could easily make Steven Tyler jealous. A year from now, when you tell your friends you were there for a Starlight club show in the intimate and acoustically perfect Hotel Cafe, your friends will be …