Last summer marked one of the hottest summers in Chicago for more than just the weather. It was the extreme violence. At the center of it all was a figure that seemed to perfectly embody the IDGAF attitude of the heated crime wave, releasing track after Chicago drill scene track: Chief Keef.
But, what happens when you lose the below-the-belt-hitting bass, rattling hats, gritty bars and add a bombshell blonde with an acoustic guitar? Well, I would guess to say that you probably get Nikyee Heaton. Just watch and you’ll see what I mean.
P.S. I think this is what true love actually feels like.
I posted this song up a few months ago, but Cris Crab just dropped the visuals for his first real single, the remix to his hit “Good Girls” with a feature from GOOD-rhymesayer Medium Sean. Shot in a cool slideshow, almost-Apple ad style, it’s solid that Cris is staying relevant and bringing you some Summer vibes as we move into the colder months. It’s also been awesome seeing Cris move up from a relative no-name to working with names like Pharrell and will.i.am and getting his videos debuted on Vevo (Fight the Man, though, f**k Vevo).
As usual, my good ol’ buddy Joe over at Fresh New Tracks gave me a tip to some singer/songwriter named Connor Zwetsch. My first thought was, “Sweet, another wannabe Cris Cab.” But then it was all, “Sike naw, just playin’.” Turns out that Connor is a chick from the Tampa area with an awesome voice and some mean guitar skills. “The Little Things” is an original tune, but she also has a fair amount of covers on her YouTube page, which are equally as great. If you couldn’t tell yet, I now have a huge crush on her. So do me a solid and Like her Facebook page, and keep on the lookout for her EP and single coming in the near future.
Been waiting on this one for a while, you guys. Here we have the first official video from Dylan Reynolds, who you might remember from his features in publications like Complex a few months ago. “Happy Birthday” is a track from Dylan’s upcoming EP Me and the Producer, which I’ve been patiently waiting for for months now. Dylan’s voice is great, and the song fits perfectly in anyone’s summer playlist. Keep checking back for Me and the Producer.
Also, someone get me the number for that girl. Pretty please. Maybe just her name?
It’s been a meteoric rise for Cris Cab in the last few months, with his Foreword EP and Echo Boom album earning him the respect of artists like Wyclef Jean, who has been working with Cris for a few months now. “Good Girls” started out as the stand-out track from his Foreword EP, and has gone through some Pokemon-style evolutions since. A few months back Wyclef graced the song with some vocals (you can hear them on this track, also) but most recently the GOOD Music emcee Big Sean added a verse. I’m a huge proponent of Sean, so of course this is a prime track for me. Not sure where this track is living just yet, but this definitely isn’t the last we’ll be hearing from Cris Cab.
We’ve been rolling with the crew of Radical Something since they first started, and it’s always great to get new material from them. They’re a unique group, fusing together hip hop, pop and acoustic roots into their very own sound.
They recently released their video for You Feel Amazing directed by @JoeBusy_, which chronicles what it’s like being on tour for them. They’ve been killing it on the road, and I suggest you go to see them live if you ever have the opportunity–I have yet to be able to do so myself, but I’ve heard nothing but great things.
Check out the video below, and download the free MP3 while you’re at it.
Radical Something is back at it again, this time with their “anti-Valentine’s Day” song. Valentine’s Day seems to be a really polarizing holiday–for those in strong relationships, it’s a great day to celebrate your relationship. For those who have recently gone through breakups, it’s a pretty tough day to deal with as you’re constantly confronted with thoughts of your ex.
For Radical Something, this is about all of them having to leave significant others in order to pursue music full time, a struggle a lot of artists (and everyone, really) has to face at times throughout their life.
Along with the official music video, they provide us with a video of the acoustic version, which, in my mind, might even sound better.
GOT DAMN Josh Cocktail has pipes is the first thing I thought of listening to the videos–DJ Big Red comes up huge with the production, and Loggy, as always, lays down a couple smooth verses.
They have a new EP, “No Sweat,” set to drop in the near future, and stay posted for SITR for everything Radical Something as we will be working with them extremely closely with the release of their new project. We’ll have exclusive videos, drops of songs, behind the scenes footage and photos…all of it.
Amongst the sea of music submissions, sometimes I just don’t know what to click on. But, if you have a name like Calvin Flowers, the decision is way easier. A little acoustic, a little soul. Lots of feeling. Check out his new album, The Social E.P, at his bandcamp page. Or hit him up on Facebook.
Justin D’Onofrio’s one man band “Grandpa Was a Lion” will soothe your mood and hum soft vibrations to your soul. His latest album, Seven Songs was released on Oct. 2, and it’s definitely worth checking out. His sound is hard to pin into a certain genre, but it’s got lots of flavors. Ambient folk, chillwave, dreampop, indie acoustic…but who cares, it’s good. You’ll taste a little Bon Iver and Elliot Smith, but it’s got enough of its own to stand out and hold its ground. Stream the entire album below, and you can buy it with just a few clicks. A sexy 320 kbps (or lossless if you dare) for only $5.
Justin Vernon of Bon Iver performed for an NPR recording recently, and as usual, he surprised the crowd with a stripped down version of the controversial closing track on his latest album, Bon Iver. Typically he performs a cover at live recordings, but perhaps Vernon felt he had something to prove about this song that got knocked for its 80’s sound that didn’t match the rest of the album.
Hearing this version almost makes me cry. The beautiful piano playing throughout the song reminds me of being home at Christmastime. The once-upbeat track suddenly becomes nostalgic and almost too close to home for me to keep my emotions in line. It’s like a soundtrack to my every day struggles without my Dad in my everyday life. When I close my eyes, I see images of our past together. I see my Dad with his face covered in shaving cream, pretending to be Santa Claus, ‘Ho-Ho-Ho-ing’ to his little girl in a red jumper and matching bow in her hair. I see him sitting on a bench facing a beautiful scenery, taking the time to soak in his surroundings and put them on paper with his watercolor set. I see my Dad climbing to the top of the ladder to place the star atop the Christmas tree. I smell the coffee that was already brewing as I crawled out of bed in the morning to put my uniform on for school. I hear the creaks of his desk chair in his office that he spent countless hours working in. I see my Dad standing at the marimba, happily percussing on the instrument oft-unknown to the general public. I hear my Dad whispering to me that he loves me, and though he isn’t right there, he’s everywhere.
This has been a long journey, but coming across songs like these brings realizations to mind; as Justin sings, “I aint livin in the dark no more.” I don’t know many of you, though somehow I feel we know each other. I put a lot of myself and my emotions on the table, but I think it mirrors what artists do every day by releasing songs like this. Justin Vernon is known for his ability to pour his whole heart into a song, which is what caught my attention first when I heard his music, so I appreciate that it’s not only good listening, but it’s enabling me to let out my thoughts and emotions as well. Thank you guys for listening, too. I apologize for this post being one day late, but when I heard the song, I knew I had something meaningful to say, so damn the day, this is straight talk.
Wake up, sleepyheads! It’s Thursday and my good friend Eric Holljes has a beautiful acoustic tune for all of us. There’s a good little six-degrees-of-separation story here, are yall ready for this? I’ll make it simple and put it in bullet points.
- I went to college with Eric Holljes
- Eric went to college with Mike Posner
- Eric and Mike met in the Fall of 2007 and immediately teamed up musically to create Mike Posner & The Brain Trust
- Eric & Mike cowrote and recorded “Cooler Than Me”
- “Cooler Than Me” reached Platinum status
- After his success with Mike Posner, Eric later got signed as a songwriter by Warner/Chappell Music
- Mike Posner always said that one of his greatest inspirations was Paul Simon
- Here we have Eric Holljes, as a single act, doing a cover of Paul Simon
- As a side project, Eric is in a band called Delta Rae
- Delta Rae has been featured on Sunset in the Rearview several times, most recently in their acoustic cover of Kanye West’s “All of the Lights”
So that’s a bit scattered – but it is in real life, too. It’s just a testament to the juggling that Eric Holljes does a musician. His plate is full, but he somehow manages to hit the ball out of the park with every project he touches.
UK artists Erik Hassle and Ellie Goulding have recorded an acoustic cover of Robyn’s “Be Mine,” and it’s immediately become a favorite of mine. This is an absolutely beautiful little ballad, and really speaks to the heart. I seem to have been posting a lot of heavy hip hop, or maybe what some people consider rap (what’s the difference? Read here…) lately, but my heart still melts when it hears a song like this. I’m just a 5’1 white girl who comes off hard with her big-cheeked smile and vicious blogging tendencies, but I’m a softy deep down. You just gotta dig to find that side of me.
It’s a good thing tears never show in the pouring rain
As if a good thing could ever make up for all the pain
There’ll be no last chance, I promise to never mess it up again
Just a sweet pain of watching your back as you walk
As I’m watching you walk away
Shout out to @meredith_kav for the heads up.