Bitter’s Kiss and The Blue Stones release heart-warming video for “These Bells Will Ring”

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Vulnerable: susceptible to emotional or physical harm. No one ever wants to feel vulnerable to things that may do them harm. May is the key word here. Bitter’s Kiss and Blue Stone bring you “These Bells Will Ring,” which allows Bitter’s Kiss to show their vulnerability that they have been known to show and tell.

You may be thinking that they’re crazy for allowing strangers to have a chance to emotionally harm them, but the beautiful thing is, that when they show their emotive songwriting, it’s a revelation of not being afraid to show who they are. Many of us wish we had the courage and strength to go out into the world and worry not of being judged. “These Bells Will Ring” allows us as listeners to really dive into the emotions of Bitter’s Kiss and into ourselves. Peace will come to those who allow themselves to be shown. Allow yourself to say “Hello world! I am here, I am who I am and I don’t have to be afraid anymore” Anyone can judge you but to let it affect us is indeed up to us. “These Bells Will Ring” is a short and sweet proclamation to the world. Let us proclaim with Bitter’s Kiss as we listen and share “These Bells Will Ring.”

Connect with Bitter’s Kiss:
Official Website
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Instagram

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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

Victor Perry – Missing (Everything But The Girl – Cover)

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Back in July, I posted about up-and-coming talented indie artist Victor Perry. He just released an amazing cover of Missing (Everything But The Girl.) I have always loved that song and Victor’s arrangement is beautiful. It originally appeared on Bill Smith’s blog post and it’s so great I just had to share it.

Listen to 4 A.M. Nostalgia debut EP

Connect with Victor Perry:
Official Website
Twitter
Instagram

Bassett – Ghost Hwy (EP)

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Indie psychedelic folk duo Bassett have a new EP Ghost Hwy out Friday, Nov. 18. Bassett is Josh Bassett (Multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter) and Tak Ozaki (Bassist.) Josh is from New Jersey and Tak is from Kobe, Japan – they met through the LA Club Scene.

Since uniting, the duo have spent the majority of their band’s life on the road. They have played extensively throughout the West, East and Midwest, fulfilling their dream of spreading deep, psychedelic musical vibrations while seeking out some of America’s culinary gems along the way.

Bassett have always strayed from the beaten path. It is this chronic search for identity, peace and creative release that led them to the vast landscapes of the California desert which served as inspiration for Ghost Hwy. Their pilgrimages to Joshua Tree and the surrounding areas acted as springboard for their new, introspective and trance-like material which explores uncharted emotional territory.

Josh, who was processing some dark personal history at the time explains “I was going through a period of intense shyness so I wasn’t cranking up the amps…I was tinkering on acoustic instruments and soul searching with my voice.”

The resulting EP is filled with a depth and rawness that entices the listener into its strange sonic world. While Bassett’s music still sits in the vintage psych sound of Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Nirvana & Nick Drake, Ghost Hwy is harder to pin down with its uncommon chords and visceral balladry. Their single “Away” is the most experimental track on Ghost Hwy and can be streamed below. The EP is really exciting and unique and showcases the exceptional talents of Bassett.

“I often feel like an outcast” notes Josh. “Not just because our music doesn’t click into a current genre but because we have always gone down our own road and that’s what we offer…A genuine reflection of our journey through the human experience.”

Connect with Bassett:
Official Website
SoundCloud
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube

Jamil Kassam – Rise Now

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Indie artist Jamil Kassam has an inspiring new lyric video for “Rise Now.” It has a powerful message of believing in yourself. The lyrics “Stand up proud/Wake up now/Don’t do anything in between” are appropriate especially today, our election day in the U.S.

Jamil Kassam is a Belgian singer/songwriter, born and raised in the Ivory Coast, with an Indian background. Jamil says:

“As a songwriter, I began writing music to unite people. Artists such as Tiken Jah Fakoly, Emeli Sande or Nneka inspire me. Their songs raised awareness across nations, advocating peace around the world, and shedding light on its ills. Traveling the world gave me the unique opportunity to connect with many different cultures. In every city I have visited, music was always the universal language of the people.”

Connect with Jamil Kassam:
Official Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Watch the video

Amy Guess – 10 Times Out Of 10

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Las Vegas electro-pop singer Amy Guess has a new video for “10 Times Out Of 10.” It’s from her upcoming EP of the same title out soon. The really cool video is 80’s themed and is reminiscent of that era.

Amy Guess shared this about her EP:

“I have spent the last well over a year on this music, it is the most honest and vulnerable I have ever been with my music and it’s taken me a lot of writing and breaking down my own walls to let it out. It’s songs about my love, songs about lost love, songs written on my worst days and songs written on my happiest, it has been therapeutic and it’s been painful, it’s been frightening and it’s been thrilling, and letting it out of the long closed cage is quite scary but along with that fear I couldn’t be more excited to share this music with you all, music I have written for you all and I hope you all find strength and connection in these songs the way I have in writing them. “10 times out of 10”, why this title? Well it came down to one of the huge reasons I’ve continued pursuing music and that is my rock, my shoulder, my 10 times out of 10, my ride or die homie, my love – his support and belief in me has been my anchor through my journey and so the song I wrote about him had to be the title track and the title for the EP. I also loved it as the title because throughout any of my lowest moments and moments where I believed in myself the least, music is something I could never imagine letting go, no matter the fear, doubt and insecurities in pursuing it the fear of letting go and not pursuing it left me feeling even more paralyzed, empty and afraid. Music also my 10 times out of 10, I don’t have a back up plan, I never have, it’s not what happens during my pursuit that matters, what matters is I will always continue to pursue it for the love and the inner deepest need and desire to create and make music.”

Amy Guess will be playing a show in Las Vegas on October 18th at Gold Spike on their Down & Derby night.

Connect with Amy Guess:
Facebook
Official Website
Twitter
Instagram