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Album review: Matt Corby // Telluric

Editors Choice, News, Pop

25th March 2016

After a couple of years of silence, the Aussie returns with his long-awaited debut album Telluric. And it was a wait worthwhile. Many were hoping that the five EPs he has under his belt, could predict any sort of direction he would take on his debut LP, but if you were hoping for something similar, you’re definitely going to be disappointed.

The meaning of the word Telluric is “an electric current which moves underground or through the sea”. The tempo and feel of the album circles and twirls steadily away, making restrained stops for you to catch your breath before continuing onwards. Current or no current, Matt’s is steering his debut ship in the direction he wants to discover.

“Stood in the corner when we would fight / to act upon a line and hang my shit up out to dry.” He smoothly sings on the soothing and indulgent opening track ‘Belly Side Up’. The slow pace of the record starts here and it doesn’t change much throughout the album.  (I refrain from using the word current again but it’s so cunning and cleverly used by Matt himself.)

There are continuing moments of what appears as ambivalent, but what seem to come effortlessly to Matt might be actually meticulously thought out. We just don’t know, and that’s what makes it exciting. For Mac DeMarco fans and in particular listeners of Salad Days, Telluric would be something to dig into.

Paces are kept at a low and mellow speed, from the choirs and clapping on the simplistic ‘Monday’ to the wholesome psychedelic jazz atmosphere on ‘Sooth Lady Wine’. There is a diary-like form to the songs, representing chapters or emotional difficulties you come across in life. The most lifted and upbeat song of the bunch, is the soulful ‘Why Dream’ where Matt discloses “Just to be like you, but you talk too much to listen / and I want you more, and we are meant to be broken / and I forgive warmly, when you’ve got a change of heart.”

Matt Corby’s voice is something you cannot avoid addressing. From his long-forgotten Australia Idol moments, this man has grown vocally as well as in years. The control he possesses, the way a word can bear one meaning in a song and change in the next is outstanding. He’s far from face amongst the crowd when you hear his voice.

The end of Telluric is where we find the hypnotic ‘Empire Attractions’. He asks, “Something’s got to shape us / Boredom’s going to shape us / something’s got to shake us out of this and save us /how can they save you if they can’t help themselves?” Matt’s got vision and we need not worry about where his vision lies in terms of his music. It’s like he has taken the book of soul music, dusted it off, and left his own notes in the margin.

Article by Flipse Flebo

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Sorry, The 1989 Cover Album Sucked.

Pop, Rock, Singer/Songwriter

30th September 2015

Sorry, actually not sorry. Ryan Adams’ 1989 cover album pretty much sucked. Now, I know everyone and their grandma have been talking about this album and everyone and their grandma seems to be in love with it, but really people?

While I enjoy Adams’ clear ode to Swift for what was an insanely amazing album on Taylor’s part, what I don’t understand is people’s obsession with Ryan’s album. I don’t see anything within it “revealing the sadness” of 1989 and I don’t hear what’s so amazing; all in all I just do not get it.

If I wasn’t already being honest, I don’t think this album makes any sense. Practically every cover on this album feels dragged out and showy. Not that I don’t agree with creative license but this is too much. On tracks like This Love and Out Of The Woods he sounds almost like he’s just talking his way through the song. On other tracks like; Welcome To New York and Style he becomes overbearing and makes it sound like he’s singing over the music and not with it. Also once we get to How You Get the Girl he sounds like Bob Dylan?

Listening to the album in its entirety made me feel like I was watching someone try to make the pieces of three different puzzles into one, it just doesn’t really work. The sound of this album had me confused to say the least.

This isn’t to say that Ryan Adams’ didn’t do anything right with this album either. Tracks like; Wildest Dreams, Blank Space, Shake It Off and All You Had To Do Was Stay he actually created something that I can say I liked and that I can say I expected from him. I think that if he made this entire album consistent with the sound he had on these tracks then I might have enjoyed it a great deal more, but he didn’t so here I am.

Although this was a cover album, I didn’t look at it that way. I tried to look at it as if it was it own separate musical entity because obviously the creative differences between Ryan Adams’ and Taylor Swift are vastly deviating. Also, in that respect I think it is fair that if you are going to listen to it don’t look at it as a Taylor Swift cover album and proceed to be upset that it doesn’t sound like her, I don’t at all think that is what Ryan Adams’ was going for in the first place.

So just to make sure everyone understands where my frustration is placed with this album, it is NOT placed in the fact that it doesn’t sound like Taylor. It is placed in the fact that even through I looked at it as a Ryan Adams’ album and tried really hard to like it, I just couldn’t do it.

To me this album felt scattered and unpolished and at some point while listening to it even a little bit anxious. Like I said at the beginning of this article sorry, not sorry to everyone and their grandma, I really didn’t enjoy this album.

Article by Emily D’Orazio

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Album Review: Carly Ray Jepsen // E-mo-tion

News, Pop, Singer/Songwriter, Videos

7th September 2015

This past Friday Carly Ray Jepsen released her third album “E-mo-tion”, and shes has changed her own game with this one. It’s been said that Jepsen has been having somewhat of and identity crisis lately when it comes to her music, but if this album is the result of that crisis, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that light is elctro-pop heaven.

Carly has really done something amazing with this album. She has broken out of her regular mould of annoying teen-pop and emerged into a new sound all together. She has brought something really dynamic and comprehensive to the table with ‘E-mo-tion’. This album has changed my perception of Carly and her ability to produce something that is energetic and progressive but without the aggravating pre-teen sensibility that came with her two previous albums.

Although the track ‘I Really Like You’ was included in the compilation, which is basically the albums version of ‘Call Me Maybe’, I still can’t help but love the song. Many people where sceptical about what ‘E-mo-tion’ would bring when she released this song back in March. But, she managed to get the ball rolling again when she released ‘Run Away With Me’ which could quite possibly be one of the best songs of the summer.

The theme of the album is quite obviously love. With songs about crushes, unrequited love, falling in and out of love everything and anything connected to the emotion that is love. The great thing about this album is that there is a song for everyone included on this album; seriously I dare you to try and say there isn’t one song you don’t at least like a little bit.

‘E-mo-tion’ is definitely a step in the right direction for Carly Ray Jepsen and I am not the only person who feels that way. She currently has a 4.5/5 rating on iTunes and has been receiving rave reviews across the board. One article even went as far as saying this album might just be better than Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’, and even as a pretty big T Swift supporter, I might have to agree. This is the kind of music Canada needs to be producing and as a fellow Canuck like Carly, I can say she has done out music industry a solid with this album and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Article By Emily D’Orazio

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Ones to Watch: MisterWives Release Video for ‘Our Own House’

Dance/Electronic, Editors Choice, Emerging Artists, News, Ones to Watch, Pop, Videos

28th August 2015

MisterWives are an indie pop wonder in their music video for ‘Our Own House’. The track, which is from their debut album Our Own House is a polished disco-infused dance party.

The band, comprised of Mandy Lee, William Hehir, Etienne Bowler, Marc Campbell, Jesse Blum, and Mike Murphy, brings a quirkily electric sound to the world of pop music. Fresh, funky, and fun are only a few words to describe MisterWives, who have been making a name for themselves since the release of their first EP, Reflections, back in 2014.


Over the past few years, they have been on tour, delighting crowds with their bubbly energy while opening for artists such as Twenty One Pilots, Half Moon Run, Bleachers, American Authors and more.

Their album Our Own House was released back in February of this year and boasts a collection of glittering pop jewels such as ‘Reflections‘, and one of my personal favourites ‘Imagination Infatuation‘. With such a strong debut, MisterWives are positioning themselves to be the next indie pop pioneers.

They manage to transcend different genres with ease, making for songs that are a blend of pop, dance, disco, singer-songwriter, reggae, and funk. Not only does it work, it makes one question how they pull it off with such ease and vivacity.

From defining themselves as a musical family to recording songs in a treehouse, they may very well be the most fun band you’ve listened to in awhile.

If that isn’t enough, they’ve even put their own folky twist on popular songs such as Vance Joy’s ‘Riptide’.

A colorful anthemic debut album, striking in its soaring vocals and jangly guitar riffs, MisterWives are the band you need in your life to brighten your day or dance the night away.

You can catch them on their Scrapbook tour in North America this fall:


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credit Marc Baptiste

From left to right:
Roman GianArthur
Alex Belle (St. Beauty)
Isis Valentino (St. Beauty)
Janelle Monáe
Nate Wonder (Deep Cotton)
Chuck Lightning (Deep Cotton)


Janelle Monae’s Wondaland Records Release EP, Protest Song

Business, Pop, R&B/Hip-Hop

25th August 2015

In February 2015, singer-songwriter Janelle Monae announced that in partnership with Epic Records, she has founded her own recording label and “movement,” titled Wondaland. Consisting of the imprint’s five acts, the label has released their first compilation EP consisting of U.S. charting hits including rapper Jidenna’s ‘Classic Man’, Monae’s ‘Yoga’ and new singles from the album’s other artists: male duo Deep Cotton, Roman GianArthur and female duo St. Beauty.

Released on August 14, the soulful EP was accompanied by the SoundCloud release of a free song, ‘Hell You Talmbout.’ The protest single is being considered “right on time,” considering week-long rallies across the country marking the one year anniversary of Micheal Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri. The black teenager was killed by white police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014, which soon restarted a conversation about the role of race & police brutality towards the African-American community.

Monae posted this message on Instagram about the song:

This song is a vessel. It carries the unbearable anguish of millions. We recorded it to channel the pain, fear, and trauma caused by the ongoing slaughter of our brothers and sisters. We recorded it to challenge the indifference, disregard, and negligence of all who remain quiet about this issue. Silence is our enemy. Sound is our weapon. They say a question lives forever until it gets the answer it deserves… Won’t you say their names?

Monae & Jidenna, loud anti-police brutality activists, have led #BlackLivesMatter marches in both Philadelphia and New York within the past week as well.

Article by Joshua Morales

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Throwback: Why Aly and AJ Need To Make a Comeback

Pop, Uncategorised, Videos

21st August 2015

If, like me, you grew up watching Disney Channel, it was pretty much guaranteed that you were a fan of Aly & AJ. The pop-rock sister duo dominated movies like Cow Belles, shows like Phil of the Future and so on.

I loved all of their songs and albums. Normally, looking back on some of the music I listened to while in my early tween years, songs by The Cheetah Girls come to mind and I cringe with embarrassment and question my musical choices.

However, when I reminisce about my Aly & AJ days its different. I’m surprised at how good their music still sounds. In particular, their album ‘Insomniatic’. If they’d released this album in 2015, I dare to say critics would eat it up just as much as they did back then.

At the time, Sputnikmusic wrote positively about the album, declaring it “an underrated pop-rock album with solid songwriting, stellar production, and first-rate vocals.” Journalist Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian rated the album an A, praising “the effect of which is to leave the listener suspended between hyped-up delight and despair at the micro-produced perfection of it all.”

Often the past has a way of creeping up on us. It’s lurking in a movie from our childhoods, the frozen faded smiles in a photograph, or in this case, a smash pop/electro-rock album from 2007.

2007 was a magical milestone of a year to say the least.

The first iPhone was released, President Obama announced his candidacy for the White House, and the final Harry Potter book was released. It marked the beginning of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and was also the time when Nelly Furtado and Rihanna ruled the charts.

It was also the year when I became a true Aly & AJ fan. Of course being in sixth grade at the time, all the girls in my class were fans of them. It was a no-brainer to listen to their music.

But I still remember everything about that album.

I remember loving the edgy guitar riffs and head-banging drums on ‘Insomniatic’. Everything about the song was cool, and looking back it probably set the tone for my love of rock music today. (Okay that’s a slight exaggeration, I did grow up listening to The Rolling Stones 24/7- but that’s beside the point.)

I remember jamming to the dance-ready ‘Like Whoa’ with its upbeat energy. Reviewer Todd Sterling had accurately described ‘Like Whoaas “a penetrating, bass driven cut compares the sensation of falling in love with a rollercoaster ride. The song, lathered in slippery keyboard effects and programmed drums, is a melodically layered chunk of pop candy.”

And I distinctly recall loving the track ‘Closure’ in all its glossy pop glory. Well, I loved it as much as any eleven-year-old could have, without understanding the meaning of the word closure.

So this is a PSA to Aly and AJ, who have changed their name to 78Violet and since released a beautiful folky single back in 2013:

Now as pretty as this song was, I want to see some edgy pop-rock again.

It’s time for Aly and AJ to get back to being the pop princesses we love and remember. Eleven-year-old me would appreciate it.

Article by Natalie Harmsen

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Review: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ed Sheeran // Growing Up (Sloane’s Song)

Events, News, Pop

14th August 2015

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have re-emerged with their new single “Growing Up (Sloane’s Song)”. It’s a sweet tribute about *shocker* growing up; a touching open-penned letter to his daughter.

It’s cute, but not special. Ed Sheeran’s vocals on the chorus is what makes the song worth a listen. My eyes started to glaze over after he rapped “wear a helmet don’t be stupid” “camp, fall in love, and dance” because it started to feel like a clichéd teen movie. I’m sure everyone else will fall in love with this song. It’s nice, but it’s not something I would ever buy, or go out of my way to download. The only part that sets itself apart is Ed Sheeran’s jazzy chorus, complete with horns and a choir. Macklemore should stick to what he does best; anthemic raps like the ones that thrusted him into the spotlight and won him Grammys. That is the kind of music I want to hear more of. If I wanted a song like this, I’d listen to a different artist. But none the less, the world will be watching as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis poise themselves for a comeback of Thriftshop-esque proportions.

Article by Natalie Harmsen

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This Might Be The Worst Song of The Summer

Pop, Singer/Songwriter, Videos

5th August 2015

Well, I think it has finally been done. The most annoying song of the summer is here. No I’m not talking about OMI’s “Cheerleader” and I’m not talking about “Want To Want Me” by Jason Derulo. I’m talking about LIZ’s “When I Rule The World”.

For a song that is being regarded as “one of the summers most off-the-wall anthems”, I am baffled. To start the beat of the song sounds like something that came from a club scene in the first season of Jersey Shore. I’m also not sure if she is singing or rapping, whatever is going on there, LIZ has me incredibly confused and quite annoyed with whatever it is.

The lyrics are another thing that get to me with this song. I can support the female empowerment tone that I think LIZ was trying to capture but using a ‘dog collar round your neck’ and being ‘on your knees’ to ‘go scrub the deck’ was just a little too much for me and in the grand scheme of things, maybe even too much for the radio? I get where LIZ is coming from with these lyrics but man-oh-man I just cannot get on board with them. Also they become repetitive and when they’re in that strange rapping/singing voice, it makes it so much worse.

Although the song sends me into a small furry, I do have to give LIZ credit for the “When I Ruled The World” music video. It is a pretty funny homage to the 2000’s and as someone who’s childhood took place during those years I understand everything that is going on in this video. Everything from the Care Bears to the Y2K JLO-esque headband makes me want to give her a big high-five for doing the 2000’s their justice in this video, not to mention LIZ pulls off one hell of a Hillary Duff impression in this video as well.

This song is guilty of some serious fetish undertones, a confusing vocal style, and a beat worthy of only the Jersey Shore soundtrack, like I stated before it might just be the most annoying song to be released this summer. But, it does have a pretty great music video, now in true 2000’s style I would like to drop a Video On Trial verdict on this track. LIZ I sentence you please pick a vocal style, wear that insane blue jumpsuit in public for the rest of forever and keep on living in the 2000’s girl, you keep doing you.

Article by Emily D’Orazio

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Alessia Cara Performs on Air With Ryan Seacrest

Emerging Artists, News, Pop, R&B/Hip-Hop, Singer/Songwriter, Videos

15th July 2015

By now if you haven’t heard of Alessia Cara (one of our Ones to Watch) you’ve been missing out on a 19-year old on the brink of pop/R&B superstardom. With her smash hit ‘Here’ being streamed over 9 million times on Spotify, it’s safe to say she’s becoming the poster child for chill music.

Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 4.23.08 PMPlus she did a recent cover of Taylor Swift’s smash hit ‘Bad Blood’ on BBC Radio 1, earning the stamp of approval of T. Swift herself. In a single tweet, Swift endorsed Cara and electrified an already buzzing fanbase.


Proving with out a doubt she’s destined for success, she performed on air with Ryan Seacrest. Apart from performing ‘Here’ she did a cover of The Weeknd’s retro Michael Jackson-sounding track ‘I Can’t Feel My Face.’

And if that wasn’t enough, she proceeded to perform her next single ‘Wild Things’.

The lovely acoustic songs will have to tide us all over until ‘Wild Things’ is released.

Article by Natalie Harmsen

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tori kelly


Album Review: Tori Kelly // Unbreakable Smile

Editors Choice, Emerging Artists, News, Pop, R&B/Hip-Hop, Videos

2nd July 2015

Tori Kelly is poised to be the next princess of pop. With a set of powerhouse vocals, and a passion to match her soulfulness, she’s sure to dominate all your playlists this summer.

Fresh off her Much Music Video Awards performance, a performance on Good Morning America, and the release of her music video for ‘Should’ve Been Us’, she found the time to drop her debut album ‘Unbreakable Smile’.

The track-by-track review:

1. Where I Belong– “I’m just a girl with her guitar / trying to give you my whole heart”. Sing it Tori, we hear you loud and clear.

2. Unbreakable Smile– The titular track is anthemic and empowering. “And baby who knows maybe I can sell out shows without taking off my clothes / God made me sexy I don’t care if only I know”. It’s all about staying true to who you are.

3. Nobody Love– The lead single from ‘Unbreakable Smile’ has a heavy soul influence with catchy hip-hop beats to compliment the upbeat melody.

4. Expensive ft. Daye Jack– An old-school sounding track. Reminiscent of Christina Aguilera thanks to the jazzy horns and Tori’s powerful pipes that could rival those of Xtina herself. It whisks us back to the days of bubblegum pop with a good dose of soul.

5. Should’ve Been Us– Another catchy song with an urban, edgy feel. It’s hip, it’s cool, and you can feel the sassiness shine through. Although the song is about regretting not being with the right person, there’s a defiant vibe about it that gives one the impression they’re better off without each other.

6. First Heartbreak– A ballad that is able to stand on it’s own, ‘First Heartbreak’ is emotional and pure. A song that the likes of Sam Smith would be proud to sing.

7. I Was Made For Loving You ft. Ed Sheeran– Just seeing Ed Sheeran’s name is a sign that the song will be endearing. After the first thirty seconds, it’s easy to confirm my suspicions: it’s enchantingly beautiful. Co-written by both Kelly and Sheeran, it’s easy to see why the two are good friends in real life. With folky undertones, and sweet melodies, I have a prediction it will be a popular choice at weddings in the upcoming year.

8. City Dove– As if we didn’t already know her killer range, her voice soars, rises, and falls just like the song.

9. Talk– This goes in a different direction than the rest of the album. At first listen I wasn’t really feeling it, but now it’s grown to be a favourite. It has the hip-hop flavour, and could be mistaken for an old Aaliyah R&B song (in the best way possible).

10. Funny– An uplifting song about how everything works itself out in the end.

11. Art of Letting You Go– Anyone who’s ever gone through a breakup can easily relate to this tune.

12. California Lovers ft. LL Cool J– Drenched in sunshine and good vibes, you feel elated and bubbly. Surprisingly, LL Cool J’s part adds an unexpected funky twist, making you feel as though summer love is endless. One can easily conjure up every carefree summer memory while listening to this track.

13. Falling Slow– A soulful track that has a Destiny’s Child-esque feel.

14. Anyway– Exuberant and bouncy, showcasing her rapping skills which she pulls off with admirable flow.

Overall, the album seeks to redefine the merging of contemporary R&B with pop music.

“I would hope that my music can inspire people and stand out in a way that is really just me pouring my heart out into my music. If nothing else, there are no gimmicks. There’s nothing that’s fake. Everything I’m doing is just me being me. I hope that would inspire other people in some way, in whatever they’re doing in their lives.”    -Tori, via an interview with Rolling Stone

Article by Natalie Harmsen

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