State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Summer Jam of the Week: Breathe Carolina vs. The Ready Set

(originals taken from:

It’s no secret that pop music is a genre led by females.  Some of the most ubiquitous top 40 artists are women (Gaga, Perry, Jepsen, Adele, etc), but that doesn’t mean that men can’t be successful in the genre as well.  Two of the most innovative male-fronted acts in the dance-pop scene are hardcore-electro duo Breathe Carolina and the hip-hop emotronic artist The Ready Set.  Both The Ready Set and Breathe Carolina dropped new singles this week.  The two tracks are explosive, fun, party-ready, and have a sure-fire shot at becoming hits.

But which one is better?  Well, that’s up to you to decide.

The Ready Set first made his mainstream appearance in 2010 with his Caribbean-tinged electronic hit “Love Like Woe.”  It was his only charting hit from his debut album I’m Alive, I’m Dreaming and it peaked within the top 40.  Earlier this week he premiered “Give Me Your Hand (Best Song Ever),” which is the first single from his upcoming album.  “Give Me Your Hand” is a stronger, louder track than “Love Like Woe,” and is likely to make a bigger impact on the radio and charts.

If “Give Me Your Hand” is anything, it’s infectiously happy.  Everything about the track lifts up the spirits, from the quick-fire singsong rapping in the verses, to the joyous, melodic yelling in the first half of the chorus, to the fuzzy house breakdowns in the second half of the chorus.  The single is a perfect summer track.  It’s blissful and fun, shamelessly catchy, and equally at home in a club or blaring from car speakers.   Though it’s debatable if the track is really “the best song ever,” it’s definitely up there.  With its composition and lyricism, “Give Me Your Hand (Best Song Ever)” could very well be the #1 song in the country come mid-summer.

Breathe Carolina’s alcoholic single “Blackout” slithered its way into the top 40 this past fall, taking the airwaves by storm with its icy-cold, smooth production and party-themed lyrics.  For a while, it seemed like the band would fall into the one-hit wonder mold, as Breathe Carolina failed to release a second single from their album Hell Is What You Make It.  That all changed when the band dropped “Hit And Run” earlier this week.

“Hit And Run” is bigger, brawnier, and all around better than “Blackout.”  Where “Blackout” was built mostly around minimalist electro, “Hit And Run” crunches and cackles with several layers of thunderous, choppy house production.  Monstrous synths rumble and growl underneath David and Kyle’s powerhouse vocals, and the two singers stuff the chorus with hook after hook.  The song progresses like a violent beast housed in a cage, barely containing the dubstep-infused beats that threaten to completely overtake the vocals.  In the bridge, the beast is let out of its cage, and the end of the chorus drops off into a gorge of fierce, animalistic synthesizers.   “Hit And Run” also has a good chance at topping the American charts, and could give the band an even bigger break than “Blackout.”