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April 8, 2010

Playlist: New season, new artists

by Anya Gosine, Online Managing, Op/Ed and Food Editor
With the arrival of springtime, the flowers are not the only things starting to bloom. After asking Blazers for their latest music picks we compiled a list of rising hits by artists that are springing on the scene. Certainly as the weather heats up so will these songs giving us faces to follow for many seasons to come.

"Nothin' On You" B.o.B feat. Bruno Mars
A young rapper, B.o.B has already topped the charts with his first single "Nothin' on You." The Atlanta native distinguishes himself from others with his easy-going lyrics and an upbeat charisma. Singer Bruno Mars complements B.o.B's laidback style with refreshing vocals in the catchy chorus. The classic drum beat in the background combined with the soft piano melody is another distinct element of the song. This single no doubt makes B.o.B one to watch as his album, "B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray" is released later this month. Download "Nothin' On You" from iTunes.

"Mess of You" Kimberly Caldwell
Kimberly Caldwell first appeared in season two of "American Idol," where she was a seventh-place finalist, but drifted off the scene for a while. Now she has finally burst back with "Mess of You," a fun pop song perfect for singing and dancing along. Caldwell has a raspy voice and stirring vocal range, which combined with the edgy lyrics make the single particularly strong. Currently, Caldwell resembles many other female, contemporary artists out there; we will have to wait until this summer for her debut album, "Without Regret" to see how she really becomes an individual songstress. Download "Mess of You" from iTunes.

"New Morning" Alpha Rev
In this lead single from their upcoming album of the same title, Alpha Rev, a rock band hailing from Austin, Texas exhibits remarkable talent and soul. The group has a clear influence from Coldplay, with a calm though passionate tone. Lead singer Casey McPherson has a tender falsetto that helps establish the atmospheric feel of the single. The band is able to express stirring emotion that makes the listener truly connect with the melody. The band recently performed the single in a guest appearance on ABC Family's TV show "Greek," and they are likely to be showing up a lot more in the near future. Download "New Morning" from iTunes.

"Massive Attack" Nicki Minaj feat. Sean Garret
Though she has collaborated with many artists over the past year or two, the quirky and confident Nicki Minaj has now released her own single, "Massive Attack." The song is similar to the work of M.I.A. with its brash background music and eccentric lyrics, as well as a power that calls Missy Elliot to mind, but Minaj also creates her own style with a funky Barbie-style fashion. Also part of Lil' Wayne's Young Money, we will undoubtedly see much more of the sassy rap artist in upcoming hip-hop hits.

Heartbeat - Nneka
Nneka, a Nigerian-German singer/songwriter, has been largely popular for a couple of years overseas, but is only now producing her first U.S. album, "Concrete Jungle." The songs on the album vary in energy and rhythms yet maintain a cohesive and extremely soulful theme. "Heartbeat" well-exemplifies the singer's raw talent. Nneka infuses political and social commentary into passionate lyrics that flow over moving piano melodies and drum beats, and her husky but soft voice itself is simply pleasant to the ears. With her pure and meaningful work, Nneka is on her way to becoming a worldwide music star. Download "Heartbeat" from iTunes.

"Gypsy Woman" Anarbor
Pop-punk band Anarbor should not have a difficult time developing a strong fan base with songs like "Gypsy Woman." The song has a dynamic guitar sound and explosive chorus that contributes to an overall vivacious energy. Though the band has released several EPs in the past, "These Words You Don't Swallow" is their debut album, which will be released April 20. The band is also already set to perform in this summer's Vans Warped Tour clearly on the steady path up. Download "Gypsy Woman" from iTunes.



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