Mental Jukebox: Week of November 3-7

Monday: Lindsey Stirling (w/ Lzzy Hale of Halestorm) “Shatter Me”

This song features guest vocalist Lzzy Hale from Halestorm – but don’t be fooled. The star here is Lindsey Stirling, a violinist, dancer, performance artist, composer and YouTube sensation from California. Her specialty is choreographed violin/dance performances, and her musical styles range from classical and pop to hip-hop and electronic. She was a quarter finalist on America’s Got Talent. Her 2012 debut album went gold and platinum in Europe, she’s been nominated for (and won) several awards, and sold over 1 million singles worldwide. Her second album was released in May 2014. What she does is pretty amazing and fairly unique, not to mention the level of talent and coordination required to do choreographed dance and play a mean violin at the same time. This is the song that first caught my attention, but check out her YouTube channel for other videos that place even more emphasis on her dancing.

Tuesday: Robert DeLong “Long Way Down”

Seattle based singer-songwriter and electronica whiz Robert DeLong wrote, produced, mixed, performed and released a highly acclaimed debut album in 2013, earning himself the “Artist To Watch” title by MTV, Billboard, Vibe and others. His songs address questions about identity and spirituality. His electrifying live show quickly became a staple of the festival world. The new single and title track from his new EP Long Way Down, available on November 10th, is an “intelligent, slow-burning electro-rock anthem.” Fresh off a West Coast tour with St. Lucia, he’ll be touring the East Coast in December. His follow-up album is due in early 2015. Keep your eye on this one!

Wednesday: Imagine Dragons “I Bet My Life”

Unarguably one of the best new bands of the decade, Imagine Dragons is back with a brand new single! The band, originally from Provo, Utah but now based in Las Vegas, released three EPs prior to issuing their breakthrough debut album Night Visions, which is certified Platinum in 12 countries (and Gold in many others). The album spawned several chart-topping singles in addition to numerous accolades and awards. With a laid-back folky verse and rollicking chorus, “I Bet My Life” is a tantalizing first taste of what lies ahead on their highly anticipated sophomore album.

Throwback Thursday: Glen Campbell “Gentle On My Mind”

Thanks to the CMA Awards last night I thought I’d dig out a classic country song for Throwback Thursday – one that’s currently getting yet another go-around on the airwaves. “Gentle On My Mind” won four Grammy Awards in 1968, two for writer John Hartford and two for singer Glen Campbell. Hartford was inspired to write the song after seeing the film Doctor Zhivago. Campbell gathered some session players, including Leon Russell, to record the song as a demo for his producer, who loved the recording so much he released the demo version as a single. The song has been covered by Aretha Franklin, Patti Page, Dean Martin and most recently The Band Perry, who are currently taking this classic song back up the country charts.

Friday: Paolo Nutini “Let Me Down Easy”

Italian-Scottish hybrid Paolo Nutini channels heartfelt vintage soul in his latest track “Let Me Down Easy” which places him in a duet with Bettye LaVette’s 1965 hit. Released in April, Caustic Love is the third studio album from the multi-platinum singer and songwriter, and the first new material since 2009’s Sunny Side Up. Oozing with the retro-funk sounds of Stax and Motown and peppered with psychedelic funk, music critics have called Caustic Love “the best UK R&B album since the 1970s
blue-eyed-soul heyday.”

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