be brave with the shires photo cred:

be brave with the shires

The Shires are the UK’s premier country band, and they have been revolutionizing the genre since they came together in 2013.  Comprised of Ben Earle and Chrissie Rhodes, the duo met after Ben posted a message to Facebook looking for a female singer who shared his affinity for country music.  Chrissie replied on the recommendation of a friend, and less than 24 hours later they were recording together like long time partners; in Ben’s words “it was just serendipity.”  Armed with Ben’s evocative lyrics, his acoustic guitar, and their perfectly blended voices, the duo embarked on a series of performances that resulted in their record deal with Decca Nashville and made them the first UK country act signed to a major American label.

Citing Lady Antebellum, The Civil Wars, and Dolly Parton amongst some of their biggest influences, The Shires are looking to create a form of country music that would transcend American markets and appeal to fans across the globe.  After their whirlwind creation, The Shires are set to drop their debut album Brave on March 2.  The duo recorded the album in Nashville (the heart of country music), working alongside some of the biggest and brightest names in country music.  Now, The Shires are ready to shake things up with Brave.

Read on under the jump for my full review of The Shires’ Brave and to hear a sample from the album!

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britney spears walks the green carpet at the wild night at the zoo event photo cred:  reveal.co.uk

britney spears walks the green carpet at the wild night at the zoo event
photo cred: reveal.co.uk

Last night Britney Spears hosted the Wild Night at the Zoo charity event in collaboration Zappos and NCCF (Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation).  The princess of pop announced the event last week, promising an evening of exotic animals including snakes, camels, and armadillos (the new version of lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my) all with a heaping dose of Britney herself.  Charityney Spears y’all.

At the event, Britney walked the green carpet, casual in a red peplumed top and denim, greeting fans who shouted out words of encouragement and praise to the musician such as “you taught me how to be a woman.”  Feel ya girl.  As she came to the end of the carpet, the “My Baby” songstress accepted a beaded necklace from a fan, which she wore for promotional photos.  Britney posed for pictures with the CEO of NCCF, but she truly came to life when a group of children came up to pose for photos with her.  “Make room for the children,” a shutterbug proclaimed, and Britney’s face absolutely lit up as the little ones meandered to the front of the room.

britney with the children at the nccf wild night at the zoo photo cred:  breatheheavy.com

britney with the children at the nccf wild night at the zoo
photo cred: breatheheavy.com

Check out a few more pictures and videos of Britney Spears and crew at the Wild Night at the Zoo Event under the cut!

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till it happens to you photo cred: xplodemag.co.uk

till it happens to you
photo cred: xplodemag.co.uk

Today Lady Gaga’s Diane Warren assisted “Till It Happens To You” leaked onto the internet after it was streamed at the debut screening of The Hunting Ground, a documentary about rape culture in which the song will be featured.  Lady Gaga wrote and performed the song as a survivor of rape herself.  The song reveals a different side of Gaga than we have seen in her recent appearances.  This isn’t the Lady Gaga who is blushingly announcing her engagement, or the glowing Lady Gaga performing a tribute to The Sound Of Music before welcoming Julie Andrews to the stage, this isn’t even the Lady Gaga that has been hard at work in the studio.  This is the Lady Gaga that survived a great evil and is revealing how the horrors have affected her life.  This is the Lady Gaga that is making a social difference and revealing an intimate look into her soul.  “Till It Happens To You” is a powerful song, it is a moment for Mother Monster to reclaim her struggles, her body, and her recovery process.

The cutting track is supported by an orchestra lush with weeping strings and the occasional twinkle of piano.  Lady Gaga’s vocals are haunting and raw as her voice soars over the instrumental track.  As the strings build to a crescendo under Gaga’s voice, her voice rises with them creating a powerful sound.  Lyrically, the song is from the point of view of a survivor, and it details the recovery process with a stark honesty that reveals the pain and struggles of being told to (for lack of a better term) “rub some dirt on it.”

you tell me hold your head up / hold your head up / and be strong / cuz when you fall you got to get up / got to get up and go on/ tell me how the hell can you know / how can you know / cuz until you walk where i walk … till it happens to you / you don’t know how it feels

Stream Lady Gaga’s “Till It Happens To You” under the cut

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fourfiveseconds miranda sings style photo cred:  pinterest.com

fourfiveseconds miranda sings style
photo cred: pinterest.com

Rihanna’s surprise release of FourFiveSeconds rapidly became the song heard round the world as the Phucks-Free Diva broke the internet and successfully kicked off #R8 without a single flaw.  With one song Rihanna managed to create a perfect storm and reminded fans and critics exactly why she has been around for this long; because she is fearless and always reinventing herselfNow, after hearing FourFiveSeconds Miranda Sings Style, all I can say is Rihanna who?!  Fresh off the news of her upcoming book release, Miranda Sings has slayed the internet once again with the release of her own version of Ri Ri’s folksy classic.  Making things even better, Miranda has decided to recreate the “Birthday Cake” siren’s artsy, black and white music video with a few famous friends.  Sorry internet, I know you’re on the gold/white or black/blue dress kick, but THIS is everything!

Everything about FourFiveSeconds Miranda Sings Style is magic.  Kanye West and Paul McCartney were afraid to appear alongside Miranda (they knew she was the better musician), so instead she recruited the help of Todrick Hall and JoshuaDTV to play the iconic roles.  The trio managed to perfectly capture the magic of the original video.  Dressed to impress in classic denim (iconic, like the fucking Beatles remember?), Joshua managed to pull off McCartney’s serious faced strumming, Todrick effortlessly regreated Yeezy’s spastastic dancing, and Miranda was Miranda.  Need I say more?  The multifaceted Miranda decided to accentuate her denim outfit with a few pins (she is a model after all), and she fearlessly committed to her artistry by refusing to wear waterproof mascara.  That way you could REALLY tell she was crying.  Can we get this girl an Oscar, Grammy, VMA, something already?

Sonically, the trio kept the track pretty similar to the original (with better vocals though, clearly).  They did change up a few things.  For example Miranda Sings edited out the word drunk, because she is the anti-porn unicorn.  As the song progressed, Todrick also changed things up by directly referencing Miranda when asking if she would pay his bail.  There was a hard pass there.  Sorry Toddy, Miranda’s a busy girl writing the first EVER YouTube book!

Check out FourFiveSeconds Miranda Sings Style under the cut.

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