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.
Mumford & Sons have been hard at work road since they broke big a few years ago, cutting out only long enough to record a new album to take back out on tour. The time, though, has paid off, and their already impressive live show now appears to be epic. The new video for “I Will Wait,” a song very much about all that time spent away, is cut together with footage shot during a recent show at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and it really shows off what the You Oughta Know artists past have got what they hit the stage. There of lots of panning shots over an enthused audience and close-ups of the hard working band, and the video as a whole takes a scale and grandeur that reaches for that of the Martin Scorsese’s classic The Band doc The Last Waltz. As it should. These guys are really something.
Babel hits shelves September 25th. Until then, we “Will Wait”!
On repeat all the while, “Anna Sun” kept our summer synch-drenched and charged with Neverland-like fantasies of ghost towns rattled. And now with fall is upon us, we are excited to announce that twotimeBig Morning Buzz Live veterans Walk The Moon will represent as September’s You Oughta Know artist! And so alas, the fun does not ever have to stop. The Cincinati foursome dropped by VH1 headquarters last month to play an high energy and hard working — also, sweaty! — You Oughta Know Live set, which we’ll roll out throughout the month. And until then, our photographer Lauren Weissler tagged along, capturing their day, down time, perspiration, face paint and all, to give you a peak behind the scenes. Have a look!