Listen to the podcast and stream all 10 selections from the special Summer 2017 edition of the Listening List.
Regular readers of In Tune Monthly know that every issue of the magazine published during the school year features a Listening List, containing 10 songs that we think musicians should check out. Here’s a tentet of tunes that are capturing our attention right now. Scroll down for commentary.
The Listening List Podcast
1) Stole the Show – Kygo
Kygo’s brand of “tropical house” music broke the Internet in 2013, offering a more tempered take on electronic dance music (EDM). The Norwegian DJ topped charts around the globe with numerous singles before releasing his debut LP, Cloud Nine. As the summer began, he released this track featuring American singer Parson James; true to its title, “Stole the Show” has made off with the attention of fans and critics alike.
2) Middle of the Night – The Vamps
Since forming in 2012, Britain’s Vamps have made the stylistic transition from pop-rock to dance-rock. Amid a higher level of production and the addition of sparkling synths and EDM beat drops, their infectious melodies and slick guitar hooks remain intact. The young foursome enlists Danish DJ Martin Jensen to help out on the group’s latest album, Night & Day, featuring the electronic earworm “Middle of the Night.”
3) Sun Comes Up – Rudimental
London-based drum ’n’ bass band Rudimental has successfully blended dubstep, R&B, house, and pop into an award-winning career that has yet to peak. The four-piece gets tropical on this summery tune with steel drums and iron pipes, courtesy of fellow Brit James Arthur.
4) Slow Burn – Daley
The Spectrum is the sophomore album from Manchester-based singer Gareth Daley. The 27-year-old with fiery red hair and seasoned vocals is a breath of fresh air, performing well- produced jazz/rock with R&B flair. Check him out on a tune from the new album that, fit with a lively bass line and sparkling horns, is anything but slow.
5) Moonlight – Grace VanderWaal
13-year-old Grace VanderWaal exploded onto the scene by winning the 11th season of NBC’s America’s Got Talent, inking a deal with Columbia Records afterward. The real test begins now, and it appears that this youngster has truly got the goods. Try the newest single from this impish but gifted songwriter with a tweety but appealing vocal style.
6) Location – Khalid
Texas singer Khalid Robinson has a voice made for classic soul, but his handle on today’s R&B and alt-rock allows for an interesting blend. “Location” is the breakout single from the 19-year-old’s 2017 album American Teen, still finding its audience a full four months after it dropped. It’s got a signature sound that is clearly, and can only be, Khalid.
7) Three Chords & the Truth – Chase Rice
Chase Rice focused on football during high school and college, and it wasn’t until an injury put him on the bench that he picked up a guitar and found his true calling. The North Carolina native debuted in 2014 with a chart-topping album and plans to release a second LP in September. We like the teaser, “Three Chords & the Truth,” which should be summer’s chaser throughout the fall.
8) Unbreakable – Nils Landgren Funk Unit
“Unbreakable” is unmistakable funk from Sweden’s Nils Landgren Funk Unit, featuring the leader’s renowned trombone. It takes exactly one minute for the horns to set in over a choppy guitar lick and Ray Parker Jr.’s stylish voice—then Landgren shines with a muted solo.
9) Tuyo – Romeo Santos
Romeo Santos got his start as the lead singer of the world-famous boy band Aventura, before launching a solo career in 2011. Since then, he’s released two records that topped the U.S. Latin Albums chart. He now aims for back-to-back-to-back No. 1s with Golden. There are a number of standout songs here, but see if you don’t swoon over the romantic “Tuyo.”
10) Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”: III. Scherzo. Molto Vivace – Chineke! Orchestra & Kevin John Edusei
Chineke! bills itself as Europe’s first professional black and minority-member orchestra, and it aims to inspire change and diversity in classical music. The group’s first recorded release is Czech composer Antonin Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony of 1893, which highlights African-American melodies and is led by German conductor Kevin John Edusei. It’s all good, but try the blazing third movement for starters.