Music Features

Before Its Time: How EDM Transformed Ellie Goulding's Folk-Pop

The British pop star's career might've looked entirely different if it weren't for the DJs like Bassnectar and Calvin Harris.

In 2010, a singer-songwriter by the name of Ellie Goulding went from a relative unknown to the newly crowned ruler of the British music charts.

Raised in a village of fewer than 1,000 people, Goulding went on to study at University of Kent, where she was spotted by her future manager. After building a presence on MySpace and linking up with various producers, the budding star inked a record deal with Polydor, who released her first EP, An Introduction to Ellie Goulding, in 2009. The Guardian called her a "pop sensation" before the EP had even hit stores.

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MUSIC

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.

MUSIC

"No. 6 Collaborations Project:" Ed Sheeran Is a Mediocre Wedding Singer. Why Do We Love Him So Much?

We're enslaved to his inoffensively pleasant voice and middle-of-the-road songwriting.

Ed Sheeran is known for his ability to take the slow-jam, first-dance-at-a-community-center-wedding ballad mainstream.

Why was he the one, of all the talented singer-songwriters out there, who managed it? It's hard to say. But he did, and now he's out of tricks, but it literally doesn't matter. No. 6 Collaborations Project, the new album from the world's luckiest red-head with a guitar, is full of duets and features and feels almost like a brag, as if Sheeran is saying, "Look at me, I got every major name in music to be on this shitty album, and you're going to listen to it because I'm mother f**king Ed Sheeran and you're enslaved to my vocal runs." And he's right.

Essentially: Remember Sheeran's 2017 hit "Shape of You"? Want an album of that 15 times in a row, but a little worse than the original, and with a different teen-favorite artist featured on each version? That's Ed Sheeran's new album.

In a movie, when an "international pop sensation" is introduced as a character, the audience expects and receives lukewarm pop songs as evidence of the character's musical brilliance.Of course, in reality, the songs were written quickly and carelessly by a busy movie production team operating on a deadline. But still, we buy the supposed "brilliance" of the songs as part of the movie magic; we suspend our disbelief willingly and pretend that the songs played in the concert scene of the movie are exceptional to support the accepted fame surrounding the artist in question. The point is that every track on Ed Sheeran's new album could be one of these songs.

What You Get from Each Song:

"Beautiful People Feat. Khalid:" Music to walk around a budget grocery store to.

"South of the Border Feat. Camila Cabello and Cardi B:" An anthem for 16-year-old boys who decide to go to Cancun and are a little racist about it (Can we say "caramel thighs" any more?)

"Cross Me Feat. Chance the Rapper and PnB:" Ed Sheeran's that awkward white guy unsuccessfully trying to dance at the party he wasn't really invited to.

"Take Me Back to London Feat. Stormzy:" Eddy boy, you and Drake need to leave grime alone. LEAVE IT ALONE.

"Best Part of Me Feat. YEBBA:" A reminder Ed Sheeran is better at being Ed Sheeran than Jason Derulo. Still, only okay.

"I Don't Care With Justin Bieber:" Neither do we, Ed.

"Antisocial With Travis Scott:" Okay, but what's the rule for who gets a "with" vs. a "Feat."? Do you have to have banged one of Kendall Jenner's friends/sisters?

"Remember the Name Feat. Eminem and 50 Cent:" It's rare to hear an auditory depiction of a half-hearted pissing contest.

"Feels Feat. Young Thug and J Huss:" Allow this to be a reminder to go listen to Calvin Harris' song of the same name.

"Put It All On Me Feat. ELLA MAI:" This adds to the difficulty of knowing if you've actually hit "next song" or not.

"Nothing On You Feat. Paulo Londra and Dave:" L.A. gave us Nipsey Hussle, New York gave us Tupac, London gave us...Dave?

"I Don't Want Your Money Feat. H.E.R.:" Don't lie, you're in it for the money. On some level, we all are.

"A Thousand Nights Feat. Meek Mill and A Boogie Wit Da Hoddie:" When Meek Mill says he parties with Ed Sheeran in the verse, you can hear the regret in his voice.

"Way to Break My Heart Feat. Skrillex:" Has Skrillex been castrated?

"Blow Feat. Chris Stapleton and Bruno Mars:" Digging rock music's grave ever deeper.

Conclusion: "No. 6 Collaborations Project" is as soulless as its title.

Superfluously: What the f**k is this album even about? Is there any kind of cohesive theme? Is the theme just manufactured emotion? If so, you'd think Sheeran could at least pay for the creation of a more authentic experience?

Unnecessarily: Cardi B deserves better.

Finally: Support real, human singer-songwriters.

If you don't know Bonnie X Clyde, you probably actually do.

Most known for their song "Bass Jam," you've likely danced to their music at a bar or in a club without realizing who it was. That was my experience after all. Bonnie X Clyde rose on the indie scene pretty quickly. "Bass Jam" landed them as Sirius XM's #1 "Beat of the Week" for five weeks straight. A producer-singer duo, Bonnie X Clyde are always collaborating with one another. This seems to have opened the door for more collaborations in the industry. Recently Bonnie X Clyde performed the song "Gold" with Adventure Club at Miami Music Week 2017. Following this electrifying performance, Bonnie X Clyde released their own spin on the song. After all of this early on success, they caught the eye of coveted Insomniac Records and signed with them. Since then, their music has been featured in many of Insomniac's after-festival films such as Electric Daisy Carnival and Nocturnal Wonderland. One of my favorite songs by the duo is "In The City."

Listen to "In The City" here.

Bonnie X Clyde have a rich history. The two were high school friends in Washington D.C. Paige Lopynski (Bonnie) was in their high school choir while Daniel Litman (Clyde) was DJing around the D.C. area. They collaborated a bit in high school and college even though they were on different paths at that time. Daniel went to school at The University of Ithaca and later transferred to the University of Miami while Paige competed on NBC's The Voice landing the spot of runner up. Eventually the two settled in Miami and gigged at local festivals until receiving larger opportunities like a tour supported by electronic music legend Skrillex.

Most recently, Bonnie X Clyde has dropped "Torn" which is my favorite song of theirs to date. They say the song is about how as humans we tend to repress our emotions and I think most people can relate with this. When you've been hurt, you build up walls that you simultaneously want torn down, but how can this happen without being open and vulnerable about what you want, so we end up "Torn." This indecision in brilliantly reflected in "Torn" not through any apparent wishy-washyness, but by the juxtaposition of strength and vulnerability in Bonnie's performance both vocally and in the video. I especially love how the man in the video is either disappearing or Bonnie is running away. This makes the situation crystal clear. "Torn" feels like living in your emotions. You really feel her going through it through the powerful synth swells and drowning bass. The layers of sound and rich textures of each instrument creates a feeling of haziness while you're lost in Bonnie's haunting vocals. While she sings "I need a savior," she also sings that she needs to be "reborn." It flirts with the idea of dependency of needing someone else to help you grow and change.

Watch "Torn" here.

On the track, Bonnie X Clyde collaborate with PURGE who like B X C, has recently seen a surge of success and popularity in the electronic music community along with support from Skrillex. PURGE recently received recognition for their EP "Feel Your Love" which was released and supported by Skrillex's Nest HQ and OWSLA camps. Known for their genre-blending sound design, they fit in perfectly with Bonnie X Clyde who don't conform to any one genre either. My favorite song by them currently is "Make Love" which they collaborated with FelMax on.

Listen to "Make Love" here.

Bonnie X Clyde are gaining recognition as ones to watch in the EDM and pop categories for 2018. Their popularity rose through out 2016 thanks to their Gunshine Tour in Florida and the support of Insomniac Records. Starting 2017 off strong with a brand new EP supported by Insomniac and ending 2017 There is more new music and exciting news coming for Bonnie X Clyde in 2018.

YouTube, NYE Countdown 2016

Follow Bonnie X Clyde on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter for updates.

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MUSIC

Review: Hundred Waters make machines cry on their new EP, ​'Currency​'

MUSIC | The folk-inspired group showcases electronic landscapes on their third major release

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The group follows up a hit remix by Skrillex with the beautiful "Jewel in My Hands" and more.

Hundred Waters, the electronic group known for their work with Chance the Rapper and Skrillex, are back with a new, five-song EP titled Currency. From the sweeping, lovely "Jewel in My Hands" to the expansive sounds of "Everywhere," Currency shows off the group's passionate electronic expressions.

Nicole Midlis. (Facebook)

Currency is the followup to 2014's sophomore LP, The Moon Rang Like a Bell, featuring "Show Me Love," the beautiful, a cappella album opener that became their biggest hit when it fell into the hands of Chance the Rapper. It was their self-titled debut in 2012 that brought a deal from Skrillex's record label, OWSLA, and introduced them as a new and antithetical force to Skrillex and his dubstep following.

"Jewel in My Hand" opens the new EP with a soft, gorgeous lullaby that evolves into a spectacular, bass-driven ballad. Nicole Miglis's careful, whispered vocals float over each track like a dusting of snow. Like a student of Thom Yorke, she evokes emotion without clearly enunciating words; they're there, but they're second to the movement of her voice.

She sings over synths that sound like a confused violin on "Particle" and over borderline-cheesy flourishes on "Takeover," but the vocal/instrumental combination nonetheless tells stories. Where you might expect "Takeover" to describe oppression or a lack of personal freedom, Miglis ends the song with reassuring words, "I can take over now."

On "Everywhere," the band explores a landscape, from sounds like the distorted songs of whales to high-pitched, wind-like gusts. This musical exploration is present on all of their songs, but without Miglis's voice, the environment of the track comes into focus and reveals the ideas of the musicians through the instruments.

The title song closes the EP by bringing back the beat, bookending a journey of ethereal sound with two solid electronic melodies.

Hundred Waters started as a group of friends in middle school, playing songs together through college in Florida, where they met Midlis. The group recorded their debut in their house and honed their sound on 2014's The Moon Rang Like a Bell.

When Skrillex remixed "Show Me Love" with Chance the Rapper, Moses Sumney and Robin Hannibal in 2016, the song exploded with popularity. Skrillex said, "It's all about love and positivity, what this world really needs right now"—a statement that still holds true a year later.

Miglis said that the original song's lyrics came from a journal entry she wrote. Hundred Waters' music continues to have an intimacy in its lyrics and in the soft timbre of her voice.

Skrillex, Midlis and Chance. (Facebook)

Earlier this month, the group performed at their fourth FORM Arcosanti festival, a festival that they created and that they curate every year. The first, in 2014, featured eight bands and this year's included headliners Skrillex (who dropped his remix of Kendrick Lamar's "Humble" there) and Father John Misty.

Hundred Waters continue to improve their already excellent electronic sound with Currency, and as their festival grows, so does their popularity. Their positive messages and thoughtful music are important relief in this world of music and the world, in general.

Follow Hundred Waters on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Listen to Currency on Apple Music, Spotify and SoundCloud.


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