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Music

Embrace Magical Fall Months with Blissful New Music by Astrid S, Tove Lo and 15 More Artists

October 16, 2019
cozy socks embrace fall weather with pumpkins and coffee

(via Unsplash / Alex Geerts)

Whether you unabashedly gulp down PSLs like they’re water, you live for Halloween, or cooler temps are totally your thing, there’s no denying fall has something for everyone.

Even if we disagree on the best part of this cozy season, I think we can all say it isn’t complete without just the right music to set the tone.

Luckily, there’s no shortage of fresh new tunes just waiting to be on your fall playlist rotation. While summer 2019 brought on some dance party anthems, we’re switching gears with some mellow music that’ll help you ease effortlessly into the slower-paced weeks ahead.

Embrace magical fall months with blissful new music by 17 artists, including Astrid S, Tove Lo, Lane 8, Adventure Club and The Knocks!

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Music

Tove Lo’s ‘Disco Tits’ (Literally) Steal the Show at Private Performance in DTLA

September 24, 2018

While Tove Lo‘s lead single “Disco Tits” from her third studio album Blue Lips has plenty of provocative lyrics to gain any audience’s attention, it was her actual umm, disco tits, that stole the show during an intimate performance on Thursday night.

After regretfully missing the Swedish sensation’s performance at L.A. Pride this year, I was beyond thrilled when Urbanears invited me to check out a short—but very sweet and satisfying—four-song set by the singer (who is the headphone brand’s Listen to Yourself campaign ambassador) at La Cita in DTLA. While the singer went on an hour late, it proved to be worth it, as I not only stood at the closest spot to the stage, but she didn’t slack in captivating an audience.

After assuring the excited crowd of approximately 150 people that she’d “come down and party with all of you” after her performance, she kicked things off with “Cool Girl.” But it wasn’t until two songs later with “Talking Body” that she began to tease the audience with some playful tugging at her midriff top, only to turn her back to the crowd, then turn back around and gave the audience a good glimpse of her aforementioned “disco tits.”

Body parts aside, Urbanears made sure there was something for everyone at the event. The bar’s entrance offered a take-as-you-please candy station, accompanied by a list of specialty cocktails themed around the artist. Once you stepped further into the event, there were two photo booth activations, a glittery display of the newest headphones, and a taco and quesadilla stand for the hungry. Oh, and let’s not forget about the amazing DJ and additional performance by Icona Pop that followed Tove’s.

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

Skyelyfe’s 20 Best Songs of 2016

December 22, 2016


songs-best-2016
Time to bid adieu to 2016, the year rap and hip-hop officially died.

The genre has been getting increasingly worse over the last few years, but this year really solidified its transition into an auto-tuned genre of its own called hip-pop. Yeah, I hate it. And unlike in 2015, this year we didn’t even have a Nic Nac Beats to swoop in and save the day with his supremely produced Chris Brown tracks. Whether it was rap, pop, electronic or otherwise, there definitely seemed to be more bad than good (in fact, you can check out my worst songs of 2016 list).

But, not all is atrocious. After much thought, I’ve managed to scrounge up a handful of redeeming tracks I genuinely love, and I’m sharing them below (in particular order):

20. “Champions” – Kanye West, Gucci Mane, Big Sean, 2 Chainz

Not a fan of Kanye solo, but I’ve always said that when he collabs, his songs tend to be much better—and this song is no exception. Great track-mates, great hook, great song.

19. “Might Not” – Belly f./The Weeknd

Honestly, this track may have made it higher up on the list if it weren’t for that gawd-awful 2 Chainz remix. Like if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it! Ugh

18. “Into You” – Ariana Grande

This song stands out because it is says OK, I can be sexy and I don’t even have to be trashy to do so! A rarity for this artist. Great track.

17. “Black Beatles” – Rae Sremmurd f./Gucci Mane

Mike WiLL Made-It + Gucci = no-brainer recipe for perfection

16. “Say It (Clean Bandit Mix)” – Flume f./Tove Lo

If you read my Worst Songs of 2016 post, you will see my distaste for nu-school Flume. But this track happens to be great, and might I add that Tove Lo’s Lady Wood album (though this song is not part of it) is the best of the year.

15. “Want You” – Bearson f./Cal

While Bearson definitely identifies with “electronica,” he hasn’t nailed a signature sound, which is great, because I love all of the varying tracks he sends (via airwaves) my way—and this song is no exception.

14. “Either/Or” – Mt. Si

If you dig Classix, you’ll love Mt. Si.—which makes sense, given that 1/3 of this trio is Michael David of the incredible electropop duo. Seriously, it does not get better than this sound.

13. “The Winds of Change” – St. Lucia

Granted, nothing by this artist compares to “Elevate,” but this jam is pretty darn awesome. If you like that sound, you’ll love this, too!

12. “Valley of Dreams” – Cavaliers of Fun

See No. 4

11. “Be the One” – Dua Lupa

Dua Lupa has a beautiful voice/face/hair/sound etc. That is all.

10. “Freeway Lights” – Goldroom

I’ve been listening to Goldroom since he first debuted in 2012—and while it was definitely weird (and a little hard) to see his album featured at the Interscope pop-up shop at Hollywood & Highland alongside Lady Gaga, among others, I refuse to call him a sellout, because while perhaps slightly more produced than before, his sound is overall the same, and this a very light, sweet track that should appeal to everyone.

9. “Bullet” – Chelsea Lankes

How this girl is not a household name is beyond me. Each of her songs are well-produced, well-articulated and relate to everyone. This track is super uplifting and empowering.

8. “Let Me Love You” – DJ Snake f./Justin Bieber

Personal woes aside, Justin Bieber is an incredible artist. Granted, this track goes to DJ Snake, but Bieber’s vocals are definitely an invaluable asset to this recording. This is a genuinely wonderful song from start to finish. It’s pretty, powerful and poignant.

7. “Innerbloom” – RUFUS DU SOL

This is your universally appealing track. I can’t imagine anyone not liking it.

6. “Into the Night” – Cardiknox

This track is fun and light. Do NYE makeup in your mirror to this! It will get you pumped up–promise!

5. “Goin Up” – Deorro f./DyCy

Let’s be honest—when we think of Deorro, we think “Five More Hours,” right? Welp, he’s got a catchy new little jam called “Goin Up,” and (no pun intended), it’s quite uplifting.

4. “Astral Division” – Cavaliers of Fun

Like their name suggests, these guys (guy?) are quite fun — well, at least judging by their music. Granted, I don’t know what this song means and I don’t know anything about the people (person?) on the track. They’ve done quite the job of maintaining a mysterious presence (we’re talkin’ 249 Twitter followers, folks!), but that’s what makes them all the more fun! Anyway, they are the only act to make this list twice (see No. 12), and I really hope to hear more (maybe learn more?) of them in 2017!

3. “Somebody Else” – The 1975

How this song wasn’t nominated for a Grammy is beyond me. Not only are the lyrics hard-hitting, but the melody is exceptionally beautiful. I will forever stay stumped while blasting on repeat.

2. “Kiss It Better” – Rihanna

I believe Rihanna was still dating Chris Brown when this song was in production, so it’s your guess as to whether or not he is the subject matter of this incredibly powerful song. But the highly underrated track allows you to feel both her desire and pain.

1. “In the Morning” – Kaskade/ZHU

I love this song from start to finish. I don’t think I’d ever get sick of it. It’s so reminiscent of old-school Kaskade, circa 2004. If all songs were like this, the world would be a much happier place.

**To note: “The Middle” by DJ Snake technically came out last year, so it was no. 3 on last year’s list, even though it didn’t break out until 2016. I feel the need to acknowledge that so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle 😉

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Music

Tove Lo, Empire of the Sun, Craig David & 18 Additional Artists: New Music November!

November 2, 2016

toveloladywood-1476454330-640x640Let’s be honest—There have been a slew of major music releases this year, but many (most) of them have been a letdown (at least IMHO).

That said, as we get closer to ending the year (<– I can’t believe I’m already typing that), we actually have some top-notch new tracks and full albums that deserve some serious recognition!

Tove Lo‘s Lady Wood and Empire of the Sun‘s Two Vines, which were both just released, are at the top of my list right now. Both acts continue to stay true to their original sound, unlike so many current artists who succumb to whatever vibe is trending on the radio. I’ve got to respect artists who continue to go with what they know best.

But in addition to these two, there are 19 other artists with fresh material sure to keep your fall days hot, even when the temperatures are dropping.

From Craig David (‘memba him?) and Mr. Little Jeans, to this combo between Tycho and Wild Nothing I’ve found called Coma Pony, to fabulous folks skyelyfe has interviewed (lookin’ at you, Alexx Mack, Foster, Aston), I’ve got 21 songs that’ll tide you over from the lull of post-Halloween until the excitement of Thanksgiving nears. Happy New Music November, everyone!

Check out the playlist below:

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Music

It’s Summertime! Celebrate the New Season with Fresh Music, Including Beck, Dragonette, Roosevelt & Much More!

June 22, 2015

beck-dreams-skyelyfeIs it just me or has this year gone by faster than any year prior? New Year’s Eve feels like last month, and now here we are already at the end of June!

That said, yesterday marked the first official day of summer, which also marks the season closest to my favorite one of all – fall! With that, I bring you 21 new songs with which you can kick off the next three months of sunny poolside frolics.

Nothing feels like summer quite like Beck‘s new track “Dreams.” With somewhat of a Foster the People flare, this song is sure to get you smiling as you cruise down PCH.

Dragonette is back with “Let the Night Fall,” her first single since 2012. In typical form, the synthpop starlet’s new track with have you on your feet!

Also along the lines of dance, Girogio Moroder is sure to get the discotheque poppin’ with “4 U with Love,” while Little Boots will also have you grooving with “No Pressure,” Colour Vision brings the tropical house with “Haus Party” and Robert DeLong remixed The Bird and the Bee‘s adorable “Will You Dance?”

For some poppy pleasure, Hilary Duff‘s “One in a Million” is a total ladies anthem and I’m loving it! I’m also digging Powers‘ “Loved by You” – and Adam Lambert‘s Tove Lo collabo on “Rumors” is a must-listen.

Stay hydrated, everyone!

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Music

PHOTOS: Swedish Electropop Singer Tove Styrke Takes Over the Troubadour!

May 22, 2015
Photo credit: Natalie Kanooni

Photo credit: Natalie Kanooni

America has found its latest Swedish sensation!

Following in the footsteps of Avicii, Robyn, Icona Pop, Miike Snow, Lykke Li – and the list goes on and on – Tove Styrke (not to be confused with Tove Lo, who is also from Sweden), is making a name for herself in the states.

Her career took off in Sweden all the way back in 2009, when she was a contestant on its version of American Idol. And now at only 22 years old, she’s proving she can make it as a worldwide star.

Photo credit: Natalie Kanooni

Photo credit: Natalie Kanooni

The electropop singer, who I included in this week’s New Music Monday, made an energetic debut at West Hollywood’s Troubadour last night, and she did not disappoint. Performing a handful of songs, including “Borderline,” “Brag” and “Even If I’m Loud, It Doesn’t Mean I’m Talking to You,” there was not a single body in the venue that wasn’t bouncing away to her infectious sound.

Luckily, I had fellow Tove Styrke fan Natalie Kanooni on hand to capture some of the action in photos. Enjoy the shots, and check out one of the adorable singer’s singles “Ego” below!:

Photo credit: Natalie Kanooni

Photo credit: Natalie Kanooni

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Music

Kate Boy, Major Lazer, Borgeous, Chelsea Lankes & 18 More Artists: New Music Monday, 3.9.15

March 9, 2015

kateboyhigherDid Daylight Savings Time leave you feeling a little unenergized this AM?

Fear not, because I have 22 songs that are certain to get you going today as part of this week’s New Music Monday!

There’s a little something for everyone this time around, ranging from that Houston rap sound you know and love by Paul Wall (featuring Alley Cat and Frank Wyle) to some disco house by Kali, pop by Kelly Clarkson and pure soft melody by Cinnamon Chasers.

What I’m especially feeling this week is Kate Boy‘s “Higher.” The Stockholm-based electro-pop trio has been featured on skyelyfe before. They’ve only released a handful of songs since coming on the scene in 2013, but everything they touch is pure perfection, so I’ll accept quality over quantity, as much as I’d like to hear more!

Major Lazer‘s upbeat collaboration “Lean On” with (a favorite of mine) and DJ Snake was a huge cyber success and I am also a huge fan of this debut track off ML’s forthcoming album.

In addition, Borgeous featuring Delane‘s melodic EDM track “This Could Be Love” is catchy, and I’m still totally digging sexy-sounding Chelsea Lankes (who I also wrote about last week). This week, give a listen to her latest, “Too Young to Fall in Love.”

And if you’re a fan of Deorro‘s “Five Hours” like I am, you’ll love “Five More Hours,” which is a vocal extension of the original and it features Chris Brown (so the combo of the two is just perfect!)

Scroll through the playlist below for a slew of fresh tracks, which also includes a poppy melodic “Problems Problems” by Frankie, Urban Cone‘s “Come Back to Me,” featuring vocals by Tove Lo, and much more!

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Music

Chris Brown, Madeon, Twin Shadow, Cherub & More: New Music Monday 12.15.14

December 15, 2014

Pitbull-ft-Chris-Brown-funFrom Pitbull featuring Chris Brown, to Madeon, Cherub and many more, this week’s New Music Monday is the best in a while!

Pitbull’s new track “Fun” off his just-released album Globalization is every bit its title. With its tropical-sounding melody, the high-energy hip-hop song has been on repeat ever since it reached my ears a week ago. What really makes the song, though, is Chris Brown’s vocals, because as much as I hate to admit it – anything he touches turns to gold!

I am also especially loving FIXYN‘s new remix of Tove Lo‘s “Habits (Stay High).” I think it flows so much better than the original, so including it in this list was a must!

Another pretty track I am totally feeling right now is “Snare” by Cosmo’s Midnight.

Give a listen to playlist below for nine new tracks, which also include Twin Shadow, Cherub and Salt Ashes:

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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Music Uncategorized Featured

Get Ready, Music World – Hayley Kiyoko Is Coming for You, and She’s Not Doing It Quietly!

November 14, 2014


HayleyKiyoko
If a person runs a quick IMDB search on Hayley Kiyoko, her name can easily be seen as one of the next on-screen stars-on-the-rise. Having just landed a series-regular role on CBS‘ CSI: Cyber and starring as lead character Aja Leith in 2015’s hotly anticipated Jem and the Holograms movie, the 23-year-old Los Angeles native is quickly making a name for herself on camera.

But acting for Kiyoko was “never part of my plan,” she tells skyelyfe. And apparently it still isn’t – at least not necessarily longterm.

“The acting is more of how I pay rent,” she says. “I started doing it honestly to make money to build a music studio growing up like in middle school. And things just started to progress and it’s become a platform to get my name out there. It’s crazy, I wasn’t expecting it at all.”

So, what is the ultimate plan for the part-Japanese beauty?

“Music is my number one passion,” says Kiyoko, whose second EP, This Side of Paradise, releases in February. “I love songwriting and performing on the stage. That’s what I’m really putting all of my energy into. When I finish [CSI], I’m going to be going on tour. A lot of people think that acting is my main thing, but it’s not. I think my fans know that, but people just looking me up might be like, ‘Oh, who’s this? She’s trying to do music?’ But that’s not me, I’ve always been into music. I really want to create a brand within my music with my name and I’m starting it from the ground-up.”

That said, she is by no means knocking the incredible opportunities that have come her way outside of being in the studio.

“It’s really cool,” she says of her gig playing TV’s Raven Ramirez. “I’ve never had like a steady job. I never planned on being a series regular on a show. I’m just like going with the flow. It’s been fun. I’m going to be a tech hacker and play a really smart person. My brother was like, ‘Why do you always play smart people?’ I was like, ‘Thanks a lot. Thanks, I really appreciate it.’ The cast is all really nice and the crew is so nice. It’s cool. I grew up doing plays and musical theater, so it kind of feels like being in a production like that, that never ends.”

Acting aside, the starlet reiterates, “This past year has just been focused on making good music just for myself and that I really get excited about.”

Citing Sia Furler and Metric‘s Emily Haines as two of her longtime musical influences, Kiyoko also gets into some Frank Ocean and Chris Brown.

“That’s what’s exciting about music, though,” she says. “It’s always changing and it’s always exciting and you’re never doing the same thing.”

And speaking of changing music, Kiyoko, who just released the video (see below) for her new single “This Side of Paradise,” likes this new “left-of-center pop” that is currently trending.

“I think there’s a lot of great music coming out right now,” she says. “Like with The Neighbourhood and Tove Lo and Lorde. It’s pop, but it’s not like the normal Katy Perry-type stuff. So I think that’s opening a new avenue for artists like me and other people. They’re still catchy, but not, you know, the simple pop equation. With [my upcoming EP], it’s definitely pop in the sense of melodically it sticks in your head, but it’s a lot of hip-hop and 808s and drumbeats.”

But, Kiyoko clarifies, “I don’t think there’s anything out there right now that sounds exactly like me. I take bits and pieces from other artists and mash it into my own sound. I’m hoping my sound sounds fresh to people.”

She adds: “I don’t have the Christina Aguilera voice, but I have a certain charm that I think is unique and I write and produce all my music, which really sets me apart [from some other pop artists]. I’m really involved with everything. I’m creating all the artwork and T-shirts. I produce and co-direct all my music videos. My fans know me, I always stay true to myself.”

Unfortunately, admirers hoping for an L.A. run-in with Kiyoko may be disappointed to know the chances are slim.

“I just always stick to myself,” she explains. “I’m like a homebody. I don’t go out in the Hollywood scene. I only go out if I have to. I just do stuff that I love.”

And doing just that has taken Kiyoko on the dream journey to where she is now.

“It’s kind of crazy because in this industry, you’re always going through ups and downs and highs and lows,” she says. “But my life has just been great – steadily great. I’m like, what’s going to happen? Something bad is going to happen. You can’t just be happy, [I thought], but apparently you can!”

5 FUN FACTS

Last concert you went to:

I saw MØ at the Echoplex. It was crazy. She was such an amazing performer. It’s very rare to go to a concert and actually have the artist be a good performer. She really impressed me. I’m totally rooting for her. She was crowd-surfing. She’s like the ultimate rockstar.

Last time you were embarrassed:

I get embarrassed all the time. I think probably the worst thing is when you’re walking by yourself and you trip by yourself. And you nonchalantly kind of walk out of it like you meant to chase something. I do that all the time.

Last makeup item you purchased:

I don’t really wear makeup, so I don’t really buy any. I would say maybe ChapStick.

Last time you ate junk food:

Well, right now, I’m drinking a peppermint mocha Frappuccino. But I would say the last junk food was probably an orange Kit-Kat.

Last big splurge:

I just bought an iPad. I’ve been wanting to buy one for three or four years and I finally decided that I need one. I’m really excited about my purchase. I’m finally joining the world.

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Music

Tove Lo, Tinashe & More: New Music Monday, Week of 10.6.14

October 6, 2014

ToveLoFresh off the heels of her successful single “Habits (Stay High),” 26-year-old Swedish singer Tove Lo has just released her debut full-length album Queen of the Clouds. The album, which takes a listener through the roller coaster of relationship emotions, includes a number of hit-worthy tracks, including the sexually driven “Talking Bodies,” included in this week’s New Music Monday playlist.

Other songs include newbie “Bet” by Tinashe featuring Devonte, and a foreign-yet-calming track by Icelandic act Vok. “The Chase” by SOHN and “Say It All,” by Great Good Fine OK also made the list.

Happy listening!

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