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A quick (and random) playlist to try to make up for the lack of music this week.
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Drift Away

       I am working on a (lengthy) post for you guys but, for now, you can just listen to this, because it's a classic and Gray's version is always perfect.
"Drift Away" Dobie Gray
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No More Wishing

       Normally, I would try to skim over whatever reasoning I had for an awkward posting schedule, but your understanding of my moving around this week's schedule and then not following up with interviews or newer music has been so great that I feel you deserve a bit more of an explanation. My friend passed away Sunday morning and I am not handling myself as well as I would like to be. I apologize for the lack of a regular posting schedule for the last two weeks leading up to this one and, especially, for the overall lack of posts this past week. You deserve more music and more attention to said music and I am going to dedicate my day off tomorrow to getting a couple of different posts put together for you guys; so you have that to look forward to going into February. 
"No More Wishing" Hayley Taylor
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Fix You

       If you want an amazing performance, see The Offspring perform live. They're the only band I've seen, aside from Tokyo Police Club and The Lone Bellow, where every member of the band was equally awesome and no one stood out from the others, only because they were so fantastic as a group (I love when bands don't throw out a singer as a front-man because it means that there's an emphasis on them being a 'band'). They were one of few performances where the music was even better live than it is recorded and, when you see them live, there is so much energy in those opening riffs that you're going to re-fall for their music all over again (seriously, "The Kids Aren't Alright" may, possibly, be in my top five best concert songs/experiences).
       The Offspring is awesome; they've been together for years and their album tracks jump from songs you have to scream along with to those which really just need to be played while laying back with headphones on or while driving down the interstate. They can do pretty much anything in their genre perfectly and a lot of that is because they began while the alternative rock genre was still being molded so a lot of those great '90's alternative influences are still in their music; if you don't have a ridiculous amount of their music in your library, you should start working on that.
"Fix You" The Offspring
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       Ruby the RabbitFoot released the video for "Ways" off her forthcoming album, New As Dew (due for release March 18), yesterday and the song is gorgeous. The vocals are sweetly hypnotic and the swirling melody puts amazing lyrics like "I know you're probably thinking of ways, ways to be good to me, but let me help you spare your precious energy" and "I know that day I ran away, you ran away too, 'cause I came home, the coffee was cold and the cups were stained, the walls were thick with pain" in the spotlight.
"Ways" Ruby the RabbitFoot
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       I am hopelessly addicted to this single from Central Coast duo, Little Earthquake. Brothers, Mathew and Justin Hyland, formed the idea for the band and began working on tracks while touring the US as guest members of Lydia and, after returning to Australia in 2013, teamed with Lachlan Mitchell to put together their forthcoming EP, Universal Mind, due for release April 2014.
       The track blends together indie-pop, rock, and electronic sounds with just enough of an acoustic influence to give the track a down to Earth feel when the beat starts to carry you away. Lyrics that state "there's planets in my head, a universe that I just don't understand, so take a look around and wonder how it comes to life", "this world can't get much worse, we're all in rhythm with the same one verse", and "you'll end up with what you think you deserve" are kept light by a swaying melody and a fun vocal hook that will leave you wanting to sing along to the rest of the song. The song's melody is refreshing, "never thought I'd finally know how to be what I dream" is awesome and only gets better as it fades out and disintegrates to the song's end (which is as sudden as its beginning), and that rhythm is so fantastic that you'll be glad to have it stuck in your head for days on end.
"Planets" Little Earthquake
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Breaking Bones

       Esco William's "Breaking Bones" is gorgeous. The piano melody is so wonderfully heartfelt that it fills the track with ease while those vocals are so soft and rich that it's easy to get lost in the song; any other accompaniment to the track would not have done justice to those vocals or that beautiful piano and the simplicity of the easy combination makes it hypnotically fantastic. With such an amazing sound, I did not even begin to listen to the lyrics until my third or fourth time around, but if the music is perfect, the lyrics are on a new level all on their own.
       A chorus which states "don't see the point in fighting anymore, we're always trying to be something, well we are who we are, don't see the point in trying anymore, we're always fighting for something, we're falling apart" is perfection and, because this song is too great to capture in words, you really should just listen to it on repeat. 
"Breaking Bones" Esco Williams
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Let The Night

       Dirty Vegas was in the business of EDM before it was cool and, with their latest single, the band proves that they are still the best in the business. Their Let The Night EP was released January 24 (except in North America, where you can only get the lead single from beatport [along with remixes from Vanilla Ace, Sharam Jey, and Betoko]) and the lead single could not be better.
       "Take a look at yourself, you're going somewhere, such a beautiful thing when it feels right, no it's never too late to believe in something, open your eyes, see what the world is saying" opens the song articulately while beats that are both relaxed and upbeat ooze out of the track. The song pulses with energy and insists that you dance around while the wandering melody and steady rhythm are pulled together nicely by the repetition of "let the night follow you" and "you should see how good you look right now"; this single, in its entirety, is kind of perfect.
"Let The Night" Dirty Vegas

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       Vance Joy's "Riptide" from his God Loves When You're Dancing EP is the free single of the week on iTunes and, with lines like "I was scared of pretty girls and starting conversations", "this cowboy's running from himself", and "I just wanna know if you're gonna stay, I just gotta know, I can't have it any other way" supported by that gorgeous acoustic guitar, you have no excuse not to get this song (if you don't already have it) while it's free.
"Riptide" Vance Joy
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Battering Ram

       The Pack A.D. released Do Not Engage today and each track is just as wonderfully addictive as the last. The melodies are easy to go along with and the rhythm is strong enough to grab you and pull you down into the song within seconds while those vocals are so prominent and rich that you'll be wondering how it's possible that this band has yet to take over your playlists. 
       Watch the video below for a track from Do Not Engage and get the new album from iTunes today (then listen to it on repeat). Check out another single from the album, "Big Shot", for something that will be running through your head all day.
"Battering Ram" The Pack A.D.
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Tear Your Hate Apart

       The four piece from Sydney, Australia released the lead single from their forthcoming full length album, due for release March 7, and it's just as catchy as all their other tracks. The album, Turn the People, has great tracks from earlier EPs like "Vanity" and "Ghost Stories", as well as some fantastic new tracks like "Pulse" and the lead single "Tear Your Hate Apart". Check out the single below and head to SoundCloud to listen to the new album, Turn the People, before its release.  
"Tear Your Hate Apart" Monks of Mellonwah
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Chemical Motivation

       The Love Junkies released their latest single and it's everything screamworthy and danceworthy that you've come to expect from the fun loving band. The guitar riff is awesome, the rhythm is solid and urges the song forward at a steady pace, and the lyrics are fantastic, so listen to the new single from The Love Junkies below and love it.
       If this is the first you've heard of the band, head to their SoundCloud to hear other awesome tracks like "Louise" and "Crying Rhymes" and check out the video for "Maybelene".
"Chemical Motivation" The Love Junkies
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       All of the music that would normally be featured today as part of 'New Music Monday' is being pushed to tomorrow. Tomorrow's posts will be filled with loads of new music from great bands but, for today, this is the playlist that I'm going to be listening to whilst I recuse myself from the internet for the day to grieve the loss of a friend. 
"Forest Whitaker" Bad Books
"Vagabond" MisterWives
"Hide and Seek" Eppic featuring Poppy
"Old School Love" Lupe Fiasco featuring Ed Sheeran
"Mr. Bright Eyes" Rebecca Ferguson
"Flapper Girl" The Lumineers
"Boxer" The Gaslight Anthem
"Some Days" The Maine
"One Day" B.o.B
"Don't Slow Down" Matt & Kim
"The Streets" Foxy Shazam
"Keep On Walking" Passenger
"The Seed" K'naan
"Jump Into the Fog" The Wombats
"Restless Heart" Matt Hires
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Everything Has Changed

       Swift's Red is nominated for Album of the Year at this year's Grammy's and, while it was an incredible album, as a whole, she's in a category that includes Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' The Heist and, for what may be the first time ever, Swift will not dominate a music award show with nominations and subsequent wins. 
       The album was fantastic though so check out this track featuring nominated Best New Artist, Ed Sheeran (again though, he's in a category that includes Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and he's not really reached the same fame levels in the US as he has in the UK [and he has definitely not reached Macklemore and Ryan Lewis levels of fame]), and watch the cute video while skimming the Grammy website and coming up with your own predictions. 
"Everything Has Changed" Taylor Swift featuring Ed Sheeran
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Songs to Check Out

       These are only a few tracks you should already know about or tracks that I don't want to wait until Monday to share with you guys. Once again, all of the Twitter followers have already seen these songs over the past week (and then some) so, as always, if you want new music first (or even music that may never find its way onto the blog), follow or check out the Twitter feed daily.
       If you still (somehow) have not heard this song, you should check it out, because Matthew Mole topped South African charts last year with the sweet melodies and endearing lyrics of this single and others on his debut The Home We Built (available on iTunes) and you really should have fallen for this sound by now. 
"Take Yours, I'll Take Mine" Matthew Mole
       Brothers, Mathew and Justin Hyland, formed the idea for Little Earthquake while touring the US and, after returning to the Central Coast of Australia in 2013, they teamed with producer Lachlan Mitchell for their EP Universal Mind due for release this April. 
"Planets" Little Earthquake

       The Love Junkies' "Chemical Motivation" is everything you've come to expect from the band (and I can only assume that the video will be just as crazy as all of their other ones).
"Chemical Motivation" The Love Junkies
       Ashong's "Love the Way" revolves in a hypnotic rhythm while a melody winds about aimlessly and the vocals hold it all together with ease.
"Love the Way" Andrew Ashong
       Jess Penner's latest "Doesn't Get Better Than This" sounds like a clip from a romcom soundtrack and, while that sounds like a bad thing, it actually means that it is incredibly upbeat, catchy as hell, and I'm going to end up adding it to my running playlist (because romcom soundtracks seem to have the best running rhythm songs [When In Rome's use of "Hold Onto Your Heart" gave the track a permanent residence in my running list]).
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You Don't See Me

        We're nearing the end of SafetySuit's music catalog which means that they either need to start putting out anticipated release dates for their forthcoming third studio album or I might switch it over to Sleeperstar Saturday, because ever since Sleeperstar announced that they were going to stay together and work on Lost Machines in 2014, I've been ridiculously excited to hear the gorgeous tracks that they're going to come out with (they're another band who, much like SafetySuit, puts the emphasis and emotion into their music as much as they do their lyrics).
       Either way, for now, you can keep listening to SafetySuit and, for the third month in a row, if you do not already own their music, grab it from iTunes or Amazon and listen on repeat. 
"You Don't See Me" SafetySuit
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Hide and Seek

       Listen to Eppic's latest single, buy it on iTunes, and head to the sites below to find out more about the artist. 
"Hide and Seek" Eppic featuring Poppy
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Helpless Son

      The lyrics speak so blatantly that it's completely entrancing and the first time you listen to the song you should just be stuck reading the note cards (the first, and only, time I will tell you to watch the music video during your first listen).
     The composition picks itself up after the first verse and winds its way through these honest lyrics with a set purpose that's beautiful and those questions asked in quick succession as the song crescendos is filled with such urgency and a need to know that it's completely perfect and when it slows down at 2:11 and meanders towards its end with the promise of "always", it's disheartening, but amazing. Said the Whale found the perfect words to use for this song and that emotional composition makes this song so powerful.
"Helpless Son" Said The Whale
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Music Related News

       You guys get a second 'music related news/update' post this week, because there's just a lot of stuff going down and I'm pretty sure I'll forget to mention it if I wait until next Monday.

  • The Wanted has stated that they will be breaking up at the end of their current tour and that they "will continue to exist, just not actively"; they're done. They did give us "Glad You Came" with just enough time for it to infect our radio stations right before spring break a few years back and "we've only just begun...until forever comes, you'll find us chasing the sun" from "Chasing the Sun" is kind of funny now (it's not funny if you're a fan of the band though.. I'm sorry for your loss).
  • Justin Bieber was pulled over and admitted to having been drinking, smoking marijuana, and consuming prescription medication; he was also driving without a valid license and resisted arrest. Bieber's yellow Lamborghini was caught going 55-60 mph in a 30 mph (because nothing says 'under the radar' like blocking off a residential with SUVs then speeding in a yellow car at 4 AM [only slightly incongruous]) and the only thing this really shows is that police intervention is doing absolutely nothing because he's entitled and no amount of warnings will change the mind of someone so ignorant and self-important; the best thing that could happen to the Biebs is for him to fall into oblivion so that he's forced to realize that he is not special.
  • 1D member Liam Payne had really bad timing the other day when he tweeted that he liked Duck Dynasty without thinking of the recent comments made by patriarch, Phil Robertson. Instead of explaining that his tweets were referencing the show and not the homophobic and sexist statements that have been made public as of late, he went on a Twitter rant that included the tweet "All those tweets are aimed at journalists and bloggers not fans". So, there was that; so, fuck you, too. Regardless, none of his tweets were infuriating other than one that stated "Can't wait for the call tomorrow where I get told of for cussing had to be said like I said before much worse has happened In the world" because periods are important and it seemed that he lost his train of thought at the end of the 'sentence' and OH MY GOD IT'S FUCKING CURSING NOT FUCKING 'CUSS'. That is my biggest fucking pet peeve (use the word "curse"; "cuss" is an alteration of "curse" and it's informal and fucking stupid). Basically though, the 1D singer had poor timing when talking about a show he enjoyed and the only thing that should upset you is his poor word choice (see above) and the fact that he felt a Twitter rant was a good idea. Other than that, keep listening to whatever you want.
  • Chuck Wicks released the single "Us Again" and it seems like he's trying to help the country genre get over its rut that it has been stuck in over the past year or so with a bit of a refreshing composition, though that dialogue still holds true to every break up song ever written.
  • Miley Cyrus will be featured in her own MTV Unplugged special on January 29 and it's going to be great. Everyone wants to critique Cyrus but, in actuality, her voice is gorgeous and it's going to be great. It's easy to forget about her vocals and song-writing abilities when she's dressing in unflattering outfits and sticking her tongue out and doing ridiculous videos that seem like they were thought up by a fifteen year old, but her voice is great and she has actual talent. Any personal opinions of her 'recent conduct' aside, Cyrus knows exactly what she's doing and she is able to make people talk while still brushing it aside with a great performance or heartfelt single staggered in between her 'risque' decisions; it's kind of great and she's not going to be going anywhere, so just accept her music and set your DVR for January 29 (listen to this to hear how great her stripped down sessions can be [and then probably play it back again]).
  • The video for B.o.B's "John Doe" was released and the intro leaves a bittersweet aftertaste when an interview ends on a bit of a harsh question; check out the video and love the song.
  • Bad Suns' "Cardiac Arrest" is free on iTunes (US) this week and you're going to want to get it now because it's fantastic and it will be on your radio before long; learn the lyrics and the get the EP, Transpose, now. Plus, the line "high voltage when we kiss" is kind of really fantastic and all of the lyrics are just as great, yet easy for you to sing along with.
  • Aer released Aer Tuesday and it's filled with their signature addictive melodies and dripping beats. There's something about the vocals that feels grounded and, while the vocals are not the 'best' per say, they are satisfying and the album is worth checking out (just grab a few of the tracks; check out "Says She Loves Me", "Spades, Clubs, & Diamonds", "Won't Laugh", and "Sincerely").
  • Timeflies released their single "All the Way" and, while there's a lot going on during bits of the composition, it's also got an incredibly addictive melody and cute lyrics and every time the duo performs a stripped down version of their tracks, they have actual talent and that is always refreshing and makes their music so easy to listen to. Check out the new single below.
"All the Way" Timeflies
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Don't Let Me Fall

       My addiction to B.o.B will never end because everything he does is kind of awesome and it's incredibly satisfying to listen to his music after a long day. Everything has a perfect amount of piano shoved in with some heavy bass that gives way to sturdy hooks and I love it.
       This track is from The Adventures of Bobby Ray; for some great tracks from Strange Clouds listen to "Chandelier" or "Circles" (or the ever popular "Both of Us"; or even "Bombs Away" if you want to hear Morgan Freeman in a hip hop song [you want to hear Morgan Freeman in a hip hop song]) and for more great music from his latest, Underground Luxury, listen to "John Doe", "One Day" (so. good.), or "Paper Route".
"Don't Let Me Fall" B.o.B
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       You should know about Kat Dahlia by now because her vocals are so rich that there really is no female singer with vocals more satisfying than hers. The singer is set for a busy 2014 with February marking the beginning of her first ever headlining tour (check dates here), Vevo premiering the video for her new single "Crazy" February 18, and her debut album, My Garden, set for release this Spring (2014). 
       Her lyrics speak more like a diary than anything else, a solid beat holds together a fun and slightly wandering melody, and, again, her vocals are just so rich that it's hard to not get addicted to them. Check out the lyric video for "Crazy" below and head to her SoundCloud to hear more fantastic tracks.
"Crazy" Kat Dahlia
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Love The Way

       Listen to the dripping beats and winding melody of Andrew Ashong's "Love The Way" from his new EP, Special, due for release next week.
       Ashong never wanted to be a singer, but that sweet vocal melody and those cute lyrics that flow over a fun composition make me glad that he became one.
"Love The Way" Andrew Ashong
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       There were plenty of things that were supposed to be done today with the blog, both upfront and behind the scenes, but I am fantastic at fucking things up in many aspects of my life so my only promise to you guys right now is that there will still be music on here tomorrow and I'll get an interview from an artist up for you to check out before Saturday.
       In regards to this playlist, I think we can all agree that, after a greatly craptastic weekend, everything is made a lot better with great friends and good old (two to three years ago, geneally) music (especially if there's a lot of Sean Kingston [because "Eenie Meenie" is actually really addictive if you thought Bieber was a random female singer the first few times you heard it.. just from personal experience] and Akon).
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Cardiac Arrest

       You can almost be sure that any of the free songs for the week from Amazon or iTunes (especially) is going to get big (it happened/is happening with "Love Song", "Party Rock Anthem", "Let Her Go", "Blackout", "Moneygrabber" [seriously fucking perfect live], "Little Games", "Cool Kids", "Start A Riot", and "Reflections"), so you should always get free music when it's available (if you're on a budget/prefer indie music, start using NoiseTrade; their featured band, Runaway Dorothy, is one that I'll be interviewing soon so check out their free tracks in advance of that).
       Bad Suns' "Cardiac Arrest" is iTunes' free single of the week and you need to download it (from the US iTunes store). The vocals are strong and just dreamy enough to give the song a lasting quality, that circling guitar riff is about perfect for sucking you in and making you want to dance, and the rhythm is fantastically heavy. If you like what you hear, make sure to get the band's new Transpose EP, released today; it's well worth its $4 and all of the tracks are just as catchy and worthy of listening to on repeat as this track. 
"Cardiac Arrest" Bad Suns
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Waiting For

       Charlie Oxford's "Waiting For" is the lead track from his forthcoming self-titled album, due for release March 11, and the only thing catchier than that chorus is the melody that flows throughout.
       The melody is sweet, infused with plenty of piano, brass, and guitar to round it out, and a prominent rhythm urges the song forward while rich vocals croon over the music with the repetition of a chorus which states "what are you waiting for? When it's time to lose it or win it, you might not get a minute, what are you waiting for?".
       The rest of the album is filled with tracks that are just as fantastic as this one and, in advance of the album's release, you can head to NoiseTrade and get a free sampler of some of Oxford's tracks (all of the tracks do appear on Charlie Oxford, so grab the sampler for your own advanced preview of the forthcoming album) and check out the sites below to find out more about the artist.
"Waiting For" Charlie Oxford
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When The Rain Fell Down

         Talk Radio's "When the Rain Fell Down" is truly gorgeous and is, definitively, the best track that has found its way into my YouTube inbox.
       The soft chords are gorgeous, the video (featuring scenes from "The Gold Rush") flows perfectly with the simplicity of the track's music, and the lyrics (which have lines "my life slowly carries on, but you know what they say, didn't build Rome in a day", "a dream, they said was just a dream, and a meal was just a meal, when you're starving that's not real", and "and the rain fell down, and you caught my eye, when the rain fell down") are ridiculously good. I may be a little addicted to this song, but it's only because it's a track which you really should check out. 
       The song was written and recorded by Pontus Eklund and, while the simplicity of the music is what really makes it so gorgeous, the song is addictive because those lyrics are hauntingly great and the arrangement is perfect.
       You can get the EP from bandcamp now. 
"When the Rain Fell Down" Talk Radio
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What's In Store

       City Rain's tracks are so addictive that you really have no choice but to play them on repeat and their latest, "What's In Store", is no exception. With a prominent rhythm that provides a perfect backdrop for a wandering melody, the track is left with a slightly trippy and hypnotic quality that flows perfectly beneath those vocals and it's hard to not want to dance around to this track.
       Check out "What's In Store" for, yet another, great track from the band whose album Songs For A High School Dance should be released later this year and head to all of the links to show the band some support.
"What's In Store" City Rain
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Go Crazy

       When The Gods of Macho's guitarist (Egg McMacho) had to leave the band and the future of the group was hanging in the balance, I was ready to swear off all LA bands (you can only lose so many of your favorite LA based bands before you think "fuck it; I'm done"), but the band ultimately decided to continue making music and came back with something that has to be listened to more than once.
       The Gods of Macho released "Go Crazy" today and, as always, their tracks are upfront and honest, featuring solid riffs and prominent rhythms that are easy to sink into and dance around to while the lyrics remain light and fun; their tracks are always pure gritty rock with effortlessly addictive melodies and lyrics you have to sing along with and "Go Crazy" is no different.
       The band is unfailingly and unapologetically awesome and, in accordance with The Gods of Macho being so great, this single is free to download from the band's SoundCloud, so check it out, head to the links below, and fall for the band's sound, because no other band is better at creating a sound this continually perfect for letting off some steam. 
"Go Crazy" The Gods of Macho
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I Expected More

       Bree De Rome's "Better Luck" was featured in 2013 and her second single, "I Expected More", is directing the spotlight back at her Bag of Bones EP again because those tracks are so sweetly addictive that you don't even realize you've fallen for them until you're swaying along to that steady guitar.
       Soft backing vocals, increasingly strong lead vocals that bring honest lyrics to life, and full chords that hold their own against a steady back beat make this single ridiculously addictive and, when that electric guitar and flute chime in and come together after that 5:30 mark to bring about a soft bridge, I'm completely hooked. 
       "I Expected More" is the second single from the Australian artist's indie pop EP Bag of Bones and, with each track infused with classic guitar riffs, light chords, sweet rhythms, (as of yet) underrated lyrics, and fantastic vocals, you should already have bought your copy of Bag of Bones from iTunes but, if you're still on the fence, listen to the full EP on SoundCloud for something amazing that is sure to bring you out of your winter/back to school blues.
"I Expected More" Bree De Rome
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Little Italy

       Little Comets released their first single from The Gentle EP this morning and it's sweet alternative rock at it's purest. The winding melody sinks into a solid riff and prominent rhythm each time that chorus ("life don't animate, just creeps up on you slowly, surely holy water flows as normal water does, in little Italy I re-adhere") comes around and it's so wonderfully catchy that you're going to have it running through your head all day. When the song begins to unwind into a dreamy composition for the bridge (around 1:40), it's easy to get lost in the hypnotic melody, but that solid rhythm will bring you back down to Earth in time for the chorus' revive, where you will be stuck humming along to those lines as they carry the song out to it's end.  
"Little Italy" Little Comets
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Radiant Hex

       The three piece from Liverpool released the first single from their EP, Quiet Confidence, and, I can tell you from experience, it only grows more addictive with each listen. 
       The track builds with slow confidence while the separate layers intermingle and come together with ease, creating a melody that twists and turns in hypnotic waves, keeping a sweet vocal hook and a prominent brass presence throughout while those main vocals remain at a steady dynamic over the rest of the instrumentation. 
       The EP, as a whole, is just as gorgeous as the single and the use of motifs to tie each track together makes it instantly alluring; the resulting sound is fresh and ready to be played at full volume while laying back with your headphones on (because you're going to like sinking into this sound). 
"Radiant Hex" Ninetails
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Singing So Sweetly

       Those rich vocals wind their way around a full jazz composition that's so stuffed full of lulling strings, quick piano, and heavy brass that the entire composition feels warm and cozy.
       Their debut album, Arc Iris, will be available April 1 and you can download this track for free right now from the band's Facebook.
"Singing So Sweetly" Arc Iris
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       Every time The Fray comes out with another single from their latest album I get super excited to hear the rest of the tracks, because their lyrics are articulate, their guitar riffs are ridiculously addictive, and Slade's piano work is unfailingly gorgeous. 
       While I don't remember much about the band in general, I do remember Isaac Slade being the most amazing frontman ever because, holy hell, that guy was ridiculous (he ran down the middle of the crowd, jumped into the group at the back [where the security guard pulled him out because, god forbid, us plebeians touch him], then jumped the fence where the 'rich' tickets are and ran through that crowd, then back up to the stage where he climbed up (sans stairs) and began singing again like he hadn't just run a half mile loop). 
       Basically, you have to see this band live. They have radio play because they know how to make you sing and dance and they have awesome concerts because they know how to make you have fun. They're not a tween pop sensation that was pruned and shaped into a specific image and they worked to get where they are, so it is okay to love them even though they are in every movie and on every radio station; they're pretty great. Get the album Helios when it comes out February 25, or head to iTunes and pre-order it now. 
"Hurricane" The Fray
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       Every weekend should have some music from Matisyahu; the tracks feel like summer, the melodies are catchy, the beats addictive, and the lyrics fun to sing along with. 
"Sunshine" Matisyahu
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Find A Way

       SafetySuit's music is amazing and they need to release another single from their forthcoming album because I am so ready to hear more of their gorgeous tracks. 
       Listen to "Find A Way" for their (always) sweet lyrics, compositions that carry as much emotion as the lyrics themselves (there really is nothing better), and superb vocals. 
"Find A Way" SafetySuit
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Reflections/ Vagabond

       An intro to "Reflections" which states "you didn't close the door, left a crack open, I couldn't ignore the faint possibility, of having hope in this insanity that we still could be, but we're stuck floating in between" is stated so honestly and articulately that it could not be put together better and vocals which could otherwise feel weak or lofty sink into this dreamy composition so comfortably that they instead feel grounded and pure. 
       You can pick up the band's (amazing) six song EP from iTunes now because each song is nearly perfect and, with "Reflections" circulating everywhere, make sure to check out their track "Vagabond" as well. That steady piano that carries it through builds gorgeously and offers a solid support for the lilting melody and light vocals while matching the serious lyrics perfectly as the piano gains strength in time for a bridge that states "vagabond as you, ran the mile no shoes, if the sun goes down too soon, embrace the starry-eyed moon, vagabond as you, swam the sea at the darkest blue, you made it, made it through". Plus, that chorus will have you singing along by its second time around. 
       Check out "Reflections" and "Vagabond" below to see why so many people have fallen in love with MisterWives since the release of their debut EP, Reflections, earlier this month. 
"Reflections" MisterWives
"Vagabond" MisterWives
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       You guys get two playlists this week (though 1/15 has more relevant tracks, this is just fun); enjoy it and dance around and sing (loudly). 
"Your Body Is A Weapon" The Wombats
"Seven Nights Seven Days" The Fratellis
"Love Me Again" John Newman
"Get Higher" Palaye Royale
"Fitzpleasure" Alt-J
"The '59 Sound" The Gaslight Anthem (one of the best songs ever and it should be far more well known)
"Now" Matt & Kim (they're amazing)
"Story Of My Life" One Direction
"Sadie Hawkins Dance" Relient K
"Time Bomb (Walk Away)" Chris Wallace
"Hurricane" Bridgit Mendler
"Only One" Yellowcard (one of the most underrated bands; see them live because you'll love it)
"Only Wanna Dance With You" Ke$ha
"Walking Disasters" The Wombats (The Wombats are in here twice because they're definitively perfect)
"Oh No!" Marina and The Diamonds
"Kill Your Heroes" AWOLNATION
"Little Numbers" Boy
"Sweeter" Gavin DeGraw (95% positive he is the smoothest singer alive; he makes 'swag' seem like a good thing)
"Says She Loves Me" Aer
"Vagabond" MisterWives
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Two Weeks

       It's 'old', but it's still perfect and the repetition of "I told you I would stay" after each verse and the chorus, "would you always? Maybe sometimes? Make it easy? Take your time", are awesome. 
"Two Weeks" Grizzly Bear
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Start A Riot

       Jetta's "Start A Riot" is iTunes free single of the week (US store) and with it's catchy melody and it's easy to sing along with lyrics you should grab it while you can. 
"Start A Riot" Jetta
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Free Things For Poor People

       This is the single most important song to prove that the Infadels have never received the recognition they deserve (that might be overreaching, but it is great). It's one of very few songs that is just as satisfyingly good to listen to now as it was years ago and you should have a few of these guys tracks in your library anyway because, even though they're not together anymore and they never reached 'fame' levels, their music (much like Dexys Midnight Runners' "Come On Eileen" or anything from Billy Joel) can be added to any playlist to make it perfect. 
       Listen to "Make Mistakes", "From Out Of The Black Sky", "Can't Get Enough", or "Love Like Semtex" for a taste of some of their perfect melodies, solid rhythms, and fantastic lyrics.
"Free Things For Poor People" Infadels 
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10,000 Nights of Thunder

       Nothing can pull you out of your back to school slump like listening to Alphabeat's music at full volume; just dance around to their upbeat melodies with cute lyrics and forget the fact that you can only ever make guy friends (unless you're a guy, in which case, cool for you, because guys are easier to get along with and so much nicer than girls are).
"10,000 Nights of Thunder" Alphabeat
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       These are a few of the tracks that you should be looking into this month; check them out and head to iTunes or Amazon to buy the tracks and support your favorite artists. 
"Runaway" The Melodic
"Past Life" Lost In The Trees
"When the Rain Fell Down" Talk Radio
"Vagabond" MisterWives
"Coming of Age" Foster the People
"Good Guy" Lakefield
"Love Alone Is Worth the Fight" Switchfoot
"Hot Tonight" Tokyo Police Club
"Cavalier" James Vincent McMorrow
"We Belonged" Stoney
"Start A Riot" Jetta
"What's In Store" City Rain (click on the link to hear it on SoundCloud)
"World I Used to Know" Ryan Star
"Says She Loves Me" Aer
"Sleeping With A Friend" Neon Trees
"La Lista" Aldrey
"Keep Me Crazy" Chris Wallace
"Helium" Plain White T's
"Visions" The Maine
"Climbing Walls" Strange Talk Viceroy Remix (get the new remix EP from Strange Talk on iTunes now)
"Seventeener (17th and 37th)" the Lawrence Arms
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Good Guy

       The music and lyrics for this track are equally gorgeous and the song is entirely too perfect for this to be the first single from the band's last EP (it will make you want far more from the band). Lakefield has announced that their Swan Songs EP will be the band's last work together and the EP will be released February 14 (because Valentine's Day is an awesome release day).
      That opening verse is sung with such certainty lying within those blatantly honest lyrics that each line somehow gets more articulate as the verse continues, starting with the profound "you hold my heart, you're not to blame, it's just one of the outcomes of the games we play" and ending the verse with "I'm not the type, to follow through, I'm sorry for this heartache but it's all for you". Other lines that state "I'm sorry I just can't move one, this heartache will not go away and it's just gone all wrong" and "someday I will move along, but only if you tell me that my heart's been wrong" are just as fantastic and fall in line with a slowly twirling melody and steady rhythm that urge the song forward. 
       The music remains a steady supporter of the vocals (while still remaining strong and holding its own with solid riffs and an ever present beat) until the 2:00 minute mark when the guitar begins to gain strength and, by the time that 2:30 mark comes around, the guitar hook feels just as important, and is just as moving, as the softly gorgeous vocals. Of course, the repetition of "I'll break your fall" and "you could have been mine" overlapping one another is not to be outdone by the increasing dynamic of the guitar and drums, because those urgent lyrics play out parallel to the crescendoing instruments and it's a brilliant combination. 
       Pick up your copy of Swan Songs on February 14, watch the unobtrusive and wonderfully simple video for the track (become completely addicted to the single), and head to the sites to find out more about the band and their music. 
"Good Guy" Lakefield
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