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Music

Skyelyfe’s 20 Worst Songs of 2016

December 21, 2016

songs-worst-2016For so many people, 2016 is considered the worst—and the selection of music releases this year has been no exception to contributing factors.

From Meghan Trainor‘s typically obnoxious, overbearing ditties to Lady Gaga‘s eyeroll-worthy “comeback,” to some very questionable collaborations, I just could not with these year’s tunes.

But it’s not all bad news, folks! Come back tomorrow for my list of 2o best songs of 2016!

In the meantime scroll below to see my least liked (in particular order):

20. “Starboy” – The Weeknd f./Daft Punk

The Weeknd’s album with this song’s same name is definitely not a disappointment, but the song itself is douchery at its (not so) finest.

19. “For Free” – DJ Khaled f./Drake

UGH. Again, douchery at its (not so) finest. Sorry, call me a hater, but present-day Drake is so annoying.

18. “Million Reasons” – Lady Gaga

I’m sure I speak for others when I say I’m not buying Lady Gaga’s folky, “real me” schtick. I think people want to hear and see her based on the reason they liked her in the first place: her over-the-top character image and her poppy persona. I don’t take this Joanne nonsense seriously at all. I mean, heck, I am the first to admit I even love Artpop, for crying out loud!

17. “Don’t Wanna Know” – Maroon 5 f./Kendrick Lamar

For such a strong lyricist, you’d think Adam Levine could come up with something a little more crafty than “I don’t wanna know, know, know, know who’s taking you home, home, home, home and loving you so, so, so, so…” Also, I have an issue with songs that throw rap verses in when it doesn’t really serve a purpose.

16. “Hymn for the Weekend” – Coldplay

Come on, Coldplay, you can do so much better than this!

15. “oui” – Jeremih

I’ve never been much a fan of Jeremih, and this whiny, pathetic track (with terrible lyrics to boot) doesn’t help his case. “Hey, there’s no we without you and I” (<–well, duh!)

14. “Me, Myself & I” – G-Eazy f./Bebe Rexha

Luckily for Bebe Rexha, she had some decent material this year, post-this horrible song. G-Eazy on the other hand? I can’t get behind any of his 2016 material.

13. “Never Be Like You” – Flume f./Kai

As someone who has been listening to Flume since 2012, this radio-heavy track is such a terrible downgrade from the Australian’s incredible signature, under-the-radar experimental electronic sound. In fact, the whole Skin album is a disappointment. Sorry.

12. “One Dance” – Drake f./WizKid and Kyla

I meannnn…. see No. 19

11. “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” – Mike Posner

I totally agree with Time‘s take on this song (in fact, I agree with most of Time‘s 10 Worst 2016 Songs list altogether): “Originally conceived as a folksy pop song in the vein of Jason Mraz, there was something clever about Posner’s withering takedown of drug-taking EDM bro culture. But the much more popular Seeb remix sapped it of its wit, turning it into the exact thing it was satirizing. What a comedown.”

10. “A-YO” – Lady Gaga

It’s funny how we go from last year’s No. 1 skyelyfe track “Ayo,” by Chris Brown and Tyga, to this cringeworthy country-pop tune by Lady Gaga. Yes, I’m aware they have nothing in common except the title, but still, this a far cry from the 2015 tune.

9. “Bad Things” – Machine Gun Kelly & Camila Cabello

I saw Machine Gun Kelly live in 2011 at the now-defunct West Hollywood House of Blues, where he was another white, aspiring gangsta rapper. Welp, guess that life didn’t pan out for him so well, because now he’s lending his lyrics on a terrible hip-pop rendition of Fastball’s “Out of My Head” with now-former Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello.

8. “NO” – Meghan Trainor

The song’s title speaks volumes.

7. “Me Too” – Meghan Trainor

If you’ve followed me on social media at all this year, well, you know all too well how I feel about a particular artist…

6. “Make Me…” – Britney Spears f./G-Eazy

The only thing worse than this song is quite possibly the music video (but, at least with the video, it’s entertaining in its own special way). It’s hard to believe this was the first single from the hotly anticipated Glory album. The album was actually pretty good, but with this (among a few others) as the so-called “breakouts,” it definitely didn’t sell me.

5. “Heathens” – Twenty One Pilots

The two Twenty One Pilots dudes said it best themselves at the American Music Awards: “I think we’re only getting these awards because we were the ones who showed up!” Yeah, I mean their songs got more play than almost any others I heard on the radio this year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. I would definitely be a-ok with never hearing them again!

4. “7 Years” – Lucas Graham

I think I speak for many when I say I have no idea what this dude is talking about, and quite frankly, I haven’t been able to make it all the way through the song to find out.

3. “Private Show” – Britney Spears

See the third sentence in No. 6

2. “i hate u, i love u” – gnash f./Olivia O’Brien

The only thing that gets me misty-eyed over this melodramatic, aspiring tearjerker of a tune is that it got so much airplay this year. OY so bad.

1. “Stressed Out” – Twenty One Pilots

See No. 5

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Music Featured

Indie-Pop Artist Bean Releases Lyric Video for Empowering New Single “Wildfire” and Talks to Skyelyfe About Life As an Inner-Hippie Living in the Heart of Hollywood

May 20, 2015
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Photo credit: Chase Johnson

Fresh from a smashing recent Wango Tango  Village pre-show performance and yesterday’s release of catchy new empowering single “Wildfire” (be sure to scroll to the bottom for its lyric video), indie-pop artist Noelle Bean – whose stage name is simply just Bean – is floating on a sound cloud, but she didn’t envision musical stardom in her cards growing up.

Unlike so many other artists who dropped everything to pursue a career in music at a young age, the 23-year-old – who didn’t even pick up a guitar until she was almost 19 – was your average teenage girl, living in the south and going to church.

“I wasn’t planning on any of this happening.” the West Hollywood resident told skyelyfe of her current reality. “I wasn’t meaning to move out to L.A. and have this kind of life or anything, but I fell in love with music and it led me here, you know? It’s awesome.”

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Photo credit: Chase Johnson

After learning how to play different chords, “I eventually started putting all these poems that I had in a big compilation of journals and I was like, maybe I can make songs out of these,” she explained. “And so that’s what I did. I put the words with the chords and I put a melody over it. I put it up on YouTube and I’m signed to an indie label out here in L.A. now.”

Last week I met up with Bean for the first time to discuss the release of her new single, among other things. She greeted me with a big hug and the most engaging “hi!” I knew right away, this would be like catching up with an old friend.

The first thing I noticed were her uniquely manicured gels, popping with this incredible purple shade, adorned with these tiny gold triangles at the cuticles (take a peek at them on my Instagram). She informed me they were done at Tomoka Nails in West Hollywood. After discussing her expert Yelping skills that led her to this gem of a salon, we got to the reaction to that Wango Tango pre-show performance.

“It was amazing!” she said of L.A.’s KIIS-FM radio concert experience. “It’s been one of the biggest performances I’ve done. It was interesting for my set because everybody else was playing a track and was super poppy and then I get up there with my guitar player and my drummer and we did a little acoustic set kind of thing. The response was so much better than I thought it was going to be.”

As Bean pointed out, her vibe doesn’t necessarily fit the mold of most of the concert’s other participants, which included Justin Bieber, David Guetta, Meghan Trainor, Kanye West, Fifth Harmony and Ne-Yo, who were main stage performers.

“As far as my whole take on mainstream music and what’s popular on top 40 radio goes, it’s undeniable that yeah, I jam out to Taylor Swift tunes every now and again,” she said. “But my go-to music is super alternative, like The 1975 meets Foster the People. I listen to a ton of Ed Sheeran – just really alternative, indie band kind of stuff.”

Her true persona and musical influences shine through in “Wildfire,” a song she called “an anthem for all the other crazy, randoms out there.”

The track is a much-welcome change for the pop star-on-the-rise, who laughably rolled her eyes at the thought of last year’s single “Rollercoaster.”

She said excitedly, ” ‘Wildfire’ is really different and I’m so glad about that because ‘Rollercoaster’ was so poppy and I’m just like, thank god I’m past that stage!”

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Photo credit: Chase Johnson

Bean describes her new release as “a compilation of all these different people and their opinions of me. It’s everybody in the music business basically saying, like, ‘Are you sure that you know who you are as an artist and do you know what genre you are? And you keep changing your look every week. You’re wearing red lipstick one day, the next day you’re wearing a flower crown and Free People clothes.’ “

Referring to herself as “a wildfire,” Bean goes on to say, “I’m random, spontaneous and I love everything about the 1970s – just the hippie lifestyle movement.”

So, what’s life like as a self-proclaimed inner-hippie living in the heart of Tinseltown? There’s something for everyone out here, she believes, noting that in particular, she’s a huge fan of (first and foremost) her nail salon (see above), Pita Bar and Grill on Fairfax, Fox You boutique and none other than the Starbucks on Robertson and Beverly Blvd.

Check out the lyric video to Bean’s new single “Wildfire” below and download the track FREE on iTunes ALL WEEK LONG!:

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Music

Skyelyfe’s Best & Worst of Music in 2014

November 15, 2014

BreezySome folks may beg to differ, but I’m just going to say it (in my own humble opinion, of course): 2014 was the most unsatisfying year in pop music that I can remember. Ok, Taylor Swift came through in the clutch at the end of the year with an album that took the world by storm. And there’s no denying that Ariana Grande is a cutie who can sing (even though her music doesn’t personally appeal to me). Obviously Sam Smith‘s music has a way with the ladies. And I have nothing but love for Tove Lo and Banks. But aside from that, hardly anything on the radio except for Chris Brown (despite his personal woes) resonated with me this year.

In the past, I could at least depend on a good hook in a commercial rap song to get me by, but even the so-called “hip-hop” this year was beyond laughable. Not only did every song sound the same, but I seriously can’t keep up with who anyone is or what gimmicky nonsense they’re talking about anymore. I mean, even Drake, who usually never lets me down, had me scratching my head in 2014.

That said, this is why I turn more and more to alternative avenues to find good music. From MØ‘s No Mythologies to Follow, to Tensnake‘s Glow, among many others, the year did indeed produce sounds that were rewarding to the ears.

Here is skyelyfe’s favorite and least favorite music in 2014:

10 LEAST FAVORITE SONGS (in order):

1. “Anaconda” – Nicki Minaj

2. “Rude” – Magic!

3. “All About That Bass” – Meghan Trainor

4. “Talk Dirty” – Jason Derulo

5. “Wiggle” – Jason Derulo feat. Snoop Dogg

6. “Don’t Tell ‘Em” – Jeremih feat. YG

7. “Problem” – Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea

8. “Black Widow” – Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora

9. “Show Me” – Kid Ink feat. Chris Brown

10. “Happy” – Pharrell Williams

10 FAVORITE SONGS (in order):

1. “Slow Love” – MØ

2. “Love Sublime” – Tensnake feat. Nile Rodgers & Fiora

3. “Loyal” – Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne & Tyga

4. “Main Chick” – Chris Brown feat. Kid Ink

5. “Busy Baby” – Tomas Barfod feat. Nina K

6. “All of You” – Betty Who

7. “Diamonds” – Lane 8 feat. Solomon Grey

8. “Bullet Train” – Gardens & Villa

9. “Self Control” – Kate Boy

10. “Dreaming” – The Knocks

15 FAVORITE ALBUMS (in order)

1. No Mythologies to FollowMØ

2. GlowTensnake

3. X (Deluxe Version)Chris Brown

4. BlondeGhost Beach

5. GoddessBanks

6. Queen of the CloudsTove Lo

7. Dunes – Gardens & Villa

8. Awake – Tycho

9. SinglesFuture Islands

10. Noise vs. Beauty Bassnectar

11. Take Me When You GoBetty Who

12. PolyphonyLogistics

13. Strangers, Part IIRAC

14. Nabuma RubberbandLittle Dragon

15. Down to EarthFlight Facilities

5 FAVORITE LIVE SHOWS OR ACTS (in order)

1. Cut Copy @ Lollapalooza in Chicago

2. DWNTWN/ASTR/The Knocks @ The Echo in L.A.

3. RAC/The Knocks (Something Classic Tour) @ The Fonda Theatre in L.A.

4. Robyn & Royksopp (Do It Again Tour) @ The Hollywood Bowl in L.A.

5. Future Islands @ Coachella in Indio, CA

While you anticipate what’s musically in store for 2015, here’s a playlist of my top 50 tracks of the year (in no particular order):

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