Hello Popdosers! If you’re a reader of this series, you know that in 2014 I published exactly one “Single Play” post. I hope to break that prodigious publishing record this year and start by gathering another group of songs that have piqued my interest. Granted, most of these songs are from 2014, but because they are either being released as singles, or because of my 2014 New Year’s resolution to procrastinate more, they are now being featured in 2015. So, with the explanations out of the way, let’s get started, shall we?
Veronika Jokel, “Live Like Kids”
Veronika Jokel is a New York City artist whose love of pop music is pretty clear in this hook-heavy song. Jokel is no newbie to the music scene. “Live Like Kids” is the second single from her second EP, “Black Magic” that’ll premiere in February. But Popdose get an exclusive on this tune, kids! Veronika cites Kimbra and Gin Wigmore as musical influences, but I hear more than a dollop of Kelly Clarkson on “Live Like Kids” — and for a pop singer, that’s not a bad thing. Like Clarkson, Jokel has a lot of power in her pipes, but she uses that power in moderation to great effect. If you’re a fan of pop, “Live Like Kids” is one of those “must haves” in your music library.
John Butler Trio, “Spring To Come”
If you bought this record last year, you were treated to this gem right from the get-go. It’s the first track on the John Butler Trio’s latest record, “Flesh & Blood.” This Australian band shares a label with another wonderful rootsy band from Oz, The Waifs, but have a sound that’s their own. This is the fourth single off their latest album and it has a nice lilting quality that fits right in with a Triple-A format. I kept circling back to this song when I first heard it, and now that it’s the band’s next single, I think the time is right to give it a little extra push so Popdosers who may have missed the release of the band’s album don’t overlook this song.
Mississippi Jones, “Love in the Possessive”
Like many people, I have a blog where I write what I want. Often, I write about music (Big surprise, I know). Well, it seems one of the members of Mississippi Jones glanced at my blog and asked if I would listen to their album. A link was sent, I clicked it, and heard a voice that really grabbed me. While the majority of the songs of this duo’s record fall under the category of electronic music, “Mississippi” and “J@$” have channeled a sultry and bluesy sound on “Love in the Possessive.” It’s a solid song with shades of Depeche Mode in the music (I hear a hint of “Personal Jesus”). Have a listen and you’ll hear what I mean.
The Black Keys, “The Weight of Love”
These days, it’s about as easy to hate on The Black Keys as it is to slap around Nickelback in print. Both bands tend to engender a knee-jerk fury of rage when mentioned, but I’m not one of them when it comes to The Black Keys. Much of their music is fairly cut-and-paste rock that’s pretty upfront about its influences. However, on “The Weight of Love,” I don’t think I would have ever thought Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney would have derived (some may say plagiarized) the music from Pink Floyd’s “Breathe.” While much of “Turn Blue” by The Black Keys breaks very little musical ground from their previous efforts, “The Weight of Love” is a refreshing change to the band’s “Classic Coke” sound.