I can't help but listen to Christmas music this week... so naturally I included some on #theradar.
Christmas has me like...
I'm honestly living for all of the new Christmas music that's been released lately. With the happiest time of the year just around the corner, I had to infuse some of my favorite new Christmas releases onto Release Radar this week (but don't worry, a full Christmas playlist is coming to you this #musicmonday). Get in the holiday spirit with some of my new favorite Christmas releases and a slew of other hot new tracks from: Cody Simpson and The Tide, Dana and The Wolf, Fascinations Grand Chorus, Eighty Ninety, Michael McQuaid, Max & Harvey, Cate Hamilton, Tash, and Umphrey's McGee.
Cody Simpson and The Tide | "White Christmas"
This beach-rock cover of the old classic is relaxing and will get you in the Christmas spirit even if your version of a white Christmas is sand. Being an former Florida girl myself, I appreciate this twist on the original.
Best for: a holiday beach bonfire
Perfect if you like: Jack Johnson
Dana and The Wolf | "Him"
This track is hauntingly good. Dana and The Wolf have been together for decade but only recently formed the pop duo comprised of Dana Hobson (vocalist) and Daniel Wolf (producer). Their dramatic pop music focuses on deep topics from religion to economics.
Best for: A lazy Sunday
Perfect if you like: The Daysleepers
Fascinations Grand Chorus | "Angelsea"
This slow burning track is mellow and builds over time. The sweet vocals contrast the rhythmic nature of the track. Part of their recent EP Angelsea. The title song is my favorite off of the album.
Best for: Road tripping
Perfect if you like: Tennis
Eighty Ninety | "Your Favorite Song"
I've loved this song for a long time and was anticipating this visual. The video is dream-like. Abner treks through city and beach terrain with a bouquet of flowers, only to leave them behind at the end of the video. All the while you hope he'll find this love he's singing about and bring her flowers (flowers fix everything, right ladies?), but instead, it's more symbolic of leaving a relationship in the past.
Best for: The post-holiday sads
Perfect if you like: Tom Petty and The Heart Breakers
Michael McQuaid | "Wild Love"
This dark pop jam from Michael McQuaid is hard-hitting and shakes the room. It explores the intense parts of love. His collaboration with Milly adds just the perfect touch to the rich song. It's a song about deciding to go all in together.
Best for: NYE dance parties
Perfect if you like: Sam Smith
Max & Harvey | "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday"
LOVE this take on the original classic "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday." Performed by Musical.ly stars Max & Harvey, the song is one of the first ambitions from their music project. This song is sure to bring the holiday cheer to your home.
Best for: Decorating the Christmas tree
Perfect if you like: Christmas music!
Cate Hamilton | "Euphoria"
This song from Cate Hamilton's debut EP has a lot of swagger to it. The trap beat underneath her haunting voice moves the song along in a slinky way. The whole EP Angel Baby is a good listen.
Best for: Ending a late night in the tub!
Perfect if you like: Esperanza Spaulding
Follow Cate Hamilton on Instagram
Tash | "I Don't Like Parties"
This amazing banger is smooth and has almost neo-soul elements though it falls strongly under pop R&B. This song speaks to anyone who's felt obligated to go to way too many holiday parties this year. The visual is cool, simple, and supports the song incredibly well.
Best for: Playing hooky from your office holiday party
Perfect if you like: Ariana Grande
Follow Tash on Instagram
Umphrey's McGee | "Half Delayed"
This is the perfect mellow jam to end your day with. I particularly love the unique guitar riff. The vocals are added in tastefully where needed but the song is ultimately minimalistic in all of the best ways. I could see it as the sound track to a movie.
Best for: Riding with the windows down, reflecting on life.
Perfect if you like: The Lumineers
Follow Umphrey's McGee on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter
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If you're mad because "Batwoman was never black," there's something you need to know...
TV's newest incarnation of Batwoman, Ryan Wilder, is Black.
The CW's Batwoman has always had a progressive streak. In the first season, Orange Is the New Black alum Ruby Rose plays Kate Kane, Bruce Wayne's cousin who dons the Batwoman cowl to protect Gotham City. Just like every other superhero show, Kate's romantic life factors into the plot. Unlike the rest, however, Kate is an out lesbian, making her the first leading lesbian superhero in television history.
But after the first season, Ruby Rose announced that she was leaving Batwoman for unspecified reasons, allegedly related to burnout from the ridiculously long work hours required from a superhero series lead. This meant that in order for Batwoman to continue, the CW would need a new star.
Enter Javicia Leslie, former co-star of CBS comedy-drama God Unfriended Me. Prior to Leslie's casting, fans of the show wondered how Batwoman might handle the transition of actresses. Would Kate Kane just look completely different in season 2 with no canonical explanation?
Nope. As it turns out, Javicia Leslie's Batwoman will be an entirely new character: Ryan Wilder.
The rocker celebrates his 45th birthday today
Jack White almost became a priest.
But then again, did he? The iconic rocker has regularly beguiled the press. "I'd got accepted to a seminary in Wisconsin," he told 60 Minutes Mike Wallace back in 2005 in what seemed like a moment of genuine candor. "At the last second, I thought, 'I'll just go to public school."
Whether you believe that story or not, the blues-rock polymath, who turns 45 today, has led an undeniably punk life and crafted some of the most sacred rock music in history. Two decades after The White Stripes' self-titled debut, Jack White has remained purposefully slippery with the public. He told publications that he and Meg White, his then-wife and White Stripes-cohort, were the youngest of ten siblings and claimed that his label, Third Man Records, used to be a candy company, among other outlandish claims.