Also, Maggie Rose and SHAED Destroy the Glass Ceiling.
Women really do run the world.
Ready to Pop serves up some of the most talented women of pop music this week. As Beyoncé would say, "Who run the world? Girls!" From the tech industry to business to construction to music, women are laying claim to their lives, taking back the power and doing so with great boldness. Art is an especially important medium to express their hurt but also as a way to really reflect on where they're headed next. Below, check out our latest obsessions, rated on a (slay) scale of "Super Chill" to "Wig Snatched."
Felicity - "Pilot with a Fear of Heights"
As a reissue ⎯⎯ the song was originally dropped spring of 2017 ⎯⎯ Felicity's tight-rope vocal acrobatics hit just as hard today, maybe even moreso. "Pilot with a Fear of Heights" blends gospel, pop and rock into a high-flying routine, as she croons around the lyrics and the message of trying to get over someone. "I've been looking at the skyline and our timeline / I will soon run out of both / Steering clear of your face and the old days / Hoping they'll turn into ghosts," she manages to whisper through organ vibrations. She's in free-fall mode but takes flight with feathered, commanding ease. From a lush lower register to her pummeling head voice, she possesses one of the greatest voices ever. Big things are on the horizon.
Slay Scale: Wig Snatched
Brandy Zdan - "I Want Your Trouble"
Brandy Zdan is rock music's best weapon for survival. Her second album,
Secretear, tears through musings on love and self-worth at a feverish rate. She rarely lets you catch your breath, as evidenced from this standout cut. "I Want Your Trouble" is her declaration that she wants her lover's ⎯⎯ in this case, her husband and fellow musician and songwriter Aaron Haynes ⎯⎯ beguiling rabble-rousing (and his irresistible touch, of course). "I want your trouble / How does it feel?" she barrels down the highway, leaving dust and grit in the wind. She's a devilish noise-maker, and no one could possibly catch up to her. And that's OK. She's in a masterclass of her very own.
Slay Scale: Shook
Tallia Storm - "Girls Are Changing the World"
In the age of #MeToo and #TimesUp, men are being held accountable, and women are regaining their self-worth. We've still got miles to go, but we are much closer than we were even a couple years ago. Pop newcomer Tallia Storm's new single speaks her truth and the truth of so many women across the world. "We are the movement making change / We are the power in history / We deserve better, now's the time / Fight for each other, the future," she sings, the synth-heavy mixture boiling over. It's a subdued pop track, separated from the usually bouncy club affair, and that's what makes it so special. It's pure and plainspoken, equipped to shed further light on what it means to be a women today.
Slay Scale: Super Chill
SHAED - "Trampoline"
When I saw SHAED play the Music Hall of Williamsburg last May, I was floored. Singer Chelsea Lee is magnetizing onstage. Not only is her voice like a hot knife through butter, but her presence is seductive. So, after a bit of a hiatus, they return with a single called "Trampoline" that combines the very best of what they do. It's hooky and allows Lee to really command the conversation. "Suddenly the sky erupts / Flames alight the trees / Spread to falling leaves / Now, they're right upon me," she sings, depicting that moment a seemingly innocent dream turns into a sweaty, truly terrifying nightmare. She dips in and out of reality, and it's velvety production is oh-so spooky.
Slay Scale: Shook
Maggie Rose - "Change the Whole Thing"
"The world wasn't broken in a day / And it ain't gonna stay this way forever," Maggie Rose, one of the most underrated singers today, promises with a new song. It's one side of a double release, paired with the bouncy, throwback cut "Hey Blondie." But "Change the Whole Thing," smoothed with a classic soul sheen, is a timely piece of pop-country, detailing the struggle to come to terms with the world in 2018. "You're losing faith / So, what's the point of trying?" she questions. It's a harrowing inquiry but a crucial one. Her vocal is icy and gloriously moving.
Slay Scale: Wig Snatched
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You'll never guess #1 (*wink wink*)
The 4th of July means you'll probably get plenty of time to watch movies about aliens.
Why aliens? Because it's Independence Day, silly: the day our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, freeing the thirteen American colonies from British rule. As a nation of immigrants, one could argue that we're all aliens on this special day. So without further ado, here are the top five Alien movies to watch on Independence Day (*wink wink*).
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New Zealand's greatest writer-director-actor has some big new projects coming up, but it's worth looking back at his previous work
A lot of filmmakers keep themselves apart from their work.
You can watch all of their films, learn to recognize their style and vision, and still be left with the mystery of who their creator is. That's not the case with New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi.