July New Single & Leak Roundup

After the past few months of always doing a new album reviews post to end the month here on Beausic, the month of July has been much the opposite – there haven’t been many new albums released but there have been a TON of really amazing new singles released this past month. There have actually been tons of first singles released this month, which I always love because it is kind of laying the groundwork for the musical landscape for the fall, revealing all the new albums that are to be released in the next few months. Based on the singles released this month, it is going to be a really awesome fall for music! In fact, this month saw the release of new comeback singles from some of my long-time favorite artists, further solidifying the concept that 2012 is definitely the year of the comeback! With all of that having been said, let’s get on with the new singles and leaks!

Reece Mastin – “Shout It Out”
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One of my favorite new singles of the month comes from a newcomer, the winner of the third season of Australia’s The X Factor, Reece Mastin. I was not familiar at all with Reece or his music prior to the release of this song early in the month and have absolutely fallen in love with him. “Shout It Out” is a super fun and catchy pop-rock track. This track, as well as his previous single, “Shut Up & Kiss Me,” reminds me a lot of one of my very favorite pop acts of the day, One Direction, but even more spunky. It’s kind of like One Direction on speed. I absolutely adore his voice and his sound, which is all about the pop-infused fun! I definitely recommend checking out this song if you’re into really catchy pop!

Rock Mafia featuring Miley Cyrus – “Morning Sun”
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On first listen of this new Rock Mafia track, “Morning Sun,” I forgot  that I was listening to a song featuring Miley Cyrus. Her vocals are nearly indistinguishable on this track, which is saying something considering how distinct a voice she has. It is a really great, over-the-top “party rock anthem”, complete with a really fun bridge about being pimps and hoes. It is really a very good song and a major step in the right direction for Miley, who is kind of continuing the more dance-oriented sound she hinted at on her last record, “Can’t Be Tamed.” Rock Mafia produced much of this record and this track is just another look at what these two can do together. I look forward to much more from the two of them. I recommend this track for anybody who is loving the dance sound that is so prominent out there today!

Nelly Furtado – “The Spirit Indestructible”
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“The Spirit Indestructible” is the second single to be released from Nelly Furtado’s upcoming album of the same name, the follow-up to her absolutely incredible 3rd studio album, “Loose.” The first single, “Big Hoops (Bigger The Better)” was kind of disappointing as a follow up to that record. “The Spirit Indestructible” is much better than “Big Hoops” but still doesn’t live up to anything on “Loose” or her previous two albums. Still, this song is very catchy and has a really nice anthemic sound and has a very positive, uplifting message. I would recommend this song for any fan of Nelly’s style or of a song with a strong, positive message.

2NE1 – “I Love You”
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2NE1 are one of the hottest groups bringing K-Pop to America and their new single, “I Love You” is K-Pop at it’s finest! In spite of not knowing what they are actually saying the song is extremely catchy, fun & impossible to get out of your head! These girls have really gorgeous vocals, too. The little “rap” middle section of the song is probably the best part of the whole thing but I absolutely adore the entire thing. The thing I love about K-Pop is that the sound is, most frequently, reminiscent of American pop in it’s most recent heyday- the time of Britney, *Nsync, Backstreet Boys, etc., which is a sound that has kind of gone out in America since the early 2000s and is, by me at least, sorely missed. I recommend this track to anybody who loves a really fun, dancy pop sound and doesn’t mind not knowing the actual lyrics!

Little Mix – “Wings”
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Little Mix are the winners of the UK version of The X Factor in 2011 and “Wings” is their debut single. It is also absolutely brilliant! The song is so catchy, fun and generally ridiculous in the best possible way! It has a really cool 1960s throwback sound while incorporating electronic and dance elements to make it undeniably current. I had never heard of Little Mix before but I can’t wait to hear more! This is definitely another favorite for the month. I recommend this track to EVERYONE because it is just perfect!

Pink – “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)”
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Let me just start by saying one thing: Pink is AMAZING! Seriously, I think she is one of the strongest songwriters and performers all around in the recording industry today. Her work is proof that the stereotypes are  not correct: Pop music CAN be heartfelt, genuine, emotional and meaningful while still being entertaining and fun to listen to. “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” is a perfect example of this. This song is simultaneously more pop and less pop than a lot of what she has done before. It has an uber-catchy and infectious hook and very simplistic lyrics but also has a really interesting, unique spin on the topic of the song, which is simply about letting go of a relationship that isn’t working out. This track reminds me a lot of an 80s pop song, in terms of the sound, and I absolutely love that sound for Pink! I recommend this song for anybody who likes their music emotional and with depth while still catchy & bursting with energy!

Pink – “The King Is Dead But The Queen Is Alive”
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“The King Is Dead But The Queen Is Alive” is the b-side to “Blow Me (One Last Kiss.)” It is a really gorgeous, unique track. It has a very large, epic sound, reminiscent of something from Queen. It has a very unusual melody at first listen but it works very well and grows on you the more you hear it. I also really love the cool “renaissance” references in the lyrics, as well as a very cool musical reference to the renaissance age in the first chorus after the bridge. If you’re a fan of Pink, this song will not disappoint. If you’re not a fan of Pink, this song will impress. I definitely recommend this track to everyone!

Pet Shop Boys – “Winner”
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As I mentioned in the intro to this post, 2012 is definitely the year of the comeback and one of my very favorite bands, and the biggest selling UK duo in history, Pet Shop Boys are one of the many artists making a comeback in a major way this year. It all begins with this new single, “Winner.” This song is GORGEOUS! It is an absolutely brilliant, very moving song with the most sweet, romantic lyrics possible, but it is also perfect for this point in their career. After 26 years of maintaining a strong following and pretty well constantly working in the music industry, this song definitely feels like a bit of a victory lap for the band, and who really deserves it more? This is probably the most beautiful of all the songs I am including here and I definitely recommend it to everybody!

Mika featuring Pharrell Williams – “Celebrate”
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Let me start by just saying that I LOVE MIKA! He is one of the most refreshing, unique artists recording today and this song, the first single from his upcoming 3rd studio album, is way too much fun. You know what this song is missing? Flaws. Seriously, I absolutely adore this song! It is extremely catchy and has a really fun, kind of retro dance sound, somewhat reminiscent of a Calvin Harris production. Instead, though, this track was produced by and features (only slightly) Pharrell Williams of N.E.R.D. who produced some of the most amazing songs of Gwen Stefani’s solo career, as well as doing pretty much all of the strongest tracks from Madonna’s “Hard Candy” album. This is just a really joyful, fun celebration of a song! I recommend this song to anyone who is looking for a bit of a fun, summertime soundtrack song!

Aiden Grimshaw – “Curtain Call”
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Aiden Grimshaw was a contestant in the 2010 season of the UK version of The X Factor and is now preparing for the release of his debut studio album. “Curtain Call” is the first official single from this record, although it was actually preceded by the absolutely brilliant buzz single, “Is This Love?,” which was included in the April New Single & Leak Roundup here on Beausic. “Curtain Call” kind of follows in the same vein as “Is This Love?,” although it is considerably less dance than that track was and is much more a ballad. Both songs, however, have gotten me extremely excited for Aiden’s debut album to release. He is one of the most promising new artists of the moment, in my opinion. He just has such a gorgeous voice that always seems to be dripping with whatever emotion he is trying to convey. I recommend this track to fans of heartfelt, and somewhat heartbreaking, emotional singer-songwriters. If you’re into Coldplay, David Gray, Snow Patrol, etc., you would probably really enjoy this track!

George Michael – “White Light”
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Speaking of pretty major comebacks, here we have a brand new single from a forthcoming album from George Michael! George Michael has been recording for over 30 years now and is one of the most celebrated performers of my generation. This song is absolutely stunning. It definitely hints at some of the very well-publicized difficult times that George has gone through in recent years, with lyrics that are basically describing a time of contemplating suicide or just general mortality and being grateful to be alive. This song made a very major impact on me personally because it is definitely a subject that I can relate to in a lot of ways, (not currently, of course, but in the past.) It is a really gorgeous electro-infused ballad that is overflowing with emotions, including sorrow, fear, joy and gratitude. I recommend everybody listen to this song because it is absolutely stunning and, I think, and incredibly powerful statement that everybody needs to hear every so often.

Kylie Minogue – “Who Were We”
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“Who Were We” is another surprise from the year long celebration of Kylie Minogue’s 25th year in the music industry, as a part of a film that she is in that premiered at Cannes this year called “Holy Motors.” The song was written by French film director Leos Carax, who directed “Holy Motors,” and has a really interesting, very much French sound. It isn’t one of those Kylie songs that I will be putting on repeat and rocking out to constantly or anything but it is an absolutely stunning vocal performance from Kylie, unlike anything we have heard out of her in recent years, and is an absolutely gorgeous and heartbreaking song. I think this is a song that I would only really recommend to fans of Kylie’s music or anyone who really loves those drippy, Parisian sounds.

The Killers – “Runaways”
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Another major comeback this year is a band that I have loved since the first time that I heard them, The Killers! The Killers are preparing the release of their upcoming fourth studio album, “Battle Born.” “Runaways” is the first single from this record and I absolutely love it! It has a really big anthemic sound, very much like many a classic Killers track. It’s got really gorgeous romantic lyrics with a tinge of sadness, which is very suited to Brandon Flowers’ vocals. The story of the song is reminiscent of many a song throughout the years, like “Jack & Diane” or anything else – young lovers trying to settle down and make a life for themselves. This story is, however, told in a really beautiful and very uniquely Killers style on this track. I recommend this track for anybody that is a fan of The Killers’ anthemic style of rock music.

Melanie C – “I Don’t Know How To Love Him”
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This is one of the most exciting things in the world for me and almost the track I am most excited about in this post! If you didn’t know or hadn’t assumed it was the same track, “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” is originally from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and is part of Melanie C’s upcoming album “Stages.” Melanie C was always my favorite Spice Girl and she has proven why once again with the announcement of this album, which is a cover album full of classic showtunes, (a woman after my own heart, she is!) The first single of the record is her version of “I Don’t Know How To Love Him.” It features an absolutely stunning vocal from Melanie, one of the best of her career, I think. It is just filled to the brim with emotion and really captures the song absolutely perfectly! I cannot wait for the rest of this album! Unfortunately, this won’t appeal to everybody, so I can really only recommend it to fans of the Spice Girls or Melanie alone, or fans of Broadway, as it is a stunning rendition of a Broadway classic!


Lady Gaga – “Nothing On (But The Radio)”

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“Nothing On (But The Radio)” is a recently leaked track that is being rumored pretty heavily to be the first single from Lady Gaga’s third studio album. What can I say about this song? It is a really catchy, fun, pop track, which I love it for. It is also a pretty perfect fusion between the sounds of her two previous albums, “The Fame” & “Born This Way,” which I also really love about it. Still, it seems like disappointing first single choice due to lack of a really strong statement, which is something that “Born This Way” was all about, but it is kind of a perfect choice for fans who missed Gaga being more fun-focused. I highly doubt that this will actually be the lead single from her next album, though, because Gaga wouldn’t let her first single float around the internet so long before any announcements or anything and it also seems to me like something that would be much more suited as a song she has written for another artist. Aside from misgivings about the song as a first single from the third album, I DO really really love the song and have probably played it about 100 times by now. It is really catchy and a lot of fun and her voice sounds absolutely gorgeous on this song – much more controlled and technically focused than much of her music, which also makes me think it is a demo for another artist. Either way, I recommend this song to any fan of Gaga’s or any fan of general pop music because it is really a gem!

The Veronicas – “Lolita”
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Holy crap! The Veronicas are one of my absolute favorite bands in the world. I have seen them in concert 4 times and have met them 3 of those times. Like, they don’t know be my name but they have recognized/acknowledged me every time I have seen them! They are an absolutely amazing band and both of their albums so far are among my top 10 favorite albums of all-time. It is for this reason that I am incredibly excited for their upcoming third studio album, “Life On Mars,” and it’s first single, “Lolita.” It is also for this reason that any talk about this song or album, once it releases, will be incredibly biased. Seriously, though, “Lolita” is a stunning song. It maintains their more electronic and dance oriented sound from their last album, “Hook Me Up,” but definitely shows a massive progression in their sound. It is much darker, in a lot of ways, than anything they have released before, which I love. It incorporates a much heavier, edgier, more rock-infused sound than anything on “Hook Me Up,” which is a major step in the right direction for the band and has got me absolutely gagging for more new music from them. If this track is any indication, their third album is going to be a major game-changer for them and will, hopefully, be the thing to finally break them into the US mainstream music scene. They absolutely deserve it! I recommend this song to everybody – it is brilliant!

No Doubt – “Settle Down”
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Last but definitely not least, my very favorite song of July, and the Comeback of The Year, is the new single from one of my favorite bands of all-time and one of my biggest influences as a songwriter, No Doubt! “Settle Down” is the first single from their upcoming album, “Push & Shove,” which will be the first studio album from the band in over 10 years! As far as the song itself, there are really only two word to use: ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT! “Settle Down” has quickly become the anthem for this moment in my life. It is the perfect comeback single for the band and also a song that has kind of appeared to me EXACTLY when I needed it. I also have to note how Gwen Stefani slips back into the sound of the band effortlessly. This song really sounds like classic No Doubt but also shows a really gorgeous update to their sound, kind of incorporating some of that experimental pop sound that Gwen worked on in her solo career in with No Doubt’s classic ska sound. It also has a really cool dancehall vibe, reminiscent of the band’s “Rock Steady” album, as well as featuring an extremely cool Indian influence. All of those influences and elements sounds like it would be a complete mess but the fusion of it all is actually kind of breathtaking and really refreshing, as this track sounds absolutely nothing like anything else you have heard in recent years. I recommend EVERYBODY check out this song!

So, there you have my new single and leak roundup for July! Like I said in the intro to this post, it was a really big month for new singles and it is all leading the way for an absolutely smashing fall season of album releases! I cannot wait for the fall now! While we all wait for these new album releases, though, I want to wish you all a beautiful week and a beautiful life!

Jason

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