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Cocktail Music: Nick Jonas’ New Single, ‘Levels’

August 21st, 2015 Comments off
Photo via Tumblr

Photo via Tumblr

The single Nick’s been teasing for weeks now, “Levels,” is finally out, and it’s one summer track that’s sure to become a smash.

“The great thing about songs that a large group of people can connect to is that, it sort of breaks down some of the walls of feeling like they can’t like it for whatever reason,” Nick told EW. “That’s been the big goal this last year and a half, to break some of the perceptions down and rebuild.”

Nick’s new album is on its way, but in the meantime, fans can look forward to his upcoming performance at the MTV Video Music Awards on August 30th.

So, how does this single stack up? 

Have a listen to Nick’s electrifying new track, “Levels,” after the jump…

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Cocktail Music: The bird and the bee’s ‘Recreational Love’

July 24th, 2015 Comments off
Photo via The Bird and the Bee

Photo via The Bird and the Bee

 

The fourth album from the bird and the bee, Recreational Love marks the welcome return of LA-based pop duo Greg Kurstin and Inara George. We didn’t know it, but we’ve been pining over their dulcet, synth-heavy stylings for quite some time now.

“We didn’t mean to take so long, but life ended up getting in the way, in a great way,” says vocalist Inara George, who first began collaborations with multi-instrumentalist Greg Kurstin back in 2005, before his Grammy nomination.

Nowadays, Inara lends her vocal talents to indie-folk outfit Living Sisters, and Greg’s been hard at work producing for the likes of Sia, Lykke Li, and Charli XCX, to name a few. To craft the retro-inspired tunes off their latest album, the duo carved Friday mornings out of their schedules each week to sit down at Greg’s studio.

Five years in the making, Recreational Love hits its honeyed mark with “Will You Dance,” the band’s bass-drenched lead single that’s reminiscent of Haim’s Falling in its rounded out sound. To answer preemptively for you, this beat-driven track, “a dance song” at heart, will have you on your feet.

“It’s about the strangeness of people in that the things that are most natural to us, we have such a hard time letting happen,” Inara told Diffuser. “The idea is, ‘Don’t worry about what people think, just do whatever feels good to you.'”

So, is this what being struck by Cupid’s arrow feels like? Regardless, the bird and the bee’s latest record boasts summer jams we can get behind, from “Los Angeles” to “Recreational Love.” Listen for yourself, below.

 

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Deep thoughts from Big Dipper

July 24th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Big Dipper

Image via Big Dipper

by Jim Gladstone

“Where drag queens were before RuPaul’s show came on the air. That’s where bears are now,” the ursine Brooklyn-based rapper Big Dipper, who has just released a new EP, Extra Good, featuring ‘Vibin’, a seasonally splendid single on the order of Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince’s classic ‘Summertime.’ “Bear culture is not really mainstream culture yet. Straight people are just starting to understand what a bear is.”

Still from YouTube.

Still from YouTube.

“Even in the gay world,” says Dipper—who prefers to keep his real name under wraps when promoting his raps— “despite the fact that there are young guys who call themselves bear cubs, I think there’s still an idea among a lot of people is that a bear is something that its ok to end up as. You may be a twink now, but what will you look like when you’re 55? All roads lead to bear. Take a look at the throwback Thursday photos on Facebook: There are a lot of bears and daddies who were twinks until their metabolism slowed down.”

For Dipper, the increased acceptance of bear culture, however slowly, has been a blessing.

“The thing that’s interesting about hip hop,” he says, “is that even as its become mainstream, its also always had very local sub communities. There’s a very specific hip hop scene in Tokyo, in Madagascar, in India, in Russia.”

And now in bear country.

“Authenticity matters in hip hop, and the way I do it is authentic to me. I’m funny and I’m bawdy, with a touch of burlesque. That’s me, that’s my background. I don’t try to convey someone else’s experience by snatching someone else’s story or style. I’m a white person from the suburbs. I’m gay. I’m Jewish. I’m big. I’m covered with hair. And hip hop is my favorite kind of music.”

Watch the mer-rific ‘Vibin’ video after the jump:

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Cocktail Music: Different Colors by Walk The Moon

July 10th, 2015 Comments off
Photo via Cincinnati.com

Photo via Cincinnati.com

Cincinnati indie-pop outfit Walk The Moon has come a long, long way since half a decade ago, when their washed-out summer anthem “Anna Sun” first hit the airwaves, later to become a viral YouTube sensation.

Since the release of Walk the Moon’s sophomore album, Talking is Hard, the band has opened for the likes of the Rolling Stones, graced sold-out stages across the country, and topped the alt-rock charts, even hitting the Top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

The sun-inspired indie rockers drew a crowd of thousands today while playing as part of GMA’s Summer Concert Series at the SummerStage in Central Park. The band performed their 80s-inspired, now-triple platinum hit, “Shut Up and Dance,” along with an electric rendition of their Pride-inspired album opener, “Different Colors.”

“We’ve been really moved by artists who have spoken out in support of the LGBTQ community, and gender equality, and race equality,” said the band’s frontman Nicholas Petricca, in the album’s track commentaries.

“‘Different Colors’ is all about diversity, about celebrating each other’s differences and not being afraid to show your colors.”

Have a listen to Walk the Moon’s effervescent LGBT anthem after the jump…

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Cocktail Music: Christian Falk, Robyn & La Bagatelle Magique

June 26th, 2015 Comments off
Image via FlyLIfe

Image via FlyLIfe

Comprised of Robyn, Markus Jägerstedt, and the-late Christian Falk, Robyn & La Bagatelle Magique have premiered the first song from their forthcoming, yet-to-be-titled mini-album, which will be released later this summer.

This love letter to early 90’s house music, entitled Love Is Free,” features New York–based, Mad Decent-affiliated Maluca, and was debuted as the “Hottest Record” with Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1. The track can now be heard HERE and is available now.

Listen to Janet Jackson’s First Single in Six Years

June 23rd, 2015 Comments off
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

R&B diva Janet Jackson has surprised us with her first song in six years, and it’s a sexy-as-hell jam called “No Sleeep.” This year is expected to be a big one for the 49-year-old who is releasing a full-length album and embarking on a world tour. Her last single was 2009’s “Make Me.”

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Cocktail Music: Mackintosh Braun’s Arcadia

June 12th, 2015 Comments off
Photo via Indietronica

Photo via Mackintosh Braun

 

With the release of their third full-length album anticipated for early next week, Portland-based electro-pop duo Mackintosh Braun hopes listeners think, “Wow, they’re trying new things.”

You might recognize the dreamy stylings of this indie outfit, composed of Ian Mackintosh and Ben Braun, from songs of theirs that appeared on Grey’s Anatomy, Gossip Girl, and Chuck. Where We Are, the band’s sophomore album, was praised by the Associated Press as one of 2010’s most overlooked albums.

Check out Mackintosh Braun’s new album, Arcadia, when it drops on June 16.

 

Watch: Norway’s Eurovision Entry Come Out in Controversial Video

June 9th, 2015 Comments off
Screen Cap via YouTube

Screen Cap via YouTube

Norway’s Eurovision entry has come out in a very steamy way. Iran-born Tooji made quite the statement in his latest video when he has sex with a priest inside a church. The video for “The Father Project” was posted on social media with the caption: “My new video Father is Out, and so am I.”

Watch the controversial video after the jump…

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Spotify Gives Us the Definitive Top 20 Playlist for Pride

June 1st, 2015 Comments off
Judy Garland (Screen Cap via YouTube)

Judy Garland (Screen Cap via YouTube)

Pride music playlists can vary from person to person, region by region, but now, thanks to music-streaming service Spotify, we have a list of the top 20 songs that appear on playlists from across the US. Fittingly, as it would have been the singer’s birthday next week, the number-one song for Pride is Judy Garland’s Over the Rainbow. But the list spans decades from ABBA and RuPaul to Britney Spears.

Check out the entire list after the jump and check out Spotify to find Pride playlists from Alan Cumming and Tyler Oakley…

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The 10 Most Ambiguously Gay Eurovision Acts Ever

May 22nd, 2015 Comments off
Screen cap via Outlandic

Screen cap via Outlandic

Let’s be perfectly clear: To our knowledge, none of these singers is gay, openly or otherwise. But that doesn’t mean people haven’t wondered, whispered or wished. Some of these guys (and gals) have set off the world’s collective gaydar, some have sparked persistent gay rumors, some have actively flirted with gay audiences, and some have simply set gay hearts aflutter. We’ll leave it to you to figure out who’s who.

1  Shake It | Sakis Rouvas (Greece, 2004)
Stealing a page from the Paul Oscar playbook, sexy Sakis Rouvas surrounds himself with barely clad girls in the video for 2004 Greek entry “Shake It,” and yet still reads as deeply gay. Is it a shameless act of gay-baiting? We don’t really care, please just let us keep watching. One of Greece‘s biggest celebrities and an active supporter of LGBT rights, Rouvas took 3rd place with this song at Eurovision 2004. He returned in 2009 with “This Is Our Night”, which took 7th place in that year’s final.