Style Bust searches the web for the latest and greatest trends in music. We hope that you are encouraged to listen to some new artists!
I got a late start on compiling my trending music list this month. I was excited to hear that some of my all time favorite bands (Dinosaur Jr., Band of Horses, Frightened Rabbit, The XX, and Bloc Party) recently released new albums — but I was underwhelmed when I listened to them. Huge bummer. Additionally, I had been seeing Divine Fits pop up here and there on playlists that I never listed to. For some reason I was envisioning them as a country band. Then, while listening to Sound Opinions I learned the band consists of Britt Daniel of Spoon (another all time favorite), along with Dan Boeckner and Sam Brown. I’m totally obsessed with them right now.
This is an oldie but goodie: JGL played an acoustic version of the worst R&B song ever, “Ignition” by R. Kelly back in 2011. Even though I’m not a fan of the song, or R. Kelly, I do love this version. Really I love anything JGL does. Have a listen.
I’m beginning to take music discovery seriously again. Each month I put together a new Grooveshark playlist that I listen to all month at work. I thought I’d share my July mixed tape with you!
I hope you enjoy my selections. Stay tuned for next months!!
I love Tyler Hilton, or as you and many others may know him by the name, Chris Kellar; the character he plays on the insanely popular tv show, One Tree Hill. OTH fans are loyal and the show sadly just ended weeks ago with its ninth and final season. Or you maybe you have spotted him playing the role of the young Elvis Presley in the movie “Walk the Line,” or playing the love interest of Taylor Swift in her music video “Tear Drops on my Guitar.” But if you only know Tyler through one of his acting roles you are missing something truly special and it’s time I introduce you to the man outside his tv/movie appearances.
Before his character rose to fame on One Tree Hill I was lucky enough to catch him on tour 8 years ago with Hanson. Back then he was young and fairly new to the music scene. Actually the story about how he was discovered is pretty interesting. He called into a local Los Angeles radio station when he was 16 in an effort to win Jonny Lang tickets, he sang an acapella version of “Breaking Me” over the phone and the DJ’s were so impressed they gave him a spot to perform at their Christmas concert. It didn’t take long for him to get noticed by some record executives and by the time he was 18 he signed a record deal with Maverick Records. Eventually landing the role on One Tree Hill propelled his popularity and made him a household name with young teenage girls.
He was 21 when I first saw him. He had a natural air in his voice that captivated me. He stood there so vulnerable with his acoustic guitar, a vivid memory that has been imprinted in my mind for the past 8 years and I’m certain will be there forever. It’s been a long time coming but since that brilliant moment years ago I finally was able to see him again live on Saturday. And as he stepped onto the stage and into the spotlight I saw someone different. He took my breath away, I had been anticipating this exact moment for years, I literally held my breath. It was apparent in a matter of seconds that this is no longer the young boy I once knew but yet a seasoned performer that had many tricks in his sleeve to mesmerize and charm an audience. With more years under his belt it’s too be expected that he has matured, and he truly has grown into an even more incredible musician. But there was still something that remained the same and it didn’t take me long to figure out. In that moment that he confidently picked up his guitar and played that first chord, I still felt and saw a part of that same young man I saw many years ago. Despite having more experience on the scene, he still allows himself to be vulnerable. There’s still a genuine openness about him, he’s pure, and eager to simply share his gift with the world. And how lucky I felt that night to be able to receive it.
There I sat in this beautiful venue (The Egyptian Theatre in Dekalb, Illinois) with my niece, who is about the same age as I was when I first saw Tyler. The venue couldn’t of been filled with much more than 100 other people and the acoustics were to die for, some of the best I’ve ever heard. We sat in the theatre seats and it felt surreal to witness such magic. The show wasn’t electric but it had the soul of a rock and roll concert. The environment felt more like a closed audition that we had snuck into than an actual concert. We were treated to some songs on a grand piano, which typically doesn’t have the opportunity to make it onto every venue’s stage during his tour. It was in all reality a strange environment for a show. Normally a show like this would never appeal to me. I much prefer to be active and involved in a concert. I would think sitting in the seats to be impersonal and lacking in a connection with the audience. But this was such a unique experience. Perfect in every single way and exactly what I needed to remind me how powerful the gift of music is.
My only wish is that it would have lasted longer. With a music catalog spanning over almost a decade I didn’t get to hear many of my favorite tracks. I wanted to make up for lost time and hear more music. The new material however is just as good, if not better than the old. He had much more control over his voice and the growl and rasp came out in exactly the right moments. I’m just so appreciative of the opportunity to catch him live again. I think it’s rare when you can see the same performer that has remained true to themselves despite being in the business for 10+ years. He hasn’t become jaded and he has the same goal in mind that he began with. It’s obvious through his music that he had his struggles and his life as an artist hasn’t been easy. In fact he spent five years working on an album called “The Storms We Share.” It was slated to have a release date in the summer of 2010 but his label took a different direction resulting in Tyler leaving Warner Bros. and ultimately the material never being released. At the show on Saturday he talked about scrapping it all and starting over and creating an album that was honest and that he “didn’t give a shit if it sucked as long as it was real.” And he delivered, this year he released his first full-length album since 2004 called, “Forget the Storm.” I’m just disappointed in myself for letting this much time go by without seeing him. I feel like I missed out on a big part of his journey. How foolish was I to rely on One Tree Hill to give me my Tyler Hilton fix. I missed out on everything behind the scenes, on the actual world of a brilliant musician. All I know is that after Saturday I don’t want to miss another minute. I won’t be missing Tyler Hilton the next time he’s on tour, and you shouldn’t either. I have linked some videos to my favorite Tyler Hilton tunes below.
My favorite Tyler Hilton Tracks:
The top 7 took on songs from 2010 and on. The mentor is Akon. I guess it was enough that he has released some songs in this decade to make him relevant to be on American Idol. But come on this guy doesn’t even have an official website, not to mention none of his music is even comparable to any of the artist on idol. I had my reservations about him as the mentor, it wasn’t as bad as what I had anticipated but I guarantee many people watching thought to themselves, who the heck is Akon?
Skylar Laine – Skylar opened the show with Kellie Pickler’s ‘Don’t Know How Much I Love You’. I thought this was boring and predictable. Not worthy of kick starting the show. She will probably stick around though because who else will the huge AI country fan base vote for? She’s all that’s left for them. She’s certainly good at what she does, but I don’t know if that’s enough for me.
Colton Dixon – ‘Love The Way You Lie’ was made popular by Eminem and Rihanna. He performed Skylar Grey’s original version. My wonderful AI companion that suffers through the show with me week after week is really tired of Colton and what he calls his “vapor voice.” I think when Colton actually tries to sing it sounds even worse. I cannot seem to figure out what people see in him. I thought his performance was aesthetically pleasing. But at the end of the day, what is making this kid stand out? I’m not sure.
Jessica Sanchez – This was one of my favorite performances of the night. I’ve had the amazing opportunity to see Jazmine Sullivan live and she is incredible. I must say ‘Stuttering’ is no small feat and Jessica did a phenomenal job with it. I almost preferred Jessica’s version. She told a story and there was so much beauty & grace in this performance. I got a little lost in it. It’s hard to believe that Jessica is only 16 years old and singing like that.
Joshua Ledet – Here we go again, this week I’m going to complain about Joshua and how he is a runner up to someone else that performed the same song. This time however I’m going to compare him to the actual artist, which maybe isn’t fair but we just saw Bruno Mars slay ‘Runaway Baby’ at the Grammy’s a few weeks ago and absolutely nothing can compare to that performance. Bruno is so big right now and to cover him it needs to be something extremely special & fresh. Bruno Mars is hands down one of the best performers of this era, his stage presence is out of this world… Joshua doesn’t have that yet, he didn’t even touch Bruno as far as I’m concerned.
Hollie Cavanagh – Oh Hollie, you were much less than ‘Perfect’ covering Pink. Why can’t someone help you? There are so many mentors and people behind the scenes on this show, can’t they give you a shove in the right direction? Everything from the way she dresses to her song choices are just wrong. It’s so frustrating because I know she has the biggest voice in the competition but she is completely unmarketable right now. There is no way she’s escaping the bottom 3 this week and I won’t be surprised if she is sent packing.
Phillip Phillips – Ok so Maroon 5 is so big right now & Adam Levine is entirely relevant, I thought there was no way this could go wrong. This could have been epic but does anyone know the song ‘Give A Little More’? A weird part of me would have rather seen him do “Moves Like Jagger.” Anyway back to his performance, what Phillip did with the arrangement was actually very compelling and good, but I’m assuming most people have never heard the original so it’s not something that’s going to impress the general audience. I’m not going to disagree with any of the judges critiques. My only problem is with all this comparison to Colton, why is it that no one has mentioned that every week Colton is sounding the same as well? We will see if the judges comments influence the votes for Phillip. It actually won’t be such a bad thing if Phillip falls into the bottom three this week, I think he needs a little jolt, something to kick him into gear.
Elise Testone – I’m going to have a love/hate relationship with Elise just about every week I think. I hate that she did this song. I’m biased and love Haley, so I had my mind set before the song started that this would not be ok for me. However, she fell into this song perfectly and looked very comfortable on stage. Maybe this is the direction she’s trying to go and I’m ok with that. But this performance was not a huge moment for me. Last year Haley performed it before it was even released, and was virtually heard by no one before she brought it to the Idol stage. Haley did so good that when Gaga released it, I never acknowledged it as even a Gaga song. Haley’s voice always fit better in my opinion. I’m not going to completely disregard Elise’s performance. At this stage of the game it was smart and will probably push her through to another week.
Must see performances this week are Jessica and Elise. I’m struggling with my bottom three prediction because what I feel should be the bottom three is quite different than how I think the votes are actually going to fall. But the weakest performers this week were Hollie, Skylar, & Colton. On another note, how cool was it to hear a Gotye song on Idol? If you ever get the opportunity, this is a show you have to see live. He has a few dates in California over the next two weeks so check out the dates and try to get to one if you can!