Monday, September 1, 2014

Playlist: September 2014

"Heavy Metal and Reflective"
Azealia Banks

This fresh track comes to us courtesy of Azealia Banks - currently a completely independent rapper after wiggling her way out of a strangling contract with Universal Music Group's Interscope and Polydor. "Heavy Metal and Reflective" has been lifted from Broke With Expensive Taste, Banks' debut album that is still slated for release soon, even after breaking her contract with her former record labels. A superb instrumental runs through track, sounding like a malfunctioning dial-up modem, while Banks' deep flow is broken up with catchy chants of "I could get that."

"Shake It Off"
Taylor Swift

After completely dominating the music industry with 2012's Red and then running around the globe for the monstrous tour to support the album, Taylor Swift has moved directly from tour mode to jump-starting the campaign for her fifth studio and first solely-pop record, 1989. The lead single to the record, "Shake It Off," was dropped simultaneously with the full album campaign announcement. Lyrically, the single has been jokingly noted as the first major song from Swift not to be about love or a break-up, instead aiming for encouraging notes about ignoring haters and bullies.

"Up We Go"

Candian singer-songwriter Lights wasted no time getting back into the swing of things after giving birth to her first child in February of this year. Her third studio album, Little Machines, will be out on September 23, but until then, we have "Up We Go" (and subsequent single "Portal") to hold us over. This song holds true to Lights' general electropop style, but drags towards a sound that is more radio-friendly than the cuts from her last album, Siberia - a change that has brought both positive and negative feedback. Personally, I'm still a fan and am loving the new sound!

"Break The Rules"
Charli XCX

Charli XCX has finally hit it big... as an artist, not as a behind-the-scenes songwriter. This summer, radio airwaves grabbed her feature on Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" and her own "Boom Clap," and didn't let go. Although she had earlier planned a punk-rock album to succeed her previous synthpop album True Romance, it seems that she has taken advantage of her pop pedestal to release another pop-oriented album before fulfilling any rock plans. Preceding her upcoming album, Sucker, "Break The Rules" amplifies the sassy, bratty persona seen in "Fancy" and relates it to rebellious teenagers during the current back-to-school season. In the song, "I don't want to go to school, I just want to break the rules," before an small synth chain. Hopefully the radio picks this one up soon.


Just when you thought Bastille couldn't get any better, they did. They recently released a B-side track to their upcoming single release titled "bad_news," complete with a nostalgic "cut-and-paste vintage clips together to make a visual" video that even Lana Del Rey would be proud of. Using both Bastille's signature alternative style, combined with a few tips from electronic music, "bad_news" could easily be declared the band's best single to date (yes, even beating "Of the Night" and "Pompeii.")

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