Musicality – Rumer, Zara Larson, Billy Winn, St. Vincent

Rumer
Into Colour
(Atlantic)
This is Rumer’s third album, and it’s my favorite. I liked her previous one, Boys Don’t Cry, but something was missing from it. However, this album has me hooked. Most of the songs sound like they belong in the movie Saturday Night Fever. They took me back in time. British singer Rumer’s vocals are subtle and sweet. I really enjoy the faint horns and gentle piano sprinkled throughout this well-composed album. It is simply soothing. The songs are delicate and don’t demand a lot of attention, which makes them great to listen to in the background while I’m reading or cleaning. But these songs are too good to put me to sleep. My favorites are “Dangerous,” “Pizza and Pinball,” and “Frederick Douglass.”
Zara Larsson
Uncover E.P.
(TEN/Kemosabe/Epic)
Although at first I had to question whether I had accidentally popped in a Rihanna CD, this Swedish singer has already captured the airways in Sweden and Norway at age 17 and is making her way overseas. Her music is mostly pop, with heavy R&B influences, especially in her singing style. With six songs, this is a well-rounded and solid E.P. It has a nice mix of upbeat songs mixed in with slower and deeper ones. It definitely showcases her talent. I’m excited to hear more from this young artist. Pop lovers, don’t miss this one. My favorites are “Wanna Be Your Baby,” “Uncover,” and “Carry You Home.”
Billy Winn
Double single of “He Won’t Do” and “Cruel Intentions”
(Kaleidosphere)
Billy Winn describes his style as urban electronica, a description that I think is pretty spot-on. I like how open and honest Winn is about his sexuality. His songs are about men — he doesn’t sugar-coat it for the masses, which is refreshing. Though I thought these songs sounded somewhat repetitive — a word that’s often used when describing electronic music — I definitely enjoyed them. They are for dancing, and they would be home at any late-night gay bar. I prefer “He Won’t Do” over “Cruel Intentions,” but only by a slight margin. This double single makes me want to hear a full album from this artist. If you enjoy dance electronic music, don’t miss out on Billy Winn. I’m excited to see what he comes out with in the future.
St. Vincent
St. Vincent
(Loma Vista/Republic)
If you’re looking for something different, this is wonderful. St. Vincent is experimental alternative to the core. They use so many different styles, with elements of rock, pop and funk. It’s edgy and very much alive. Before listening to the album, I had only heard the two songs that St. Vincent performed on Saturday Night Live. One of the songs, “Digital Witness,” has certain sounds that remind me of ’80s video games, and it made me want to check out the album. Other songs on the album that are similar to that style include “Rattlesnake” and “Bring Me Your Loves.” If you’re looking for something to keep you on your toes, this is it. My favorites are “Huey Newton,” “Prince Johnny,” and “Birth in Reverse.”

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