This past August I had the pleasure of catching Disclosure, the brothers behind one the year’s best dance albums, at Central Park’s Summerstage. The set, comprised of songs from the 90’s house inspired Settle, was tailor made for an evening set at the height of the season. The guys even treated the audience to special guests from their album with VH1 You Oughta Know alum Jessie Ware singing “Confess To Me” and Sam Smith belting out the signature falsetto on the chorus of the duo’s lead single, “Latch”.
It’s always a treat when the music supervision team here at VH1 has the opportunity to feature a song in our shows at the same time the artist premieres their video. Fortunately, today, we get that distinct pleasure. You may have caught “Hey Love” by Quadron in Sunday night’s season finale of Mob Wives. The song helped walk Carla and Big Ang into Drita’s 80’s themed birthday party. A party promising a good time … and an appearance by the fiery Love Majewski.
Tonight’s episode of Love & Hip Hop features a scene in which Yandy asks Kimbella to meet her at the studio, just after receiving upsetting news about Mendeecees. We’ve had the song that appears in the scene, Tinashe‘s “Reverie,” blaring in our offices for a few weeks now, and we wanted to take this opportunity to share it with you. Read more…
Last week, we successfully brought you the VH1 staff’s favorite songs of 2011 without any bloodshed, and we’re happy to report that no one’s brain exploded while trying to narrow down the amazing albums of 2012 into a concise list. Again, what VH1 staffers enjoyed in 2012 was a rich and vibrant tapestry of genres, created both by newcomers and veterans.
As far as consensus is concerned, there were 23 LPs that appeared on multiple ballots, but only 6 that appeared on four or more lists: Miguel‘s Kaleidoscope Dream (7 ballots), Emeli Sandé‘s Our Version Of Events and Frank Ocean‘s channel ORANGE (6 ballots apiece), Kendrick Lamar‘s good kid, m.A.A.d. city (5 ballots), Taylor Swift‘s RED and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis‘ The Heist (each with 4 ballots).
Now, on with the show!
Last October I had the opportunity of taking a trip to South Africa. I stayed primarily in Cape Town, but on my way back to the U.S. I stopped in Johannesburg to check out a gig from a band that’s no stranger to VH1, Civil Twilight. The openers that day? Gangs Of Ballet: four guys from Durban who, at the time, had only released one single and existed as a band for less than a year. The live show was memorable and the new tracks I heard in the car the following day seemed tailor made for our Rehab With Dr. Drew series. Lyrics of hope, love, and fear echo throughout their EP (released March 2012) but the theme of hope rings loudest in the songs “Hello Sweet World,” “Warm Skies,” and “Breaking The Silence” which were stuck in my head when I returned home. Nearly a year passed when I received a message from their drummer, Josh Klynsmith, with a link to preview their beautifully shot music video for “Hello Sweet World”. I’m not sure what I was expecting from the video but to say it impressed me would be an understatement. This is when we realized how perfect this song was for our show. The images took it to a whole new level.
We had conversations with our promos department, almost immediately, about using portions of the video along with clips from the upcoming season in a promo campaign. It didn’t take much convincing. In fact, this might have been the easiest sell ever. What resulted was a minute and a half look at the new season of Rehab with a very powerful score. The tone of the verses helps reflect the dark side of the disease that is addiction and the aspirational build of the song’s bridge represents the optimism of recovery. Further discussions placed the song in the opening sequence of this new season. The song’s verse and lyric “hello sweet world” help complement shots of an empty highway with the words “Addiction. Isolation. Hope. Rehab”. “Hello Sweet World” captures the message of this show perfectly.
The entire process from discovery of the band, song, and working with our promos department happened so effortlessly it seemed fortuitous. We’re looking forward to watching Dr. Drew help save lives this season and hope that “Hello Sweet World” can help the audience find inspiration and courage to overcome hardships.
DOWNLOAD: Gangs Of Ballet – “Hello Sweet World” (MP3) Sorry, the download link expired!
Tonight’s episode of Single Ladies features an extremely saucy scene in which Raquel (Denise Vasi) has a fantasy about having sex with Antonio (William Levy). We’ve had the song that appears in the scene, Tinashe’s “Boss,” playing on endless repeat in our offices for a few weeks now, and we wanted to take this opportunity to share it with you.
Tinashe just got signed to RCA Records, but as we wait for her major label debut to drop, we wanted to share a free MP3 of “Boss” —which first appeared on her mixtape, In Case We Die— with you now! But before we do, here’s an exclusive message from Tinashe herself to all you Single Ladies fans out there…
And now, without further ado, here’s your free download of “Boss”:
DOWNLOAD: Tinashe – “Boss” (MP3)
You’ve heard Elle King’s “Playing for Keeps” as the theme song to our new series, Mob Wives Chicago. This season, we’ve decided to differentiate the soundtrack from Mob Wives New York by creating a new through line for the series. We chose powerful female vocals to compliment the strong female characters. Whether it’s quirky pop, emotional acoustic material, upbeat new wave, we’ve got ladies belting out the featured songs this season. “Playing For Keeps” meshes nicely with this soundtrack, but it is also a intended nod to the retro soul inspired theme song to Mob Wives, Rock Mafia‘s “The Big Bang”.
“Playing For Keeps” was pitched to us by Elle’s publisher back in December 2011. There wasn’t an immediate spot for it, but we held on to it knowing what a powerful track it was. The perfect opportunity came with Mob Wives Chicago. The way Elle’s soulfully unique and gritty voice speaks of anguish made this a no-brainer when it was coupled with the visuals of the women who have endured the roughest of rough being the spouses or relatives of alleged mobsters.
We’re not gonna lie, everyone here at VH1 is pretty smitten with Elle King. So much so that from the moment our Creative Music Integration (CMI) team heard this 23 year-old’s raw, soulful-beyond-her-years voice on “Playing For Keeps,” they knew that it would make the perfect theme song for Mob Wives: Chicago. Elle came by our offices last week to celebrate the release of her brand new, eponymous EP, and our own Lauren Weissler spent the day trailing Elle and taking these gorgeous photographs —some of which come with commentary from Elle herself!— for the latest entry in our ongoing Music Seen series.
Loyal readers of VH1 Tuner will recognize that we’re pretty excited about Elle King, a brand new artist whose career trajectory looks incredibly promising. She first caught our attention with her powerful new single, “Playing For Keeps,” a track that our Creative Music Integration team liked so much that they made it the theme song to Mob Wives: Chicago.
Today sees the release of her new, four-song EP, simply entitled The Elle King EP. In addition to “Playing For Keeps,” the record features two other original tracks (“Good To Be A Man” and “No One Can Save You”) and a live cover of Khia’s XXX-rated hip-hop classic “My Neck, My Back.” Before you decide to head over to the iTunes store to purchase it, you can stream the entire album right here on VH1 Tuner for FREE for the next seven days. So take a listen to this talented new artist whose powerful pipes are drawing favorable comparisons to Adele, and let us know what you think in the comments below!
Way back when, in late 2010, we were tasked with music supervising a brand new series set to premiere in January, 2011. The series was called Mob Wives, and to be honest, we were a little afraid. Ok, a lot afraid. But we knew it was going to be good, as the characters were undeniably compelling. The women’s rich histories, blended with their tough-as-nails personalities, all set against the NYC backdrop was going to produce nothing less than riveting television.
One afternoon, when we were sitting in a listening session for the new Raphael Saadiq record (and his song “Good Man” specifically), it struck us. This was the type of music that would define and help edify the story lines in this brand new series. Retro Soul/Blues were genres coming back with a vengeance and Raphael was the first of many great artists we would find to create the defining soundtrack to the series. Plan B, Charles Bradley, Fitz and the Tantrums, Mayer Hawthorne, Pauline, Eliza Doolittle, Sola Rosa, Aloe Blacc, Graffiti 6, Maverick Sabre, Lee Fields and the Expressions, Gary Clark, Jr. , and of course the theme song, “The Big Bang” by Rock Mafia, were just few of the artists we placed throughout the first two seasons of Mob Wives.