Getting Shlohmo and Jeremih to do a “songs from scratch” session from YoursTruly was a great call. Shlohmo’s deep beats meet Jeremih’s sexy voice and lyrics. OOF! Download Jeremih’s Late Nights with Jeremih mixtape and be sure to listen to “Fuck U All the Time. Until then you can play this and get done riiiiight.
Yes! Finally! Another XO affiliated Canadian to become obsessed with. May I present to you, Julian Cruz. Employing a low-key and chilled out producing style, complete with breathy lyrics and a guitar warbling in the background, Cruz created a great song to get completely lost in. “Get Yours” is his latest release since his mixtape Black Heart, and it is good to see that, if his other songs are anything like this, his sophomore effort will not disappoint! Check out Julian Cruz’s “Get Yours” below and prepare to fall in love:
Maybe you’ve had a bad day. Maybe you had a really awkward run in with your ex while he is with his new girlfriend. Maybe you tried to buy shampoo and while smelling it, it squirted all over your face. Maybe you are depressed because of something that happened in your past. Or maybe you are sad for no real reason. If any / all of the above applies to you, then please just skip the next paragraphs and start playing the Youtube clip included below. But be warned that you will probably just feel even more depressed, but the good kind where you are slightly happy because at least someone understands what you are going through.
I think that The Weeknd has lived through most of the experiences that most 20-somethings have had, but at an extremely magnified level. Considering how “Trust Issues” just speaks every single word of every single person who has ever been wronged, how “Initiation” describes every college party when you are one of the only girls there and how “Echoes of Silence” made me instantly start sobbing once I heard it, it would appear that Abel Tesfaye has seen (and done) it all. Weird that he’s from Canada. I thought everyone there was super nice and polite? They go through terrible life changing events, just like everyone else? WHAT?
But, back to “Twenty Eight”. The song is one of the few added onto Trilogy and not featured on any of his previous releases. For an analogy on how he feels about becoming part of the mainstream consciousness, “Twenty Eight” is all about how Abel brought home a girl who was already in a relationship and then the ensuing problems (‘cus there always be problems); even though this is well tred territory for the hip-hop and R&B scenes, Abel takes the approach of how this is an incurring problem rather than the typical “NOW SHE NEVAH WANT HUR MAN YAAA I’M GOOD AT SEX THINGS” that many rappers and other R&B musicians employ. Instead, he laments about how “Girl you could’ve been the one / Now gotta change my number twice a month / When you could have simply kept it on the down low”.
The Weeknd is known for their depressing themes, beats and videos, and therefore “Twenty Eight”‘s video is no different. It features Abel in an interview and a somewhat brothel (?) as well as a ghostly looking girl figure who is watching him from a television. It is clear there is some connection between the two of them, but since most of the allure of The Weeknd is the mystery associated with his videos, we don’t get a real answer. The video is a trip, and features a lot of boobs (so this is definitely NSFW!). But, if do happen to be at work, maybe play the video in the background and just listen to the song because this is another instaclassic for The Weeknd.
Check out “Twenty Eight” below and let us know if you know what it all means in the comments:
Who doesn’t like “Waterfalls”? Stooshe, an English group, comes through with this really solid cover of “Waterfalls” which is originally by TLC (just throwing that in there in case you live under a bridge). Check out Stooche’s version and then get your 90s groove on a listen to TLC’s version below that.
Part two of this week’s Cover Friday’s is also about Frank Ocean’s classic “Thinking About You”, but this time the cover is by Yuna, a young Malaysian singer who reimagined this song by only using vocals to create absolutely everything. She sings the backing vocals, the instrumental parts and, obviously, Frank Ocean’s main part. Her voice is flawless, and brings this song into a new light by making it much higher and much… squeakier? But in a good way. Check out Yuna’s cover of “Thinking About You” below, and compare it to Frank Ocean’s original, which is located at the bottom of the post.
By now, we have all heard “Thinkin’ Bout You” a million times, and yet, we all still love it. Even though covering a Frank Ocean tune seems silly because no one has as beautiful of a voice, many have stepped up to the test. First, we have Nite Jewel & Nicholas Krgovich, who made this song much more low-fy, which works well for covers of this song because packing the same power that Ocean does is almost impossible. By bringing down the tone and splitting the vocals between two people, this cover is a pretty solid one. Both voices in this cover are beautiful, but I can’t help feel like they recorded this cover in one of their basements. Check out Nite Jewel & Nicholas Krgovich’s cover of “Thinking About You” below, with Frank Ocean’s classic below it.
Nite Jewel & Nicholas Krgovich – “Thinking About You”
AlunaGeorge’s newest single, “Your Drums, Your Love” is everything I hope for from a European pop/electro/hip-hop based/soul group of space alien tendencies. With out-of-the-world sounding blips beginning “Your Drums, Your Love”, AlunaGeorge (fantastically) treads a middle ground between weird outer space/underwater influences and the pop music charts. The chorus is delightful (there really is no other word for it) and electronic background is enough to get you out onto the floor.
You will be able to get “Your Drums, Your Love” in stores on October 7th, and you can expect AlunaGeorge’s full length sometime in 2013. So, to sedate your need for more electronic grooves, check out “Your Drums, Your Love” below.
This is a part two section of our first ever Cover Fridays. To find part one on Ellie Goulding and The Weeknd, please click here!
*Drum roll please*
Coeur de Pirate is someone that I do not know that much about, except that she is adorable, has a great voice and has a pretty awesome music taste. Coeur de Pirate covered The Weeknd’s “Wicked Games” in late July, and released the following video on her Youtube account.
Coeur’s version of this song is basically just her and a piano, so this version is much more low-key. Her voice is much less confident in busting out the notes like The Weeknd does, but her much softer version is beautiful. “Wicked Games” is one of my favorite Weeknd songs, so anyone covering it, even if it was Kanye, would probably still be a lesser version in my mind. However, Coeur’s cover of it is still pretty damn good. Just don’t expect to get it on while it is playing. Coeur’s is much better for driving around while it is raining, or taking a pensive walk down a beach.
Check out both versions of the song below, and decide for yourself which version you prefer!
We decided to do something a little different every Friday.
Since this blog has been around for quite some time, we decided that it was high time for us to settle down and have a set feature or two. The first (and only…for now) feature that we are going to have will appear each Friday, and will be able to be spotted by their “Cover Fridays” title. Obviously, each article posted under this name will be a cover of a popular (or just one of our favorite) song, but unlike our other posts, this feature will not necessarily feature exclusively new music, but rather, will have a mix of some awesome covers that we have loved for a long time and songs that we have just discovered.
To debut our newest section, we are starting with a double feature! Ellie Goulding with her cover of “High For This” and Coeur de Pirate with her cover of “Wicked Games” (which you can read here) are both going to be featured this week, which is perfect since both were originally recorded by The Weeknd. So without further adieu…
Ellie Goulding, of “Lights” fame, made a cover of The Weeknd’s “High For This” back in the end of May, but I was only turned onto it recently because of summer 2012′s obsession with doing a million dub-step covers of “Lights” that I am forced to listen to on the radio. The actual, original “Lights” is pretty great, but with all the wub wub, I just want to take two Advil and a nap after listening.
Luckily, Goulding’s version of “High for This” is elegantly electric when it needs to be, and quietly sensual in other places. While the original is much more stripped, Goulding’s comes from an electronic European place, without, y’know, bringing too much of that in order to honor the original piece.
Although The Weeknd’s voice is much more powerful and chilling, and also creates more of a demand (“you GOTTA be high for this”), while Goulding’s softer touch lends well to the song but creates a completely different feel that the original does not even explore (“this is something you might be high for…now dance!”).
To tell the truth, I heard this song about a week ago when it hit the web, but it has taken me a long time to write about it because I am constantly going back and forth between loving it and hating it. I am not generally one to post a piece of music just to bash it (well…), so I did not want to feature this song on WGWI if I was just going to write a long rant about how musicians should not be brought back from the dead. Even though the Tupac hologram was a pretty cool, novelty idea, when I heard rumors of the hologram going on tour, I was disgusted. Just let him rest in peace, you know? And as much as I love Aaliyah (who doesn’t), I am not so sure I am excited to hear a whole album of remixed songs with rappers just using her voice as a backdrop to promote their own agendas. If she was alive and allowed them to do that, then fine, but it just feels kind of creepy to me to use her voice as a backing track when she has no say if she wants to do a song with you or not.
That being said, this song is pretty solid. Especially the Aaliyah part (but that should be no surprise, I guess). And if there was anyone who was going to do a track with her, then it would definitely be Drake. I mean, for God’s sake, he has two tattoos of her and he admits to loving her in basically every song he’s ever released (it is okay Rihanna, he still loves you too).
The track is low key, soft and erethral and the beat is exactly what you would expect from a dead R&B sensation and a soft-core hip-hop phenom collaboration. The entire thing is pretty minimalistic, especially since there seems to only be a drum machine and maybe two or three other actual instruments. The rest is all effects. While Aaliyah sings about the need to talk things out by singing “Can’t you talk to me / can’t you talk to me / tell me what you need / tell me what you need” over and over along with other “talk to me about your problems boo” sentiments, while Drake raps about how being rich is hard. While these two things do not really seem to work together, Drake throws in a very quick head nod towards Aaliyah’s part of the song by saying “I don’t know if speaking on it helps / This is just the shit that’s on my mind / I’ll just keep it to myself, ya know” as his last few lines on the track.
Looking at this track as just that, an individual track, I am really happy with it. But if I am given an entire album of this, then I am not sure if I will be as content to just nod along with this type of thing. Can we just let the dead stay dead? I appreciate the fact that he wants her music to be shown to the world, but if it was really about Aaliyah, then he would not tack his own name onto her new music. It just seems like a marketing tactic to me, and I am not that big of a fan. However, there is some promise that this could be good, so you might be reading me eating my words once/if the full length of Aaliyah/Drake drops. I guess only time will tell. But in the meantime, check out “Enough Said” below and let me know how you feel about this track and collaboration!