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Skyelyfe’s Definitive Ranking of Avicii’s 5 Best Songs

April 21, 2018

Instagram / @DahviShira

Yesterday, my musical world was turned upside-down, following a Billboard push notification I received on my phone with the heartbreaking news that Avicii died at the shocking age of 28—news that clearly rocked the entire music industry.

If, like me, you’ve recently taken a deep dive into the electronic DJ and producer’s lengthy discography to relive some of his highlights, you’ve probably been mentally transported to a Vegas hotel with a Sirius EDM station blasting from your room, toasting to your wild day that lies ahead.

That’s where his music takes me. His earlier sound epitomizes that feeling of fun, freedom and no cares in the world.

But whether physically in Vegas or simply sitting here in front of my laptop from my West Hollywood apartment, there’s no doubt the artist (born Tim Bergling) has a happy association for me.

While I certainly commend all of the artist’s creative vision—he was one music’s all-time biggest innovators—I’m definitely partial to his songs 2009-2013.

With that, I’ve selected my five all-time favorite Avicii songs (and yes, I did throw in a newer one), and ranked them in order. Happy listening!

5. “Talk to Myself” (Stories, 2015)

Following Avicii’s country-inspired detour, I was pleasantly surprised by Stories, which included a bit of what we’d been hearing from him lately, but also some of what caused us to fall in love with him in the first place. Included in his throwback sound was “Talk to Myself,” which I listed as my 5th favorite song of 2015. And now I’m also listing it as my 5th favorite song of his altogether.

4. “Street Dancer (Radio Edit)” (single, 2011)

One of Avicii’s much lesser-known tracks, this song takes me back to my pre-Spotify iPod era, when I would spend countless hours discovering music on YouTube and then have to use this special website to convert each song into .MP3 format (ah, the good ol’ days). While this song never took off, it will forever be a mainstay in the playlists I associate with a very particular time in my life. The music was so good back then, and this song is no exception.

3. “I Could Be the One [Avicii vs Nicky Romero]” (single, 2012)

The hilariously motivational music video easily draws my attention to this song, but the track itself is filled with Avicii’s signature sound of this era, making it a surefire classic from his repertoire.

2. “Levels (Radio Edit)” (single, 2011)

Not only is this the song that put Avicii on the map, but it’s also a track that defined a fresh generation of music. If there’s one thing I hope to come of his passing, I hope it brings on the resurgence of this iconic gem.

1. “Silhouettes” (single, 2012)

How this beautiful song, about leaving the past behind, didn’t get more play is beyond me. This melodic masterpiece is not only my favorite Avicii song, but by far my favorite electronic song of this decade.

For all five songs in a handy playlist, scroll below!

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Music

March Into Spring With Incredible New Music by Penguin Prison, 3LAU, ASTR and 33 More!

March 23, 2018

It’s still a wee bit chilly (aka torrential downpour) in L.A., but as of March 20, we officially welcomed one of the sunniest seasons.

Though Spring is not my favorite, I’ve gotta say, the playlist ringing it in this year is definitely one of my favorite in a long time.

We’ve got upbeat, characteristic-to-the-season sounds by Penguin Prison with “On Your Side,” sexy electronic with 3LAU‘s “Touch,” a comeback track by longtime skyelyfe fave ASTR and 33 additional songs that will definitely brighten your spring day (if that’s what you’re going for).

From Youngblood Hawke and Vance Joy, to BAUM, Coma Pony, Sleeplust and much more, scroll through the playlist below for 36 tracks that are sure to keep you feeling the freshness of spring, regardless of what you’re in the mood to hear!

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Music

L.A.’s Biggest Fetty Wap Fans Hit DTLA for Rapper’s Intimate Concert (PHOTOS)

February 12, 2018

Photo Credit: Instagram / @fettywap1738

The trap queens of Los Angeles hit up DTLA last weekend!

Fetty Wap—who hit it big in 2014 for rapping about his favorite type of lady—made his way through the City of Angels on Feb. 2 as part of his For My Fans (FMF) tour. The “Trap Queen” performer chose the historic Belasco Theater as his venue, where he gave his fans an intimate performance.

Attendees were greeted with “Fetty Wap”-branded merch as they filed into the theater’s cast stone walls. The concert took place amid a backdrop of Spanish Renaissance, moorish and gothic details that line the Belasco’s walls. The concert was opened by a handful of both male and female acts from RGF Productions’ lineup.

Fetty, who released his latest album For My Fans 3: The Final Chapter on Jan. 18, concludes his tour on Feb. 18 at The Ritz in North Carolina.

Fetty wap

Photo Credit: Instagram / @timcayem

Photo Credit: Instagram / @timcayem

Photo Credit: Instagram / @timcayem

Music

Frolic Thru February With Fresh Tracks from Peking Duk, Skott, Troye Sivan and More!

February 7, 2018

With Valentine’s Day just a week away, why not honor the special date (or month!) with what you love most: music?

This February, I’ve got 39 new tracks from a slew of varying artists. Let’s start with electro duo Peking Duk, who I was supposed to see live at The Roxy last week, but to my dismay, the show was postponed ’til June (WTH?!). That said, I still love them no matter what, and their song “Wasted” is my favorite new track of the moment.

I’m also loving “Russian Soul,” by Skott, a newer artist who has a sound reminiscent of Zella Day. Skott’s entire four-track EP “Stay Off My Mind” has been in my regular rotation, and I definitely recommend giving it a listen.

Additionally, I’m enjoying the upbeat “My My My!” by Troye Sivan, which is a depart from his characteristically slower sound.

To hear all the fresh tracks for yourself, check out the playlist below, which also includes The Neighborhood, Migos, Lane 8, Keep Shelly in Athens, Emilie Brandt, Captain Kidd, Mt. Si, Mannywellz and more!

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Music

Maryland-Based Music Artist Mannywellz Debuts New EP With Nigerian Dinner in the Hills

January 22, 2018

Instagram / @Mannywellz

On a cold Thursday night, I was escorted through the hills to an undisclosed Mulholland Address.

As the black car that arrived for me took me through windy, pitch black roads, I sat in anticipation: Was I underdressed? Was this gonna be another night at “the club?” Beyond the gates was the opposite—an elegant, chill dinner party serving up Nigerian food and endless wine and cocktails.

The host of the night was Mannywellz, the Maryland-based musician and producer who stayed humble and courteous as he debuted tracks off his new EP, SoulFro. A kaleidoscopic feat, it was an extension of his continuing eclectic fusion of hip-hop, jazz, afrobeat, electronics and live instruments.

A self-taught-multi-instrumentalist, the 24-year-old has found his credibility in the underground, while potentially tipping into the mainstream; through this worldly fusion that embraces modern times, as well as stays reverent to his Nigerian roots steeped in Yoruba traditions. His words stretch poetically as heard on tracks like “Watermelon,” which uses food to allude to the structural dynamics of the odd man out at the dinner table. We recently chatted with autodidact wunderkind to find out what makes him tick.

Photo Credit: Joshua Alexander

skyelyfe: How did you get your start?

Mannywellz: Music runs in the family, and I’ve been around it my whole life. From my grandfather teaching me how to sing harmonies, to performing with my dad on big stages in front of Nigerian presidents and ambassadors all before the age of 13. Closer to my late teen years I decided to buy my own music equipment to start producing and recording myself, and to put out my own content. It took and required a lot of YouTube, trial and error to start.

SL: Did you derive any specific inspiration for this first piece of work?

Mannywellz: For SoulFro, I tried my best to stay connected to god to draw inspiration and be really creative. My roots are something that I’m already super connected to through my everyday life.

Photo Credit: Joshua Alexander

SL: Who would you say are your main music inspirations?

Mannywellz: Asa, who is my favorite artist—a Nigerian artist that resides in Paris. Also, Lauryn Hill is a huge inspiration to my music as well.

SL: What was it like going on tour with Jidenna?

Mannywellz: Touring with Jidenna was amazing—one of the greatest experiences ever. I got a glimpse of what the future holds for my team and me. His team is really dope, too. He has a lot of cool and genuine people around him. It was really refreshing to see that.

SL: Where do you see this year taking you?

Mannywellz: I’m going to be happy in 2018. I see myself touring and performing everywhere. I see different kinds of people connecting with SoulFro and spreading the project everywhere around the world.

Want to give the rising artist a listen for yourself? Check out his latest EP for free HERE!

Music

New Year, New Music: 13 Fresh Tracks from The Neighbourhood, Win and Woo, Jeezy and More!

January 5, 2018

It’s officially 2018, which means it’s time to let go of last year—and time to regain faith in good music (because we all know there wasn’t much of it in 2017).

While I don’t have a whole lot to kick off January with, there’s so far quite a bit on the horizon with upcoming album releases, including Camila Cabello (Jan. 12), Craig David (Jan. 19), Fickle Friends (March 16), and a bunch of TBDs. Sadly, after just hearing “Filthy,” the debut single off of Justin Timberlake‘s Feb. 2 Man of the Woods album, that’s one release I’m not looking forward to, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

In the meantime, let’s appreciate the 13 songs we’ve got in this month’s New Music January playlist, shall we?

The Neighbourhood just released “Stuck with Me,” the perfectly mellow tune to help you relax during those cold winter nights. If you want to stay on that chill path, Captain Kidd‘s “Wild” is the way to go. But if you want to kick things up a few notches, keep your ears perked up to electro tracks “In Love Again,” by Win and Woo and “Embrace” by Manics. And we can’t not give love to Jeezy FKA Young Jeezy, who teamed up with J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar on his latest single “American Dream.”

Scroll below for the full playlist, which also includes Party Nails, Scavenger Hunt, Allies for Everyone and POWERS:

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Music

Skyelyfe’s 17 Favorite Songs of 2017

December 21, 2017

Photo Credit: Unsplash / Alice Moore

Each year, I do two separate lists: one that features my top songs of the year, and one that features my least liked songs of the year.

Welp, this year proved a challenge because the songs were overall so bad and so homogenized, that I truly could not break down my 17 most despised. Whether it was anything touched by DJ Khaled or Selena Gomez (sorry, y’all—wasn’t feeling either of them this year, and I used to be the biggest Khaled fan back in the day), or “Bad and Boujee,” “Congratulations,” “Despacito,” “Location,” “Redbone,” those crappy, blink-and-you-missed-’em Katy Perry singles, and obviously anything Chainsmokers, etc., etc., etc., this year was musically rough.

That said, I did manage to hear 17 tracks that brought a smile to my face, and they definitely deserve mad recognition.

Below, in order from the bottom, my 17 favorite tracks of 2017:

17. “Winter” – PVRIS

I only got into PVRIS this year, but it was most definitely love at first listen. Their hard, melodic, dark rock brings an incredibly unique sound, but lead singer Lynn Gunn‘s vocals are a standout on every track. I saw them in concert earlier this year, and it only intensified my adoration for this rising band. “Winter” is just one of the many songs that truly represents this group’s signature sound.

16. “Gimme the Highlights” – Hortlax Cobra f./ Sibille Attar

If you love electronic music, but not all the crap that sounds the same, I’ve been raving about Hortlax Cobra (aka John Eriksson from Peter Bjorn and John) for years, and how HC has managed to still fly under the radar is beyond me. He released a full-length album this year, and “Gimme the Highlights” is my favorite—mysterious and melodic, this song just can’t go wrong.

15. “You Got Me” – SNBRN, BLU J, Cara Frew

Sexy, dark, progressive and melodic, this song epitomizes the formula to success. And in an era where everything in this “EDM/Dance” genre sounds the same, this song miraculously manages to stand out.

14. “Clap Your Hands” – Le Youth f./ Ava Max

Lively and upbeat, this track is what Billboard describes as “infectious funk,” and I’ve got to say I agree. Ava Max brings beautiful vocals, while Le Youth brings his signature delicious dance vibes.

13. “Falls” – ODESZA f./ Sasha Sloan

Appropriately and coincidentally released just before fall, this chillwave track was the perfect calm that the season needed. Whether on in the background while hosting guests, or as the soundtrack to my lengthy drive to and from work, this song epitomizes ODESZA‘s way of working their musical magic.

12. Kaleidoscopes – Transviolet f./ Reo Cragun

There’s something bittersweet about this this melodic gem. Expressing both love and heartbreak, this is an emotional track, but easy on the ears.

11. “Don’t You Feel It” – Sub Focus f./ALMA

I definitely had this one on regular rotation early in the year. Whether getting through a day at the office or while getting ready for a night out, this uplifting electro tune kept me in good spirits.

10. “Plain Jane” – A$AP Ferg

This song came through in the clutch at the very end of 2017, and there’s no doubt it will fly high up the charts in the year to follow. I can’t imagine anyone hearing this and not getting up to dance in the middle of the club, in their car or in their living room, as this is the ultimate banger!

9. “I Get the Bag” – Gucci Mane f./ Migos

When I heard “Bad and Boujee,” I was like hell no with these Migos guys (btw, I still wouldn’t be able to point them out in a crowd, and it took me months to learn Quavo is a part of Migos and not a separate entity altogether), but I’ve gotta say a few of their songs grew on me. “T-shirt” isn’t bad, “Motorsport” is good (that Cardi B again!), and “I Get the Bag” is a legit banger. Ok, to be fair, my boy Gucci definitely adds a lot to this track, but overall, slick flow, love the dark melody, I’m into it.

8. “No Limit” – G-Eazy, A$AP Rocky, Cardi B

It pains me to put G-Eazy on a top-anything list, but alas, here we are. That said, the real star of the track (and of the year) is obviously Cardi B, and I knew this would be a hit the second I first heard it. It’s getting mad radio play, and you know what? I say play away. I don’t see myself getting sick of this one any time soon.

7. “Bodies” – Wafia

This came in towards the end of the year, and has been playing on my rotation ever since. It’s super light, Wafia’s voice is incredible, and it’s just an all-around solid song.

6. “Devil in Me” – Halsey

Consider Halsey my unexpected breakout star of 2017. Had you told me a year ago that she’d make my Top 17 (No. 6, for that matter), that I’d pay to see her in concert and that I would speak very openly and frequently about her songwriting and skill, I would have said you were clearly joking. But after spending seriously the entire year listening to hopeless. fountain. kingdom. and BADLANDS, I’ve gotta say, I’m a wholehearted fan. Do I think the whole G-Eazy relationship is trashy? Yep. Do I think her radio singles get super old? Yep. But overall, Halsey’s music was basically the soundtrack to my year, so here’s to that. “Devil in Me” is my favorite track she released this year (“Strangers” in close second). This song is raw and powerful, a definite must-listen!

5. “Don’t Take the Money” – Bleachers

I found out Lorde is a co-writer on this song, which I never would have expected, but that said, right up there with “Sit Next to Me,” this song’s melody is an instant jolt of happiness. It also reminds of a particularly upward point in 2017, so many positive associations there!

4. “Sit Next to Me” – Foster the People

This song sparked immediate excitement in me when I heard it for the first time, and has continued to do so every play thereafter. This is without question my second favorite FTP track of all-time (“I Would Do Anything for You” being the first). It’s oddly difficult for me to listen to music when I’m not in the best mood, but this song is an exception. I can listen to it any time, any place, as an instant mood-booster.

3. “Reminder” – The Weeknd

This one’s a rare Weeknd radio single that didn’t get overplayed—which may be why it reigned supreme in my book. No, but really though, the melody on this track is A+. And hearing The Weeknd’s soothing vocals on anything is icing on the cake!

2. “Nirvana” – Ryder

Like the title suggests, this song is heavenly. It is so incredibly beautiful from start to finish, I feel like I’m floating on a cloud as I hear it. It came out at the very beginning of the year, so it’s been a minute since I’ve had it on heavy rotation, but listening to it again brings back all sorts of fond memories and happiness. This track will never get old.

1. “Privacy” – Chris Brown

Breezy has reclaimed his throne after a lackluster 2016. “Privacy”—which led up to the release of his hotly anticipated double-album Heartbreak on a Full Moon—was my jam, and Spotify seemed to agree, listing it as my most listened to song of 2017. While this sexy, dirty little ditty doesn’t even come close to my love for “Ayo,” this is for sure a banger and I’ll most definitely be listening for years to come.

Listen to all the favorites below:

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Music

Finish Off 2017 With 31 Fresh Tunes by BAUM, Sigrid, Satin Jackets and More!

December 11, 2017

Whew! 2017 is less than a month from being over, so while you’re in the middle of rejoicing (as I’m sure most of you are!), do so with some fresh new music.

As the year comes to a close, the music is mellowing out, so prepare to cozy up in cold weather to 32 chill new tunes. I had this playlist on repeat over the weekend while I cooked and hung up new apartment decor. I couldn’t have picked a better selection of sounds to accompany my tasks.

From BAUM and Sigrid, to Satin Jackets, Aquilo, Chelsea Lankes and more, hopefully the songs I’ve chosen will keep you hopeful of the new music to come in 2018.

Check out the full playlist below!

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Music

44 New Songs to Be Thankful for This November, Including Tracks by Ghost Loft, MØ and Bon Iver

November 7, 2017

November is without question one of the best months of the year.

The laidback feel of fall, combined with the excitement leading up to Thanksgiving, can produce a wealth of happy emotions.

While we’re in thankful mode, why not add new music to our list of necessary gratitude? As we know, music warms our soul, keeps us dancing, heightens our mood, helps us capture memories and is the soundtrack to our relationships. So, take these 44 new songs I bring you this month and embrace not only the beautiful season, but the wonderful vibe these tracks create.

Not to mention, listening to this playlist will give you something to do when your relatives get the best of you at Thanksgiving dinner!

Keep scrolling for fresh new music from Ghost Loft, , Bon Iver, Autograf, Chris Brown, Ty Dolla $ign, The Brinks, Miranda GloryMansions on the Moon and many more:

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Music

Fall into October With Fresh Tracks by PVRIS, DJ Snake, Illenium, Tove Lo + 64 More Artists

October 3, 2017

October is officially upon us, and this just so happens to be the month that I’ve found the best songs of 2017 so far.

Sadly, though October is arguably one of the most favored months, this year’s is already an incredibly somber one, and we’ve barely just begun. With the unfathomable tragedy in Las Vegas, combined with the death of legendary Tom Petty, it’s been a slight breath of fresh fall air to stumble upon these 68 new musical gems.

I’m giving an extra special shoutout to PVRIS (and their track “Anyone Else” off their incredible new album, All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell), because I recently saw them and Lights (also on this playlist) at the Novo downtown on the first night of fall, so they hold a special little place in my heart.

Also, there are a handful of releases from artists I’ve interviewed, so I’ve got to give them shoutouts, too (SomeKindaWonderful, JOEY, Little Good Bad‘s Rachel B, and Logan Henderson).

In addition, loving DJ Snake‘s newest track “A Different Way,” and I can’t get enough of Illenium‘s new album or ODESZA‘s. Also, Tove Lo recently released “Disco Tits,” and it kind of got swept under the rug (probably because of its non-radio-friendly nature), but it’s unique and fun, so I definitely recommend giving it a listen!

Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, bundle yourself up in your coziest fall getup and check out the playlist—which also features Ty Dolla $ign, Trina, DJ Dan, Above and Beyond, The War on Drugs and Gorgon City—below!

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Music

R&B Pop Singer JOEY Takes Skyelyfe Through Her Journey of ‘Setbacks and Heartbreak’

September 8, 2017

If you’ve ever wanted to read someone’s juicy journal, here’s your chance.

R&B pop singer JOEY, who recently released her debut full-length album Enough, has said the tracks are an “open diary through my first love.” She takes you through all the stages from the relationship’s joyous beginning to its tearful end.

Skyelyfe caught up with the Australian-born artist (formerly known as Joelle), who just released the music video to “Got Me Like,” her third single from the album. If you scroll to the very bottom, you can watch the upbeat video, which takes you through the honeymoon phase of a relationship.

But in the meantime, learn a bit more about the singer below:

Photo Credit: Dru Erin

skyelyfe: How did you get into music and how did you discover your own sound?

JOEY: I just enjoyed singing when I was a little girl. I never really took it seriously but somehow here I am all the way on the other side of the world in L.A.! I was rejected from the school choir, which didn’t discourage me. I kept at it and now I’m here. [laughs]

skyelyfe: How would you define your sound or genre?

JOEY: I would say that I am a mixture of sounds, definitely R&B and pop influences, but my voice definitely sounds soulful. 

skyelyfe: Who are some of your musical influences?

JOEY: I love listening to Ed Sheeran, Adele, Tory LanezAlicia Keys, Frank Ocean and Chris Brown.

skyelyfe: Your album takes listeners through the experience of falling in love. What was the easiest and hardest part about putting everything out there like that? Which song is the most personal to you?

JOEY: I didn’t find it difficult to be open about my personal feelings or struggles. I am extremely open with my setbacks and heartbreak! The most personal song is probably “Words Fall,” as I wrote it from my ex’s perspective while talking to me. It is pretty amazing and honest. 

skyelyfe: In a current era where pretty much everything sounds the same, do you find it difficult to find your own style and set yourself apart from other on-the-rise artists?

JOEY: No at all, I don’t really focus on others. I just love creating and vibing with musicians. So we always create something unique. I have always been a little rebellious too, so I am never going to be following the crowd. 

Photo Credit: Dru Erin

skyelyfe: Who do you think does a good job of setting themselves apart from others in the music world today?

JOEY: I love Adele and Ed Sheeran, I love how they are so incredibly talented, raw performers and are not involved in any Hollywood scandals to keep their careers afloat.

skyelyfe: Where are your favorite places to eat, shop, check out shows and grab a drink in L.A.?

JOEY: I live in L.A., I mainly find myself in the studio or at the gym. I love working out at Fit Arts, I love going to No Vacancy for a drink and I seem to always end up at Tender Greens for a quick meal after my workout.  

skyelyfe: What can fans expect from you through the remainder of the year?

JOEY: I will be performing everywhere and anywhere! I plan on going on tour in Australia and the USA. I am recording new music and also releasing a book. 

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Music

Pompeya, RAC, SomeKindaWonderful, DWNTWN + 23 More Artists: New Music August!

August 3, 2017

I don’t know about you, but musically speaking, to me, August signifies the arrival of Kesha‘s hotly anticipated Aug. 11 comeback album Rainbow.

But while we eagerly await the 14-song selection, let’s get into some recently released tunes, shall we?

Some of my regularly rotating favorites (Foster the People, RAC, DWNTWN) each released new albums within the last couple of weeks and they are so good! I commend FTP for sticking true to their original sound with each new release. Their new album brings so much happiness to my heart—especially the song “Sit Next to Me,” which I’ve included in this month’s new music playlist. In addition, you must check out RAC’s “Unusual” and DWNTWN’s “Love Someone.”

But the song I’m featuring in the forefront this month is indie new wave act Pompeya‘s “Somebody Else,” off their new four-track EP Domino. Anyone who’s been following skyelyfe knows the Moscow natives have been been on my radar for years. I always get excited when they release new material because they’re one of the few acts to never let me down.

I also advise checking out SomeKindaWonderful‘s “Wheels Up,” a bit of a different sounding venture for the alt-rock band, who collabed with Casey Veggies on this mellow hip-hop electro track.

Scroll below to check out the playlist of 27 new tracks worth listening to this month, which also includes Don Diablo, Rhye, Decco, Bryce Vine, Snakehips, Body Language and Grabbitz!

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Music

If You Love That Animated Hot Dog on Snapchat, You’ll Dig the Dancing Cactus in This Adorable New Music Video

July 20, 2017

If you’re crushing as much as I am over that animated hot dog roaming all over social media lately, brace yourself, because indie-pop rockers Flights Over Phoenix have discovered the real-life version—in the form of a cactus!

Yes, I was immediately taken by the trio’s brand new music video for their upbeat track “Middle of the World.” Not only I am legitimately digging the uplifting tune, but seriously, this video is totally entertaining, especially if you live in L.A.

Taking place partly in the middle-of-nowhere desert, and graduating on to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and later to the beach, there’s nowhere this green little guy can’t conquer, and you’ll see that for yourself if you scroll to the very bottom of this post.

“We had a blast working with Flights Over Phoenix,” Eric McCoy, of directing duo Mccoy | Meyer, tells skyelyfe, of working on the memorable shots. “These guys trusted us implicitly with the vision of the video, and even showed up at 4:00 a.m. in the middle of the desert to get the perfect sunrise performance. We couldn’t be more proud of this!”

Skyelyfe also chatted up the three L.A.-based guys themselves—who recently performed at The Peppermint Club in West Hollywood—so keep reading and get to know more about Keith Longo (lead singer), Jordan Nuanez (drummer) and Chris Santillo (guitarist)!

skyelyfe: How did you come up with the name of your band?

Keith Longo: The name of the band is a reference to the Phoenix Lights which was a UFO sighting that happened in the ’90s. It has nothing to do with the music, I’ve just always had a deep curiosity of what else is out there and where we come from, as I think most people do. It’s fun to think that maybe we could witness something that could give us those answers someday, something that defies normal logic. I’ve also always been interested in the Phoenix bird in mythology. The idea of rising from the ashes speaks to me, so the name Flights Over Phoenix felt right. And, most importantly, nobody else on Facebook had taken it yet [laughs].

SL: How would you define your sound or genre?

Jordan Nuanez: I think we’ve kinda taken our cumulative musical interests and allowed that to influence our sound as a band. For instance, Keith loves ’90s music, and some of those bands and artists have incredible songwriting and powerful vocal melodies. I personally think some of that comes through in the songwriting. Chris digs songs that have a great vibe and great modern production techniques. So that’s where we get some of our more interesting and synth-y sonic nodes. I personally appreciate any music, so long as it feels good. All of us have a pretty broad pallet as well, so we like to take some rock from here, a little synth sound from there… Really though we are trying to create our own sound that is of course reminiscent of some other styles and genres, but that is also distinctly us.

SL: Who are some of your musical influences?
Chris Santillo: We all come from a wide range of musical backgrounds and influences. Keith is a big fan of Phil Collins and ’90s grunge, Jordan likes reggaeton and Latin music, and I love everything from ’90s music to blues to soul music, but equally love modern artists like The 1975. I love when artists are able to blend live instrumentation with synthetic instruments. It’s always a tough balancing act that I constantly try to get better at. I also love Bruce Hornsby-type music, it really just depends on my mood.

SL: In a current era where pretty much everything sounds the same, do you find it difficult to find your own style and set yourself apart from other on-the-rise artists?
K.L.: I’d agree that if you are listening on certain platforms, certain radio stations for instance, a lot of the music can start to sound similar. I would say that is probably true in every decade though. Music is like fashion in that way. Certain trends become popular and after a while they change. But, there is so much music out there in the world, and with all of the platforms to listen to music on, I think there is great variety. With that said, I do think finding your own voice as an artist is crucial. It can be difficult to find the essence of who you are as an artist and to present it in the best way possible, but that’s always the goal. It can definitely be tempting to hear what is popular or successful at the time and try to replicate it, but I think the key is listening to that little voice in your head. If you feel good showing people your music and you feel it represents you well, that’s usually a good sign. If you don’t feel like sharing it, maybe it’s because you aren’t being true to yourself in that song.

SL: Who do you think does a good job of setting themselves apart from others in the music world today?

J.N.: The world is so saturated with artists and bands these days. Honestly, it can seem daunting as an artist at times. But I also don’t necessarily think it’s such a bad thing. Since there is so much out there, so many people listen to such a wide array of music. You’ll have someone who appreciates going to Coachella to see Lady Gaga, but also wants to see Kendrick Lamar, Martin Garrix, and some obscure band from Norway or something like that. But really, all those artists are successful in part because they just own what they do. They do it 100%. I think that is the key to setting yourself apart. Work hard at it, perfect your craft, get tight as a band, work on your songwriting and live shows. That all comes across to the audience. So that’s what we’re trying to do. We’ve put a lot into this. We’re trying to make it so that when people leave our live show, they walk away feeling that we owned it. We consciously try to build Flights Over Phoenix, and not just fit into other scenes.

SL: When you are in L.A., where are your favorite places to eat, shop, check out shows and grab a drink—if you drink?

C.S.: I was born and raised here in L.A., but surprisingly enough I don’t go out and explore much of the food scene. I usually just make dinner at home so I don’t really have a list of go to food spots. As far as shopping though, I love going to Buffalo Exchange, Crossroads Trading Co. and stores like that. I always find the most unique stuff there. For shows, lately I’ve been going to School Night at Bardot [in Hollywood]. A lot of phenomenal upcoming artists play there so it’s always humbling to watch and it’s a place we would like to play soon. I also like going to Sayers Club and The Peppermint. As far as bars go, I love going out by my parents house where I grew up in Montrose to a bar called Basin 141. It’s total hometown vibes and I always see people I know there.

SL: What can fans expect from you through the remainder of the year?
K.L.: Right now we are writing a lot of songs and just trying to focus on playing shows and making people more aware of us. We’ve considered releasing singles or a second EP, and at this point, I’m not sure which we will decide, but one way or the other we will be releasing new music soon enough. And, if you can’t wait, you can always come to our live show.

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Music

Skyelyfe Exclusively Premieres Indie-Pop Trio Wolves’ Sexually Driven Debut Single ‘Animal’

June 23, 2017

Photo Credit: Solomon Augusteyn

It’s the first Friday of summer 2017!

And going off of that, I can’t think of a better song to kick off the season’s first weekend than indie-pop trio Wolves‘ debut single, “Animal.”

The upbeat track, being premiered here on skyelyfe, comes from L.A.’s Sean Carney, 29 (Lead Guitar/Background Vocals), Phoenix’s Rockwell “Rocky” Sands, 26 (Drums/ Guitar/ Keyboard/ Background Vocals), and Chicago’s Marc Avery, 32 (Lead Vocals).

Scroll to the very bottom to hear the sexually empowering song, but before you get there, read on to learn about the song’s backstory, how the trio came together despite being from totally opposite sides of the country and what the three guys like to do outside of the studio.

skyelyfe: How would you describe your sound and who are your musical influences?

Sean Carney: We would say that the best description of our sound and our musical influences are Coldplay, Michael Jackson, and The Eagles. We like to think that we have a solid blend of the past and the future that hasn’t been heard before. Being from different parts of the country and coming from different walks of life, our music definitely paints the picture of the diverse landscape that we live in.

SL: What is the backstory behind “Animal”?

Rockwell Sands: “Animal” came organically. Once we had the production pretty much finished and the melody together, one of us came with the line, “Love me like an Animal!” The rest of the song came pretty easy. This song is a celebration of a woman who is completely in tune with her sexual being. On a deeper level, women catch a lot of shit for being sexual in the eyes of the public and that’s total bullshit. The song is telling women not to be afraid to indulge in their carnal instincts when it comes to the bedroom.

SL: How did you form as a group?

Marc Avery: Well, each of us are songwriters and producers, and have been doing this for a while. Sean and Rocky met each other at a songwriter’s expo about two years back and worked on a few songs and projects here and there. I met Rocky while I was bartending in Hollywood. He was getting hammered and we talked about how the two of us were songwriters. We ended up working on a few songs for placement when the conversation of starting a band came up. Rocky began production on a track and brought Sean in later on to add the flavor it needed. That track eventually turned into “Animal.”

SL: What are your hobbies when you’re not recording and listening to music?

R.S.: Nothing! No, honestly I enjoy playing video games and going to the movies. I’m a huge comic book fan, so I love all the superhero movies… well, most of them.

S.C.: I like going surfing and going to the beach. I also like partaking in “seaweed,” if you get my drift. I have two cats at home, so I like to hang out with them sometimes.

M.A.: I enjoy movies as well, but I am a huge sports fan! I’m really the only sports fan in our band. So I love almost anything that is competitive on a high level; basketball, football, baseball—Go Cubs! A good whiskey or “seaweed” is always welcome as well [laughs].

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Music

Irv Gotti’s Murder Inc. Is Back—and the Label Sounds NOTHING Like the Ja Rule Days

June 21, 2017

Photo Credit: Instagram

Ja Rule and Ashanti were a force to be reckoned with in the mid ’00s when Murder Inc. was at the top of its game.

Led by the label’s cofounder Irv Gotti, the duo was often seen with fellow Inc. artists Charli Baltimore and Lloyd, and seemed unstoppable until the label’s fall in 2009.

Ever since the label went south, the names that once dominated our radio waves disappeared into oblivion and the term Murder Inc. became reserved for “Hits of the 2000s” playlists.

But fast-forward to 2017 and Gotti has resurrected the once-coveted label—but with an entirely new sound.

Teaming up with 300 Entertainment, Gotti signed relative unknowns Boogiie Byrd and Fitted Circle.

This decision is all fine and dandy, except the new vibe is definitely catered to today’s demographic of “hip-hop” listeners, as opposed to the ones who listened to Murder Inc. when it was at its prime. Today’s hip-hop consumers most likely do not even know who Ja Rule and Ashanti are, let alone resonate at all with the sound the two are associated with. And likewise in regards to former Murder Inc. fans, who are likely not going to be into the new sound.

Would it have been a better move to just rename the label altogether? Sound off in the comments!

Music

Spice Up Summer With 19 Sexy Poolside Party Tunes

June 21, 2017

If you want to hear amped up remixes of all the crappy music currently on the radio, hit up Vegas or any club on Hollywood Blvd., but if you want a taste of what summer should sound like, and you can’t make it to Palm Springs (where you’ll hear the sexy stuff), I’ve got just the playlist for you.

From Goldroom and Gigamesh to Satin Jackets and Crazy P, I’ve got 19 nu disco tracks that are sure to help you sizzle this summer.

Slip on your swimsuit, head on over to your nearest pool and scroll below to get the party started.

And if you’ve got anything to add, shoutout in the comments!

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Music

Chris Brown’s New Documentary Answers Every Question About His Rihanna Relationship—Including the Infamous 2009 Incident

June 7, 2017

Photo Credit: @ChrisBrownOfficial Instagram

Chris Brown is a man of few words (at least publicly), so it was incredibly fascinating watching his new documentary, which candidly recounts his many lifetime trials and tribulations.

I attended a VIP screening of Chris Brown: Welcome to My Life last night at Regal Cinemas in Downtown L.A., and was truly blown away.

The controversial hip-hop star goes into detail about everything from hearing his mom get beat every night by her boyfriend when he was a kid, to the volatile drama that transpired with Robin Roberts at GMAto losing ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran by impregnating a brief fling during the one month they split up (a decision he says he wouldn’t change for the world because it gave him his precious baby Royalty, who he proudly said god made just for him).

But by far the most compelling portion of the 95-minute Andrew Sandler-directed film—which features guest commentary from his longtime lawyer Mark Geragos, Jennifer Lopez, Usher, Mary J. Blige, DJ Khaled, and a few other music industry influencers—was when he spoke about his relationship with ex-girlfriend Rihanna. You could tell he was a little nervous talking about it, as he fidgeted the entire time with a lighter. But he certainly seemed to speak from the heart and he told their former love story (and its tragic ending) from start to finish.

Photo Credits: @ChrisBrownOfficial Instagram / @BadGalRiri Instagram

Keep reading for everything you’ve ever wondered about their relationship:

1. He Asked Her to Be His Girlfriend After Months of Hanging Out and She Initially Didn’t Take Him Seriously

According to Chris, he and Rihanna first met at an event and he liked her unique voice (speaking voice, that is). They exchanged info after talking a bit, and then as time went on, they started performing at more of the same events and started hanging out one-on-one. After months of kicking it, Chris eventually asked what the deal is between them because they obviously liked each other and he told her he wanted to be her boyfriend. She said she didn’t think he was ready and that’s when he said “I love you.” She laughed, but they ended up getting together.

2. They’d Been Secretly Dating at the Time of Their 2007 VMA Performance and After It Went Smoothly, He Stopped Caring About Keeping Their Relationship a Secret

The then-couple’s 2007 VMA collab was pure fire, and leading up to it, the pair played coy about their eight-month relationship. After its success and the pair’s evident chemistry, Chris thought they were in the perfect place to be a little more open about what was going on. That performance and their dual success, for him, was what pretty much solidified them as a power couple.

3. He Was Ready to Propose

Once their relationship went public, the couple was everywhere and on everyone’s mind. The duo was super smitten and even at their incredibly young age, Chris was ready to marry his love. But he didn’t want to propose without being completely honest with Rihanna about everything.

4. His Decision to Be Honest is What Led to Their Relationship’s Downfall

Chris said when the duo first started dating, Rihanna regularly questioned him about having a history with someone he worked with. He denied they had anything more than a working relationship, but when he realized just how serious he was about the “We Found Love” singer, he decided to come clean and admitted that indeed he had sexual relations with her. Rihanna flipped out, and that’s when their happy-go-lucky relationship turned toxic for good. They were constantly fighting from that point on, but remained together for the time being.

5. Their Infamous 2009 Domestic Dispute Occurred After Rihanna Found a Displeasing Text in Chris’ Phone

On the night of the 2009 Clive Davis Grammy party, Rihanna and Chris (who were still technically together but not on the best of terms) attended, but turmoil ensued when the woman Chris previously slept with showed up at his table to say hi. Rihanna began crying uncontrollably and Chris (who says he had no idea the girl was going to be there, nor did he want her to come up to him) finally calmed her down and the two left in his Lamborghini. The duo was arguing incessantly and Chris swore to her that he wasn’t keeping any secrets. He begged her to go through his phone and sure enough, she came across an unopened text from the girl at the party, indeed telling him she would be there. Rihanna flipped out and the two were going back and forth. It got so intense that he punched her with a closed fist and left her lip bloody—blood that she spit in his face. It didn’t stop there. She grabbed his private parts and he bit her arm. He stopped the car in Hancock Park and she looked like she threw his keys out the door. He went looking for them, and next thing he knew, she was in fact sitting on them. She then grabbed them and started scratching all of his CDs that had his yet-to-be-released music—music he could no longer retrieve because it was before the days of recording music to your phone. She then screamed that someone was trying to kill her and a neighbor heard and called the police. As we know, the rest is history.

6. The Two Had a Prior History of Domestic Abuse Leading Up to the Infamous Night

The Clive Davis night will forever be ingrained in Chris’ (and much of media’s) mind, but the singer admits this wasn’t the first time such a debacle went down. He said that the couple (yes, both of them) got physical often and many times had to make excuses when they were publicly seen with a scratch or bruise.

7. After They Finally Split for Good, He Kept Trying to Call Her and She Eventually Said to Go Away

The pair reunited very briefly (and very publicly) following their initial split, but once it fizzled, he still tried hitting her up to get her back. He admits she finally told him she had a new boyfriend and wanted him to leave her alone. That’s when he met Karrueche, who he dated for a few years before their nasty split. Although he admits he was still in love with Rihanna at the time he started dating his new lady, he does credit K (along with his mom) for getting him through his toughest times.

**For more on this and Chris’ life now as a doting dad, check out Chris Brown: Welcome to My Life in 450+ select theaters nationwide tomorrow, June 8, on a one-day-only release.

Music

Celebrate Pride Month With 44 New Songs That Are Sure to Make You Happy!

June 5, 2017

Happy Pride month, everyone!

June is the perfect excuse to not only celebrate equality for all, but happiness, too! This is always an exciting, memorable month, so let’s kick it off with 44 fresh new tunes.

In the spirit of all things equality, I find it perfectly fitting to showcase Halsey‘s brand new album hopeless fountain kingdom, which features breakout song “Strangers,” a collab with Fifth Harmony‘s Lauren Jauregui about two female exes who no longer speak. Although the subject matter is sad, the song is pure perfection—and quite frankly, the album as a whole isn’t far from it. Obviously the tragic hit “Closer” was an unfortunate career catapult for Halsey, but if you listen to this album and her former Badlands, you will see she is actually an incredible artist.

Speaking of albums, you may recall last month’s featured song “Gimme the Highlights,” by Hortlax Cobra, (aka John Eriksson from Peter Bjorn and John). The artist just released Hortlax Cobra’s third album, which features another one of my favorites, “I’m Still Here.” If you’re a fan of mysterious, melodic electronica from one of Sweden’s most talented artists, this album is for you.

Other songs specifically on my radar are “Get Lost” by Washed Out (it’s been a while for them!), “Had to Let Me Go” by Nite Jewel (super sexy), MisterWives‘ very lively “Coloring Outside the Lines” (they are also on the new album radar with Connect the Dots), “Mind” by Slow Magic f./one of my favs Kate BoyLeon Else‘s synth-pop “What I Won’t Do” and an incredibly catchy “It’s a Vibe” by 2 Chainz f./Ty Dolla $ign, Trey Songz and Jhene Aiko.

For the full list of 44 new tunes, check out the playlist below!

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Music

New Music May: Hortlax Cobra, Little Dragon, SNBRN, Foster the People & 35 More Artists!

May 9, 2017

While I’m sad to see those April showers go, entering a new month means another selection of fresh music—and this month we’ve got some quality sounds from artists we haven’t heard much of lately.

Little Dragon released their latest full-length album Season High, and I’m loving the song High in particular. Our beloved Foster the People are back as well! And while not with an entire album, we at least get a three-track EP, oh-so-appropriately called III. They sound significantly different from how they’ve ever sounded in the past, but the new material is great nonetheless! Speaking of new sounds and names we haven’t heard in a while, do you guys remember David Archuleta from American Idol? He’s back with Up All Night, and it’s clear his sound has matured a bit. I really like the song!

But my favorite new tune this month is definitely Hortlax Cobra’s “Gimme the Highlights.” I’ve been a fan of HC for quite some time, and enjoy being able to rely on their distinct sound.

The rest of the playlist is a big smorgasbord of electronic (SNBRN, Laidback Luke, Pat Lok, Seven Lions), hip-hop (Kendrick Lamar, Mannywellz, D.R.A.M., Omarion) and everything in-between (Goldroom, Future Islands, RAC, Stalking Gia, Grace Mitchell and more!).

I just went through the whole list, and I’ve gotta say, this is one of my favorite compilations of songs in quite some time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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Lifestyle Music

Celebs, Swag & Sun: Photos and Details from Coachella’s Hottest (No Pun Intended) Weekend One Day Parties

April 20, 2017

One weekend down, one to go!

As any regular Coachella attendee knows, the first installment of C’chella each year is the major one, with the Empire Polo Fields and semi-neighboring parties filled from head to toe with celebs, tastemakers and pretty much everyone transplanted from L.A. for the weekend.

Well, this year was no exception, with the typical expected guests hitting the desert hotspots when they weren’t checking out their favorite acts at the festival.

Keep scrolling, because skyelyfe has the scoop on some of the hottest day soirees of Coachella season. And I’m getting exhausted just writing this—for all the right reasons, of course!

#REVOLVEfestival

Joining forces with Billboard Media Group, Revolve clothing put on another Coachella weekend party for the books! Moving locations this year to the Merv Griffin Estate, the hugely popular online retailer brought out droves of stylish stars, including Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Kaia Gerber, Joe Jonas, Sofia Richie, Nicole Richie and Louis Tomlinson, among many others. Over the course of the weekend, guests took in live performances by Rick Ross and Migos, while sipping Ciroc cocktails, snagging swag from ColourPop cosmetics, Schutz shoes, Lovers & Friends apparel, Joico InstaTint hair spray and Impressions Vanity Co.—and frolicking through the incredibly spacious, picturesque space.

Photo Credit: BFA

Photo Credit: BFA

Photo Credit: BFA

Photo Credit: BFA

Photo Credit: BFA

The Lucky Lounge Presents: Desert Jam Produced by BMF Media

Still fresh to live performance life, Noah Cyrus put her best foot (vocals) forward, giving guests a mini three-song show at Palm Spring’s Ingleside Inn. In between taking in the live music, partygoers (including Sia, Ashlee Simpson-Ross and hubby Evan Ross) had the option to snag free apparel from Lucky Brand, sip Heineken beer, Deep Eddy vodka and High Brew coffee and score swag from One Two Cosmetics.

Photo Credit: Vivian Killilen / Getty Images for BMF Media

Photo Credit: Vivian Killilen / Getty Images for BMF Media

Katy Perry’s Easter Sunday Funday Recovery Brunch Produced by John Terzian’s The h.wood Group

There were no kitty cats, only bunnies, for Katy Perry over the weekend during her hosted Easter boozy brunch. The pop star not only flaunted her newly shorn hair, but also debuted her footwear collection. Guests at the Thermal, Calif., estate, were treated to oxygen bars, a Cover Girl-sponsored Easter egg hunt, massages and beats by Mia Moretti, Balthazar Getty and Bobby French. And topping things off, everyone had a first chance to shop Katy’s new kicks.

Photo Credit: Rony Alwin

Photo Credit: Rony Alwin

American Express Platinum House

For partygoers seeking a healthy reprieve from the otherwise debaucherous happenings over the weekend, the American Express Platinum House went as far as offering on-site Soul Cycle classes by famed spin instructor Stacey Griffith. Spinning or not, all guests were treated to tacos, popsicles, veggie skewers, handcrafted flower crowns, a live performance by Bebe Rexha and a DJ set by Hannah Bronfman.

Photo Courtesy of Ari Perilstein, Getty Images

Photo Courtesy of Ari Perilstein, Getty Images

Photo Courtesy of Ari Perilstein, Getty Images

Photo Courtesy of Ari Perlstein, Getty Images

The Zoe Report’s ZOEasis

Swag and style were the name of the game at this gathering. Guests, including Kate Bosworth, Brooklyn Beckham, Olivia Culpo, Louise Roe and Rachel Zoe herself made their way through the gigantic Palm Springs space, where they took in a performance by The Aces and DJ sets by Pamela Katz, May Kwok, while walking out with hundreds of dollars in beauty products, handmade bracelets and gift cards galore.

Galore x Grindr Present Queens of the Desert

Dope performance by Charli XCX? Check! Free shoes by Melissa? Check! Slews of Grindr swag? Check! Cute, shirtless gay boys? Mega-check! Palm Springs’ Coral Sands Inn was transformed into the Galore Motel for a packed pool party that included DJ sets by Simihaze, Jordyn Woods, Alie Layus and Taryn Manning—and lots of Stillhouse Whiskey & Bourbon (yes, I drank whiskey drinks that day).

Chevrolet Bolt EV Launch at the Bootsy Bellows Estate

This party was a who’s-who of Hollywood, boasting appearances by Katy PerryNick JonasJoe Jonas, Ryan Phillippe, Kendall Jenner, Ariel WinterHailey BaldwinJeremy Scott and a slew of others. VIP guests rolled up to the Rancho Mirage-based party in the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt EV, while regular partygoers took in a live performance by Lil Yachty and swooped up goodies from PacSun‘s festival-inspired pop-up shop.

Photo Credit: Rick Williams

Photo Credit: Rick Williams

Photo Credit: Rick Williams

Music

Cruise to Coachella with This Playlist of 48 Artists Worth Seeing at the Festival!

April 10, 2017

Road trips are great and all, but when it comes to Coachella, we really have the mindset of just get me there already, right?

But unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work that way, and sometimes we are stuck cruisin’ for hours to get to the coveted Coachella Valley desert area.

That said, what gets us more amped for the festival than a little taste of what’s to come over the next few days? Well, clearly not traffic! Forget about your traveling woes and scroll to the bottom of the post for a playlist of the 48 artists skyelyfe encourages you to see. IMHO, if you miss Gucci Mane, Shura, Classixx or ScHoolboy Q, why did you even bother showing up?!

But regardless of who you watch, if you’re feeling reminiscent about last year’s festival, listen to my must-see playlist from Coachella 2016. And above all else, safe travels!

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Music

Dance Through April Showers With 45 New Tunes from Chris Brown, Betty Who & More!

April 5, 2017

April isn’t just for rainshowers and tiny, scantily clad tweens plowing through Coachella.

This month also brings on a slew of fresh springtime tunes, and I’ve gotta say, there’s a pretty solid selection going on right now.

Chris Brown, who I am beyond stoked to see live at The Forum on May 23 (!!!) just released the very explicit “Privacy,” and this blast-worthy jam obviously has me all sorts of excited for what else is to come from him at this time.

And another musical fav, Betty Who, just released her latest full-length album The Valley. Sticking true to her signature poppy sound, the selection of 13 tracks is every bit upbeat and carefree. I’m especially feelin’ “Some Kinda Wonderful.”

While we’re on the pop theme, please tell me you’ve given a listen to Charli XCX‘s incredible new album Number 1 Angel. It came out at the beginning of March and I do not feel like it’s been given the proper attention it deserves. OMG, I’ve been jamming away nonstop to “3AM (Pull Up)” f./.

You can listen up to aforementioned three tracks, along with fresh selections from Spirit Twin, Fickle Friends, Gryffin f./Daya, Little Mix, Party Nails, Crystal Bats and plenty more with the 45-song playlist below!

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