Speak Low if You Speak Love - Safety Net

By: Starr Brown

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The solo brainchild of Ryan Scott Graham is thriving with the latest release “Safety Net”. The track comes from sophomore LP, Nearsighted, out January 19th.

The electronic undertones provide the haunting melody more depth. The bone chilling piano centered track features electo-beats and resonating vocals layer together to a track you’ll repeat over and over, trying to take in everything that’s there. The musical chances Graham takes on the track pay off in his favor setting the perfect scene for the moment the song marks.

Featured on the bridge is Graham’s friend Hannah Dob, creating a more call-and-response feel, and driving home the emotionally charged track.

Catch Speak Low If You Speak Love accompanying Neck Deep on their US headlining tour over the course of January and February.

Also, be sure to check out the parody video Graham released on Facebook about “Safety Net”. You’ll be sure to laugh at the 1980's styled TV pitch  HERE.

Connect with Speak Low if You Speak Love:
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Tonight Alive - Underworld

By: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn

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Tonight Alive’s fourth studio album, Underworld, will be released this Friday, January 12th via Hopeless Records.  I can honestly say that this is my favorite album from Tonight Alive thus far.  This Sydney-rock band is known for their powerful vocals, insane riffs, and meaningful lyrics.  Vocalist Jenna McDougall states, “the album is called Underworld; and I named it that because it reflects the ugly parts of me that I wasn't ready to see until now.”  The lyrics are very vulnerable and relatable, I have so much respect for Jenna for putting everything on the line.

The album has a much heavier, pure "rock" vibe to it than previous Tonight Alive albums.  In my previous review of "Temple," you can tell that I am in love with this new, stronger sound of the album.  One of my favorite songs on this album is "Crack My Heart."  Jenna is truly a force to be reckoned with.  The riffs, melodies, lyrics, and vocals are the perfect combination to make leave you speechless.  Another song that I really enjoy is "Book of Love."  This song really showcases Jenna's voice, and has an electronic rock sound to it, while still being a fun song.  "Looking for Heaven" is another song that really resonated with me.  The simplicity of Jenna's voice with just a piano let the lyrics really sink in.

Underworld features two special guest vocals.  "My Underworld" features Corey Taylor (Slipknot, Stone Sour).  Jenna and Corey's voices compliment each other's so well, and it is clear why this is the title track. This song ties in all the themes the album; falling in love with yourself as well as others, meanwhile having dark undertones, and  letting someone accept you for who you are in the darkness and bringing it to light. The second track "Disappear" features Lynn Gunn (PVRIS) and is absolutely incredible.  Lynn is one of my favorite vocalists, so I was so excited for this collaboration.  This song sounds nothing like a PVRIS song or a Tonight Alive song; however it is two incredibly talented female vocalists harmonizing and creating beatiful melodies, while singing about anonymity, detachmenet, and the escapist inside all of us

YOU CAN PRE-ORDER UNDERWORLD NOW HERE.

CATCH TONIGHT ALIVE ON The Get Free Tour TOUR, DATES BELOW. 

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Northbound - Fade to Black

By:  Starr Brown

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If you’re looking for yet another great pop-punk bands to get behind, you have to check out Northbound. Off their 2017 EP, The Flaws In Everything, “Fade To Black” showcases everything the band is great at - fast passed track that bring nonstop energy, emo lyrics that you’ll be screaming out in no time, and thumping basslines that you can’t ignore.

The track starts out with a blunt “I guess I’m not funny” and quickly picks up to tell the tale of a relationship gone wrong. “Someday you'll hate me as much as I hate myself /'Till then I'll fade to black / While I burn in hell for this,” rounds out the sour relationship at the end of the chorus. You can’t help but feeling the heartbreak, mixed with self-pitty.

Northbound is headed out on tour with Fossil Youth at the end of February, and you can find tour dates HERE.

Connect with Northbound:
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Cane Hill - It Follows

By:  Mary Welch

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The first noticeably different thing about Cane Hill’s new single “It Follows” is simply the first few seconds.  Eerier than other intros, besides parts of their other single Savvage is obsessed with called “10 Cents,” “It Follows” is a slow, steady, and heavy track with very catchy elements. You’ll be headbanging even after the song ends.

Vocalist Elijah Witt’s vocals a minute into the song were the most pleasant surprise, as his singing voice is like getting a good hug. He also sings, “everywhere I go you know trouble follows, I'm just a magnet for pain.” Another noteworthy factor of “It Follows’” awesome sound is band member James Barnett’s impressive guitar playing. Being a guitar player myself, I want everyone to appreciate the band’s talent and dedication to writing songs as sick as these.

Cane Hill’s second album Too Far Gone is available for purchase on January 19th, though it is available for pre-order right now (HERE). Songs we’ve already heard from it are titled “Too Far Gone,” “10 Cents,” and “Lord of Flies.” I truly encourage trying out their new, heavy sound, because I honestly cannot stop listening. Hopefully they will be your go-to band when deciding what to listen to, like they are for me.

Catch them on tour in Europe now through February 7th, and in the states then until March 7th with Of Mice & Men and Bless the Fall. Be sure to pre-order New Orleans’ most inimitable band’s album Too Far Gone now!

Connect with Cane Hill:
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AWOLNATION - Miracle Man

By: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn

Here Come the Runts, (Red Bull Recrods) 2018

Here Come the Runts, (Red Bull Recrods) 2018

AWOLNATION is such a versatile band.  Their sound is always evolving, however, their energy is always through the roof.  I remember discovering AWOLNATION in 2011, with their colossal hit, "Sail" ("blame it on my ADD..").  Their unique lyrics and rapid energy had me hooked from day one.  "Miracle Man" just might be one of my favorite AWOLNATION songs yet.  I've had it on repeat all morning.  I dare you to try listening to it without dancing, you can't.  It's such a fun song!  I'm even more excited to hear this song live when I see AWOLNATION in Chicago next month.  They are such an interactive live band, and I can tell that the crowd will be going crazy to "Miracle Man."  AWOLNATION will be releasing Here Come the Runts on February 2nd (Red Bull Records).  Celebrate by catching them on the "Here Come the Runts tour" DATES HERE.

Connect with AWOLNATION:
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The Used - Over and Over Again

By:  Starr Brown

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The Used are diving into a new sound heading into 2018.  The emo legends have taken a chance on sound to what many are calling “Pandering to the radio crowd," and “Hipster sell-outs.”

While that might be the case for some, the new sound in "Over and Over Again" show how bands evolve after years.  Bands such as Paramore, Bring Me The Horizon, My Chemical Romance, and even Fall Out Boy have faced similar criticism for their departure from the familiar sounds of previous records.

"Over and Over Again" is filled with a dance beat that will surely start your 2018 off right.  The familiarity of Bert McCracken's voice keeps The Used grounded, despite their change in sound.  The track also features a repetitive electric riff that dominates throughout the entire duration of the track.

It's hard not to put "Over and Over Again" on repeat and fall in love with The Used's new direction.  All bands eventually change direction and sound at some point.  The Used are gearing up for a great change in 2018, and I can't be mad at it.

 

Connect with the Used:
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OKEMO

By: Mary Welch

               Artificial Flower, 2017 - iTUNES

               Artificial Flower, 2017 - iTUNES

OKEMO is a New Hampshire born, Nashville based, artist fueled by a love for music and fine art.  Kristofer Jedd of OKEMO, the former lead guitarist from Kaleidoscope Hall, has a unique sound that combines indie rock with an alternative sound for a blend of smooth, emotional songs or a grittier, brash vibe.  OKEMO notably makes each album its own character and genre.  Artificial flower, a recently released indie/folk album, reminds me of a band similar in genre, Mt. Joy.  Whereas DRIIFT, another album just released, has more alternative rock tones that take you somewhere new.  Jedd is already working on a lot more music, including other projects in Nashville’s local music scene.  He aims to make people feel with his music, whether it's anger, sadness, or an array of emotions, he wants to deliver a sound that people can relate to in their own way and enjoy.  Hear both Artificial Flower and DRIIFT by OKEMO below.

LISTEN ON SPOTIFY  :  LISTEN ON BANDCAMP

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Top 10 Albums of 2017; vol. 2

By: Nikki Claine

2017 was an incredible year for music, writing, and growth within the music industry.  Check out my favorite releases of the year below!  Listed are debut release studio albums, "come backs", as well as follow-up releases. 

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10. So Good - Zara Larsson (Epic Records/Sony) [LISTEN HERE]

I don’t remember how exactly I came across Swedish pop singer, Zara Larsson, but once I gave her a listen, she quickly became a guilty pleasure of mine. I followed the release of a couple of her singles off of her EP before her full length album came out, Zara is a total pop princess, and So Good will bring you back to the days you were singing into your hairbrush to Britney and Christina. But miss Larsson has some powerhouse vocals on her, too, as well as some electrifying collaborations on So Good that surely won’t disappoint you. The seventh track on the album showcases a more sophisticated side - "Never Forget You" features the incredibly talented MNEK, a British native notable for his incredible songwriting that he has done for artists such as: Beyonce, Madonna, JoJo, Little Mix, and Bastille, amongst many others. Other collaborations on the album feature Ty Dolla $ign, WizKid, and Clean Bandit. Not bad for her first full length album!

9. Night People - You Me at Six (Virgin Records/UMG) [LISTEN HERE]

I’ve been a fan of You Me at Six for years, and Night People is a release that stays true to them, but also showcases the maturing of their music. With more complex time signatures and lyrics, You Me at Six proves that growth is inevitable with hard work. Night People is a lot darker and features heavier riffs than their past album, Cavalier Youth, released in 2014. Although the album received much more success across the seas in the band’s native UK, the hard work poured into this album cannot be overlooked.

8. Last Young Renegade - All Time Low (Fueled by Ramen) [LISTEN HERE]

All Time Low is another band that I have been a fan of for years. There is nothing quite like experiencing an All Time Low show. And although I myself am not a huge fan of the album artwork on this latest release, the music is what we’re talkin’ here. This album reminded me a lot more of older, classic, All Time Low, which is what I have been ultimately craving with the band. Alex Gaskarth, the band’s lead singer and writer of the majority of their tunes, said that this album is a lot darker than past releases. "Our friends are getting married, having kids, passing away, which added another level of gravitas to things."

7. DAMN. - Kendrick Lamar (Interscope Records/UMG) [LISTEN HERE]

I dabble in listening to rap, but wouldn’t call myself a frequenter. DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar ultimately was THE album of 2017 that made me gravitate back toward rap. With a lot of rap and hip-hop in the early 2000s mostly featuring autotune and derogatory lyrics, I wasn’t the biggest fan. This album makes me reminisce of rap and hip-hop in the 90s. Kendrick Lamar is the voice of this generation for rap fanatics- he writes about his struggles and ultimately takes his audience along for a story. Leonie Cooper of British magazine New Musical Express (NME) said, "DAMN. is by far his shortest release to date – but the ideas, thoughts and feelings it contains are massive, weighty things- from sexual tension to deep, dark depression." Everybody can find a track they can relate to on Kendrick’s album. And it seems I am not the only massive fan- the album has already won the title of Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the Year at the 2017 American Music Awards, and Album of the Year at the 2017 BET Music Awards. In addition, the album was recently nominated for the 2018 Grammy Awards for the title of Album of the Year and Best Rap Album. With diverse collaborations like Rihanna, Zacari, and U2, there truly is something for everyone to fall in love with off of this album.

6. Lovely, Little, Lonely - The Maine (8123 Recordings) [LISTEN HERE]

The Maine’s growth as a band is something I find especially incredible. Every single album they release sounds so completely different and has such a different concept from the last. The debut single off of the album, "Bad Behavior," features upbeat and catchy beats about an unhealthy relationship, which is definitely a unique approach to the subject. The Maine is one of those bands that is constantly evolving, growing, and learning, and I would recommend this album to anyone looking for some new tunes to delve into!

5. Flicker - Niall Horan (Capitol Records/UMG) [LISTEN HERE]

I’ve been following the men of One Direction ever since their formation on the UK version of The X Factor. And the number one thing always on my mind was “how in the world are they going to make this work?” It’s as clear as day how different each member is from the next, and so, looking back at their success and really thinking about it, it makes it that much more incredible. With the passing of time since the breakup, we have releases from each of the boys as soloists. Flicker by Niall Horan really impressed me. This album really showcases the type of music Niall excels in, singer/songwriter music, with folky undertones. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Horan stated that his upcoming new album was inspired by classic rock acts. He got his inspiration from bands such as Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles. "Whenever I would pick up a guitar, I would always naturally play chords like that, and finger pick a lot and play that folky kind of style." You can certainly hear mixes of his inspirations within his tunes. I cannot wait to see what he comes out with next!

4. ÷ - Ed Sheeran (Asylum Records/WMG) [LISTEN HERE]

Ed Sheeran is basically the God of our generation. Seriously- this guy is untouchable. I remember right before he blew up, right after he was releasing EP after EP, before his first studio album ever came out. I KNEW this guy would blow up soon, and with good reason. I am so glad he is one of those artists that truly gets the recognition he deserves. He is a one man show whenever he performs, and it never gets old. That says a lot, am I right? Divide is universal, and it truly has something for everyone. Songs like track number six, "Galway Girl," gives you the feel of propelling through Ireland. The unique combination of instruments used on Divide is something you will rarely come across with in today’s modern music.

3. All These Countless Nights - Deaf Havana (SO Recordings) [LISTEN HERE]

Who is the most underrated band in the history of ever, you ask? Deaf Havana. Deaf Havana is James Veck-Gilodi, Lee Wilson, Tom Ogden, Matthew Veck-Gilodi, and Max Britton. All These Countless Nights is their fourth studio album, and their first on SO Recordings. After having the misfortune of being dropped from their last label, they didn’t let it stop them from releasing an amazing new studio album. With melodic chords and meaningful lyrics, these guys will rope you right in. Their lyrics talk about struggling to find your self worth, dealing with addiction and alcoholism, and depression. Track number six, "Like a Ghost," talks about how real and draining it is simply living and trying to excel day to day. “I used to be so filled with fire / But over the years I see, they've beaten it out of me / Now all I seem to be is tired / 'Cause living is killing me, I'm not who I used to be.” You’re going to get brutal honesty about life experiences with this band, who would want more?

2. Rainbow - Kesha (RCA Records/Sony) [LISTEN HERE]

Kesha fans have been anxiously anticipating her third studio album release for a long, long time. With the derailment being postponed for quite some time following her sexual abuse lawsuit against music producer Dr. Luke, fans were finally blessed in 2017 with Kesha’s follow-up. Rainbow tells the story of Kesha’s past, being strong enough to find forgiveness and to let go of the past. It also expresses messages of self-love and female empowerment. The album is a huge step forward for Kesha in the maturing of her sound and really showing the world what she’s got, we last saw her serving us strictly electro-pop on Deconstructed in 2013. Rainbow features eclectic collaborations by Eagles of Death Metal, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, and Dolly Parton. Kesha credits Rainbow with “quite literally saving her life” and sites that she got influenced for the album from artists such as: Iggy Pop, T. Rex, Dolly Parton, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, James Brown, and Sweet.

1. Harry Styles (self-titled) - Harry Styles (Columbia Records/Sony) [LISTEN HERE]

Like previously stated, I was always curious how difficult it must be for the creative directors behind One Direction to combine all of the interests of the boys in the band. Being so vastly different, it truly must have been a challenge. Harry's self-titled debut album accurately depicts him and his interests to a T. Music publications have described the album as soft rock, Britpop, rock, and pop. Critics noted influences by of British classic rock as well as singer-songwriter folk. Harry also showcases his love for uniquely directed music videos, with the debut video for Sign of the Times, showcasing the singer levitating around a beautiful field. I am excited to continue to see Harry and his music evolve- but this debut was incredible enough to give him the number one spot on my list!

CHECK OUT OUR PLAYLIST WITH NIKKI'S TOP ALBUMS OF 2017 BELOW!  BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR CHANNEL, AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.  DID YOUR FAVORITE ALBUMS MAKE THE CUT?  WHAT WERE YOUR FAVORITE ALBUMS OF 2017?

Mafalda - Don't Let Go

By: Starr Brown

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Have you ever been searching around on SoundCloud for new music and stumbled across something that made you stop and repeat it a few times? That’s exactly what Mafalda had me doing. Originally from London, Mafalda is making waves across Europe with her soulful voice. In her latest track “Don’t Let Go,” you can hear the singer’s powerful vocals laid over top of electronic bassline, heavy synths, and driving drum lines. Nothing over powers her skills however, so you’re always tuned into her captivating lyrics. You can’t help but press replay as soon as it’s over and want to absorb everything Mafalda brings in “Don’t Let Me Go”.

Connect with Mafalda:
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Christmas Mix

By: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn

Christmas is just three days away, and what better way to celebrate than with some Christmas music?!  Several artists have released their own Christmas songs this year, so we’d like to present you with original Christmas songs that you’ll want to add to your holiday playlist!  We’ve also included our favorite original Christmas songs that are already out there.  Grab some eggnog, light the fire, and listen to your new Christmas favorites!

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Panic! at the Disco - "Feels Like Christmas" (LISTEN HERE)
This is such a sweet song, the lyrics melt my heart.  Ever since his Broadway debut, Brendon has shown that he has an insane vocal range and can literally sing anything and everything.  This song makes my want to see more of Brendon on Broadway, it's so cheery and bright.  However, I am always down for a Panic! at the Disco show, they are easily one of my favorite live bands.

The Maine - "Winter Means Nothing (Without You)" (WATCH HERE)
This is the first of two singles off of the Maine's Christmas EP, ...and to All, a Good Night.  This is the second Christmas EP that the Maine has released, and it is quite the present.  This song will pull on your heart strings.  It is simple, beautiful, and will make you miss the ones you love and be thankful for the people by your side.  The Maine sure knows how to make you cry.

Hanson - "Finally It's Christmas" (WATCH HERE)
Not gonna lie, I'm a "fanson." I was so excited when Hanson announced that they were releasing an entire Christmas album, and it is so good!  20 years ago, Hanson released their Snowed In EP, so it's a treat to hear them all grown up, and they even included their kids as guest vocals on a few songs!  This is a fun, catchy album.  It's been really cool to see Hanson grow as artists.

The Darcys - "Another Log on the Fire" (LISTEN HERE)
Is it hot in here, or is it just me?!  This song is pretty steamy!  This is a good song to play while cuddling up on the couch with someone and staying warm by the fire.  This Toronto band has such a smooth sound, you will definitely enjoy cozying up by the fire while letting Jason serenade you.

Louise Warren - "Christmas Memories" (WATCH HERE)
Sometimes you're looking forward to spending Christmas with someone, but unfortunately you can't. All you have are memories, whether good or bad.  Singer/songwriter, Louise Warren, brings us a lovely Christmas original, with lyrics "but I won't make a cameo in your Christmas memories." I love Louise's voice, definitely looking forward to more from her!


And then we have the Christmas originals that we know and love...


Fall Out Boy - "Yule Shoot Your Eye Out" (LISTEN HERE)
"Merry Christmas, I could care less."  What an angsty Christmas song, I love it.  This is probably my favorite original pop/rock original Christmas song.  The lyrics are honest, even if they are a bit much.  The guitar is also simple, yet catchy.  It's not Christmas unless you are blasting this song and screaming the lyrics along with Patrick Stump.

Jason Lancaster - "All I Can Give You" (WATCH HERE)
Jason has always been one of my favorite vocalists.  This song has so much emotion in it, so grab a box of tissues.  This song is so beautiful and honest.  If you want to let someone know that you love them and you will give them everything you have, play them this song.

Set It Off - "This Christmas (I'll Burn it to the Ground)" (WATCH HERE)
Imagine a mix of The Nightmare Before Christmas and the Grinch mixed with some heavy music, and that's what this song demonstrates.  Set It Off circa 2013 was cinematic to the max, and I love it!  This is one of the most intense Christmas songs you will hear, and you will be rocking out.

The Maine - "Ho Ho Hopefully" (LISTEN HERE)
This single from the Maine's first Christmas EP ...And a Happy New Year is flawless.  With a play on words, this song is a must have on your Christmas playlist.  I'm glad that the Maine realized how great they were with Christmas originals early on, I'm definitely a fan.

 

CHECK OUT OUR PLAYLIST WITH ORIGINAL CHRISTMAS SONGS BELOW!  BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR CHANNEL, AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.  WHAT OTHER SONGS SHOULD WE ADD?

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
-SAVVAGE MEDIA

Tonight Alive - Temple

By: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn

"My body is a temple, tell me why it hurts like hell?"

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Tonight Alive has released the second single, "Temple," from their upcoming album, Underworld.  Between the release of "Crack My Heart" and "Temple," we are already so in love with what we are hearing!  The lyrics in "Temple" are so damn relatable.  Jenna speaks of depression, fear, and control.  One thing that I have always admired about Tonight Alive is that they take their lyrics and use them as a platform.  They are honest and vulnerable, and have always demonstrated turning these "fears" into learning to love yourself and into overall empowerment.  Also, can we talk about the heavy guitar riffs and the breakdown in this song?!  Between the strong message and the true rock vibes, Tonight Alive is back and stronger than ever!  Underworld will be released January 12th (Hopeless Records) and we cannot wait! 

WATCH THE OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR "TEMPLE" BELOW:

Catch Tonight Alive on the GET FREE TOUR with special guests Silverstein, Broadside, and Picturesque!

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Top 10 Breakthrough Artists of 2017

By:  Starr Brown

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Khalid - It’s no secret that the recent high school graduate has had one of the biggest 2017's hits in pop music. The 19-year-old released his debut album American Teen in early March and is ending the year with five Grammy nominations, including his feature on Logic’s "1-800-273-8255" is nominated for Song of the Year. Khalid will headline his first tour in 2018 in the US and Europe.

Sleep On It - The little band from Chicago has had a massive year with the release of their debut album Overexposed in November. After heading out on Waterparks’ "Made In America" Tour (where I saw them perform, and let me tell you they’re pretty great), the band now has quite a following and is gearing up for an even bigger 2018.

Dua Lipa - If you somehow missed Dua Lipa’s leap to fame and radio play with “New Rules,” welcome to 2017. After opening for Troye Sivan in late 2016 and a headlining US tour last winter, Dua’s debut self-titled album hit streaming services with nothing but positive reviews. This queen crushes every track and is even better live.

Sigrid - This Norwegian pop star is a must watch for 2018. After a huge year with her singles “Don’t Kill My Vibe” and “Strangers” (which even Lorde was talking about), Sigrid is hopefully gearing up and writing for her debut album.

Billie Eilish - For just turning 16, Billie Eilish’s talent is far beyond her age. She is pushing the boundaries of pop music with a perfect lyrical analysis that opens up her teenage feelings in her debut EP dont smile at me.

Charli XCX – Charli XCX has been circling pop music for years since her collab on Icona Pop’s “I Love It” and “Bomb Clap.” However, Charli truly dominated 2017 when her music video for “Boys” was the only thing on my Twitter timeline for two days straight. Now just having released her Pop2 EP with epic features with Carley Rae Jepson and MØ, Charli is truly breaking through the 2017 charts.

Greta Van Fleet - Since launching onto the scene earlier this year, the four boys that makeup Greta Van Fleet have been relentlessly compared to Led Zeppelin. While their sound may have a striking resemblance, brothers Josh, Jake and Sam Kizka along with family friend Danny Wagne have found their own sounds forged between the 60s and 70s rock influences. If you’ve ever liked rock music in any capacity, you’ll quickly become captivated by their sound for only being in their 20s.

LANY – Another group merging pop and rock together in a way that no one has before, LANY are everything you missed in 2017. Their self-titled debut brings new depth with their signature synth-filled sound bringing listeners through an entire romance, not just typical breakup tracks like several other artists (*cough* Taylor Swift) depend on.

Hey Violet – If you have missed the Hey Violet train, this is your last chance to get on before they truly make it big in 2018. The release of their debut album, From The Outside, shows how the group has matured since their beginnings as the Cherri Bombs. It’s hard to miss the pop-rock-punk fused sounds what “Hoodie” and “Break My Heart” had a few weeks of radio play this year.

The Wrecks – This band only has three tracks out but they’re all so good. The Wrecks joined the epic line up that was All Time Low’s summer US tour and introduced themselves to the world. Besides their three songs on their EP, We Are The Wrecks, they put on a high energy performance. I cannot wait to see them breakthrough even further in 2018.

 

CHECK OUT OUR PLAYLIST WITH STARR'S TOP BREAKTHROUGH ARTISTS OF 2017 BELOW!  BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR CHANNEL, AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.  DID YOUR FAVORITE BREAKTHROUGH ARTISTS MAKE THE CUT?  WHO WERE YOUR NEW FAVORITE ARTIST OF 2017?

 

Top 10 Albums of 2017

By: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn

This year has exceeded all of my expectations for new releases.  Some of my favorite artists put out their third, fourth, or fifth, albums, while I discovered other incredible new artists for the first time. There is no doubt that 2017 was a year of growth, determination, and a plethora of fantastic music.  It was hard to pick a top 10, but here’s my list, counting down to my top album of 2017.

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10.  Turn Out the Lights - Julien Baker (LISTEN HERE)
Nashville singer-songwriter, Julien Baker, will leave you speechless.  I discovered Julien late in the game after several people recommended listening to her (and I'm kicking myself in the ass for waiting so long). With a dauntingly beautiful voice and such raw emotion, this vulnerable album will have you feeling all sorts of emotions.  I connected with Julien from the first listen, I still get goosebumps when I play this album.

9.  A Black Mile to the Surface - Manchester Orchestra (LISTEN HERE)
Manchester Orchestra is a band that I started listening to in college.  I was definitely anticipating their fifth studio album, and it did not disappoint.  Andy has the most unique voice - he could sing the alphabet and still get a standing ovation.  This album also features guest vocals from Nate Ruess (The Format, fun.) and Christian Zucconi (Grouplove).

8.  come out. you’re hiding - flor (LISTEN HERE)
2017 was a huge breakout year for flor.  Former members of Sunderland, and a new sound, this Oregon rooted band is back stronger than ever.  I love the ambient pop vibes on this album.  The mixture of soft, pop vocals with catchy melodies are the perfect mixture for a great album.

7.  Skin & Earth - Lights (LISTEN HERE)
Lights is a total badass! She is amazing to watch in concert - she is an incredible singer, plays guitar and keys, and of course has a light show to match her intense performance (you can see some pictures from her winter tour HERE).  This is a concept album, which pairs with Lights' comic book that she created.  You can read more about that HERE.  It's really cool to see an artist dip into all sides of creativity, I have so much respect and appreciation for Lights!

6.  Divide - Ed Sheeran (LISTEN HERE)
I always thought that love songs were tacky, until Ed Sheeran started making music.  If you are looking for an album that will make you believe in love, help you get over an ex, and just fall in love with life and happiness, this is for you.   Every time I see Ed in concert (NYC SHOW), I am amazed at how well he connects with the audience.  Although it is not my top Ed album, it is still an excellent album.  Grab a box of tissues before you give it a listen.

5.  Velvet Face - Half Noise (LISTEN HERE)
If you're looking to have a good time and dance away all of life's problems, look no further!  Halfnoise is one of the bands that I discovered in 2017, and already bumped them up to my top five artists.  I had the honor of going to the Velvet Face RELEASE SHOW, as well as the most recent HALFNOISE SHOW.  I can promise you, these songs are just as amazing (maybe even better) live. Grab your dancing shoes and give this album a listen.

4.  Evolve- Imagine Dragons (LISTEN HERE)
This album is so damn good.  I worked for Imagine Dragons this fall, and I could not believe how incredible they were in CONCERT.  I had the chance to hear their new album live, in full.  The songs have powerful messages, while Dan's killer vocals just radiate through every single song.  The songs are also so catchy, you can't help but to dance and stomp along.  I would also give them the title of best live band of 2017.

3.  All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell - PVRIS (LISTEN HERE)
This album has personally been such a blessing.  It was released right after I went through an ugly break up, and Lynn describes the pain that I went through all too well.  If you're looking for an album that will heal your soul, this is your go to album.  It talks about the ugly parts of heartbreak, as well as moving on and being fine on your own.  I did photos at the CONCERT supporting this album, and I definitely cried hearing Lynn speak the words I was too afraid to say. (Also, check out Mary's REVIEW and PHOTOS).

2.  Lovely Little Lonely - the Maine (LISTEN HERE)
The Maine was my very first CONCERT when I was 17.  This is their sixth full length album, and it is currently tied as my favorite album by them.  The Maine has a very distinct sound; they are good at staying true to themselves.  After being a band for 10 years, they are still true to their pop/rock/alternative roots, yet each album has a distinct sound.  They are also the most humble, genuine guys ever.  This album is a mix of nostalgia, love, and hope.

1.  After Laughter - Paramore (LISTEN HERE)
Album of the Decade (or at least the year) goes to After Laughter!  After a few year of anticipation and a few changes to the line-up, Paramore came back stronger than ever to deliver their most important ALBUM.  I honestly don't think I have connected more with any other lyrics in my lifetime.  This album covers everything from heartbreak, life struggles, depression, ex-friends, and hopelessness.  The dark lyrics are overlapped with bright, funky, dance melodies.  While listening to this album, you can let out all of your sorrows and (in the words of Paramore), "cry hard, dance harder."  Hearing Paramore sing these songs live in CONCERT and exchanging energy to these songs has helped heal in so many ways.  Please, listen to this album.  It will break your heart, but then heal you, and then when you're done crying, you can dance it off.

 

CHECK OUT OUR PLAYLIST WITH NICOLE'S TOP ALBUMS OF 2017 BELOW!  BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR CHANNEL, AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.  DID YOUR FAVORITE ALBUMS MAKE THE CUT?  WHAT WERE YOUR FAVORITE ALBUMS OF 2017?

Top 10 Music Videos of 2017

By: Boston Schulz

With crazy amounts of technology and crazy beautiful camera capabilities at our fingertips, it’s not surprising that the game for music content is getting more and more intense. Top musicians are required to put out striking photos of themselves every day on social media, and each time they release a new song, the music video is required to be compelling and aesthetically pleasing.

Here is a list of artists and their songs, that to me, kicked ass in 2017, and watching them was a good waste of my time. None of these are in any sort of order. BUT I will start out the list with my favorite music video released in 2017:

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Kendrick Lamar - "HUMBLE" (WATCH HERE)
To be honest, this is the most beautifully filmed video produced this year, hands down. And I will fight anyone who says otherwise on this. The imagery is haunting, fantastical, stunning, jarring, and pushing the boundaries of what musicians typically put out for music videos. The biggest must watch of the year.

Harry Styles – “Sign of the Times” (WATCH HERE)
Why do you want to watch nearly six minutes of Harry Styles flying around the gorgeous Scotland scenery? Just trust me, you wanna.

Thirty Seconds To Mars - "Walk On Water" (WATCH HERE)
With politics aside, this video paints a beautiful portrait of what the United States is and what makes us the country we are.

Kesha - "Praying" (WATCH HERE)
Another one for must watch this year. Not only was this video heart wrenching when considering what Kesha has been dealing with the last few years. Filmed on the outskirts of the Salton Sea with a focus on artwork and haunting artistry of East Jesus, this video brings color and hope to her song and future.

Lorde – “Perfect Places” (WATCH HERE)
This song just makes you want to get on a plane and travel to literally anywhere and everywhere.

Charli XCX – “Boys” (WATCH HERE)
Want some eye candy? Charli XCX directed the video herself, and it’s 2 minutes and 47 seconds full of famous, beautiful men.

Luke Combs – “When It Rains It Pours” (WATCH HERE)
Now, I know a lot of people aren’t really fond of country music, but this song is a hysterical combination of every redneck's favorite things. Personally, this video (and song) is one of my guilty pleasures. But for new-comer into the country music scene, it's a hit for all country parties and just brings a smile to my face to see what Luke Combs decided to put together for a redneck music video. 

Dua Lipa - "New Rules" (WATCH HERE)
The choreography and routine in this video is simple, but the flow and ease of how everyone performs is so mesmerizing.

Demi Lovato – “Tell Me You Love Me” (WATCH HERE)
One of my favorite trends of music videos are these long, storytelling videos. Demi Lovato kicked ass with her heart-wrenching story of love and heartbreak. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for Jesse Williams and those bright blue eyes.

Imagine Dragons – “Thunder” (WATCH HERE)
If you want to watch a music video that makes you just say "WTF" afterwards, This is the hit for you. It reminds me of a futuristic acid trip that isn’t necessarily bad, just confusing. Not sure what the band was going for, but the imagery and angles they use for the filming creates an incredible video.

CHECK OUT OUR PLAYLIST WITH BOSTON'S TOP MUSIC VIDEOS OF 2017 BELOW!  BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR CHANNEL, AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.  DID YOUR FAVORITE VIDEOS MAKE THE CUT?  WHAT WERE YOUR FAVORITE VIDEOS OF 2017?

Top 10 Songs of 2017

By: Mary Welch

As you can probably see, choosing my top 10 songs of 2017 was not an easy task. There are so many great artists that released music this year, and it’s especially difficult to choose when you have such a broad range in music taste. I hope you enjoy these songs as much as I do and branch out into other genres!

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Top 10 Songs of 2017:

  1. "Lord of Flies" – Cane Hill (MUSIC VIDEO)
  2. "Flag of the Beast" – Emmure (MUSIC VIDEO)
  3. "Soft" – Motionless in White (LISTEN HERE)
  4. "Black Wedding" – In This Moment feat. Rob Halford (LISTEN HERE)
  5. "Your Disguise" – Blessing A Curse (MUSIC VIDEO)
  6. "Analog Flesh in a Digital World" – William Control (LISTEN HERE)
  7. "Let Her Go" – William Control (MUSIC VIDEO)
  8. "Silence Speaks" – While She Sleeps feat. Oli Sykes (MUSIC VIDEO)
  9. "Winter" - PVRIS (MUSIC VIDEO)
  10. "Dirty Laundry" – All Time Low (LISTEN HERE)
     

Honorable Mentions:

  1. "Love" - Lana del Rey (MUSIC VIDEO)

  2. "Gangsta" – Kehlani (New Year’s Day cover) (MUSIC VIDEO)

  3. "New Rules" - Dua Lipa (MUSIC VIDEO)

     

Check out our playlist with Mary's top songs of 2017 below!  Be sure to subscirbe to our channel, and let us know what you think.  Did your favorite songs make the cut?  What were your favorite songs of 2017?
 

The New Age - Temper

By:  Nicole Juliette Hetlyn

"You don't always have to be on the rise, cut your selfish ties."

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It’s rare for me to listen to a song and instantly love it on the first try.  The New Age just dropped a new single, "Temper."  I'm definitely a fan of their sound.  It's a mix of Hands Like Houses and Twenty One Pilots, with their own unique guitar riffs and awesome vocals.  The high energy that this song delivers will definitely have you captivated.  I'm really excited to hear more from the New Age, and I can't wait for them to release their full length album!

Download "Temper" HERE + on Apple Music + listen on Spotify.

Connect with The New Age:
Facebook  .  Twitter  .  Instagram  .  Website

Ross Livermore - This is Not Forever

By: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn

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Ross Livermore released his album, This is Not Forever, this morning, and we are in love!  We became captivated with Ross' sound back in October when we heard his single "All About You" (which you can read about HERE).  This bluesy rocker gives us a colossal amount of soul in every song.  The songs range from lighter, pop songs, to full on groovy dance songs.  Nonetheless, every song has the same definitive vocals mixed with heart and soul.  I have already listened to this album a few times today.  With mainstream pop taking over the industry, it is rare to find current funk/soul music.  This album is definitely a gem, we are grateful to have found it.  This is Not Forever has the right amount of soul to get you moving, giving off some Stevie Wonder vibes.  This is Not Forever is available now on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon, so be sure to pick up a copy today!

Connect with Ross Livermore:
Facebook  .  Twitter   .  Instagram  .  Website

Makena - Run Away

By: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn

"I'm sorry you fell in love that night."

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Falling in love has it's ups and downs and can be very complicated.  It's even more complicated when you want to love someone as much as they love you, but you can't quite do that.  Makena's latest single, "Run Away" talks about this all too familiar feeling.  Both the production and lyrics in this single are darker than Makena's previous single, "3am" (which you can read about HERE).  We are loving Makena's balance of dark/soft that shines through her lyrics and production.  This Colorado pop artist is definitely one that you'll want to get into now, we can tell that she is on her way to the top!

You can listen to "Run Away" here on SPOTIFY or SOUNDCLOUD.

Connect with Makena:
Facebook  .  Twitter  .  Instagram  .  Website

Sub-Radio - Holiday Hangover

By: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn

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If you're looking to get into the Holiday spirit, we've got the perfect EP for you!  Hailing from Washington DC, pop-rock group, Sub-Radio, just released a three song Christmas EP.  Holiday Hangover includes one original song, as well as an Ariana Grande cover ("Santa Tell Me") and Fall Out Boy cover ("Yule Shoot Your Eye Out").  I really enjoy Sub-Radio's take on the two cover songs.  They have an authentic, pop/rock style, with smooth vocals and high energy.  The title track is also very enjoyable.  The idea behind Holiday Hangover is the feeling of waking up on New Years Day and realizing that just because it's a new year does not mean anything has changed.  I definitely recomend checking out this holiday EP!

Connect with Sub-Radio:
Facebook  .  Twitter  .  Instagram  .  Website

Kat Saul - Vision

by: Nicole Juliette

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Nashville-native Kat Saul recently released her debut EP, Vision.  This singer-songwriter has already been recognized twice by the GRAMMY Foundation for her work in voice and audio engineering production, as well as marked “One to Watch” by the NSAI.  This doesn’t surprise us; Kat is extremely talented.  Her music is dark ambient pop, reminding us of Lana Del Rey’s style, but in a unique fashion.  It truly stands out, the lyrics are both catchy and relatable.  One of my favorite songs on this EP is “21 days.”  With the lyrics “they say it takes twenty one days to break a habit, but I haven’t yet, you’re still the first thing that’s on my mind..”  Kat uses several analogies to talk about the relatable feeling of going through a breakup and resisting to reach out to the ex that you’re still not over.  Another favorite of mine is the spicy song “Piñata.”  This is a flirty, fun song that will keep you dancing and on your toes.  Overall, this entire EP is full of excellent songwriting, catchy melodies, and fun songs that you will want to add to your playlists.  Be sure to check out Vision now!

Connect with Kat Saul:
Facebook  .  Twitter  .  Instagram  .  Website