Aural Fixation: 7/15 (Music You Need To Know)

“The Aural Fixation”

  • 1 pt. breakout boy band 
  • 2 pts. country heartache
  • 1 pt. quirky made-for-TV music
  • Drizzle of Disney teen dream

Shake well for the best blend of ingredients. Serve chilled.

Garnish with a hashtag or share on Facebook for extra flair.

Enjoy, Darling.

— @Litzwich

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Selena Gomez: “Sad Serenade”

Recorded for her forthcoming club-friendly affair ‘Stars Dance‘ (her first record without backing band The Scene, out a week from tomorrow), “Sad Serenade” actually didn’t make the cut for the album—and a damn shame that is, too. It’s my hope that Hollywood Records has an entire list of flawless tracks up their sleeve to make up for this pretty unforgivable exclusion, but if nothing else, at least “Sad Serenade” makes for one hell of a pop starlet B-side.

To listen to this week’s full playlist, click here.

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78violet: “Hothouse”

The grown-up (literally), hipsterific version of Disney sister duo Aly & AJ, 78violet recently released the video for their latest single “Hothouse,” which is how I happened across it initially. It’s summery yet dangerous, perhaps hinting at a darker direction for the sisters’ new sound. It’s definitely got a breezy California undercurrent, but for these two, the ultra-glam polish of megaproduction (“Potential Breakup Song” was is a masterclass in ’00s pop cool) is stripped away, beautifully highlighting the stellar harmonies so special to the voices of siblings.

To listen to this week’s full playlist, click here.

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Midnight Red:”Take Me Home”

Who doesn’t love boy bands?! (Don’t answer that. I want nothing to do with those people.)

Midnight Red, for those unfamiliar, are a guy group that’s actually from our side of the pond. (Who says the Brit boys get to have all the fun these days?) The group’s history is the age-old tale of Menudo hopefuls turned RedOne muses turned opening act for New Kids On The Block, and their debut album (including the Backstreet Boys-riffic single “Take Me Home”) is expected to drop this year after a long couple years of promotion and buzz-building.

Go get ’em, tigers.

To listen to this week’s full playlist, click here.

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Regina Spektor: “You’ve Got Time”

Penned for the new Netflix original series ‘Orange Is The New Black,’ “You’ve Got Time” is (of course) a decidedly off-kilter affair, but it still packs that endearing punch that Regina Spektor so effortlessly intertwines in her complex and often unusual musical styling. Much like we 20-somethings some days, the song seems to have a bit of difficulty deciding whether to be up or down—but either way, it’s still solid Spektor that’s sure to please.

To listen to this week’s full playlist, click here.

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Steve Grand: “All-American Boy”

A country ode to gay summer love (yes—you read that right), “All-American Boy” is the stuff country love songs are made of. Just… with a bit of a twist.

The video adds another dimension to the song, without a doubt, and it definitely impacted my first listen, so I’ll share it with you here.

What do I think of the song? About damn time!

“All-American Boy” is also included on the full playlist on SoundCloud.
To listen to this week’s full playlist, click here.

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Ciara: “Overdose”

Bradley over at MuuMuse (another of the pop blogs I frequent) has been going on about this song for awhile, and I’ll admit, I resisted. Then, I saw it was officially appearing on Ciara‘s recent self-titled return-to-form release. So I caved.

He was beyond right. Hands down, “Overdose” is one of the slickest, catchiest things I’ve heard from Ciara—or anyone—in awhile. “Overdose” is a straight-up serving of Paula Abdul and more than just a dash of Janet, but more importantly, it’s a pretty on-point delivery of a record that scorches. Its hooks (and there are multiple) are insanely infectious, just asking to be put on replay.

To listen to this week’s full playlist, click here.

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LeAnn Rimes: “What Have I Done”

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to dig this one up on SoundCloud, so it’s (for the time being) not available on the full listen-through. But boy, is this one worth including, anyway.

“What Have I Done” is, simply put, killer country. It’s heartbreaking in its simplicity and its familiar narrative, but what’s really great about this song is hearing LeAnn Rimes sing again. The minute she opened her mouth for the first time in this video, mine dropped; Rimes’ voice is one of the best in the biz, with an incomparable tone and control, and it feel so damn good to have it back on a record where it belongs.

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Aural Fixation runs weekly with new music every Monday.

To listen to this week’s full playlist, click here.

Tweet and follow me on Twitter @Litzwich to give your feedback, comment on the column, or just to share your favorite Britney .gif.

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