Laura Mvula is steady at #1, with Lissie’s “Daughters” up a spot to #4 and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Run Away With Me” back into the top ten. Rihanna scores a third top-twenty single from ANTI as lead, Drake-featuring single “Work” moves 25-19, joining “Kiss It Better” and “Close To You.” Dua Lipa makes it a second week with a pair of big leaps for “Be The One” (#20) and “Last Dance” (#31), the latter just ahead of the second re-entry for Kelly Clarkson’s “Piece By Piece” and the week’s highest debut, “Love Me Like That” by The Knocks featuring Carly Rae Jepsen. Jepsen’s Fuller House theme rendition, “Everywhere You Look,” debuts as well, as do new selections by The 1975, Yuna featuring Usher, Tove Lo, Javier Colon, Kris Allen, Miike Snow, and Miguel.

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Laura Mvula scores her second #1, as Nile Rodgers-featuring “Overcome” passes former chart-toppers Adele and Cam to take the top spot, while the rest of the top ten holds steady. Kris Allen’s “Waves” is the highest debut at #14; below the top fifty, the chart also adds debuts by Céline Dion, The Knocks featuring Walk The Moon, Mayer Hawthorne (whose “Cosmic Love” also re-enters), Fleur East, Yuna, and Hannah Grace.

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While many people flocked south to Austin, Texas last week for this year’s South By Southwest festival, which showcases more than two thousand artist performances alongside label presentations, technology reveals, and discussion panels, some of us had to settle for attending Couch By Couchwest from home. I spent the past week digging through a spreadsheet of 2,121 artists who were slated to play during SXSW 2015, and after whittling down the list and listening to 622 of them, I have selected 76 independent acts that warrant further attention now that the festivities have ended. Read a short blurb on each artist below along with a prime track among their discography, or skip ahead to the full playlist on SoundCloud by clicking here. Continue reading “76 independent artists to watch following SXSW 2015”

These are one hundred songs that stayed in my heavy rotation throughout 2013. In a year that saw personal advancements including eight weeks studying abroad in France and graduation from college, these songs soundtracked my year, each song appealing to me through instrumentation, lyrics, or just its overall mood. Read on for descriptions of each track, access the whole playlist on SoundCloud to listen, and judge away.
Continue reading “Kurt’s 100 Favorite Songs of 2013”

The second set of my favorite albums from 2012 is a good musical microcosm of my overall tastes this year. The ten albums that follow, ranking from #40 to #31, showcase a mixed bag of indie rock, mainstream alternative, a massive pop band, a splash of country, and a bit of jazz as well. I have grown to listen to new music without as much predetermined judgment based on genre as I did in my younger years, and it has led to a greater appreciation for a large number of different artists.

Continue reading “Kurt’s Favorite Albums of 2012: #40–31”