BTS at the American Music Awards

By Featureflash Photo Agency

Congratulations–you've survived 2019

We've been through haunting commercials, traumatically bad movies, and the fall of a favorite childhood author. But through it all, there's been Spotify, judging our music tastes like a disapproving boomer. And yet, we persisted. In alphabetical order, these are the top 50 musical lifelines of the 2010s. In the top 25 are the likes of BTS, Bon Iver, Kendrick Lamar, and Childish Gambino. Among the bottom 25 are FKA twigs, Tayor Swift, Julien Baker, and Charli XCX. Notably absent is anything by Ed Sheeran or Justin Bieber, because we don't believe bad listening habits should be encouraged. Happy listening in 2020!

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The Most Disturbing Music Videos of All Time

It's Halloween, so if you wanna scare your friends, here is your chance.

Halloween is right around the corner, and while the music video art form is undergoing a transformation thanks to streaming, many of today's artists still rely on music videos to help elevate their music.

Sometimes, the results are horrifying. We all remember the day we were first exposed to Marilyn Manson's eerie music video for "The Beautiful People," or what we were doing when Tool's cartoonish depictions of rape in "Prison Sex" sent us all reeling. As shown by our list below, the music video format is one that can truly shock and awe, and while horror films are having their moment this week, let's revisit some of the most disturbing music videos in recent memory.

"A Little Piece of Heaven" By Avenged Sevenfold

The playful animation, musical skeletons, and goofy cut-outs quickly lull the viewer into a false sense of security, but the next thing you know, the video's protagonist is killing his girlfriend and viciously raping her rotting corpse. At one point he even purchases a heater to keep her body warm. The cartoonish nature elevates the disturbing narrative told by M. Shadows and will forever change the way we listen to this song.


Miami Horror Releases New Single "Luv Is Not Enough"

The Australian electro-funk group releases a funk-inflected new single with shimmering vocals from Clear Mortifee.

Australian outfit Miami Horror returns today with "Luv Is Not Enough," a refreshing modern groove.

"I finally know myself," featured vocalist Clear Mortifee sings in the song's opening moments, and the track brims with promise from there. The funk and disco-laden sound on "Luv Is Not Enough" is familiar territory for Miami Horror, who've made a career out of marrying electronic sensibility to a funk edge. The new single off the group's upcoming third album makes the most of this marriage. The song's infectious energy alone is more than enough to keep a listener enchanted.

A hearty drum and airy synths provide a solid backdrop for the song's flashier elements, Mortifee's voice, and the dazzling guitar work. The nostalgic track is made ethereal with the pluck and strum of the guitar and its consistent bassy hum. Mortifee's performance is coolly assured, highlighting dreamy lyrics. "Love is not enough, girl / I just need more," they trill on the spinning hook. That's the kind of line that can fade into the music, but when sung by Mortifee it perfectly captures Miami Horror's sound of freedom.


filous and Ashe Want to See You on a "Monday"

The Austrian artist pairs with the L.A. singer on new release "Monday," a subtle electronic dance track that jumps headfirst into the joy of a crush.

Marcella Ruiz Cruz

Austrian songwriter and producer filous marks his second original release of 2019 with "Monday," an unabashedly sweet dance-floor collaboration with L.A.-based singer Ashe.

Coming off of "All My Friends Are Rich" with Louis III, as well as his remixes of Alina Baraz and ARIZONA, filous brings his electronic sensibility to a new track, playing with the dizziness of love at first sight. Eschewing his usual blaring theatricality for a more low-key electro-groove, filous conducts the sound of "Monday" with a gentle hand, with an insistent beat made lighter by a plucking guitar and flute-like synths.

Ashe's voice barely rises above a whisper on the song's verses, co-written with filous, conveying the self-consciousness of a developing crush. "Just let me say this right," she pleads, just before the vocal layering blossoms to life on the hook. From there, the chorus draws its simple confidence, as Ashe speaks her desire aloud: that her initial infatuation will grow into something lasting. filous' self-assured production handles the transitions between the track's heartfelt lyrics and sparkling dance beats with smooth confidence.

On "Monday," filous and Ashe capture that magical connection of a chance encounter turning into something more. The track is subtle, but not restrained. "Monday" is the pure enjoyment of a feeling, and its sweetness only makes it that much more endearing.


Car Astor Shares Her Secrets in Latest Single "Hush"

Alternative-pop artist takes fans on an emotional rollarcoaster in new single.

After taking a year off from playing shows in an effort to find herself, NYC-based pop powerhouse Car Astor has returned stronger and better than ever with a series of alt-pop singles, including her latest release "Hush."

Astor, formerly known as SEE, is stepping outside of her comfort zone with "Hush," giving fans the perfect sneak peek into what she has planned for her second EP coming later this year.

The track begins with slow-building synths before introducing Astor's provocative vocals. As she sings about secret love and hiding from the truth, the guitar line takes center stage with an electrifying riff that thrusts us into a sonorous cloud of mesmerizing synths.

"The initial idea for 'Hush' came years ago and it definitely took a while until it fully grew into the track it is now," says Astor. "In my last single 'Don't Stop, Don't Speak,' the bass guitar plays a crucial role, and I love that it gets to be the star of the show in the chorus."

The singer goes on to explain that for the lyrics she pulled on the thrills and the sadness of love triangle situations that she has experienced. "I really tried to convey the mood shifts and the back and forth I felt during these situations with a dynamic and changing instrumental."

As the track comes to a close, Astor emotionally repeats the chorus, "All these secrets /Cause we gotta keep them hush," as the instrumentals build with intensity. The song then comes to a jarring and abrupt stop, as if to reveal that the secret has been found out.

With a desire to create vulnerable, honest, and relatable music, for both herself and her fans, Car Astor is opening up more than ever with her new music. "Hopefully, you can experience the same emotional rollercoaster I was feeling."

Get swept up in the secrets and check out Car Astor's latest single "Hush" below!

Alessandra Rincón is a journalist, writer, and photographer from Baton Rouge, Louisiana living in New York City. She loves covering music, art and culture news and you can usually find her at a show or with her nose in a book. In her spare time she is a musician, comic book nerd and wannabe cook.

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Rock/Hip-Hop Hybrid Oxymorrons Bring Stadium-Level Electricity to Rough Trade

The infectiously energetic bunch discuss sound waves, vulnerability, and stratospheric ambition from Rough Trade's green room.

Onstage and in person, Oxymorrons are uncontainable. Even just sitting and talking, they emit crackling energy that translates seamlessly to the Rough Trade stage.

Combining thunderous beats with electric guitars and virtuosic bass lines, layering emotive lyrics against infectious refrains, theirs is a stadium-ready brand of hip-hop-rock fusion that manages to sound totally unique.

Oxymorrons "See Stars" [ Offical Music Video]

The project of Queens-based brothers KI and Deee, who have been making music together almost their entire lives, Oxymorrons is a hybrid of genres, visions, and emotions, bound up into one super-charged entity. The band has been blending hard rock with hard hip-hop long before Kevin Abstract and his peers rose to the top of the charts. Oxymorrons' come-up has been a long one, but they're finally breaking through to the mainstream.

Popdust talked to Oxymorrons about the grind to the top, being simultaneously vulnerable and ambitious, and how in the end, we're all made of the same energy.

Congrats on all your recent successes. It seems like you guys have had a crazy upswing.

DEEE: It's been cooking. Between touring, new management, and the festivals we've booked right now, the upswing has been crazy. Everything we've worked for for a long time is culminating, so it's kind of like, "oh shit, let's ride the wave."

ADAM NOVEMBER: I got lucky and came for the good part.

What was the not-so-good part?

MATTY MAYZ: There were a lot of ups and downs.

KI: Empty rooms. Sometimes you gotta share a sandwich. A lot of sandwiches.

D: To be somewhat serious, it's a grind. We built this shit on our own. There was no one investing in us. It's been a push and pull, but it's all culminating now, so it's worth it. Before, it was like, what the fuck are we doing?

MM: The light at the end of the tunnel helps.

D: We've figured out our sound. Now, it's cool to blend genres and break rules, but we've always been doing that. We've been misunderstood for so long. The labels would tell us—you guys are great, but where are we going to put you? They wanted to put us in a box, but one of our rules is to be unapologetically ourselves. Now, sound is catching up and being more accepting to a black fucking rock band, to tell you the truth.

KI: We had to wait for our time. And it's beautiful.

D: I think it was the cosmos, and us working really hard for a long time. Labels told us we were too black for rock, and too rock for hip hop. We were dealing for that back and forth for so long that we thought no one was ever going to get it. But now people are getting it, and we're feeling good as a band, and we're gonna keep shooting for the stars.

Over the past few years, mixing genres has become so prevalent, so some of your early work is almost prophetic. What made you start blending rock and hip hop?

D: We grew up listening to all different types of music, and our rule was—if it feels good and sounds good, then it's good. Sonics are sonics; it's all just sound, just vibrations. You can put vibrations in a box and you can put a name on them, but if people feel it, they just feel it. The reason you call something rock is because someone classified it that way. But really, it's just sound.

KI: We grew up with so many different genres of music, so we were like, why settle for one? That's why we called the band Oxymorrons in the first place. It's about marrying different things together.

You've said before that you have a bunch of different influences.

D: I'm a huge fan of Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, and Billy Joel. Queen is my favorite band, but then I'll turn around and listen to Kanye and Kid Cudi. It's across the board. Right now I'm listening to Cool Schoolchildren and before that, it was Bless the Fall and Lil Wayne's album.

KI: I listen to elevator music and Korean pop music; I listen to anything. Big Bang is my favorite Korean band. So we take all of that stuff and put it in. Music is music.

Do you [KI and Deee] feel like growing up in Queens influenced your music?

D: Subconsciously, it did. Queens is the most diverse borough. Growing up there and having foreign parents keeps your palate open. We never put ourselves in a box, though we easily could have. Where we grew up in south Queens, we were the only kids listening to rock; everybody else was listening to hip hop. There wasn't a name for what we were doing.

KI: Queens changes every four or five blocks. That's the beauty of it.

You can kind of hear that in your music's texture. So was there a moment you realized this band was going to work?

KI: It was always bigger than us. Touring just opened things up. We were able to connect with people in a really cool way.

D: When people told us they're inspired by us, we were like—if we can inspire ten people, we can inspire ten thousand.

MM: We didn't realize how wide the spectrum was for people who care about what we were doing.

D: We bring people together, people who would never be in the same room. You'll see a dude who just listens to straight hip hop, standing right next to a dude who listens to nothing but metal, and they're enjoying it together. It's kind of like, shit, we are the world.

Oxymorrons- Brunch (Official Music Video)

You've got some amazing support from people in the industry, too.

D: Sway [Calloway]'s been a supporter from damn near day one. Lupe [Fiasco] took us on his first tour; a lot of people connected the dots and helped us a lot along the way.

KI: Those people who came up and gave us a dollar—everyone who helped us, even a little—they're as much of celebrities as anyone who helped us in the industry.

D: Remember when we used to be in one hotel room? We toured the entire country in an SUV.

MM: Sixty-nine trips with me sitting Indian style.

KI: My legs…

Your music toes the line between vulnerability and these huge ambitions and energy. Was that an intentional contrast?

KI: That's just who we are. I want to be vulnerable and I want to be real; but at the same time, we're not gonna hold back on showing our light. We don't want our fans to hold back on showing their light; either. We're all doing this together. We're all on this globe together.

D: There's no reason to minimize yourself for someone else's comfort. Just because I'm shining doesn't mean you can't shine next to me. Even in a business this competitive, we're all in the same space; there doesn't have to be war. We just want to be authentically ourselves. We are vulnerable; we go through things.

KI: Everyone's trying to hide themselves by keeping it cool, but being yourself and showing that side is the cool.

Often they're viewed as mutually exclusive—toughness and emotional vulnerability.

AN: The balance between confidence and doubt is definitely something that all people deal with. We try not to hide that.

D: Let it out; it's all good. We have an open-door policy with each other. We tell each other about all our emotions no matter what. If someone's pissed off, we say it; if we love you, we say that too. We hug each other. It's weird to not be real. We're a family. We're manifesting one of the largest things you can ever try and manifest as a person—we're breathing life into a dream, this thing that didn't use to exist, that started as an arbitrary concept. Now we're all sitting here, talking about some shit that was created in a basement.

KI: Thank you for caring.

D: Sometimes even mid-show I'll just gaze into the crowd like, "Holy shit, why do you even like us, why are you all here?" It's so crazy. I'm actually self-conscious, whereas Deee's the one who's like, I'm fucking divine, I'm the greatest.

It's so powerful to sing out something that you wrote in a moment of vulnerability and hear it sung back in crowds.

D: And to have people say, hey I felt like that too.[That's] something I don't take for granted at all.

AN: In terms of the coolness factor between an audience and the artist—we need each other to survive. I don't know where that coolness comes from. I might be onstage, but we can only do this together. Only together can we relate and feel something.

So what's next?

D: We're finishing a project; I can't put out any dates, but in late June, there will be a lot more content. There are things I can't say, but there's a lot going on, and this is our year.

You seem to have a very loving communion together as a band that probably translates to the stage, and I think a lot of people will connect with that.

D: If you took us out of here and put us in a bar, it's the same. We act exactly the same no matter where you place us. It's easy; when I'm onstage, I do what I do in front of the mirror at home.

Anything you want to add?

D: Live long and prosper. We're all one energy. We might be living in this space, but it's absolutely all one energy.

KI: More shows coming up, more there.

Eden Arielle Gordon is a writer and musician from New York City. Follow her on Twitter @edenarielmusic.

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