Top 20 Songs for May 29-June 4, 2016

After a 4-week hiatus, twenty øne piløts retake the #1 spot.

1. RIDE – twenty øne piløts
3. DARK NECESSITIES – Red Hot Chili Peppers
4. ONE DANCE – Drake, Wiz Kid, Kyla
5. OPHELIA – The Lumineers
6. SPIRITS – The Strumbellas
7. ALONE – Sun Arcana
8. OFF THE GROUND – The Record Company
10. 7 YEARS – Lukas Graham
11. I TOOK A PILL IN IBIZA – Mike Posner
13. WALKING ON A DREAM – Empire of the Sun
14. DESTRUCTION – Joywave
15. HAPPY SONG – Bring Me The Horizon (N)
16. SOMEBODY ELSE – The 1975
17. HAND CLAP – Fitz & the Tantrums
18. COLOR – Finish Ticket
19. BORED TO DEATH – Blink-182 (N)
20. KISS THIS – The Struts (N)

EP Review: Mosley Bar – “Another Record Sleeve”

There’s clearly a British Invasion going on these days, with a seemingly endless stream of new emerging artists and bands from the U.K. making awesome music (in addition to the hundreds of long established ones like Coldplay, Adele, Ed Sheeran, Arctic Monkeys, Foals, etc.). I’ve previously reviewed several musicians from the U.K., so was pleasantly surprised to discover yet another one – Mosley Bar – when they tweeted me their new EP Another Record Sleeve, which dropped on April 18. I took a listen to the four tracks and liked them instantly.

Given the huge number of new bands breaking into the music scene, it’s easy for many to get lost in the crowd, but Mosley Bar has something special. This four-member band from Northwest England plays some really exceptional alternative indie rock, which is all the more amazing given their youth – all are in their late teens!  They wield their guitars with abandon, knocking out riffs that are sonically hard-hitting, yet captivating.  And their song lyrics are fairly simple but authentically mature.

Formed in 2015, the band is comprised of Ryan Ward (guitar/lead vocals), Matthew Wright (drums), Tim Williams (bass/vocals) and Adam Eccleston on guitar.  They cite as some of their music influences the Arctic Monkeys, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Two Door Cinema Club, Circa Waves and The Libertines. While incorporating some of those influences, Mosley Bar are developing a style all their own.

The band released their stellar debut single “Record Sleeve” in October 2015, which quickly received airplay on BBC6 Music, and in January 2016, the band was invited to play The BBC Introducing stage for BBC Radio Lancashire.  This compelling rock song has incredible guitar work, with layer upon layer of melodic riffs over an awesome bass line. Ward’s smoldering vocals give the song a vibe so mesmerizing that I found myself replaying it over and over, wondering how such amazing music could come from teens.

The band dropped their second single “Risk” in April 2016.  This exuberant song storms out of the gate and keeps the pace at full speed with shredded guitars and pulse-pounding drums.  In this track you can hear Catfish and the Bottlemen influences.

The EP features two other tracks, “Rendezvouz” and “The World and I,” both excellent. My only criticism with Another Record Sleeve is that it contains only four songs. They’re so good I wish there were four more!  Mosley Bar has incredible potential that I’m certain will be realized as they continue to grow and make more awesome music.

Support these guys by following them on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to more of their music on Soundcloud or Spotify, or purchase it on Bandcamp.

Top 20 Songs for May 22-28, 2016

2. OPHELIA – The Lumineers
3. RIDE – twenty øne piløts
4. SPIRITS – The Strumbellas
5. ALONE – Sun Arcana
6. DARK NECESSITIES – Red Hot Chili Peppers (N)
7. ONE DANCE – Drake
8. 7 YEARS – Lukas Graham
9. OFF THE GROUND – The Record Company
11. WALKING ON A DREAM – Empire of the Sun
12. SOMEBODY ELSE – The 1975
13. COLOR – Finish Ticket
14. GENGHIS KHAN – Miike Snow
15. THE POP KIDS – The Pet Shop Boys
16. I TOOK A PILL IN IBIZA – Mike Posner
17. PRAYERS/TRIANGLES – The Deftones
18. DESTRUCTION – Joywave
19. HAND CLAP – Fitz & the Tantrums
20. GONE – JR JR

100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time

I’m sharing this article from Rolling Stone, published in December 2015, on the 100 greatest guitarists. They assembled a panel of top guitarists and other music experts to rank their favorites and explain what separates the legends from everyone else.  Check it out.

Ricky Jarman – “Lucky” featuring Sam Harmonix

I loved the new dance track “Lucky” from Ricky Jarman featuring Sam Harmonix the moment it hit my ears like an sonic boom of musical pleasure. This is one hot tune! The song grabs hold with its sexy, pulse-pounding dance/pop beat and doesn’t let go. I literally hit ‘repeat’ five or six times, as I couldn’t get enough of it.

Ricky Jarman is a talented, charismatic singer/songwriter and rising dance pop/R&B artist now based in New York. His beautiful vocals, good looks and charm – not to mention warm, friendly personality – have given him broad appeal to a growing base of fans. As if that weren’t enough, he’s also an accomplished model!

Born and raised in North Carolina, Ricky grew up in an artistic and musically-inclined family, learning to love music through listening to his parents’ Earth Wind & Fire, Kool and the Gang, Toto, Phil Collins and Boyz II Men records. Besides those artists, he says his greatest musical influences are Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson, which is evident in his music style.

“Lucky” was co-written by Ricky and hip hop producer Sam Harmonix, who raps in the song’s bridge.  The simple but optimistic lyrics speak to the joy of feeling passion for a new love. Production-wise, the song’s arrangement is tight, and the melodic dance beat keeps the energy flowing. The excellent video for “Lucky,” released on May 10, 2016, was written and directed by Ricky and produced by Harmonix. The video opens with a poignant scene of an elderly couple celebrating over dinner (their anniversary perhaps?) then transitions to themselves at a much younger age, falling in love, then closes with them back in the present together in bed. Take a look:

Ricky’s previous single “Get To Know Ya” is a fun, incredibly catchy and upbeat dance/pop track with a sensual hip hop vibe. He worked with a number of music producers to create a series of great remixes of the song in varying genres, including Latin, EDM, Funk and House. Check them out on Ricky’s Soundcloud page. The “Hot Vibe (Mumba Trap) Remix” is my personal favorite:

I’m certain that Ricky’s talent, charm and and drive will propel him to increasing success in both the music and modelling business. To learn more about him, check out his website, follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his YouTube channel.  Listen to his music on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Reverbnation.

10 Best “Bite Me” Songs

A while back, a friend who knows I’m a music junkie asked me for a list of songs for a “Bite Me” mix she was putting together on her iPod. Naturally, I was thrilled by the challenge!  After much thought, here are my picks for the Top 10 “You hurt me, you’re a jerk and I hate you” – in other words – “Bite Me” songs.

10. GIVES YOU HELL – All-American Rejects


8. FUCK YOU – Cee Lo Green



5.  BEFORE HE CHEATS – Carrie Underwood

4. YOU’RE NO GOOD – Linda Ronstadt

3. I WILL SURVIVE – Gloria Gaynor


1. YOU OUGHTA KNOW – Alanis Morissette

Honorable Mentions:

You’re So Vain – Carly Simon
Go Your Own Way -Fleetwood Mac
You’re Breaking My Heart – Nilsson
So What – P!nk
What Goes Around (Comes Around) – Justin Timberlake
Since You Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson
What Doesn’t Kill (Makes You Stronger) – Kelly Clarkson

Let me know what you think, or if you have any others to add.

Top 20 Songs for May 15-21, 2016

2. RIDE – twenty øne piløts
3. SPIRITS – The Strumbellas
4. OPHELIA – The Lumineers
5. 7 YEARS – Lukas Graham
6. WALKING ON A DREAM – Empire of the Sun
7. COLOR – Finish Ticket
8. ALONE – Sun Arcana
9. SOMEBODY ELSE – The 1975
10. GENGHIS KHAN – Miike Snow
11. OFF THE GROUND – The Record Company
13. ONE DANCE – Drake, Wizkid, Kyla (N)
14. THE POP KIDS – Pet Shop Boys
15. REAPERS – Muse
16. I TOOK A PILL IN IBIZA – Mike Posner
17. PRAYERS / TRIANGLES – Deftones
18. HAND CLAP – Fitz & the Tantrums
19. GONE – JR JR
20. DESTRUCTION – Joywave (N)

Artist Spotlight – Tall Poppies

Tall Poppies are a delightfully eccentric indie-pop band fronted by identical twin sisters Susan and Catherine Hay, who originally hail from Perth, Australia. As the sisters note on their website, Perth is the most isolated (big) city in the world, and they dreamed of moving to London to have a music career. They followed that dream by emigrating to London in 2006, and named their band Tall Poppies. In their matching knee socks and bob hairstyles, both sisters provide melodic, harmonizing vocals for all their songs, with Susan playing bass, and Catherine on lead guitar. They later added violinist Diarmuid Nugent and drummer Doug Fink (formerly of Noah and the Whale) to complete their distinctive Tall Poppies sound.

The band is fiercely independent, handling all aspects of recording and production of their own material, as well as the quirky video clips that accompany the songs. Their latest EP High Time, a collection of old and new songs, was released in Autumn 2015 and they’ve been touring throughout the UK to promote their music. They plan on recording new material for an entire album to be released later in 2016.

“Heart Palpitations,” from High Time, is a cheerfully upbeat piece of pop confection. The twins’ intertwining harmonic vocals are perfectly complemented by deft guitar and soothing violin. The song’s fun, whimsical video of the two cavorting around the countryside was filmed over one weekend. Catherine, who’s currently studying at the London College of Fashion, designed the clever palpitating heart costume out of extra red fabric she had lying around.

Their latest single, “Cat Got Your Tongue?” is a deliriously catchy indie pop tune with a retro vibe. Its masterful guitar riffs, plucky violin and hammering drums that will have you dancing even if you’re a certified wallflower! The stylish, colorful video is so entertaining that I found myself hitting repeat so I could watch it over and over again.

An older song, “In Your Dreams,” is a lovely, gentle ballad that really showcases Susan and Catherine’s beautiful harmonizing vocals.

You can follow Tall Poppies on Twitter and Facebook. Their music is available for listening on Soundcloud and Spotify, and for purchase on itunes or their website.

Top 20 Songs for May 8-14, 2016

1. SPIRITS – The Strumbellas
2. RIDE – twenty øne piløts
4. OPHELIA – The Lumineers
5. 7 YEARS – Lukas Graham
6. WALKING ON A DREAM – Empire of the Sun
7. GENGHIS KHAN – Miike Snow
8. COLOR – Finish Ticket
9. SOMEBODY ELSE – The 1975
10. ALONE – Sun Arcana
11. REAPERS – Muse
12. OFF THE GROUND – The Record Company
14. THE POP KIDS – The Pet Shop Boys
15. I TOOK A PILL IN IBIZA – Mike Posner
17. PRAYERS / TRIANGLES – Deftones (N)
19. HAND CLAP – Fitz & the Tantrums (N)
20. GONE – JR JR (N)

Artist Spotlight – The Ninetyten

It was my lucky day when the alternative indie rock band The Ninetyten followed me on Twitter, because I had the pleasure of discovering their phenomenal music. It makes me happy when I hear music from a newly-discovered artist and love it at first listen. Their formidable guitar-driven sound is authentic and raw, yet richly melodic with arrangements that can only be described as perfection.

The four-member band hails from Britain’s West Midlands, and consists of James Graham (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Robert Skett (lead guitar), Bob Timmins (bass) and Darren Hanson (drums).  This band has only released a few songs, but all of them are superb.

The band’s awesome guitar prowess is on full display in the song “Home.” The song starts out with a simple riff and James Graham’s tentative vocals, then gradually erupts with furious, swirling guitar and pulse-pounding drums. Graham’s vocals take on a passionate urgency that match the music’s power, leaving your hair standing on end. The lyrics are compelling too: “A million miles from home, million miles from everything/Got what I wanted…Only love can save me now.” Take a listen:

“Dust” offers more mind-blowing guitar and assertive percussion that only cemented my feeling that The Ninetyten are highly-accomplished musicians deserving of star status. This is some of the best guitar playing I’ve heard in a while.

In “Missing Person” the band unleashes its sonic weaponry with a barrage of heavy bass and unrelenting drums. Graham’s vocals once again soar to meet the merciless guitar riffs.

Support this amazing band by following them on Twitter and Facebook. Listen to their music on Soundcloud and TONEDEN, and subscribe to their YouTube channel.