"Bottom of the River" - Delta Rae
Alright guys, so I'll start with a brief disclaimer: country music just isn't my thing. While I'll admit to occasionally humming along to a Taylor Swift ballad or two in the shower (we all make mistakes), you definitely won't find me anywhere near a bluegrass festival and I'm fairly certain my television set is allergic to CMT. That said, I've developed a strange liking to Durham-based folk-meets-country-meets-pop outfit Delta Rae. In fact, I can't seem to get their debut single, "Bottom of the River", out of my head. Maybe it's the powerful vocals and soulful harmonies, or maybe it's the enthusiastic endorsement by producer Pharrell Williams—either way, if I don't take this song off repeat I just may end up singing Shania Twain at the next karaoke party I'm invited to.
ADRIAN BRINKLEYViceroy ft. Ghost Beach - "While We're In Love"
San Francisco and New York City are hardly tropical destinations, yet somehow they produced "While We're In Love," the new track from California's Viceroy featuring the East Coast-based Ghost Beach. It's like Duran Duran time traveled to 2012 but brought along the boat they featured in "Rio"--think shimmery pop meant for soundtracking beach bonfires. If anything can get me to forget that it's mid-November and we've already had a snow storm in New York City, it's this song.
REBECCA WILLA DAVISMetric - "Breathing Underwater"
We still all want to be Emily Haines, right? She, along with the rest of Metric, somehow manage to outdo themselves with each new release. That goes for "Breathing Underwater", whose video came out this week. The song submerges you in a tranquil yet evocative soundscape, while the mix of ethereal-slash-siren-esque vocals and delicate lead guitar create a strong mood. True to Metric rock-ability, there is enough tambourine and baseline to make you involuntarily tap your foot at work or bop around with some serious oceanic moves during a night out. Prepare to dive in.
Gunplay-"The Hard Way"
Yes, I'm reviewing a hardcore rap song, but it's partially because this hardcore rapper happen to put out one of the best mixtapes of 2012—Bogota Rich
. That and
I am partial to any sort of Maybach Music. Before I ever heard his new song, I noticed the almost Balmain-esque blazer he's wearing in his most recent visual, which is a far cry from his usual getup: an orange jail jumpsuit. One thing I'll say about the ex-con is that is really brilliant at putting together bars of what is completely fair to call ignorant music. In fact, I'm more entertained by Gunplay's lyrics than by Maybach's boss, Rick Ross, himself—even if, as a white girl, they're often at my own expense.
RAY SIEGELRa Ra Riot - "Beta Love"
Ra Ra Riot's long-awaited third album won't be out till January 22nd, but judging entirely from this week's release of the record's title track, we've got a strong inkling it won't disappoint. But that's definitely not to say it isn't totally different from all we've heard from the Syracuse band up until now. Dubbed Beta Love, the brand new track ditches strings for genuine, happy-go-lucky synth pop. The result? A surprisingly infectious mix of Freddie Mercury pitch and high energy dance beats, a la Tokyo Police Club. Get ready to dance.