With the release of their 2004 breakout album The Silence in Black and White, Ohio's Hawthorne Heights became the poster boys for angsty, scream-sprinkled emo jams that were begging to be sung along to live. The years of success that followed, including the mainstream explosion of their hit "Ohio is For Lovers" and a well-recieved follow up LP, were tragically soured by the sudden passing of guitarist Casey Calvert during the band's fall 2007 tour. Still, the band soldiered on in their fallen brother's honor, releasing two more records (2008's Fragile Future and 2010's Skeletons) and enduring some internal label woes in the process.
The Dangerous Summer are back with another music video, and while their clip for the dark, desperate "Work in Progress" was appropriately bleak, their new video for "No One's Gonna Need You More" is its colorful, happy antithesis. The visual counterpart to the sunny, driving track finds the pop-rockers playing in a grassy field with the same amount of passion that oozes from their new record War Paint. Of course, no love story would be complete without the other party, and the video follows a pretty lady around while frontman AJ Perdomo declares "I'll hold that waiting hand for you."
Drake - "Over My Dead Body"
Hate him or love him, the former Degrassi star has risen to the top of hip-hop's mainstream mountain, and he's not afraid to boast the success he earned with his 2010 breakout album Thank Me Later. "Over My Dead Body," the crawling intro track to his new sophomore release Take Care, is a self-aware bridge between Drake 2k10 and his 2011 iteration, as the Canadian MC confidently spits "And I be hearing the shit you say through the grapevine/ But jealousy is just love and hate at the same time/ It’s been that way from the beginning/ I just been playing, I aint even notice I was winning." By the sounds of Take Care, there are plenty more victories to come for the superstar.
2011 is a major victory lap for UK electronic veterans Above & Beyond, as their constantly evolving Anjunabeats label entered it's 10th year and saw it's 200th release. While the trance unit, comprised of Jono Grant, Tony McGuiness, and Paavo Siljamäki, already hit some huge milestones with this summer's Group Therapy record and a few sold-out performances at the Hollywood Palladium, their musical year is far from over. The 9th installment in their annual Anjunabeats collection is out this Sunday, showcasing some of the best work from Anjunabeats artists and the trio themselves. We got an exclusive first listen to the two-disc compilation, and trance-heads everywhere will be happily immersed in A&B's soundscapes.
November is shaping to be a busy month for avid music buyers (you guys still exist, right?). Whether you're hitting your local record store every Tuesday or prefer the comfort of underwear iTunes shopping (the outside world is scary), there's no shortage of new releases that are worth your attention and dollar. Or if you're in the mood for some crushing rock anthems, are a big Community fan, or have been waiting for the re-emergence of some punk-loving hip-hoppers, there's something out there for you.
City Lights - In It To Win It
The art of being a DJ is so expansive and ever-changing, that the title itself is hard to classify. Is a DJ someone with a milkcrate of old records, some turntables, and limitless creativity? Or is it someone who’s mastered the art of Pro Tools and Reason and is ready to take their digital playlists to clubs all over the world? For some artists, the answer is simply both. Swiss artist Deetron has taken this duality to heart on his new Balance 20 mix, a combination of electronic music methods old and new that manages to come together as something that’s as cohesive as it is eclectic.
Thanks to artists such as the aurally arresting Adele and the late, unforgettable Amy Winehouse, blues music shines brightly on the charts right alongside to today’s pop artists. In an ADD internet age, where fans are looking for the quickest musical sugar rush possible, these artists’ success proves that there are listeners out there who can appreciate some true soul. Here are five modern artists carrying the torch for a genre that’s as emotionally honest as its musically captivating.
Actor/Writer/Musician Donald Glover has been rapidly garnering fame under his Childish Gambino moniker, thanks to a steady stream of free releases that found the dorky spitter churning out anthems that are as heartfelt as they were self-depricatingly hilarious. He's finally taking his rap game to the big leagues, and you can hear his Glassnote Records debut Camp in its entirety over at NPR.
While Gambino's free mixtapes and EPs were potent enough to win the hearts of nerds and hip-hop heads alike, every lyric and beat of Camp exudes a newfound sense of polish and care. It's clear that Glover's rapping has evolved from a bedroom hobby to a full-fledged career, as he's becoming just as widely known for his biting lyrics as he is for his role as Troy in NBC's hit Community.
Georgia’s Cartel are weathered veterans of the pop-rock scene, having exploded onto television and radio in 2005 thanks to their hit “Honestly” and breakthrough record Chroma. The journey that brought them from the height of their fame to present day has been as productive as it’s been turbulent, as the band were featured on MTV’s 2007 Band in a Bubble reality show, which documented the creation of their self-titled sophomore release for Epic Records.
While national exposure seems like a surefire recipe for chart domination, Cartel’s second release was met with lukewarm reviews and almost no label support. The quintet eventually left Epic for mega-indie label Wind-Up and released 2009’s Cycles, a more cohesive and well-received record that still largely fell to the wayside due to internal label complications.