"Summertime" by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.
"Umbrella" from Rihanna.
"Whoomp (There It Is)" by a group I refuse to Google.
These are just a few songs that were dubbed "song of the summer" the years in which they were released. Songs of the season can be just as hot as the weather, and I'm delighted to tell you that the two artists on today's A-Sides are top contenders to own that distinction in 2014. Wrabel's collaboration with Afrojack ("Ten Feet Tall") is an EDM ballad (oxymoron I think not) while Oh Honey's "Be Okay" is all kinds of okay - actually - all kinds of awesome. I promise you you'll be singing along to both all season long, and in exclusive sessions, the artists got me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside by playing them to stripped down perfection. Listen to both songs, and summer can't get here soon enough. For us East Coasters, it's taken too long. Winter was brutally cold and dumped more snow on us than confetti at a Corey Feldman music video shoot. I have no idea what that analogy means (nor should you), but just read and watch below. It's almost time say "whoomp" to the sunny season. (OK, Tag Team sang that song and I didn't have to Google it but did anyway.)
"Been trying so hard not to let it show...But you got me feeling like...
I'm stepping on buildings, cars and boats
I swear I could touch the sky"
With lyrics like that, it's easy to fall in love with Stephen Wrabel's song "Ten Feet Tall." Superstar DJ Afrojack certainly did. Late last year, the Dutch wonder called the L.A.-based singer/songwriter and complimented him on the then-piano-led track and remixed it with his EDM stamp. Afrojack's been playing it at gigs all over the world ever since, and the song was featured in a Bud Light Super Bowl ad. Naturally, "Ten Feet Tall" is the first single off Afrojack's new album - Forget the World - and it's getting some serious airplay.
Wrabel sat down with A-Sides to perform the song in its natural pianotative state and crushed it good. Before I embed that video (as well as an interview), let me provide some background on the artist formerly known as using-his-full-name. Wrabel moved around a lot as a kid from east and west coasts to Australia (his father's job took him all over), and music lessons fed his passion for music. He went on to attend Boston's Berklee College of Music, but dropped out to pursue a music career. Two years ago, he started writing tunes for Pulse Recording (he co-wrote tracks for Phillip Phillips and Adam Lambert to name a few), and sessions of his own led to a deal with Island Records. There, that takes us to present day.
Roll down your windows, and turn this up. Well, figuratively do that. No one should be watching YouTube while they're driving. No one. Just drive when you're driving. Anyway...enjoy!
* For another exclusive Wrabel performance, click here.
American Authors' "Best Day of My Life." Pharrell's "Happy." Many others I won't name since this post is already long. A few recent hits have proven you don't need to sing about depressing stuff to breakthrough to the mainstream. Let's add another. Oh Honey's "Be Okay" is as delightful as a summer breeze or a wine cooler as you rocked those Def Leppard half-shirts back in the day. As mentioned, the song, which comes from the Brooklyn duo of Mitchy Collins and Danielle Bouchard, is on target to be one of - if not the - top songs of the summer. It's already getting significant airplay on SiriusXM and will no doubt spread throughout terrestrial radio soon. With that said, it's pretty nuts to consider Oh Honey was born just about a year ago. Very lucky, and they say that frequently, the duo already have a deal with Atlantic Records, and a buzzworthy EP (With Love) released, and a surefire hit off of it. While the band is sun-kissed fresh, Collins has been making music for years but decided change was needed last year. In essence, he wanted to create a duo that felt like they didn't have the weight of the world (or music industry) on its shoulders. Enter Upstate New York-born Bouchard, a songwriter and theater actress, who Collins met through a friend and instantly landed the gig. The pair clicked immediately like your ears did or will the first time you heard or hear "Be Okay."
Oh Honey stopped by the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, NY to perform that song for A-Sides. The pair, who come off as refreshing as the music they make, also played another track off their EP (watch and listen to "Get It Right" here), and talked about their fast track to success. Feel good about yourself, love yourself, live love, and love life, and watch it all below:
A-Sides "Delve Into Twelve" Countdown
Each week A-Sides unleashes its Top 12 tracks of the week AKA the "Delve Into Twelve"based on the following contributing factors: songs I'm playing out that particular week NO MATTER WHEN THEY WERE RELEASED (think overlooked songs, unreleased tracks, and old favorites), songs various publicists are trying to get me to listen to that I did and dug a bunch, posts and trends I've noticed on my friends' Facebook walls, and - most importantly - the songs my two-year-old son gravitates toward by stomping his feet in approval. Yeah, you read that right. This weeks follows below (LW= last week's rank).
12. "Lighthouse" (debut) - Ziggy Marley
11. "Red Eyes" (debut) - The War on Drugs
10. "Keys" (LW-9)- Hooray for Earth
9. "Be Okay"(debut) - Oh Honey
8. "Let Me Down Gently" (LW-8) - La Roux
7. "Alienation" (LW-5) - Morning Parade
6. "Stolen Dance" (debut) - Milky Chance
5. "Now Hear In" (LW-3) - Cloud Nothings
4. "Who Needs You" (debut) - The Orwells
3. "Habits" (LW-4) - Tove Lo
2. "Peaches" (LW-2) - In the Valley Below
1. "Chandelier" (LW-1) - Sia
About A-Sides Music
Jon Chattman's "A-Sides Music" series was established in August 2011 and usually features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing. Artists have included: fun, Rob Zombie, Pharrell Williams, Courtney Love, American Authors, Imagine Dragons, Gary Clark Jr., and more! A-Sides theme written and performed by Blondfire.