I hope you all had a Happy Easter! We kept things low key this year, though I did make my infamous ham for dinner, and we finally colored Easter Eggs yesterday. Nothing like waiting until literally the last minute to do that! But everyone had fun – that’s the important part.
Meanwhile, it’s Monday, and Monday means music! This week is a freebie week, so grab your favorite tune(s) and dance along with us, won’t you? Let’s get this party started!
Let’s start with a song about an all too powerful force that puts pressure on you to conform to an influencing group or individual. Here, this artist, having previously remained guarded in his life, opens himself up to his collaborating artist and lets her in.
I don’t usually give in to peer pressure / But I’ll give in to yours
He was quoted as saying:
“In writing ‘[this song]’ [the other artist] and I wanted to talk about how, when the right person comes along, they can break through any armor and with love, get straight to you. It’s about that person who, no matter how much of a guard you hold up, finds their way through to you.”
These two artists performed this song together for the first time on television during the April 16, 2019 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Give a listen to James Bay featuring Julia Michaels with “Peer Pressure”:
Next up is another collaboration between artists that finds the Scottish band’s singer lamenting a growing love sickness.
Everyday, you’re saying the words that I want you to say / There’s a pain in my heart and it won’t go away / Now I know I’m going in deep / Cause I need you here with me
The featured band is one of a number of UK acts that this artist has collaborated with. Others include Anne-Marie (“Friends”), James Arthur (“You Can Cry”) and Bastille “Happier.”
The collaborating group wrote the song with Steve Mac, and it’s their first visit to the US Hot 100. They came up with a rough acoustic version, which people at their label and management company suggested might interest this artist. As soon as the producer heard it he was excited. He was quoted as saying:
“We were on tour at the time, so we would e-mail versions of the song back and forth [to this artist] – the first time we met him was when we tracked the final vocal. It really felt like he was making room for our genre and we were making space for his; it wasn’t like we were trying to shoehorn each other in. It was a very respectful environment where everybody wanted to hear what everybody was thinking.”
Next up, the lead singer from this group was getting bogged down writing for for their fourth album. He found himself questioning his talent and fighting off insecurities, trying to find a way to keep going. The music for this energetic song has a fun and carefree vibe; it pulled him out of his funk and hyped him up and gave him the spur to keep going.
Hyped up ready to go, I got my eyes on the prize / I’m sick of feeling the lows I wanna roll with the highs
He explained in a press release that penning this track was the turning point of the record for him, “capturing the moment when optimism, hope and confidence were found after a dark period as an artist trying to write for this album.”
The song features vocals on the hook from a kids chorus comprising band members’ children and some of their friends.
Get ready to roll with the highs, here’s Fitz and the Tantrums with “123456”:
Last, but certainly not least, this group offered a powerful performance of their new single at the 54th ACM Awards. Surrounded by an army of choreographed female dancers, this group shined a light on the expectations placed on young women.
Girl, don’t be weak and don’t be strong, say what you want just as long as you nod your head with your lipstick on / And pose like a trophy on a shelf and dream for everyone but not yourself / I’ve heard of God the Son and God the Father / I’m just looking for a God for the daughters.
While the lyrics are empowering and even eviscerating, it’s the singer’s emotional delivery that made the performance so mesmerizing. As she reached the end, singing about how she loves her son and her father, her voice audibly cracked.
The group released the studio version of the song on Friday.
Without further ado, here’s Little Big Town with “The Daughters”:
In case you missed it (or wanted to see it), here’s the ACM Live Performance:
That’s a wrap for this week – see you on the dance floor!
Now on to the particulars of Monday’s Music Move’s Me: I have the supreme honor and privilege of being a co-host with the inimitable Xmas Dolly and our musical cohort, the awesome Cathy from Curious as a CAThy, and while our beloved Callie of JAmerican Spice is taking a break, our friend Michelle from Musings and Merriments with Michelle is helping out with hostess duties!
Want to join in the fun? It’s easy – just find a tune that rocks your boat, post it and link up – don’t forget to grab Xmas Dolly…er, um, I mean her button…over at her place here. Check out Xmas Dolly’s sidebar for the random themes we sport each week – and you can always ask for a specific theme of music you like, too. Check out the other music lovahs and let’s jam!