February 2016 Music Picks

Nothing But Thieves “Trip Switch”

Catching up on a few things that hit my radar in late 2015 but I haven’t had a chance to post about until now: Nothing But Thieves is an alt-rock band from Essex, England, formed in 2012 and signed to RCA in 2014. The rave reviews being garnered by their self-titled debut album make constant reference to singer Connor Mason’s “crystalline”, “emotionally raw” and “angelic” vocals. The band cites Jeff Buckley as one of their key influences, and Connor delivers a more than worthy tribute. The band has toured in support of Gerard Way, AWOLnation, Arcade Fire, George Ezra and Muse. The hypnotic track “Trip Switch” is currently sitting at #5 on the U.S. Alternative Charts.

 

Miike Snow “Genghis Khan”

Miike Snow (pronounced Maik Sno) is a Swedish indie-pop band. I discovered them late last year and spent some time listening to various tracks — but their current single “Genghis Khan,” currently bounding up the Alternative Charts, didn’t come with this rather humorously entertaining video back then, so I’m glad I saved the song to share now. 🙂 The band members have a solid production history with artists including Madonna and Kylie Minogue, and even took home a Grammy for Best Dance Recording in 2003. Their third album “iii” is due to be released March 4th.

 

St. Lucia “Dancing On Glass”

“Dancing on Glass” by South African born St. Lucia (aka Jean-Philip Grobler) was one of the first songs to really grab me in 2016. Finding gems like this is the reason I keep on seeking out new music (despite expectations that folks my age are “too old” to care about new artists – or the mutterings of peers that there’s “no good music these days” – HOGWASH!) With a melody and soaring hook that’s been described in reviews as “blissful”, “euphoric”, “alluring” and “addictive”, I’ll just add my own superlative and call it “irresistible” — as I keep on pressing ‘repeat’! From the album “Matter” which dropped on January 29th.

 

Throwback Thursday:  Heart “How Can I Refuse”

Throwback Thursday: How many of you remember this one? “How Can I Refuse” was the first single from Heart’s 1983 album “Passionworks”. This uptempo rock song was an AOR #1 hit on the Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart, and their first 12″ single in the UK. It had moderate success (reaching #44) on the Hot 100 Pop Charts as well.

 

The Wombats “Give Me A Try”

Still catching up at bit…this tune by Liverpudlian synth-pop group The Wombats first caught my ear last year but just recently became a regular earworm. The Wombats formed in 2003 and have had several UK hits, but didn’t debut in the US until 2008, the year they also won awards for Best New Band (NME) and Best UK Act (MTV Europe). They’ve graced the Alternative Charts here a couple of times before (Jump in the Fog, Greek Tragedy) and the catchy, upbeat “Give Me A Try” from 2015’s “Glitterbug” album is currently at #24 and climbing.

 

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