Monthly Archives: December 2013

Top 13 of 2013!

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Image courtesy of Tumblr.

 

2013 is coming to a close, and it’s been an incredible year music-wise. There have been some fantastic releases that, while very difficult to pick, stand above the rest. As you prepare to say goodbye to this year, and start a new chapter in 2014, here are Planet Stereo’s Top 13 albums and singles that have come out.

 

Albums: (in no particular order)

1) The Maine – Forever Halloween: As someone who loves The Maine, I am slightly biased; I think all of their albums are brilliantly put together, but Forever Halloween really showcases the band taking a brand new, somewhat darker direction, and it is extremely well-done.

2) Fall Out Boy – Save Rock and Roll: The band’s first album following their seemingly-eternal hiatus. With guest appearances that leave most artists green with envy, catchy tracks that make you want to play the album over and over, accompanied by a progressive story in each music video, it seems that Fall Out Boy cannot be beat.

3) All Time Low – Don’t Panic: It’s Longer!: Obviously, this is just an extended version of the band’s 2012 album, Don’t Panic!, but I couldn’t resist. The new songs on this bonus edition make it feel like a brand new album, and it’s fun learning new lyrics. All Time Low have progressed as a group, and this album makes that evident.

4) The Wonder Years – The Greatest Generation: The surprisingly raw new album from an band I cannot say enough about. It’s extremely blunt, not shying away from depicting the true ugly in life.

5) Sara Bareilles – The Blessed Unrest: With her signature melodic flourish, Sara is a powerhouse both vocally and as a pianist. It’s a bit more adventurous than its predecessor, but allows listeners to see another side of the songwriter. No wonder it’s been nominated for Album of The Year!

6) Paramore – Paramore: A fresh start for the band with their self-titled release. There’s a distinct new attitude meddled in with the signature flare that has made Paramore so famous.

7) Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart: Another amazing addition to a wonderful artist’s discography. If you want to hear an album with spirit, that truly captures the thinking in every human, this is it.

8) Lady Antebellum – Golden: I’ll let you in on a not-so-secret-secret: I love country music, and am a huge Lady A fan. Golden is one of my favorite releases of 2013, because every song has an undeniable soul to it. So well-made!

9) Sleeping With Sirens – Feel: Showing off their songwriting chops, Sleeping With Sirens wowed everyone with this incredible album, with some spectacular guest appearances.

10) Hands Like Houses – Unimagine: Not only do they make incredible shirts, but they also make pretty spectacular albums. Unimagine is a finely crafted collection of music, setting itself apart from the other releases of 2013.

11) Panic! At The Disco – Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! This album may have launched Panic! At The Disco into the Top 40’s, but never fear! The signature style is still very much alive, with frontman Brendan Urie’s vocals shining through beautifully as always.

12) Cassadee Pope – Frame By Frame: Following her win on NBC’s The Voice, Cassadee Pope (previously of Hey Monday) released her debut solo album. The country-pop songstress left many in awe with Frame By Frame, a fantastic album filled with one catchy track after another.

13) Papermoons – No Love: I reviewed this album for Infectious Magazine and I have to say, it may be one of the best albums I have reviewed in a long time. It’s beautifully written, brilliantly executed, and a perfect addition to anyone’s iTunes.

 

Honorable Mentions: Michael Buble`’s To Be Loved, Blessthefall’s Hollow Bodies, The 1975’s The 1975, Mayday Parade’s Monsters In The Closet, Cartel’s Collider, Silverstein’s This Is How The Wind Shifts, David Bowie’s The Next Day, and James Blake’s Overgrown.

 

Singles(in no particular order)

1) All Time Low – “Love Like War (ft. Vic Fuentes of Pierce The Veil)”: 

2) Fall Out Boy – “Save Rock and Roll”: 

3) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – “White Walls” :

4) The Maine – “Raining In Paris”:

5) Panic! At The Disco – “This Is Gospel”:

6) Sleeping With Sirens – “Congratulations”:

7) Justin Timberlake – “Mirrors”: 

8) Sara Bareilles – “Brave”: 

9) Cassadee Pope – “Wasting All These Tears”: 

10) Imagine Dragons – “Demons”: 

11) Hunter Hayes – “Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me”: 

12) Michael Buble` – “It’s a Beautiful Day”: 

13) Maroon 5 – “Love Somebody”: 

 

So many amazing singles and wonderful videos, it was a difficult list to compile this year!

 

Happy New Year everyone! 🙂

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Frank Hamilton: Christmas Special – FREE DOWNLOAD

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In 2012, we all watched in awe as Frank Hamilton wrote, recorded, and released #OneSongAWeek for the entirety of the year. Those recordings resulted in a #1 album that outsold not one, but two of its collaborators, Ed Sheeran and Newton Faulkner, temporarily.

This year hasn’t been any slower for the artist. Frank recorded a live EP on the London Eye (all accomplished in only one rotation), as well as releasing a 52-track album, as well as a studio EP/Single with a spectacular video, collaborate with Wheatus on a cover of the classic Teenage Dirtbagsell out two headlining tours, and play multiple of festivals. All in all, one can only expect more amazing things from Frank Hamilton in 2014.

Despite his busy schedule, Hamilton has recorded a cover of Mudd’s ‘Lonely This Christmas‘ and made it available for free download.

 “It’s nice to give something away at ChristmasEspecially after the last year or so – the kids have been incredible,” He says gratefully. “I mean, they’re not all kids, but I hate the word fans and everyone likes to feel young, so…”

Not one to be content with giving away a free track, Hamilton is actually giving listeners a two free tracks and a chord/lyric chart, but has also recently hosted Crikey, It’s Christmas, an unplugged show at a coffee shop that sold out in less than a minute, along with causing the stream to crash!

You can download the song HERE, and check out Frank on Soundcloud!

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VIDEO: Holly May – “Go Big Or GO Home”

Holly May has just released her new video for “Go Big Or GO Home,” which you can watch below. The seventeen year old, who has been likened to a mini Reese Witherspoon, is a country-pop starlet on the rise, working with some of Nashville’s best, including Miles McPherson, Justin Shipley, and Derek Wells. 

 

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PLAYLIST: Spencer Sutherland – Songs To Ring In The New Year

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These are my TOP 11 songs for ’14 that get me pumped. Some inspire me musically, and others I jam to when I am working out!

1. Timber – Pitbull Feat. Ke$ha

 

2. Old Skool – Ed Sheeran & Lupe Fiasco
 
3. The Monster – Eminem Feat. Rihanna
 
4. Red – Taylor Swift
 
5. Keep Me Crazy – Chris Wallace
 
6. Ride – Nelly
 
7. In Da Club – 50 Cent
 
8. God Only Knows – MKTO
 
9. Headphones – Hedley
 
10. Make A Move – Gavin DeGraw
 
11. 3000 Miles – Emblem3
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RELEASE: AJR’s EP ‘6foot1’

AJR (Adam, Jack, and Ryan) have just released their debut EP 6foot1, and it is now available on iTunes.

To purchase it, you can go to bit.ly/1kZXzFg.

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VIDEO: Mikey Pauker – “Top Of The World”

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Mikey Pauker premiered his brand new video for “Top Of The World” on Zimbio, but you can check it out below. The video is so well-done and really demonstrates why Mikey was featured by TIME as one of 2013’s  “10 Stars of the New Jewish Music”

Mikey has also just released his full-length album Extraordinary Love, a brilliant fusion of folk, pop, reggae, and even hip-hop, blending them together seamlessly. An amazing talent, Mikey Pauker has shared the stage with artists like Local Natives, Matisyahu, and The Stone Foxes.

 

 

For more, click HERE.

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REVIEW: Ed Zealous – Wired

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Starting off with “147,” Ed Zealous hits you like a car along the highway, blasting music so loud that the bass shakes you up inside. The track is like a refreshing take on the 80’s, meddled with the beats of today, pulling listeners in beautifully. “Medicines” follows in a very similar vein, the introduction like the opening of a Michael Jackson single. With high-pitched harmonies accompanying the verses, the song brings melody full circle. “Videohead” really displays 80’s inspirations, managing to find a balance, sounding inspired, and not like a cover, which is a pitfall for many artists.

Thanks A Million” is made up of even more fantastic beats, with a biting tone that could chill you to the bone, were it not accompanied by such catchy instrumentals and lyrics. However, it’s easy to say, no one wants to be on the receiving end of any of these sarcastic lyrics.

An upbeat track, “Telepaths,” is quite easily my favorite track on the album. Between the catchy beats that make you want to jump around the room like a kangaroo and the lyrics that seem to read like a philosophical rant, I cannot resist. It’s memorable, note-worthy, and cleverly done. With a very subtle, almost unnoticeable gap between “I Will Destroy You,” and its predecessor, they seem to compliment each other. In many ways, Ed Zealous seems to be exploring the more indie-electronic sound, which is brilliantly put together, and shows the versatility of the album.

Like a classic rock single remixed, “Talk With Your Hands” is poised for radio-play. Every station should be scooping this one up! “Where do all the good people go?” the lyrics plead to know. After a glance at recent pop culture headlines (you all know what I’m talking about—Hello, Justin Beiber), sometimes, I find myself asking the same question. The good news is, with artists like Ed Zealous, you might not have to wonder anymore.

“Diamonds For Eyes” makes me wish Ed Zealous and Cobra Starship would tour together. That would be an amazing stage roster! The track has a bounce to it that seems to generate images of a stage lit up, lights bouncing back forth. “These Words” follows flawlessly, and has a more romanticized tone to it; a longing for being in the moment.

Capping off Wired perfectly, “It’s Only The End” is a futuristic, clever song with as many fun lines and beats that make you want to dance and sing as the rest of the album. Wired is the perfect party soundtrack. Every track stands out from the rest, making the album a creative success for Ed Zealous.

For more on Ed Zealous, click HERE.

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VIDEO: We The Kings – “Art Of War”

We The Kings have just released a lyric video for their new single “Art Of War” on VEVO, which you can also view below. The track can be found on their latest album, Somewhere Somehow, which became available as of yesterday, Dec 16th on iTunes, and, following a successful KickStarter campaign, the album came in at #2 on the iTunes albums charts; an incredible milestone for a fan-funded album.
 
You can also catch We The Kings out on tour March 2014, all dates can be found HERE.
 
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VIDEO: Cody Kahmar – “Last Time”

Cody Kahmar has just released a music video for his single, “Last Time.” You can watch it below!

 

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Night Panther: Classic and Crisp

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Night Panther has been garnering attention left and right with their extraordinarily refreshing sound. Over the summer, the band dropped their debut, self-titled album, which left a sizable impact in the minds of listeners.

“It was a particularly rewarding experience,” says bass-player, Michael Cammarata. “Making an album before you’ve launched as a band is a wonderful experience, because you have complete freedom. Not having expectations from your peers and fans takes off a bit of the pressure while you’re still finding out who you are as a band.”

Night Panther seemed to quickly find out that they were the band that was going to bring the class-act style of 70’s/80’s rock back into style. With harmonies that would make Freddie Mercury beam with pride, the band are proving themselves to be a force to be reckoned with, garnering a fan base seemingly overnight, making the album release even more rewarding for the group.

“It’s extremely gratifying to see that all of your hard work is being appreciated by complete strangers and friends alike,” Michael expresses happily. “We’ve been really fortunate to have really strong support right out of the gate, it’s made it all worth it.”

Their unique sound has managed to lead to SXSW and CMJ Music Marathon performances, as well as joining artists like Holy Ghost!, Joy Formidable, Body Language, and Vacationer on-stage. One quick Google of ‘Night Panther’ comes up with a ton of results that allow fans to get access to the band easily. A closer look reveals rave reviews of Night Panther’s fantastic live performances, in which  fans happily express their enjoyment. “[Fans are really responding to] ‘Fever’ and ‘Snudge,'” Michael says. “[But right now, I love playing] “Delta” from the beginning to the end; it builds perpetually until the climax. It’s really fun to play!”

Michael is also quick to dispel the idea that these well-established acts are intimidating by any means, . “Everybody is the same, were all just out there doing the same thing just on different scales,” he says honestly, bringing the idea that “People are people” to the front of the mind. Night Panther strives to deliver as brilliant a performance as possible, much like the majority of artists, showcasing themselves as true entertainers.

Despite the fact that the band is still relatively young, having only formed in the summer of 2012, Michael expressed that he wishes someone had told him to “Never jump into anything to quickly; you can never over-think something.”

If a rash decision is what led to the creation of Night Panther, most fans are probably jumping for joy, and would be quick to encourage jumping head-first into things. However, it is easy to understand the hesitancy. “[If I could tell my younger self one thing, it would be that] as cliche` as it may sound, the second you start making music to please anyone but yourself, it loses all it’s allure…Fuck, this baby is really loud,” Michael says, referring to the crying baby seated next to him as he works.

Musicians can quickly become jaded when they start having to write to intrigue the fans, garner support from the labels, and make their passion a viable career, so Michael’s comment is not taken lightly, especially when it’s become such a commonality. In many ways, they adopt a similar disposition to the baby next to Michael; fussy, seemingly-unpacifiable, and, above all, cranky.

But with a band as inspired as Night Panther, it is difficult to imagine them becoming jaded. “We’re most inspired when everyone in the band is completely excited. We try to use each other as inspiration, rather than looking to other bands or sounds. Although women are a constant theme,” Michael adds, half-joking.

Night Panther is definitely an artist to watch. Listening to their self-titled album, there is no denying the raw talent and passion that has gone into each song. For more on the band, please click HERE.

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