Here’s a nice, blithesome ditty with a “Benny And The Jets” kind of groove.
The video reminds me a little bit of the Jackson’s “Can You Feel It.” Kinda bizzaro-futuristic with WAY too many sound effects dubbed in. Anyway, it’s not a super-interesting song, but it’s good for a few listens. I’m blogging about it almost out of obligation; it has a great horn part! I think they’re like REAL HORNS! How great is it to hear that again?! I’d like the song better if there were a 12″ version with a nice long break. But I guess breaks have fallen out of fashion these days.
Katy Perry recently released her single “Smile.” If you’re old enough to remember June 1999, the riff in Perry’s song may sound familiar. That’s when Naughty By Nature released their single “Jamboree.” Yes, it appears Perry sampled her riff from Naughty By Nature. It turns out, however, that this is a sample of a sample. Naughty By Nature got their sample from Benny Golson’s “I’m Always Dancin’ To The Music,” an absolutely fantastic disco track from 1978. Enjoy this one and see if you can keep from cuttin’ a rug. I’ll bet you can’t. This one is gold!
There’s nothing terribly interesting about this song, but it is well performed and well produced. Donna Missal gives a solid, soulful vocal performance here. She has an understanding of articulation, phrasing, and enunciation that puts her well above the garden variety pop singer. 1 point deduction for vocal fry. 🤨
Three sisters make up the Los Angeles based band HAIM. I like the production on this track. Terrific multi-part harmony. And it’s nice to hear something that isn’t so quantized, auto-tuned, and polished to the point is has no organic life left in it. It sounds a bit you’re listening to them play it live in their living room. I’m digging it!
This is a really good pop tune from a now defunct band from Brooklyn called Little Daylight. They split up and two of their members formed a new band call Me Not You. They’re worth checking out as well. I really like Nikki Taylor’s vocals. She has a pure tone and good articulation. And there’s never ever any vocal fry which is delightful.
This is my favorite track from Little Dragon’s 2014 album “Nabuma Rubberband.” It has a soulful vocal perofrmance, touching lyrics, and excellent arrangement and production. Normally, an emotional song like this would be a down-tempo ballad. I like that they took it up-tempo and made it thump. They’re a good band. I recommend checking out their other stuff.
London Grammar is an English indie pop band formed in Nottingham in 2009. The band consists of Hannah Reid, Dan Rothman and Dominic ‘Dot’ Major. If you’re looking for an entire album full of outstanding songs and top shelf production, I would give it a listen. It sounds just as good today as it did when it came out in 2013.
According to her website, when Joy Oladokun was 10 years old, she saw a video of Tracy Chapman singing and playing guitar and was inspired. She’s really created something beautiful with “Bad Blood.” It’s got a really pleasing blend of guitar, mandolin, piano and bass. Her voice is natural, soulful, full of dynamic range, enhanced by gorgeous multipart harmonies at just the right times, and not stepped on by excessive processing. She also doesn’t have one millisecond of vocal fry which is wonderful! I’m looking forward to hearing more from her.
Of course, when I saw the song’s title was “Bad Blood,” I couldn’t help but think of Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood. Oladokun’s is 79bpm in the key of A, and Taylor Swift’s is 85bpm in the key of G. Hmmm… that’s only a 6bpm and two semitone difference. I couldn’t help it; I fired up my DJ app and did a quick mashup. Enjoy. 🙂 (I hope Joy is not offended.)