Spotlight: This Week’s 10 Most Notable Artists – 6/22/12
Well, let me start this week’s list by saying IT’S SO FREAKING HOT! I mean, really. I thought Hell froze over, for Pete’s sake. I love the summer, don’t get me wrong, but this is pure torture. You cannot function in this much heat and therefore I’m sending out my excessive heat warning:
Do not leave your home unless you absolutely have to. Hydrate yourself, your elderly, and your children (pets included). Most importantly, keep your indoor activities lively with this kicking list of the 10 most notable artists of the week.
Yeah, you like it when I give myself plugs, don’t ya? Well, this week’s list is as smoking hot as the weather. So, grab your iced water and popsicles, babies. It’s time for the hit list!
1. Alicia Lemke – “Luminous”/ Luminous
Now, before we get too excited and pass out from heat exhaustion, we must ease our way into awesomeness with Alicia Lemke’s “Luminous.” Alicia is a calm-Lykke Li-meets-Dido-blended with-A Fine Frenzy-birds fluttery blast of sound and emotion. Lemke’s angelic voice is the strongest instrument in her “Luminous” track. The demanding cascade of dramatic melodies is like “Shimmer down from my fingertips/Subtle warmth/To the brim with brilliance/Reborn.” Damn, she’s good. This Wisconsin native can captivate with her words just as well as her voice. I want to race to the top of a mountain and get all Sound of Music when this track is on. Unfortunately, the closest thing to a hill in Philly are the Art Museum steps and I’m no Rocky.
2. General Fiasco – “Bad Habits”/ Unfaithfully Yours
You might just burst into flames as we head back to the 90s and punk rock-poppy band flashbacks. These bad boys, Irish foursome Owen Strathern, Enda Strathern, Stephen Leacock, and Stuart Bell, are a delicious mix of Blink-182-Weezer-crowd pleasing rifts and screams-meets-Green Day-glory-gritty-swagger. From the jump they don’t hesitate, ripping away at the bass and drums shamelessly and you’re bounded to the track before you can hear a word. This is perfect for the outdoor pool party, or, for us more “urban” folk, “Bad Habits” is part of the perfect playlist for our summer hose down BBQ. Their Unfaithfully Yours album is the second release of General Fiasco, due out July 30th, following their debut album Buildings.
3. Sunday Lane – “A Little Too Young”/ From Where You Are
This is just a shout out to all the twenty-somethings struggling to find the balance between enjoying their youth and being an adult (whatever that means)… Or maybe that’s just my interpretation because I’m one of those twenty-somethings. Regardless, “A Little Too Young” is a little catchy tune by the sweet songstress, Sunday Lane. It’s off her From Where You Area album, released back in April. Sunday is a piano-gracing, Coachella performing, my-song-was-featured-on-One Tree Hill musician who deserves all the hype she’s been getting (and then some). Although she stands out on her own, she has the gentle, angelic voice of artists like Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles. So if you’re suffering from my-twenties-suck disease, here’s what the doctor ordered.
4. Tamagotchi Suicide Squadron -”Dottor Albano Power´s Liebesapfeltunke”/ Bitrage
With a name like Tamagotchi Suicide Squadron, it has to be good, folks. I don’t know if it’s the tribal chanting or the laser zaps, but there’s something hauntingly catchy about this electronic mix. Bitrage is the newest EP from this Swiss duo, composed of Mark Scherrer and Roberto Vitale, who merged back in 2005. They are self-described as a “disco, post-punk, thrash-metal, electro, bossa nova” blend and their music “the hypertextual reality of living in the now, where every moment in space and time is just a keystroke away.” True story.
5. Roxie LS – “Superfreak”/ Roxie LS
I think Britain needs to change its name to Talent. I swear there’s something in the tea and scones. I introduce to the world Miss. Roxie LS, a UK native who is so hard to categorize. The sultry depth of her voice is worthy of many genres, but she’s electro-pop-indie with her fresh mix of a calming Zen and super-charged burst of sound. Roxie seduces with her contralto and electrifies with the merging of pop and electronica beats. She’s also a musical nerd, doubling her studies to focus on both music technology and classical music. Do you fancy yourself a listen, old chum? Well, cheerio, cheerio!
6. Autosave – “The (Shit-faced) Memoir”/ Nightmares and Landscapes EP
Yeah, they’re a bunch of weirdoes, but damn they’re good. I don’t know whether to meditate or medicate when I put this on, but either way, this is my jam. The lyrics are as spacey as the sound, but it only adds to the sheer artistry. Melt into the tribal vibrations, brethren, and feel the percussion. Autosave creates a profound sense of sensory overload, even if they’re just following the direction of their water reflection god. Keep an eye out for their Nightmares and Landscapes EP.
7. Fast Romantics – “Funeral Song”/ Afterlife Blues
The Fast Romantics are exactly like their name. Fast because they quickly came together over whiskey and beer without a moment of hesitation. They’re romantic because of their heartfelt lyrics of longing and lost. “Funeral Song” is their first single off their forthcoming album Afterlife Blues, which is appropriately titled and set to release early 2013. This track is a respectable blend of old school rock and indie rock. A Cheap Trick-meets-Arcade Fire, if you will. The band and the single are quite the buzz, and will only continue to have much success. One point for the great maple, Canada! What do you think aboot that, UK?
8. Ed Sheeran – “Kiss Me”/+
Ed Sheeran is a UK star I recently came across. He released his debut album + (and yes, that symbol is the title, meaning “plus”) and the album soared over in Europe. Sheeran earned a lot of respect through musical blogs and was a constant watch list artist. His song “Kiss Me” is a big ball of sappy goodness that many people will hate me for, but I can’t deny that mushy gushy stuff that makes us all want to snuggle up. Ed Sheeran has you swooning one verse in, making the impracticality of love even more appealing. This Brit has more to offer than his romantic appeal, however. He has the scattered rap styling of Jason Mraz and the smoothness of John Mayer. Sheeran does all that with an uncanny resemblance to Ron Weasely (and I say that in the highest of all regards). So, if you like guitars and red heads, take a listen to yet another British talent bombshell.
9. Dominique Pruitt – “Love of Your Life”/ Singing in My Living Room
Singing in My Living Room is not the real name of Dominique Pruitt’s album because she doesn’t have one. She’s literally singing in her living room. Do I need to explain why she caught my eye? This funky, soulful beauty is music at its best: raw. With her dad by her side, this Los Angeles gem is dabbling in the world of music, developing as an artist and building a fan base before dropping a single. I can’t be less than impressed by the talent and prolific production of this young musician. Dominique has already made mention of putting together a full length album after getting her recordings in order. Her “Love of Your Life” track gives listeners a preview of what’s to come by demonstrating her range and potential, not to mention her songwriting abilities. So show a little love to this rhythmic genius ready to hit music store shelves soon.
10. The Grates – “Turn Me On”/ Secret Rituals
Oh, you don’t have to ask me twice, sweet Grates! “Turn Me On” is a saucy number by an indie pop rock band from Australia. Their album Secret Rituals is the consequence of uprooting from their native Australia to the Big Apple in hopes of gaining a new musical perspective although they had success with two previous albums. The Grates just needed a new sound, something less “cute.” It was a rough year for the lead vocalist Patience Hodgson and guitarist James Patterson, but they managed to create and polish up Secret Rituals in June 2011. “Turn Me On” is a catchy and fun track, laden with guitar and drum that provide its dance inducing magnetism and lyrics longing for more than surface arousal. “Turn Me On” is a call for total ignition, rejuvenation. It was well worth the tedious effort and long New York nights. So take listen “anyway you want to/anyway you need to” and you’re guaranteed a tingle or two.