5 Albums You Should Be Listening to Right Now/Must Listen Monday Edition

Hed Kandi Beach House 2015

Warning–an unexplainable tingly sensation is guaranteed to take over your music soul once you dive headphones first into the latest offering from shimmering UK dance label, Hed Kandi. The perfect blend of cabana-ready goodness mixed with an open bar of gummy grooves, HK’s latest is the album you need as we get ready to (sigh) start saying goodbye to summer.

Standouts include…all of them. Here’s a few…

For more Hed Kandi music action, go here. You know you want to.

Joss Stone/Water for Your Soul

For her seventh (!) soulful studio venture, feisty British songstress Joss Stone returns with another deep buffet of bluesy numbers, only this time, the diva’s infused her trademark tone with a slight reggae twist. After cementing her reputation as an overseas soul queen – long before Adele, mind you–it’s quite understandable that Ms. Stone decided to venture out and try something new. Does it all work? Absolutely.

Each sugary number is pristinely produced and the album plays out as light as a summer breeze. Now, is it an album that requires a lot of thought? Absolutely not. But if Ms. Stone’s soul purpose was to deliver a light, easy treat for the diva days of summer, she delivers plenty of them in fun tracks like “Water,” album opener, “Love Me,” the cruisin’ “Cut the Line,” and the steamy, “Let Me Breathe.” 

The Chemical Brothers/Born in the Echoes

By now, there’s no need to argue that The Chemical Brothers have established themselves as icons in dance music. For over two decades, the brothers chemical have delivered feasts of synth-soaked dance music;creating spaced-out grooves that are miles ahead of their time.

Their latest electrified set, the ravishing Born in the Echoes, is everything you could want from a group that knows what they’re doing in dance music. With blends of hip-hop (you need the Q-tip charged lead single “Go” in your life right now), deep electronica (“Under Neon Lights,” “Taste of Honey”)and plenty of their trademark music mindf#$ks along the way, Echoes is the one album you didn’t think you need for your summer…until now.

Years and Years/Communion

What’s to say about the long awaited debut set from overseas dance trio, Years and Years, besides…everything. While The Chemical Brothers will make you move in a gritty way with their latest offering, Communion will take you there in a deep, spiritual way. From its bold opening start to its surprisingly light finish, in a word, you need to get your Communion on right now. With a set list that’s loaded with short, sweet, charged up tracks like “Shine,” “King,” “Rise,” “Gold” and “Desire,” expect Years and Years to be gracing headphones for a long time.

Jill Scott/Woman

Saving the best for last, Philly‘s own Jill Scott comes boldly roaring back with her most soulful set yet with the fierce, Woman. Whether on mid-tempo fires like “Prepared,” “Lighthouse” and “Fool’s Gold,”or on feisty soul treats like “Run Run Run” and “Coming To You,” there’s no denying that Ms. Scott still has the chops to slide onto any groove that’s thrown her way. But the real highlight comes with “Cruisin‘,” a windows down-kind-of- jam that truly proves just what a delightful romp Woman plays out to be.





Mixtape Music News

1.Rolling Stone is getting an editing makeover…

Rolling Stone has a new Miranda Priestly….

Earlier this morning, it was announced that Men’s Journal editor Jason Fine will step in as new managing editor of Rolling Stone. Fine will replace Will Dana, who spent 19 years at the magazine before it was revealed that he was leaving this past Friday.

The big change comes as Rolling Stone continues to deal with fallout from its retracted article about an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity. The same day as news broke of Dana’s departure, three UVA graduates and members of the fraternity sued Rolling Stone and the author of the article over the story.

Fine told the New York Times that he would formally start his new role at Rolling Stone in the second week of August, but he will oversee the close of the current issue this week. Fine will also take over for Dana as Men’s Journal editorial director.He also told The Times that he was “pretty shocked” to find out Dana was leaving and being offered the top gig at Rolling Stone was “pretty surprising.” 

Hey, when it comes to the music world, reinvention is always key. 

2.Demi Lovato spills all the tea with Cosmopolitan…

If you’ve seen the video for her ice-cold hit,  “Cool for the Summer,” you know by now that Ms. Demi Lovato has a newfound outlook on life. Currently, the twenty-two-year old sun-kissed diva is featured on the cover of the September’s issue of Cosmopolitan, and the pop star goes even further with her new honesty-is-everything mentality;opening about her sexy new music and relationship with longtime boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama

“There are a lot of girls in pop,” says Lovato. “They have badass lyrics, but I feel like I’m the only person other than Rihanna and Nicki Minaj who isn’t afraid to say, ‘Try something on me and I’ll fucking beat your ass.’ There are people who can dress up and play the part, but their music doesn’t say it.”

Although the former Camp Rock-er has not yet announced a release date for the follow-up to 2013’s Demi,  “Cool For The Summer” was released last month, just in time for a mid-summer chart push. The song climbed seven spots to No. 24 on last week’s Hot 100 chart.

Also in the spillage, Lovato shares that she and Valderrama only “ever broke up when I was relapsing, whether it was drugs or in a bad place and rebelling against everybody, not just him.” The singer also says that Wilmer is far from the jealous type and that he gets along swimmingly with her ex, Mr. Nick Jonas. 

We also have to show some love for Ms. Demi after her dog, Buddy, passed away from injuries from a coyote attack. Nothing but music love all day, boo. 

3.Is there a new Jennifer Lopez single coming this week?

Get ready to baile mucho-there could be a new Latin infused single from J.Lo coming this week.  According to NYC’s Z100 radio Mark Medina, the new track could be coming “in days.” Here’s what he had to say on Twitter.

While nothing has been confirmed yet, there’s also rumblings that Jennifer is signing up with Republic Records for her next set. In the meantime, there’s always room for Fly Girl dance practice, so “Let’s Get Loud,” shall we? 

4.Chart Rewind-Madonna made the #1 spot her “Playground” 23 years ago this week…

Not to make anyone feel like running out and getting Botox on a Monday, but it was 23 years ago this week that the Material Girl took her A League Of Their Own/Barcelona Gold ballad to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. While the Shep Pettibone produced somber sonnet only played with the top spot for one week, it still remains one of Madonna’s most haunting and underrated ballads.

Fun fact-The Queen of Pop ha never played “Playground” on any of her world tours and judging by the looks of her Rebel Heart Tour playlist, she’s not going to anytime soon. All the more reason to get lost in Madonna’s dreamy ’92 ballad. 

5.Have you heard the new Duke Dumont single, “Ocean Drive,” yet? 

UK DJ Duke Dumont has delivered another sun-kissed scorcher, this time with “Ocean Drive,” a beat-heavy whirling wonder of a tune featuring strong vocals from the Duke himself. Mr. Dumont’s latest is actually just one of a dozen tracks you will hear in this week’s Must Listen Monday and we will a lot more of his brilliant music catalog in this week’s 5 reasons why. 

In a music word, get ready to dance your summer ass off. 



Summer Groove of the Day/Arrested Development/”Tennessee”

Although sometimes it’s deemed necessary to start the week with a explosive beat to help get us into the post-weekend groove, other times it’s nice to set it all off with an easy, breezy funkdafied flow. Arrested Development‘s light-yet-powerful ’92 smash, “Tennessee” is just that groove to start this week off right and to also prepare us to embrace the dog days of summer in August. With Speech’s flawless rhymes and a beat that will give your grandma life, “Tennessee” still plays out like a delightful spiritual journey through music time. And that flawless ending breakdown provided by AD diva Dionne Farris? Absolute perfection. 

If you haven’t played a game of music horseshoes to ‘Tennessee” lately, do yourself a favor on this fine Monday and dive in. Even after all of these years, AD‘s classic anthem still contains the right music ingredients to take you to another music place.