I'm Jono. Pop of culture. A fan of music, food, and film. Salt Lake City's my playground. Creativity is my everything.

Track Attack #13

Interestingly enough, I had heard Frankmusik's work years before ”These Streets” but failed to jot down his name and had gone all this time missing out on it. Now, it's 2014 and his game is tougher than ever. This time around I'd be a fool not to keep an eye on this talent.

Frankmusik has proven himself to be a chameleon of sorts by demonstrating an array of vocal ability. From beatboxing, to unbelievably strong beltings in “Dear Nicole”, this guy’s got a lot up his sleeve. Don’t underestimate Frank as just a scrawny pretty boy from London because he’s much more.  

There’s not many guys like that on the scene currently: a solo male act with a powerful voice and musical mastery. It’s refreshing to encounter an act that is interested in the quality of his work much more than the quantity. There’s also a gentlemanlike element to his music that’s surpasses the abrasiveness of music in 2014.

"These Streets" has got the Europop synths you’d expect from Frank and, in contrast, the lyrics are fragile. Fragile in a good way though. A musician’s effectiveness is boosted when they’re able to take their emotions straight from their mind to the recording studio. The genuinity is there, the quality’s there, and it’s all quite impressive. 

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Frankmusik’s album By Nicole is available only for pre-order currently which includes the aforementioned “Dear Nicole”. Let me tell you about “Dear Nicole”… it’s a powerful, powerful track that brings me to tears nearly every time. You’d be a fool too to let the magic that is Frankmusik slip through your hands. 

Buy his musik here.

Frankmusik’s Twitter.

Track Attack #12

When it comes to music, food, and lovers, I’m not very picky at all; but I will forever be inclined to enjoy a disco beat. Something about the twinkle in 70s-dance-floor-inspired tunes like today’s Track Attack, “I Want It All” by brilliant duo Karmin, wins me every single time. Put your roller skates on and prepare to lose yourself with this one.

To be completely blunt, I was one of the last people to think that Karmin made good music and never really thought I’d join their fandom. With this track though, my mind has changed. Perhaps the reason why is that in this song Amy doesn’t rap. In no way, shape, or form is this an argument against Caucasian females spitting rhymes because as you may have noticed, the last Track Attack was from Iggy Azalea (cough, cough… white female). Amy’s efforts just seem awfully forced at times, but for once she puts these aside for a sound that suits her voice much better. 

From the “da da das” in the background to the horns laid down throughout, there is no mistaking this tune for anything other than a contagious groove reminiscent of the 70s, but yet contemporary. I’ll admit that the audience for this kind of song is smaller today then ever before because of my generation’s interest in EDM and other heavy sounds of the like. Though, seeing a hit like “Happy” currently at the top of the charts with an undeniable vintage vibe proves that there’s still a market out there.

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Infectious. That’s what it is. Different too. There’s a lot of nostalgia attached to this track even though you may have never heard it before. Give it a listen and you’ll know exactly what I mean. Never thought I’d say this but… I think I’ve joined the Karmin bandwagon and it feels kinda good.

Karmin’s on tour and might be stopping by your town soon.

Follow the couple on Twitter.

Track Attack #11

*struts down hallway*

There exists a category in music (or at least it should exist) entitled “songs that make you feel like a bad ass”. Track Attack No. 11 earned its place in this category the second it reached my ear drums. Fear not, for “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea will have you feeling like an invincible powerhouse whenever and wherever, especially on the weekends. Whether you’re going out with friends or staying in to relax, this track is the musical equivalent to taking steroids.

"Fancy" is muscle milk for your ego. "Why?" you ask, well… Iggy, with assistance from British ball-of-fierceness Charli XCX, make sure that we understand how cool they know they are and consequently leave us feeling the same about ourselves. Sometimes I’m that annoying asshole that dogs rap because of its lack of substance and blah blah blah; but sometimes it’s okay. 

If it’s clever, if it feels fresh, ego-building urban tunes can pull it off. Kind of like 50 Cent’s new single “Pilot”; because it’s so hilarious, you can’t help but enjoy listening to it. The swagger (yes, this word can actually be used where it counts) in Iggy’s voice is unmistakable and is a bit of a trademark for the Australian. Lyrically, Iggy is slick, but her delivery is what truly slays¹.

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Whether you have a party of fifty or a party of two, it’s always a party when “Fancy” comes on. Quirky (watch the everso quirky video which parodies the 90s classic Clueless here) but strong, this song is a pillar for contemporary rap/hip-hop. As a sidenote: I was lucky enough to see Charli open for Marina & The Diamonds over the summer and her energy is a flawless match for this track. Buy it, download it, blast it, you’ll be feeling fancayyyyyyy immediately.

Iggy’s Twitter. Charli’s Twitter.

¹ (verb) to literally be so damn good that people are in awe and you kill people with your fierceness

Track Attack #10

Beautiful masterpieces aren’t just found inside of the Louvre as many of you already know. Some can be found riding on the soundwaves of brilliant tracks like Track Attack No. 10, “Bridges” by BROODS. 

This brother-sister duo puts together some sonic masterpieces, the type that are scarce today; but that are becoming increasingly popular. It’s not hard to believe that Joel Little, who produced Lorde’s mega-hit “Royals”, has also worked with BROODS in their musical endeavors. Much like Lorde’s artistry, BROODS creates a haunting sound that marks on your memory like the lines in the sky left behind by airplanes (OMG, that’s a little too poetic for me).

The ying-yang of soft vocals matched with deep beats, particularly in the chorus, is powerful to say the least. Georgia, the sister, sings powerfully, but remains a bit under the radar with her vocals. Essentially, her voice serves as both the centerpiece and backdrop for this auditory treasure.

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I almost want to say that this track is gothic, but at the exact same time I want to say that it’s angelic. Though their music can be described as gloomy, somberness serves BROODS as tremendously alluring and to their absolute advantage. Make no mistake in underestimating their ability for these are a twosome that I’m sure has a lot more tricks up their sleeves. 

Join the BROODS family on Twitter, Facebook.

Experience more of them on SoundCloud.

Track Attack #9

The United States prides itself on being the birthplace and catalyst for countless musical phenomenons; but occasionally, it’s the last territory that experiences something great in music and Track Attack No. 9 is a testament to this. If you’re in America reading this and haven’t heard “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit featuring the beautiful Jess Glynne don’t feel alone.

In Europe, this song blew up and surprisingly the U.S. has been late in uncovering its wonder and claiming it as a hit. The reason for this? The song is too intelligent for America. Yes, I said it. Add a Katy Perry-like gimmick or some Miley Cyrus twerking and the song will surely go straight to #1 immediately.

Does “Rather Be” deserve to be #1 in America? Absolutely! The mixing of raw instruments and electronic elements is beautifully executed and vocally Jess delivers powerfully. The purpose of Track Attacks though isn’t to place the track in question at any position on a chart. I admire it so much and find it pleasant. Above all else, this song is truly pleasant. One second you’re listening to the most beautiful violin, then the deep cello seeps in, all while a Donkeyboy-esque beat is laid across the entire track pulling everything together.   

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A literal eargasm.

P.S. I’m embarrassed by the fact that I assumed the young lady of Asian descent in the video was the voice from the track. Wrong-o. 

Clean Bandit’s Twitter. Glynne’s Twitter.

Anonymous asked: Yaaassssss gaga


Answer:

Yasssssssssss slay. You need to not be anonymous.(:

Track Attack #8

I’ll admit I’ve been tardy in sharing this next track with all of you and I apologize! I would dare say that there is no such things as a Chromeo song that isn’t good and their new release “Jealous (I Ain’t With It)” supports this bold statement. Let’s find out why; shall we?

Since the days of “Bonafied Lovin”, I have been engrossed in the spell of Chromeo’s charm. As artists, David and Patrick have evidently grown, but their sound has been consistent and their new stuff is damn good. “Jealous” is from their highly-anticipated (by me at least) fourth album White Women, which is out in May. A lot of what is already available to listen to from the record is sick and has me impatiently waiting. 

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"Jealous" is quirky, like all great Chromeo tunes, and the video only boosts it even more. These guys have seriously good music, but they don’t take themselves very serious. They’re like Empire of the Sun only with groove and a classy style that has dwindled within the music industry in recent years. Music today is a lot like a factory in which musicians feel the need to pump out more and more music that all sounds like clones of each other whilst artists like Chromeo pour their entire hearts into their craft. 

Chromeo’s lyrics are always blunt, but never overbearing. These are the dudes wishing they could pick girls up at a party that then use their goofiness to do just that. They know they’re not perfect and that’s what makes them perfect. Who doesn’t love fun music? That’s what this is. Fun. Refreshingly, humorously, excellently, Chromeo sets a high standard for contemporary music with a vintage edge.

Stay caught up with them on Twitter here. Facebook here. IG here.

I’m @jonorexic on both Twitter & Instagram.

P.S. is anyone even using Facebook these days?

Track Attack #7

Greetings readers… Lay back and feast as this Track Attack review guides you through the epic sound that is Lady Gaga's “G.U.Y”.

My goal in writing these music blurbs is to expose you all to music that is hidden within the realms of conglomerate mess and music industry corruption. Basically, I tend to gravitate more towards artists and their work when they aren’t mainstream or obvious, but Gaga is wedged right in between chart-topping and undiscovered. So, let’s get to it.

ARTPOP (Gaga’s current musical endeavor) was released in November of last year and I have since listened to it in its entirety a billion times; but NEVER, I repeat, NEVER suspected that “G.U.Y.” would become a single. Don’t jump to conclusions though. The song is fierce as hell and perhaps that is the reason that I didn’t think it would be a single. As my best friend Claudia would say, “It’s almost too good to be released.”

The track is much like Britney’s “If You Seek Amy”; the naughty double entendre is a bit risqué to be released to the general public, but nonetheless these women don’t give a shit. The beat is sick, the chorus is catchy, the video is sexy as expected… What more could you ask for? To truly enjoy this track you mustn’t think too hard about it. There’s no need to understand anything so long as you enter it with the pursuit of a good, maybe raunchy, time.

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I believe that with this song, along with almost all the others on ARTPOP, Gaga wants us to celebrate life. Though I find myself emotionally-involved to many of the lyrics in “G.U.Y.”, we are supposed to take it with a grain of salt. Music that sounds this good isn’t supposed to make sense and if it does, it only makes the experience better. Cue the “yassssssssss”!

I don’t care if you’re broke, buy ARTPOP or “G.U.Y.” here.

I’m @jonorexic on Twitter & Instagram.

Track Attack #6

I am literally beginning to fabricate my own conspiracies as to why every up-and-coming artist that I love is from Sweden. XOV is another added to the list with his track “Animal”. Let’s go on a field trip through the musical mind of this XOV guy.

It’s not even just this song that I care about. XOV’s EP Boys Don’t Cry is freaking flawless. I’ve listened to all of it on SoundCloud and at no point did I feel the need to skip to the next song because they’re all so good I wanted to complete the experience of each track before moving onto the next. In a way, it’s like listening to Lana Del Rey's album Born To Die. Once you’ve heard one of their songs it’s almost like you’ve heard their entire discography, but at the same time all the songs are unique. You get a collective that is representative of the artist and cohesive, but are still taken through a journey that fluctuates throughout.

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"Animal" is both sensual and psychological. XOV takes you through the emotion of being in a relationship whilst being a bit on the sexy side (which I am not opposed to whatsoever). Though his voice is more prominent in the song than the actual music, I almost find his voice serving as the music. The robotic undertones bring about a sort of emotion that wouldn’t exist there otherwise. Basically, what you end up with is a haunting performance that cannot be denied its well-deserved applause.

Part of me wants to hate the song because of how repetitive it is… but I just can’t. I love it so much and find it really relaxing. Y’all know I don’t smoke pot, but if I did I’d probably listen to this guy on replay until I was satisfied. 

XOV’s EP is also conveniently up on YouTube here.

& he obviously has a twitter.

Track Attack #5

Stop the presses! Hold everything! I had a bunch of Track Attacks ready for this week and they all have been pushed back a spot because I have discovered a tune so worthy of being talked about immediately! “Habits” by Tove Lo has taken over my entire attention so join me in exploring this gem’s brilliance.

First off, “Habits” isn’t new at all and it technically isn’t even a single. Tove has been promoting her EP Truth Serum since last year, but the accompanying video for this track was uploaded to the internet a couple of days ago and I just so happened to come across it (thank heavens). The video isn’t for the faint of heart; but you can expect it coming from a song about staying high all the time. The raw nature of the video though, is eeeeeeveryything. There’s no fear in the video; nothing is held back and it’s fucking awesome.

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Lyrically, the song reminds me a whole of Elliphant's “Could It Be”. These women are both sensitive, but are also tough and it shows in the words they choose to sing. Sonically, Lorde comes to mind with the melancholy sounds within the track along with the dark elements throughout. 

I was a bit hesitant about allowing myself to like his song because it so blatantly mentions the use of drugs over and over again; but I think the broken-hearted girl within me can’t help it. “Staying high” is a metaphor for just about any other method you find for yourself when coping with heartache. Open your ears and mind to the experience of Tove.

P.S. Expect more from this marvelous talent in the coming months. 

Tove’s on twitter.

Don’t forget to read my other Track Attacks too! Lots of good music.

Find me on Instagram & Twitter.

Track Attack #4

*subconsciously shakes ass to the beat*

*nods head and taps feet*

Prepare yourself because Track Attack No. 5 will have you feeling, dare I say… groovy. Good dance music isn’t difficult to find these days, but “Comfortable” by The Knocks with the help of X Ambassadors has me drooling for more of their magic. Hit play below and read/dance on!

Electro-funk-pop-dance duo The Knocks team up with band X Ambassadors to create this track that’s oozing with a good beat and endearing lyrics: “all I see is you and me//dancing in each other’s company//you’re so comfortable with me”. You can expect to dance without much effort to this song, which reminds me much of Chromeo's ability to bring about the same inexplicable need to get up and move.

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Electronic and dance music are tremendously popular in this age, but the subtlety of “Comfortable” is less predictable, providing for a more enjoyable experience. This song could be easily cliched by the use of more aggressive beats or lyrics, but both are kept in a more classic fashion that’s truly endearing.

Though the track is written by and composed for 20-something party goers, your grandma, little brother, or parent could get into this song because of the simplistic feel-good approach brought on by The Knocks’s production. Do not feel ashamed whatsoever if you find yourself dancing to it whilst blasting it through your headphones; no one is allowed to judge you for the impulse.

The Knocks have a shit load of other really good music on their SoundCloud account here.

Stay updated with them on Twitter here.

Thanks as always for checking out this review and others. I have a ton of music I’m obsessed with this week so expect Track Attacks coming out sooner than usual!

Track Attack #3

Although the first two Track Attacks were amazing contenders, they say third time’s a charm and today we celebrate the absolutely charming Kat Dahlia and her single “Crazy”.

I was actually pretty upset when I discovered Kat because I could not believe that I had gone so long missing out on the incredible talent she is. Raised in Miami to a passionate Cuban family, she proves herself to be both rustic and angelic all in the same breath. “Crazy” demonstrates Kat Dahlia’s ability to swerve in and out of vocal colors with the inevitable result of keeping us locked in.

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The track in its entirety is incredible, but my favorite thing about it is its novelty. You can’t define the genre it should belong in because that’s the direction music is flowing in. Especially when putting “Crazy” against other Dahlia tunes like “Clocks” or “Gangsta”, you realize that we’re experiencing artistry that transcends musical boundaries.

At times, Kat sings with the roughness of Amy Winehouse, but her sound is a tad lighter. Imagine that this song was put together by Winehouse, but then plucked like a chicken and re-assembled by Fergie (à la “Mary Jane Shoes”). It’s a little jazz, but it’s a tad bit R&B with a sprinkle of reggae and a whole lot of Dahlia.

Check out the music video (that I happen to love) for “Crazy” here.

Give Ms. Dahlia a follow on Twitter here.

Track Attack #2

Round 2 of Track Attack is here and we’re ready to roll with another tune that has begged to be let out of the closet! You should expect for me to write about songs by up-and-coming artists as well as names you probably already know. Today’s track probably belongs in the first group with “Tear Drops” by Better Taste Bureau.

Better Taste Bureau is the bad ass trio consisting of vocalists Ben Harris & Shaun Bussard alongside producer Mason Brewer. They have yet to release their debut album, but they have quite a few delightful tunes floating around on the net. Although I find all their work to be pretty rad, “Tear Drops” proves itself to be my favorite at the moment.

There are two types of rap that I thoroughly enjoy: rap that is intelligent, tells an emotional story, and rap that is quirky, unconventional, I dare say… silly. BTB tells a story in this song about the challenge artists seem to have to deal with universally: “Should I pick love or art?”. The verses are delivered in a flirtatious way that brings about a bit of comic relief to the situation. Effective rap is the kind that makes you feel like you’re having a conversation: like you’re in on the joke and that’s exactly what’s achieved here.

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You can’t help but fall in love with the shoulder-shrugging, feet-on-the-desk feeling that BTB bring to their listener with their chill demeanor and soft beats. “Tear Drops” specifically has a bit of a Will Smith groove that’ll inevitably have you feeling like you need to be driving around with your window down, feeling plain old good.

Even if you’re not a fan of hip-hop or R&B give these guys a chance because I am telling you: they are not a disappointment. I can assure you that with this group of guys you’ll never feel the need to wash your ears with holy water after listening.

Give them a ‘like’ here on Facebook and maybe a follow here on Twitter.

You can also download “Tear Drops” and BTB’s other work here on their music page like I did.

Track Attack #1

Starting today I’ll be posting a new clip, a few times a week, of tracks that I deem my personal favorites of that week. Look for information on my reviews throughout all my social media pages and don’t hesitate to give me your constructive criticism/feedback. My first ever Track Attack, as I’ve decided to call this venture, is “Stay Awake” by Swedish songstress, Marlene.

I should begin by mentioning that I first heard this track accompanied by its music video (which has gained about 100,000 views since) and was afraid of what to expect. When the audio first started, it seemed that the song would be dancy, typical of hit songs this year. Preparing to roll my eyes, I then realized that what I had discovered was an artist I had longed to unearth for a long time. 

"Stay Awake" is both predictable and tremendously refreshing. A true music lover, like myself, will easily foretell where the song is headed; but Marlene’s vocals are so genuine that you find yourself overlooking the fact that you may have heard many songs before with a similar message or composition. 

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In today’s fast-paced music scene, a song like “Stay Awake” is a bit of a reminder about how gratifying simple music can be. Marlene makes no reference to clubs or partying; and at no point strays from her incessant plea to say awake forever. (That’s not to say that I don’t love a good clubbanger.) The beat throughout is unarguably urban, reminiscent of a Kelly Rowland R&B tune; but the lyrics are much fragile in comparison, resulting in a pleasant combination. 

The track’s video lacks any tacky gimmicks and makes Marlene’s natural beauty the centerpiece of its delivery. It would seem to me that though the singer’s appearance was highlighted in the vid, the focus was on the music, the message, and never comes off as pretentious. Less truly is more in this case because we get less marketing strategy and more artistic vision.

With her sincerity and simplicity, Marlene impresses me through a song that has now vocalized what I’ve been yearning for recently: a life where I don’t have to go to sleep because I feel like I’ll have missed experiencing something special with people that I love. I wish I could stay awake forever and listen to this song over and over again because I love it that much. 

Buy the track on iTunes here, if you want. I did.

Check out Marlene on Twitter here & on Facebook here.

Brief Blurb

     You may only be aware of the fact that I don’t listen to the radio if you know me on a personal level. It’s more about commercialism than it is about music to be honest. When I listen to a song, I want to enjoy it for its sonic quality as opposed to its position on the charts or any other meaningless rituals found in our culture today. Thus, I have decided to share with you all the music that I come across and find to be worth a listen. Feel free to let me know about any music that you think I would appreciate. Do not feel limited: I have everything from Carrie Underwood and Frank Ocean to Andrea Bocelli and Two Door Cinema Club in my music library. Write me @jonorexic on Twitter or here on iamjonorexic.tumblr.com!

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