Music Monday - Bear Skn
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Music Monday

March 29, 2014

Hey fellas!  We here at BEARSKN are big fans of music, so we thought we’d share a video playlist with you.  These are some of our favorite songs right now.  Enjoy!

By: Shannon Jones

 Spotify Playlist Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX “Fancy” 

You may not be familiar with Iggy Azalea yet, but I think you will be soon.  Iggy is an Aussie hip hop artist and YouTube sensation.  Her debut album was delayed several times, but if this song is any indication it may be worth the wait!  Charli XCX is a Brit who is best known stateside for her collab with Icona Pop, “I Love It,” which she actually wrote.  “As if” it couldn’t get any better, check out their wardrobe in this video.  Cher and Dionne would be so proud. Lizzo “Faded”

Gotta give some hometown love to Lizzo.  She’s a Texan who has called Minneapolis home for several years now.  Her debut album, Lizzobangers, is getting a lot of attention nationally as well as in the UK.  She’s been touring the US with Har Mar Superstar, another Minneapolis Indie pop oddity, who makes a cameo in this video.  You might also remember Har Mar as a member of the Tonehangers, the quartet trying to sell their CD’s and start fights in the movie Pitch Perfect.  But Har Mar isn’t the only celebrity cameo.  “Faded” also features an appearance by Macaulay Culkin!  (Yeah, I don’t get it either, but I love the song.) Kylie Minogue “Sexercise”

Kylie’s new album, Kiss Me Once just dropped, and I’ll be damned if this 45-year old cancer survivor doesn’t once again make me question my sexuality (let me check, okay, nope, still gay).  Hardly an instructional video, but “Sexercize” is certainly steamy.  Re-recording her biggest hits for the Abbey Road Sessions (buy it!) must have been a great artistic refresher for Kylie, because this whole album is a big improvement over her last album of new material, Aphrodite.  I’m also a big fan of the soaring first single “Into the Blue,” and the—to borrow a Bjorkism—hyperballad “If Only.” Naughty Boy ft. Sam Smith “La La La”

Sam Smith is an up and coming UK soul singer.  He just released an excellent EP called Nirvana.  This is his collaboration with DJ/producer Naughty Boy.  He first caught my attention with “Latch,” his collab with the 2013 UK dance act to beat, Disclosure.  Disclosure’s debut album, Settle, was my favorite album of last year. Wild Cub “Thunder Clatter”

Okay, I couldn’t resist including a song from Wild Cub.  I don’t know much about them other than that they’re starting to build some buzz off this single.  There may be only one cubbish-looking fella in this band, but this glitzy piece of indie-pop is still pretty irresistible. HAIM “Forever”

You’ve probably heard of Haim by now, and if you haven’t, you’re welcome.  Haim is a sister act from California that made a big splash at SXSW last year.  They can’t be stopped right now.  Haim is derived from the Hebrew word for “life” and these sisters put a lot of life into their sound.  There are a lot of ‘90s influences in their sound along with a healthy dose of Fleetwood Mac. They even did a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Hold Me” on the digital version of the cover album “Just Tell Me That You Want Me.”  Forever is my favorite track from their debut, Days Are Gone Blood Orange “You’re Not Good Enough”

Oh, the many lives of Dev Hynes.  First came his dance-punk outfit, Test Icicles, followed by Lightspeed Champion, his more indie-pop (almost chamber-pop) moniker.  And now we have Blood Orange.  This project is definitely getting him more attention than any of his previous incarnations.  He even landed the cover of Out Magazine’s music issue last month.  Okay, so maybe this song’s kind of a downer, but it’s such a beautiful song!  It reminds me of ‘80s Prince.  (The only Prince I care about!) Chloe Howl “Rumour”

This is probably not super cool to admit, but I totally discovered Chloe Howl off of one of those Buzzfeed or HuffPost lists.  It was female artists under 20 that you need to know.  Chloe stood out to me.  She just released her debut EP and all 4 songs are gems.  If you like this one, check out her other single, “No Strings.” Cut Copy “We Are Explorers”

This is the second single off of Cut Copy’s latest album, Free Your Mind.  They’re an Aussie dance act on one of my favorite labels, Modular.  Modular has also given us artists such as The Presets and Tame Impala.  Much like Tame Impala, you can hear the influence that ‘70s psychedelic rock has had on Cut Copy’s sound.  It was more prevalent on their last album, Zonoscope, whereas Free Your Mind feels like them trying to take the psych attitude and sound back to the club by layering in some ‘90s house influences.  Like all of their albums, this one is a great listen from beginning to end.  Disclosure “F For You (feat. Mary J. Blige)”

 So do you remember when people still cared about Moby, and he released that mediocre single “Southside” with a new guest vocal by Gwen Stefani, only instead of doing anything remotely interesting, she just sang the same vocal very quietly over Moby’s already boring vocal and even though it sucked they played the video non-stop on MTV2?  This is the opposite of that.  The original album version of “F For You” does not feature Mary J. Blige.  But unlike Ms. Stefani before her, when MJB’s vocal kicks in, she turns this song into something exciting and new. Sampha “Happens”

 I had to close it out with cuddly-looking UK soul-bear, Sampha.  He’s known for collaborating with Sbtrkt and Jessie Ware.  Usually, his sound is more electro, glitch-pop-y, but this one is just him and a piano.  No sampling, and it’s beautiful.  Lo Fang “You’re the One That I Want”

BONUS:  Okay, I couldn’t find a proper video for this yet, but I just had to share this song.  Yes, it is that song from Grease.  I’m a big fan of covers that turn the original song on its head.  In this case, Lo Fang takes his artistic scalpel and surgically removes the camp from the goofy original and replaces it with a healthy dose of sex and brooding.  This cover is equal parts Lana Del Rey and The Weeknd.  And, hey, Lorde’s a fan, so… there’s that.  Enjoy!

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