State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Chris Will

DJ Atomisk Drops Wild Remix Of Terminal Velocity By Frequent Flyer Miles

DJ Atomisk just made your Friday night a rowdy ragefest to remember with his remix of Frequent Flyer Miles’ “Terminal Velocity.” The original seven-minute dance jam plays like an airplane lifting off into the sapphire sky, the song’s thrumming electro backbone intertwining amongst the fluffy synthesizers, almost like an airplane’s wings slicing through clouds. If the regular version of “Terminal Velocity” encapsulates the freedom of the blue skies, then Atomisk’s take signifies the aggression and intensity of a full-on thunderstorm. The scattered beats and burly bass crunch like thunder, the striking synth chord as electrifying as a bolt of lightning. Midway through the track, bright electronic droplets scatter across the song like falling rain, and even in the effervescence of the song’s latter half, there’s still an awesome intensity to the piece. Cop the remix on his SoundCloud and dance your face off!

Summer Jam of the Week: "Swimming Pools (Drank)" (Kendrick Lamar Cover) – Francesco

Alright Canada, you win this round. This week’s summer jam is more of a summer groove, as we lounge in the sweet serenity of Canadian singer-songwriter extraordinaire Francesco. This dude has a big future in front of him, with a record deal with Atlantic and a top-notch debut album on the way. And though his singles are sure to make big waves on the charts and radio, today it’s his cover of Kendrick Lamar’s “Swimming Pools (Drank)” that’s worth noting.

Anyone with a radio dial has heard Lamar’s top 20 smash, the slurred beat and cautious flow, a party song at first glance hiding some serious social commentary. Francesco takes the original and irons out most of the wrinkles, keeping his performance relatively free of the tension that dominated Kendrick’s version. The darkness is still there, but it’s reduced to a faint shadow, tempered by the unblemished soul in Francesco’s delivery. And though the instrumentation is stripped down to only acoustic guitars, there’s still a fantastic pulse to the piece, a campfire-style rhythm that even in its tranquility makes you want to move. If you like this work, check out Francesco’s other stuff on his YouTube channel (his cover of Miguel’s “Adorn” will completely knock you off your feet). For a great original, also watch the music video for “The Way You Were” below.

Perfect Pop: "Alive" (Acoustic Version) by Krewella

It’s hard not to think of ass-kicking electro-dub trio Krewella without thinking “party till I drop,” and for those of you who saw them tear the roof off of Levels Nightclub in April, you know that’s exactly what Jahan Yousaf, Yasmine Yousaf and Rain Man do. They’ve notched a #1 Billboard Dance Hit with their top 40 breakout “Alive,” an intimate yet mind-numbing adrenaline rush, one-part sweeping love anthem and one-part liberating house banger. And at the core of “Alive,” as with most of their tracks, Yasmine and Jahan exhibit superior vocal-work, crooning and calling with enough aggression and emotion to make even the most seasoned dance vocalists jealous. But underneath the darling sisters’ supreme, auto-tuned snarling and singing lies an interesting comparison, one that’s sometimes tempered by Rain Man’s body-slamming moombahton breakdowns, but is there none-the-less. Jahan and Yasmine frequently sing like the most ubiquitous female alt-emo vocalists of the past decade, hitting heart-wrenching heights that rival Hayley Williams, Lacey Sturm, and the like. And with the release of their acoustic rendition of “Alive,” they prove their roots more than ever (and in the best way possible). Take a listen below and swoon along with the rest of us.

Summer Jam of the Week: "Take A Picture" by Carly Rae Jepsen

Carly Rae Jepsen needs no introduction, though it seems that every other single she’s released (other than “Call Me Maybe” of course) needs plenty of introduction. Her debut album Kiss dropped last fall and featured 16 tracks bursting with 80’s flavor and bright, flourishing hooks. Unfortunately, even with strong, house-centered tracks such as “This Kiss” and “Tonight I’m Getting Over You,” Jepsen has yet to equal the commercial success of arguably the biggest song of 2012 (and probably one of the biggest songs of her career). But “Call Me Maybe” aside, the Canadian songstress really does have a knack for creating solid pop music. She further proves this fact with her newest single “Take A Picture,” a stand-alone track that she made with the help of her fan base. Her listeners had complete creative control over the song, picking everything from the lyrics to her outfits for her performance of the track on the American Idol stage. And though “Take A Picture” definitely doesn’t have the same kind of strength that “Call Me Maybe” and “Good Time” have, it’s undeniably made for summer road trip playlists.

For Spotify users, here’s the HQ version!

“Take A Picture” is a bit of a retro pop throwback, flaunting 90’s synth-pop that also draws some comparisons to Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own.” The fluttering bass line and simple 808 percussion take a backseat to Jepsen’s vocals, which is a nice change of pace from some of her work on Kiss, where she often had to compete with the loud and raucous dance drops in her tracks. Admittedly, there’s not much to the song lyrically, though it does paint a pretty picture (if you’ll pardon the pun) of Jepsen and her love interest enjoying a fun day out enjoying the summer. She’s living in the moment, and she wishes she could take an infinite number of pictures to fully preserve the good times she’s having. It’s a cute little tune, and even if it doesn’t get much radio play, it’s a great summer song for sure!

The Chainsmokers Debut Summery Remix of “Julian" by Say Lou Lou

The Chainsmokers are SITR regulars, and with their breezy and groovy remix of Say Lou Lou’s “Julian,” they once again prove why their presence is a blessing to our site. This song is definitely a summer feel-good anthem that everyone can enjoy, and drop is just begging you to be happy and dance in the sunshine. And it’s a free download, which means you don’t have to spend a cent to immerse yourself in the sunshine-soaked musical bliss!

The Best Summer Album You Haven't Heard Yet: Michael McEachern's 'New For Me'

You could say that THON 2013 performer and rising musician Michael McEachern is a pop artist, for all intents and purposes, but if you did you’d be grossly undermining the depth and aptitude of his music. McEachern grounds his records in coffeehouse acoustic pop, keeping his sound as bright as the sun’s core, but arching from each silky hook and soothing guitar chord are warm rays of gospel and sparks of R&B. His debut EP New For Me (which dropped in early April) is a wonderfully light yet filling collection of records, showcasing McEachern’s knack for genuine, thoughtful songwriting and top-notch musicianship. Even in the EP’s heavier moments, McEachern cocoons his introspection with breezy acoustics and purring organs, sweeping all the sadness away in the untempered auditory bliss.

New For Me kicks off with “One Way Heartbeats,” as McEachern lounges on a cushion of sweet harmonies and sweeter guitar licks, the sugary organ keys supporting his hopeful songwriting as he waits for that special someone to walk into his life. “What’s Inside” is filled with the yearning of a lovestruck man, modest in his charm and wanting nothing more than to become a part of the shy and beautiful woman’s life. “Easier As Us” is the EP’s lead single, a pretty little love song that bounces along as the crisp percussion brushes against the bubbling electric guitars. Like a young John Mayer, McEachern exudes nothing but warmth and optimism, as “Easier As Us” wraps around the eardrums like a soft blanket on a cold winter’s night. The EP’s title track utilizes sparkling synthesizers as McEachern celebrates new-found love in a way he’s never felt it before. “New For Me” is easily the sunniest part of the EP, sounding like a mix between Matt Nathanson and Owl City. The New For Me EP closes with “Peter Grabriel,” a more piano-centered track that references the famous scene from Say Anything, flaunting a chorus that’s literally surrounded in a cloud of pillowing harmonies. The EP closes out with a stripped down, acoustic version of “Easier As Us,” adding some earthiness to the already organic track.

Watch Michael McEachern’s lyric video for “Easier As Us” above, and make sure to check him out on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Tumblr! You can also purchase New For Me on iTunes by clicking HERE! McEachern’s got some big things in store for the future, so make sure to follow as he continues to make himself a name in the music industry as mainstream radio’s next big acoustic-pop crooner!