Tag Archives: Pop

Grace Mitchell – “Now”

10 Apr

After some glorious weather over the last few days, normal service has been resumed and so far this Monday morning has been a bit grey and dull. As a result, there is a bit of a metaphorical fog hanging over Alphabet Bands HQ and we are currently zombie-ing around in a lethargic daze. Mainlining caffeine isn’t helping so we find ourselves in need of another kind of pick me up. Enter Grace Mitchell with a rousing and invigorating pop-banger to help wake the day.

Having risen to prominence last year when the frankly bonkers and incredible “Jitter” was unleashed as a Zane Lowe ‘World Record’, the 19 year old Portland native has quickly gone on to become a must watch artist. On the back of 2015’s infectious as anything Raceday EP and this year’s thunderous “Kids (Ain’t All Right)” comes “Now”, 4 minutes of pulsating beats and frenetic guitar lines.

A gentle piano intro is soon overtaken by the tumble of 80s drums and we’re off, the retro theme continuing as “Now” explodes into neon lights and video game samples. It’s so energetic that Mitchell kindly gives us a couple of piano breaks to catch our breath, before it’s back to laser-sharp electronics and much jumping up and down with delight.

“Now” is a multi-layered high-tempo pop blast that will have you dancing like a loon. If you need to blast off the cobwebs at the start of the week, this is the track for you.


Get to know Grace Mitchell: Website / Facebook / Twitter

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Vérité – “When You’re Gone”

5 Apr

Each year since 2014 we have been treated to a new EP of incredible, intelligent and oh-so danceable pop music from one of the most exciting new acts around. Since her debut single, “Weekend” (our 2014 track of the year) Vérité has had us enraptured. So far this year she has shared two wonderful tracks that only further serve to enhance her reputation. History would suggest that another EP is on the way but this year she is taking things up a level. Yes, at last there is an album coming and we (amongst many, many others) are utterly delighted.

Alongside the announcement that her debut LP, Somewhere In Between, is coming out on 23 June (that’s less than three months) we have been treated to another gem of a pop tune, “When You’re Gone”.

The opening track from Somewhere In Between, “When You’re Gone” is yet another example of why Vérité is so damn good. Lyrically dextrous, heartfelt and so ridiculously catchy, it weaves its emotional thread through the sharp beats and pulsing electronics with consummate ease and to maximum effect.

We’ve said before that if we had the technology to Weird Science up our perfect popstar, we’d make Vérité and that sentiment still stands. She really is the Queen of the uptempo pop banger laced with deep emotional resonance. You can dance euphorically or you can sing along earnestly while a tear winds its way down your cheek. You can even do both at the same time. Whichever way you go, you will enjoy it and you will press play again once it is done.

The debut Vérité album, ‘Somewhere In Between’, is out on 23 June and can be pre-ordered here.

Get to know Vérité: Facebook / Twitter

‘K’ is for Mikaela Kahn

4 Mar

Mikaela Kahn

A few weeks ago we happened upon a gorgeous new voice wrapped around smooth R&B beats and melodies online. We loved it but before we had time to fully get into the tunes and find out more, they were gone. Yet that glimpse stayed with us and, investigating hat upon our head, we went searching. Eventually, with a little help, we found that those soft sultry vocals belonged to Mikaela Kahn and so, after a long absence, a new Alphabet Band was found.

Based out of Austin, Texas, Kahn last year released her debut EP, Fall With You and is about to share her first album, the seven track delight that is Milk & Honey. In the short time between these two releases her music has evolved and developed. Fall With You had more of a folky, country feel to it whereas Milk & Honey is full on smooth jams and late night beats blended with pop and electronica. It was tracks from this full length that we accidently heard, loved and that had set us off on our investigatory path.

Still in her early twenties, Kahn has had an interesting musical journey thus far, including getting a college education in Jazz, being a backing vocalist for an Elvis impersonator (award winning impersonator we must say) and also for Chrisette Michele. As any good press release will tell you, these experiences have helped shape the person Kahn has become and the music she makes. What they won’t have done per se is give her the drop dead gorgeous voice she has been blessed with and it is that which helps her stand out from her contemporaries.

For example, on “Losing You” (a stripped back version of which you can watch below) the arrangement seems deliberately understated to give centre stage to a rich vocal that feels part Mariah, part Aguilera, part Alicia Keys. Full of heartbreak and emotional torment, its powerful yet vulnerable at the same time. There are Mariah moments on “I Want You” as well and “Where You Are” is a stunningly simple guitar and voice song that suits her perfectly.

Our focus on Kahn’s voice is not to denigrate the production or composition of the songs, far from it, as both are fantastic, it’s just that those baby smooth vocals are so enchanting and beguiling that it’s hard to focus on anything else. But we must, and we shall.

The aforementioned “I Want You” is a brooding, shadowy ripple of electronica and slow burning intensity. “Chemical Attraction” has a gorgeously soulful and laidback groove, perfect for some slow cheek-to-cheek swaying as candles flicker in the background and wine waits patiently to be enjoyed. Alongside opener, “Fire & Lace”, it is a gorgeous blend of pop and R&B that should be platinum selling.

Across its seven songs, Milk & Honey serves up late evening sultriness, cold light of day heartbreak, and middle of the night seductions. All the while delivered by one of the sweetest, smoothest and sultry voices we’ve heard in a long time. We’re in love, but we suspect you’d already worked that out…

’Milk & Honey’ is due for release on 14 April.



Stalk Mikaela Kahn: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Invader Girl – “Stuck On Me”

23 Feb

Invader Girl

Once upon a time there was a girl who was made of cinnamon, a cinnamon girl if you will. How this condition came about we have no idea, she may have been born with it, and she may have been cursed or blessed with it. All we know for sure is that Camilla Roholm got over it and is now a full on Invader Girl.

Roholm debuted her new persona with a MS MR remix of “Starting Fires” in the middle of last year (and let’s face it, there aren’t many better ways of launching yourself than with the help of the Addams Family of pop) but then went quiet. Presumably she was either hibernating throughout the winter months or ensconced in a secret underground lair concocting plans for an incursion deep into the ears of music lovers. We’re guessing it was the latter as late last week Invader Girl returned with “Stuck On Me” and it’s neon blast of infectious retro pop.

A self-styled cyber pop wizard, she conjures images of Robyn and Madonna with her synth-magic. Shafts of basslines, electronic shapes and swirls emanate from her fingers and out into the sky like an electro-pop Dr. Strange putting on an audio visual extravaganza. It zips and explodes, awash with colour and energy and while you stand dazzled, it slides in and embeds itself in your brain where it will remain for the foreseeable. Your mind has been invaded; resistance is futile, just go with it and enjoy it. You won’t be disappointed.


Stalk Invader Girl: Website / Facebook / Twitter

GGOOLLDD – “Boyz” (video)

16 Feb

ggoolldd

Depending on who in the music industry you ask, you will get a variety of answers about the right way to grow as a band, to launch an artist, build your fanbase etc. While some may have tried and tested techniques, there isn’t really one surefire guarantee of quality and / or success. That said, we reckon most, if not all, the people you ask in music industry would say one guaranteed way not to be successful is to book yourself a headline show before you’ve even written a song. Yet that is exactly the approach Milwaukee based synth-poppers GGOOLLDD took and to hell with logic, the results are fabulous.

In playing said headline show (a 2013 Halloween party, it was supposed to be a one off) the GGOOLLDD gang found they had inadvertently pushed a snowball down the mountain and it was already getting bigger and gathering momentum. Show followed show and soon the band found themselves in need of additional members (they started without a drummer) as well as tunes. Thankfully both came quickly and last year they released the superbly uptempo $tandard$ EP. The snowball has kept rolling though and now a new single and video have been added to its increasing mass and drive.

New track “Boyz” is blissfully bright and playful. It’s big and bouncy with a hook that sounds like a rainbow; an explosion of colour and sound with synths, guitars and beats detonating together in a joyful blast of pop magnificence. Vibrant doesn’t really do it justice as the drums cascade, horns blare out euphorically and the vocals flat out smile. It’s glorious stuff and even though the temperature is gradually rising, that snowball shows no signs of stopping or melting.



Stalk GGOOLLDD: Facebook / Twitter