Author: jillypopmusic

I write about indie music, films, TV, books, fashion. I also enjoy creative writing and talking about boys.

Emalia – Own Your Own

Emalia is a 19 year old singer/songwriter from Sydney, Australia. “On Your Own” is the new single off of her upcoming EP releasing in Summer 2017. The song, co-written by Emalia and Australian songwriter/producer Adam Reily, tells the story of a cheating partner and explains the emotional journey and thought processes a person might go through after experiencing such a betrayal.

Emalia takes the listener right into the center of the narrative through her powerful, emotionally raw lyrics and soulful sound. Although there is an undeniable aspect of vulnerability and helplessness in her words, Emalia encourages her audience to stay strong in hard times such as these, with themes of empowerment and self-love prevalent in the lyrics as she sings, “Showed no respect for the love I gave/Go, you’re on your own.”

The track features strong 90’s and 2000’s throwbacks, nodding to the likes of Destiny’s Child and Aaliyah, which ties in nicely with Emalia’s own original modern-pop spin.

We really dig this heartbreak anthem from Emalia, so check out “On Your Own” on YouTube.

Connect with Emalia:
Facebook
Website
Twitter
Instagram

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George Michael Tribute – One More Try (by JR Richards)

This video is dedicated to my amazing boyfriend M. It’s our third month together and he means the world to me. I’m so in love it hurts sometimes. I know how lucky I am to have M in my life and in my heart. I would be lost without him.

J.R. Richards’ music has helped me through many melancholic evenings. His voice has wiped away my tears and I hope you enjoy this cover.

Official Website
Music
Facebook

Lyrics:
I’ve had enough of danger
And people on the streets
I’m looking out for angels
Just trying to find some peace
Now I think it’s time
That you let me know
So if you love me
Say you love me
But if you don’t just let me go
‘Cause teacher
There are things that I don’t want to learn
And the last one I had
Made me cry
So I don’t want to learn to
Hold you, touch you
Think that you’re mine
Because it ain’t no joy
For an uptown boy
Whose teacher has told him goodbye, goodbye, goodbye
When you were just a stranger
And I was at your feet
I didn’t feel the danger
Now I feel the heat
That look in your eyes
Telling me no
So you think that you love me
Know that you need me
I wrote the song, I know it’s wrong
Just let me go
And teacher
There are things
That I don’t want to learn

Weslynn – Black (Official Music Video)

Phoenix, AZ indie/pop/rock band Weslynn has released their new video “Black” from their 2016 EP Black + Champagne. It’s the second single – you can check out the video of the first single “Strange Feelings” and my exclusive premiere of the track.

“Black” is a slick and sexy track with the hook “I love it when you wear black.” Is it about the woman who gave them strange feelings? Or perhaps they have just met an alluring femme fatale. I really like the video – you never see her so she could be anyone you imagine.

Founded in fall of 2013, three Arizona State University schoolmates and long time friends (Jared Geyer, Greg Olin, and Kevin Holmes) started to play music under the band name Weslynn. They started gaining a fan base in their hometown of Phoenix, AZ by playing coffee shops, cover gigs, and releasing original home recordings online. The following year they released professionally produced 5 track EP titled Dark Days.

In a statement to Cronkite News at ASU they said, “Everything we have been through has brought us closer together. We have individually had so many personal trials, that when we start playing music, it all fades away. The world is constantly changing and throwing tragedy into our lives, but Weslynn has given us the opportunity to rally around each other and made us even closer friends. This music is a direct response to those hard times of love and loss.”

Weslynn draws their inspiration from bands such as Augustana, The Rolling Stones, John Mayer and Queen. With smooth vocals, haunting harmonies, and grooving guitar vibes, their mature sound and style reaches people of all ages.

Connect with Weslynn:
Instagram
Snapchat
SoundCloud
Twitter
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YouTube

Michael Minelli- W4YL

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Unrequited love – a very relatable issue to virtually anyone. Sometimes you just have to cut the person loose; you can’t be waiting on him/her to reciprocate forever. This is what Michael Minelli covers in his latest single, “W4YL” (an abbreviation of Wait For Your Love). As unpleasant as having the aforementioned problem is, Minelli manages to make a ridiculously groovy track about it. His lyrics are evocative of Michael Jackson’s earlier works and combined with an upbeat guitar riff as well as some synth stabs, the final product is an interesting fusion of early pop sensibilities and a more edgy, modern sound.

Minelli garnered national press when he won a Ryan Seacrest cover contest for his version of John Legend’s “All of Me,” which was even played during an interview with John Legend on CBS’s “Good Morning America”. He has even had an original song featured on ESPN’s First Take for an entire month. The verdict: Minelli is destined for great success with the talent he possesses.

Listen to “W4YL” at https://soundcloud.com/michaelminelli

Connect with Michael Minelli:

Facebook

Twitter

Trivia Night at Shake Shack in Forest Hills, Queens, NY

I love trivia and Shake Shack in Forest Hills has a trivia game every Wednesday at 7 p.m.

I’m looking for up to 7 teammates. I really want to win. Nice prizes/swag and lots of fun!

Comment or contact me if you want to play and also do an Austin Street crawl.

🙂

Jilly Pop’s Year in Review (Obligatory Blogger Post)

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Greetings lovely readers and bloggers!

This is that time of year when blogggers love to write their year in review posts. For us it’s so exciting, a virtual Christmas letter. You may already be bored! But, wait, I’ve got some cool things to talk about Jilly Pop’s future and the direction the blog will take in 2017 as well as a highlight and update on some of my most popular posts. I’ve also got some important personal news to share. So let’s get started!

Let’s start with some really exciting news for 2017. I have been writing this blog by myself since 2015 and I’m proud to announce that I will have a recurring contributor to Jilly Pop. He’s Sam (JourneyThroughTheHorizons) and he’s got mad writing skills, loves music, and is a busy student I’m thrilled wants to a part of my blog. If you’d like to read Sam’s guest post, which was my top media tweet in December (295 impressions! Sweet!) Sam’s next feature about Bitter’s Kiss and The Blue Stones new video for “These Bells Will Ring” will be up this weekend.

The next news I have is professional, which I rarely mention on Jilly Pop. I’m currently in 3 weeks of training for a postion at a huge corporation in Brooklyn. I’m super excited and I will be starting working 3 days a week in January 2017 which means I’ll have time for Jilly Pop and my new obsession: Zipcar.

So now that we’ve got some stuff to look forward to, let’s take a look back at a pretty great year at Jilly Pop.

First, did you notice I’m calling my blog Jilly Pop? Well, Jilly Pop Music is kind of long, so Jilly Pop is my blog’s nickname.

The overwhelmingly most popular post on my blog in 2016 was actually a post from November 2015. Thanks to Google search results, a huge amount of increased eyeballs came from my feature on Flights Over Phoenix and their video for “Runaway California.” If you “Google” the band and song, my post is the second search result. I have no idea how that happened!

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So let’s rewind to the end of 2015 when my top post was my year in review. WordPress Stats tells me 2015 was my best year of blogging at about 4,000 views. I haven’t posted as much in 2016, but I believe in quality over quantity and have reached about 2,000 views.

These were my 10 most popular posts for 2016 according to my WordPress stats:
1. Flights Over Phoenix – Runaway California

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2. Weslynn – Strange Feelings (Exclusive Single Premiere) -*note* Exclusive premieres are really cool for blogs so I hope to have the opportunity to post more premieres in 2017.

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3. Holly Elle – How a Heart Breaks

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4. Wonky Tonk – Stuff We Leave Behind

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5. Bassett – Ghost Hwy (EP)

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6. Victor Perry – 4 A.M. Nostalgia

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7. Madi Ringe – Summertime

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8. Kylie Odetta – High Dreamer (EP)

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9. Saint Adeline – Status Quo

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10. Victor Perry – Missing (Everything But The Girl – Cover)
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I’m actually more interested in the results of my Twitter Analytics than WordPress stats. I am amazed by the data analyzed in Twitter Analytics. I have been on Twitter since 2009 and have 775 followers. But Twitter is much more that followers. It’s all about cards, media tweets and mentions.

In 2016, these Jilly Pop featured artists garnered the most impressions:
January – The Fireflys (a UK band who I have written about since 2014 – super nice band who released a new album)

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February – A tie! Dan Lipton and Kylie Odetta

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March – Smoke Season (They have a 4 video series called Ouroboros. This post was about Veteran Suicide Awareness and called “When The Smoke Clears.”)

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April – J.R. Richards (J.R.’s song Come To Tears was about his son’s early onset mental illness.)

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May – blog hiatus
June – blog hiatus
July – Weslynn (The exclusive single premiere earned 841 impressions!)

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August – Victor Perry (his new EP 4 A.M. Nostalgia was released – he is also a super nice artist who I keep in touch with!)
September – Kylie Odetta (She rocked 426 impressions with Dangerous Woman / This Is What You Came For / Give Me Love (MASH UP)

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October – A busy month with 3 top posts: The Grand Undoing, Saint Adeline, and Amy Guess.

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November – Victor Perry (hits with a cover of Missing – Everything But The Girl – cover. Several other blogs posted it as well. )

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December – Sam’s post about Just Seconds Apart. (Sam is Jilly Pop’s new contributor!)

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Thank you if you read this far. Thank you if you subscribe to and read, like and comment on my blog.

Jilly Pop is a small, indie pop blog promoting indie artists and I’ve had the pleasure this year of beginning to work with publicists. I believe that quality of my posts is due to these relationships. Shout out to the teams at Working Brilliantly, Lafamos and Effective Immediately PR.

So, how was your year and what do you hope for in 2017?

Guest Post: Just Seconds Apart – Like The Ocean

Today’s guest post is by Sam Aguilar, a freshman communications student at ASU. Music is a really big passion of Sam’s and he interviewed Phoenix band Just Seconds Apart for this feature on JillyPopMusic.

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The definition of a Garage Band nowadays is a music creation program that lets anyone with a Mac create their own music right from their computer. I want to approach the term Garage Band back to what people originally remember it to be, a group of friends playing music literally from their garage to hopefully make their dream a reality and play their music in front of thousands of adoring fans, eventually. The newest Indie-Pop band Just Seconds Apart are bursting straight out of their garage and onto the big stage with their phenomenal new single Like The Ocean. The thing is, for Just Seconds Apart, they did not need to travel far to go to each other’s garage to practice.

They are, in fact, 17-year-old triplets that were literally born, Just Seconds Apart. Sela is the oldest, plays the drums and provides some of the vocals. Ari, considered the middle child, is the lead vocalist and guitarist of the band. Finally, the youngest of the band Alex, who plays the keyboards, bass, and you guessed it, provides vocals as well. Each one of them has the full package and it was definitely exciting to sit down with them to find out about their newest single, life as triplets in a band, and what we can expect from them in the future.

The first thing I had to know was if they had any other siblings or was it just them. Right off the bat they had me laughing when they said “Only 3 of everything, we even have 3 dogs”, which makes me wonder what Christmas is going to be like in their home because I would like to have 3 presents. This definitely got me wondering that by being triplets, disagreements must be pretty intense since each one of them know how to irk the next. They all disagreed. “We’re really close so if we ever have a disagreement, we talk it out and make sure to resolve it right away.” Usually there has to be one to diffuse the situation and “Alex comes up with something funny and everything’s well”. In terms of their music, when they come together to try and write, “our different music tastes enhance our writing process”. They each have a way of coming up with an important piece of the song that contributes to it being remarkable in every aspect. “Ari comes up with the melody, then as we come up with the concept leading to me writing the lyrics, along with Alex contributing to both lyrics and melody. Ari pitches in with the lyrics too.” Sela said.

In terms of musicality, I had to ask just what is it that they do that contributes to their music. As Ari said, “Although our vocal synchronicity comes naturally, we do a lot of vocal training, including an hour of warm-ups. We spend many hours in the studio but really try to remind ourselves that chill time is very important”, which is great to hear because as much as we want our favorite musicians to be all about music, they also need their time to relax and regroup. “We also like to eat healthy, workout and meditate” when they are not playing music but still want to keep their minds strong and focused.

As far as their single Like The Ocean, “it was an emotional recording process because we wrote the song when we were fourteen prompted by something that happened to us personally. Every lyric we sang held so much feeling, we hope this song is able to inspire others and that’s what we love so much about music”.

Listening to Like The Ocean truly is an experience in itself, a journey through the eyes of Sela, Ari and Alex, and the emotion that they lay it all out there for the fans to feel with them. They hope this brings new listeners to know that their music truly comes from the heart and that Like The Ocean will be the song they can lean on when they feel they are in need of some comfort. The lyrics are matched beautifully with perfect harmonization among the 3, pair it with epic melodic strings from the violin. If you think this song has is great already, no, Ari’s guitar playing harmonizes with the violin to accentuate the tempo of the singing. I cannot forget that Alex adds a melody to back up the rhythm of Alex’s guitar playing. It is amazing that they are only 17 years old but hold so much musical talent and they have not even approached their prime yet. They are human though, “at our first performance when we were 5, Alex got stage fright. He sang one song and then bailed, but now he’s the least nervous among us!”

To truly appreciate who they are, I asked them more about themselves other than music. “Sports. As long as we can remember, we’ve played competitive sports on the same team. Our dad was the coach and our mom was the team mom, always the loudest cheerleader”, said Sela. What I really wanted to know is who is their celebrity crush at the moment. Sela absolutely loves Enrique Iglesias, Ari is in love with Gigi Hadid (look out Zayn Malik!), and Alex loves Victoria Justice. I asked if they were to ask them to prom but they go to online school, so they haven’t yet. Although they’ve definitely been asked. “At one of our shows, we kept seeing fans holding up signs asking us to prom”. They do have experience playing at proms, “we played for Phoenix Children’s Hospital because they were born preemies (10 pounds combined) so it has been a charity of our choice and we are forever grateful for saving their lives’ as their mom chimed in. Now the question we were all waiting for, is it there a curfew on practice, like lights out by 10 p.m. “No, no and no”, she said with laugh.

As for Just Seconds Apart, I asked what does 2017 have in store for them. Sela said excitingly, “Releasing new music, traveling, and touring; doing collaborations with artists and always looking forward to learning more and growing”. Like The Ocean is already an amazing track so I am ecstatic for what the future holds for Just Seconds Apart and the success that is awaiting them.

Buy on iTunes
Connect with Just Seconds Apart on Facebook and Twitter

Peter and the Wolf – A Classical Masterpiece

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In 1936, in the USSR, Sergei Prokofiev was commissioned by Natalya Sats and the Central Children’s Theatre in Moscow to write a new musical symphony for children. The intent was to cultivate “musical tastes in children from the first years of school.”

I originally wrote about David Bowie’s narrated version with the Philadelphia Orchestra released in 1978 in one of my early blog posts: Soundtrack of my life – pt 2

I have always loved Peter and the Wolf and I was surprised to learn from wikipedia that the 29 minute piece has been recorded and narrated by the likes of Boris Karloff, Eleanor Roosevelt, Leonard Bernstein, and Sean Connery just to name a few.

Despite being a children’s story, it has resonated with me throughout my adulthood. I even changed my ringtone to the strings representing Peter as it’s an earworm that has stuck in my head for years.

Check out the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s version on YouTube below. Also you can stream the David Bowie narration on all the major music sites.

R.I.P Hamlet (2000-11/18/15)

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My beloved cat Hamlet passed away November 18, 2015, exactly one year ago today. He was almost 16 years old. He fought a valiant battle and was in remission from small cell lymphoma when his kidneys failed.

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I loved him so much. My other cat Lucy R.I.P. (2000-2015) passed away last year in February, and I miss them both so much.

Mike Doughty – I Can’t Believe I Found You In That Town

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In 2004, on a little known beloved TV show called “Veronica Mars”, I heard my first Mike Doughty song. “I Hear The Bells” is a delicious taste of what was to come in Mike Doughty’s post-Soul Coughing solo career.

The really cool thing about Mike’s music is that distinctive voice and wit, on songs like “27 Jennifers” and “Looking at the World from the Bottom of the Well.”

By his ninth solo album, The Heart Watches While the Brain Burns, you’d figure he would have slipped into a comfortable pattern, but Mike Doughty is not that kind of artist. He is obsessively, constantly driven to sound new. The elegant, charming album swerves between lonesome country influences, and trap beats.

The Heart Watches While the Brain Burns was recorded during a transitional phase in Doughty’s life, in which he left New York, his home base since the late ‘80s, for the “fascinating, mysterious town” of Memphis, Tennessee. The low cost of living has given Doughty freedom to make experimental music in bars around the city, while completing the album with Queens, NY hip-hop producer Good Goose over the Internet.

The first single, “I Can’t Believe I Found You in That Town,” was inspired by a failed romantic connection in a grim city in the North of England. In a total of about 36 hours, Doughty became enchanted with a woman, came on too strong over Instagram, and then wrote a song about the botched encounter while stress-eating pastry in a pub, then racing back to his dressing room to work out the song on guitar.

For the new video Doughty taps into his NYC roots one more time to deliver a sweet tale of young love on the Coney Island boardwalk. All of the classic landmarks are there, like the Wonder Wheel and the Wild Mouse, not to mention a fair share of Mike Doughty t-shirts being worn by men, women, and children of all walks of life. What makes the seaside resort so unique is the people and the diverse collection of personalities that come together each summer to this bohemian paradise. Amongst the crowd is a young couple enjoying the sights and sounds of the night, but most importantly they’re enjoying each other’s company. It’s a little slice of unexpected young summer love and from the boardwalk to the beach it is a perfect sayonara to the summer.

Watch the video here.

Mike Doughty’s Official Website