Our November You Oughta Know artist Delta Rae runs with a crew six deep, bonded in part by blood and in total as a band. The Hölljes siblings make themselves apparent (see: all that fair blonde hair), but when the count runs down and the music kicks in, the connection between the band as a whole is so strong it suggests a family anew. And their gravity, when they are in-synch like that, is seriously strong. Just watch them perform their gripping and gospel inflected “Bottom of the River,” like they have recently on Big Morning Buzz Live and Conan, and you will feel the strong pull of their orbit, too. And you might just like it.
Our tremendous photographer Michele Crowe spent the day with Delta Rae, snapping away as they warmed up for and then rocked their You Oughta Know Live session last month. You’ll see the love they have for each other and their music — and hear it and feel it, too.
You Oughta Know ArtistsThe Lumineers struck gold with their debut single “Ho Hey.”As a song, it begins from the ground, starting you stomping first as it works its way up and into your heart. As an introduction to the band, it seemed enough to start a movement, as they have spent the better part of this year ho-ing and hey-ing their way up the charts and across the country. There’s more to their self-titled debut album, though, and we’ve always been partial to “Stubborn Love,” a tender song about love aches and now their second single. Today the song gets the video treatment, and it gives us a glimpse of what The Lumineers’ ascendent summer might have looked like — performing for ever larger crowds and on the streets of Nashville for CMT, eating at diners, posing for fans in record stores, and then performing so more. Some of it looks like work to us (particularly the lugging of instruments part), but they make it all just look like love. Keep your head up, keep your love, indeed.
Bruno Mars stepped out of the songwriting shadows and into the spotlight in a big way with his 2010 solo debut, Doo-Wops And Hooligans, an album that spawned two #1 singles (“Just The Way You Are” and “Grenade”), sold a few million copies worldwide and earned Mars eight Grammy nominations (including a win for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance). The album was a highly entertaining mélange of styles and sounds, which ran the gamut from bombastic ballads (like “Grenade”) to Motown-leaning tracks (“Just The Way You Are”) to crazy catchy lite reggae dittys (see “The Lazy Song”).
The song is clearly inspired by Outlandos d’Amour-era Police as, on first listen, we thought we were listening to the group’s stone classic, “Roxanne.” A clipped, almost staccato Andy Summers-ian guitar tone that’s paired up with a very Sting-like bassline provide the backbone for the song, but the song’s production is very of-the-moment*. The song’s structure is flawless, too, as we have come to expect from Bruno Mars; the verses are emotional, the bridge (“Your sex takes me to paradise”) provides the build, and the song pays off in a killer chorus (“You make me feel like I’ve been locked out of paradise/For too long-ong-ong”). We’re gonna have this one On Repeat all day and, if history is any indication, for the next few months to come.
Hey ho up and away Mumford & Sons go! Once just a band we thought You Oughta Know, the banjo swinging boys from London have swayed and stomped their way to international stardom over the past few years, and all with only one album to their name. Just this week the band treated their fans to a second effort, Babel, and already its on track to sell more than 600,000 — enough to give them the biggest debut of the year so far. And not just biggest, the biggest by a huge margin: Babel‘s foretasted first week sales more than double first week sales of Justin Bieber‘s Believe (374,000 records sold), Madonna‘s MDNA (359,000 records sold) and last week’s chart-topper, P!nk‘s Truth About Love (280,000). And they say nobody buys records anymore…
We can’t tell you for certain this happened, but we do have a few sneaking suspicions as to why: Read more…
If not already, we suspect you’ll soon be wise to Ed Sheeran, his much anticipated appearances on Taylor Swift and One Direction‘s forthcoming albums only helping to quicken the pace with which he’s gaining ground and winning hearts stateside. In town Friday night for the New York City stop of his sold-out You Oughta Know tour, he kept the mostly young and female crowd rapt for the entirety of his two hour set by engaging them in his otherwise one-man show, acting equal parts the charming host, the talented music-man and the crush-worthy pop star. And although his frequently deployed Rick Ross‘ grunt may be less than potent, all the rest of Sheeran’s stage show is more than impressive. Read more…
UPDATE (10/1/12): Sorry, we removed the MP3. You can still listen to the song in our video player above ’til your heart’s content, though!
We have been rocking with September’s You Oughta Know artists Walk The Moon all month long now, and we’ve been jamming on “Anna Sun” for even longer than that, but we still can’t get enough of the song. We love it’s sun-drenched synths, the way it insists we not let growing up get in the way of a good time and the way the guys got so sweaty while performing it for their You Oughta Know Live session. And now, we love the most that we can keep their sweaty performance in our iTunes and on our iPods because now there’s an MP3!
You can download an MP3 of Walk The Moon’s rattling “Anna Sun” performance here on VH1 Tuner for free! But be quick — the link expires at midnight on October 1st and you don’t want to miss out.
Lucky us! The ever charming Ed Sheeran spent his morning here at VH1 headquarters, indulging his new BFF, VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown’sJim Shearer, in a “beautiful Ed Sheeran thigh” talk and treating us all to a performance of “Lego House” on Big Morning Buzz Live. Tonight the You Oughta Know artist past and Posted star present is playing New York’s Terminal 5, and as Shearer points out, he’ll play without a backing band because — as he proved with this morning’s performance — he sounds impressive enough with just a guitar and his voice. “Eventually,” he says, he might get a band because it’s “healthy to leave yourself space to evolve.” Until then, we’ll continue to enjoy him as is!
Like President Obama, who invited them to open for him at his Democratic National Convention, we dig North Carolina’s Delta Rae. We love that they are a family — Ian Hölljes (vocals and guitar), Eric Hölljes (vocals, guitar, piano and keys) and Brittany Hölljes (vocals) being actual siblings, and Elizabeth Hopkins (vocals), Mike McKee (percussion) and Grant Emerson (bass guitar) being close enough — and the way the incorporate sounds from across all genres — folk, blues, rock — into their sound. Most of all we love watching them perform, feet stomping and sounds flying as all six come together as one great big band.
That’s exactly what they did last night on Conan, where they broke-in their new trash can while performing a drawn out and dramatic rendition of “Bottom of the River,” the new single off of their album Carry The Fire. Leaving most of their instruments aside for this one, they stomped out the song instead, singing a capella and adding the violent clanking of chains in the aforementioned trash can when necessary. “Bottom of the River” is dramatic as is, but performed like they did last night it is straight chilling. Check it out above, and keep an eye on these gals and guys — we’ll have plenty more to say when we celebrate them as our You Oughta Know artist in October!
The stage set for their You Oughta Know Live session, Walk The Moon insisted on kicking things off with their cover of David Bowie‘s “Let’s Dance” before they did anything else. Few songs in the history of music dial up the energy so quickly, and fewer songs yet have been able to articulate serious fun so aptly as “Let’s Dance,” and so of course a band so striving for a good time would take it as a warm-up. And so dance Walk The Moon did while they worked through the jam, throwing in yelps, harmonized vocals and a ripping guitar solo as needed. And then through the rest of their Live session let’s sway, shall we? Read more…
September’s You Oughta Know artists Walk The Moon got a little sweaty during their You Oughta Know Live session. It’s hard work to make music so high energy and fun, and these four boys from Cincinnati throw themselves fully into it. During their session, they played a number of songs from their self-titled debut album (“Shiver Shiver,”“Anna Sun,” and “Tightrope”) and one cover (coming soon!), whipping the sweat from their brows between songs but never tiring. Because, really, the best way to insure that the ghost towns get thoroughly rattled is to rock extra hard.
We kept their Neverland-inspired anthem “Anna Sun” on loop all summer, its sunny synths and calls of freedom charging the warm months and long days. Now that fall has crept in on us and school bells are back ringing, we’ll keep listening, but now for new and maybe collegiate notes.
“‘Anna Sun’ is very much a product of the post-college,” Walk The Moon lead singer/keyboardist Nicholas Petricca told us before their Live taping. “I loved college, and I think we all had an awesome experience around that time of our lives, and I was feeling a lot of nostalgia and sadness and also excitement, of course, because it’s the beginning of who knows what. And so this song is very much about that in between space, and feeling like I am a kid but I am supposed to be an adult and how can I be both.”
So, here’s to lingering summers and looking towards fall! Watch their rattling performance of “Anna Sun” above, and then check out the rest of their You Oughta Know Live set here.