This Week on Earbuds, Sam Phillips pens a tune about a rock, Charli XCX continues her pop dominance and Lauryn Hill releases her demo “Black Rage.”
Charli XCX – Break the Rules
A bass-heavy monster of a song from Charli XCX. Its electro-synth fuelled rebellion that builds to a sing-along chorus in “I don’t wanna go to school, I just wanna break the rules.” If “Fancy” or “Boom Clap” weren’t an indication Charli XCX is a pop powerhouse.
a l l i e – Cross My Mind
Toronto singer allie may have released her debut Strange Creature EP nearly a year ago but she’s still getting attention for her sultry, hypnotic groove “Cross My Mind.” The wary songstress weaves a tail of a fatal attraction over funk licked guitars and pulsing bass. A good groove has longevity and “Cross My Mind” certainly has that.
Kimbra – Miracle
Move over Pharrell you’ve got company. “Miracle,” the latest single off Kimbra’s sophomore LP, like “Happy” is a joyful, infectious pop song. The disco-tinged groove coupled with the charismatic singer’s shimmering vocals will have you hooked.
Little May – Dust
Little May’s “Dust” opens with ticklish strings before cracking open into galloping guitars, but it’s the trio’s smokey vocals that are the real charmer. The bittersweet single, finds the singer-songwriters revelling in the romantic memory of days gone by. It’s a great song for the dog days of summer.
Lauryn Hill – Black Rage
A demo recorded in Hill’s living room and recently posted in the wake of the tragedy and civic unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, “Black Rage” is a stark recording, held together by Hill’s poignant lyrics of sadness and frustration.
Sam Phillips – Teilhard
Asked to pen a song for Esopus Magazine, Phillips drew inspiration from a rock… yes, you read that correctly. “Teilhard” (pronounced tai-yard) named after the geologist/writer/monk Teilhard De Chardin, Phillips with the aid of a few instruments and her usual stripped down production makes even a song about a rock sound good.
Ryan Adams – My Wrecking Ball
When Ryan Adams is good, he’s very good and “My Wrecking Ball,” Adam’s latest offering from his forthcoming self-titled album (out September 9th) is no exception. The gritty, emotional ballad is a reminder of Adams’ strength as a songwriter, ranking amongst his best ballads.