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PopSyd: Music fit for a king

9 April 2014 By Sydney Adamson, Associate Art Director No Comments

Spring has finally decided to rear its sunshine-y head and bring gorgeous weather to the kingdom that is Towson University. Similarly, the music gods have recently decided to shower the world with brand new, noble tracks from 80s queen Betty Who, country pop prince Hunter Hayes, ginger jester Ed Sheeran and even more royal rockers.


“Sing” by Ed Sheeran: After listening to Sheeran’s debut album “+” for nearly three years, words can’t describe how happy I was to finally hear new material from him. “Sing” was produced by none other than the hit-making machine Pharrell Williams, and I love that his influence is not the least bit overwhelming; its presence just guides the song. It’s also easy to tell that Ed’s live shows have a great influence on the kind of music he makes, and it’s obvious he was conscious of what this song would sound like being sung back to him in an arena by thousands of fans.


“Giving Me Away” By Betty Who: Betty Who is an Australian singer/songwriter who just released her “Slow Dancing” EP on April 8. The entire release is full of 80s electro pop that’s been made new again. All of songs come off as dreamy and youthful but still somehow exude a timeless charm. “Giving Me Away” has some of the most impactful lyrics that are good enough to give Taylor Swift a run for her money.


“Storyline” by Hunter Hayes: This song doesn’t offer anything lyrically groundbreaking, but I still like it and I’m happy to hear another new song from Hayes’ upcoming sophomore album “Storyline.” The song begins with guitars that almost remind me of the 70s hit “Barracuda” by Heart. Hayes seems to be branching out more than he did on his debut album, so it’s good to that he has progressed as an artist and is not just going to release the same album twice.


“Heartache on the Big Screen” by 5 Seconds of Summer: 5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS) is another artist that hails from Australia who is currently making it big in America. Their recently released “She Looks So Perfect” EP actually sits just under Betty Who’s new EP at number seven on the iTunes album chart. However, their sound is very different from that of Betty Who. 5SOS name the bands All Time Low, Blink-182 and Mayday Parade as their biggest influences, and those influences shine through in this song. Vocally, lead singer Luke Hemmings could almost pass for Derek Sanders of Mayday Parade, and this tune would fit perfectly on any All Time Low release. Lyrically, the band stays consistent with the cinematic theme they establish in the beginning of the song which strengthens the song as a whole.


“Room to Breathe” by You Me at Six: “Room to Breathe” is the latest single from You Me at Six’s January LP release “Cavalier Youth.” All around the album has pop influences, and it can be dramatic and slightly theatrical at times (Fall Out Boy style). But this song shows a more powerful sound from the band. Its energy and emotion remind me of Foo Fighters and I can even hear this song fitting well on a future “The Hunger Games” soundtrack. Are you listening, “The Hunger Games” music people? I’m giving you golden ideas for free.

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