Category Archives: #MusicMonday

PLAYLIST: New Music Radar – 2.17 – BANKS, JAX, Bastille, Vérité , LANY + More

TMJ! Radio is kicking it up a notch in 2017 with Spotify playlists on new music on our radar!  Don’t have time to scavenge for new releases full of music you don’t really like?  Believe us, we’ve been there.  I listened to a new music playlist recently and wondered where did they find such a awesomely bad list of crappy music!

While you might not agree with every song we add, we think there will be something you’ll like and gives you a chance to discover new artists worth listening to!  Not to mention, we’ll post songs from some of your favorite music artists with new releases – and not just by Adele and Justin Bieber, but by artists from all generations.

New Music Radar!

For more playlists, follow us on Spotify!

banks
BANKS

1. “Trainwreck” – BANKS
The new single from Trip-Hopper is from her second album, The Harvest. BANKS will be on tour this spring and performing at Coachella.

 

Bastille's latest album
Bastille’s latest album

2. “Blame” – Bastille
The pop band’s single “Blame” off their new album, Wild World was inspired about gangster movies, “American History X” and “The Godfather”. Bastille will also be appearing Coachella and are currently on their North American tour.

JAX
JAX

3. “Stars” – JAX
American Idol season 14 alum, JAX released her debut EP, Funny last week and the single “Stars” was the result of her persevering through a battle with thyroid cancer. Check out my interview with her here.

 

Felicity
Felicity

4.  “Pilot With A Fear Of Heights” – Felicity
The 18-year-old powerhouse first gained attention with her first single “Poison” receiving over 400,000 plays on Spotify. Now she’s back with “Pilot with a Fear of Heights”, which was conceptualized while Felicity was on a plane and found the irony amusing. “The idea that someone could be so very destined for something and yet be so afraid to fulfill it,” she says.

Mating Ritual
Mating Ritual

5. “American Muscle” – Mating Ritual
The band’s debut album How You Gonna Stop It? Volume 1 is available now and they kicked off their tour last week in San Francisco. If you like catchy indie pop, then Mating Ritual is right up your alley! “American Muscle” is a danceable track reminiscent of ’80s pop!

Vérité
Vérité

6. “Phase Me Out” – Vérité
Vérité recently appeared on TODAY as their artist of the month. The alt-pop New Yorker has already hit 1 million streams on Spotify with “Phase Me Out”.

 

LANY
LANY

7. “ILYSB” – LANY

“ILYSB” stands for “I love you so bad” and that’s kind of how you feel about this song. LANY is a trio that creates beautiful pop tracks with all of the right elements, and they do it all in a small room on an old laptop. The band will be on tour this April!

FRND
FRND

8. “Sticks and Stones” – FRND
FRND (pronounced friend) recently released a stripped down version of their single, “Sticks and Stones” and it’s perfection. The instrumentation is enough to make you love the song, but combined with the lyrics and FRND’s voice, we’re hooked!

Ricky Reed
Ricky Reed

9. “Be The 1” – Ricky Reed
Grammy-nominated producer Ricky Reed released his own single, “Be The 1” last week. With a sweet melody and synth beat that is making a comeback, “Be The 1” is a hit. Reed has been telling other people’s stories, working with artists like Meghan Trainor, but now he gets to tell his own story.

 

rotana10. “Daddy” – Rotana
Making her debut is Saudi Arabian artist, Rotana with “Daddy”, a powerful and addictive song. “Daddy is societal boundaries, the obsession with celebrity and wealth. Most of all, Daddy is the voice in your head that has convinced you that you can’t,” Rotana says of the song’s message.

Mags Duval
Mags Duval

11. “Stay Lonely” – Mags Duval
This song will resonate with many people. Nashville singer-songwriter, Mags Duval’s debut single “Stay Lonely” is about the complicated feelings that go on in a relationship. “I don’t love you enough to be your lover, but I love you too much to be your friend” is the lyric the song opens with and from there the lyrics only resonate more with anyone who’s been in a complicated relationship. (Which let’s face it – is every relationship!)

Frances
Frances

12. “No Matter” – Frances
UK singer/songwriter Frances announced her debut album will be released on March 17th. Until then, we have her single, “No Matter” to wet our palettes. “No Matter” is a song about humanity and how no matter the differences, deep down, we’re all the same.

New Music Radar!

For more playlists, follow us on Spotify!

When God Whispers by Stacia Watkins from The Watch Dog for #MusicMonday

whengodwhispersHappy #MusicMonday! This week, I’m spotlighting my great friend Stacia Watkins and her song “When God Whispers”, which is the theme song for my novel “The Watch Dog”.

SONG: “When God Whispers” (Available for purchase on iTunes)

ARTIST: Stacia Watkins (Written by Stacia & Alexander Conerly)

BOOK: “The Watch Dog” (Available on Amazon, B&N & iBooks)

INSIGHT: In the book, Cori sings “When God Whispers”, a heartfelt moving song that when I first heard Stacia sing it, I began to cry. I TheWatchDogjust knew this song would be perfect for the story of Rett Baker, who hasn’t exactly been a good person. When he moves back home to his small town in Tennessee, he begins to see the people he teased growing up as beautiful–like Cori Davis. When he hears her perform the song for the first time, he is seeing her in a brand new light, and something changes.

Please watch the video of Stacia performing “When God Whispers” at the famous Bluebird Cafe. I was so honored to have her sing this song at “The Watch Dog” book release party, and even more honored to call her my friend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4U_8ZZOoZo&feature=youtu.be&t=4m55s

Dream Catchers Soundtrack Selection: Haley’s Letter by Tortured AKA James Manzello #MusicMonday

HaleysLetterArtworkThis #MusicMonday, I am featuring “Haley’s Letter”, an original song from DREAM CATCHERS.  I wrote the lyrics with actor/musician/comedian James Manzello who also composed the music.  James also performs the song, which is available on all online retailers for purchase and streaming under the fictional band name Tortured!  I am so proud of how this song turned out and recently made a lyric video for people to enjoy!

SONG: “Haley’s Letter” (Available for purchase on iTunes. Also available for streaming on Spotify/Rhapsody)

ARTIST: Tortured (fictional band from “Dream Catchers”)

BOOK: “Dream Catchers” (Purchase on Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes or purchase the entire Vol. I of the “Dream Catchers Series“)

CHARACTERS: Jordan and Haley

INSIGHT: In “Dream Catchers”, Jordan writes a song for Haley.  The two main characters started off not liking each other and develop a deep relationship.  Knowing they may never speak again after they leave New York, Jordan writes his band’s first ever love song, which completely floors Haley who is not used to being the center of attention.

When working with James Manzello on the production of “Haley’s Letter”, I sent him the scene in the book and explained my 30 Seconds to Mars-vibe of Tortured.  The final result was a harrowing love song that has the crescendoing Mars effects, but also a sound all its own.  The track was produced by Frans Mernick in Staten Island.

LYRIC VIDEO:

Sandy Lo’s Novel Song Book: “Detonate” from “Dream Catchers” #MusicMonday

This #MusicMonday, I decided to feature one of the original songs from DREAM CATCHERS.  Throughout the rock star romance series, I have written an entire album’s worth of songs.  Just lyrics.  One day, I would love to actually get someone to put music to these songs and record them.  So far, only “Haley’s Letter” is available thanks to my friend James Manzello, who recorded the song as Tortured, the band from the series.

Anyway, this week’s featured song is “Detonate”, which was Tortured’s first big single and one of Haley’s favorite songs in the book.  The lyrics are below.  I hope you enjoy it.  Feedback would be much appreciated!

SONG: “Detonate”

ARTIST: Tortured (fictional band from “Dream Catchers”)

BOOK: “Dream Catchers” (Purchase on Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes or purchase the entire Vol. I of the “Dream Catchers Series“)

INSIGHT: In “Dream Catchers”, the main male character, Jordan Walsh wrote “Detonate” about his father.  As the story unfolds, you find out about Jordan’s angst and disgust toward his dad.  I envision this song to be very aggressive with a little screaming involved, but nothing that would hurt your ears.  Think Jared Leto melodic screaming.  After all, I listened to a ton of 30 Seconds to Mars while writing “Dream Catchers”.  For me, writing songs like this helped me develop Jordan easier, and it also helped me relate to him.  In the past, I had a lot of bottled up emotion toward my own father that I wasn’t always able to vocalize to him.  Anger is not an emotion that comes easily for me.  Just pain.  Writing a character like Jordan, who covers pain up with anger was a great release for me.

DETONATE

Lyrics by: Sandy Lo

3…2…1…Ahh!

Don’t tell me what to say
Or how to act
I really shouldn’t take lessons
From a world class hack
I am taking control
Me, the only one I can trust
And I’m on the edge
About to combust

I’ll turn your world to hell
Like a time bomb ticking
I’m ready to blow
And it’s me you slap
For taking all your crap
I am never right
Just not good enough
While you’re the devil
Right here on Earth

You’ll be sorry
When it’s me missing
Then you’ll know what it’s like
To be the one ass kissing
You made me invisible
While I was trying to be a man
Still, a tortured boy
That you never did understand

I’ll turn your world to hell
Like a time bomb ticking
I’m ready to blow
And it’s me you slap
For taking all your crap
I am never right
Just not good enough
While you’re the devil
Right here on Earth

Now you created a monster
My insides shake
I can’t do a thing
But scream while I sing
About how I hate you
And how I’m a time bomb
Ready to go off

I’ll turn your world to hell
Like a time bomb ticking
I’m ready to blow
And it’s me you slap
For taking all your crap
I am never right
Just not good enough
While you’re the devil
Right here on Earth

Now I’m a time bomb
Ready to go off
3…2…1

©2010 Sandy Lo Publishing.

Breaking The Moon Soundtrack Selection: “Breathe (2 AM)” by Anna Nalick #MusicMonday

Originally I added Anna Nalick’s “Breathe (2 AM)” to my writing playlist simply because it was easy to write to.  As the “Dream Catchers Series” was being written, however, the lyrics to the song actually fit in parts for Jordan and Haley, especially in “Breaking The Moon”.  The beauty of a good song – even if this one seems to be about a lover at fighting overseas, you can somehow relate to it – or in my case, relate characters to it!

SONG: “Breathe (2 AM)” (Purchase on iTunes)

ARTIST: Anna Nalick

BOOK: “Breaking The Moon” (Purchase on Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes)

CHARACTERS: Haley Foster and Jordan Walsh

INSIGHT: In “Breaking The Moon”, Haley and Jordan face challenges as a couple: a crazy ex-girlfriend, difficult/negative parents, and past hang-ups plague them while trying to cope with having a baby at a young age. “Breathe (2 AM)” fits for Haley and Jordan wanting to skip the problems they’re going through and go back to the summer love they shared in “Dream Catchers”.

There are also key words/phrases that remind me of the characters.  For instance: “Winter just wasn’t my season” – “Breaking The Moon” opens around Christmas time. “But my God, it’s so beautiful when the boy smiles” – for the obvious that Haley loves Jordan’s smile and at one point, even makes a comment how it doesn’t look right anymore.

It’s kind of crazy how this part of the song almost seems like it could have been written for the “Dream Catchers Series”!

“2 AM and I’m still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer inside of me,
Threatening the life it belongs to” – Jordan writes journal entries in “Breaking The Moon” and of course, he’s a songwriter as well.

“And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd” – In “Dream Catchers”, Haley kept having anxious dreams of being nude in public!

LYRIC VIDEO: