Mixtape.
Two Tiffanys celebrating what they love by giving it a stage and using their voices to spread the word.

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Bely Basarte – “Acoustic Christmas” EP

(@belybasarte)
In celebration of her mid-December birthday, and with Christmas on the way, Spanish singer-songwriter Bely Basarte released a compilation album, called Acoustic Christmas. It’s a 5-track project that finds her with an acoustic guitar, covering 5 classic Christmas carols: “White Christmas”, “Jingle Bell Rock”, “Rocking Around The Christmas Tree”, “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” and “Let It Snow”. I found her by doing a random Christmas-based search on Youtube, and I was captivated by her sweet and tender pop vocals over an acoustic guitar (that she plays), and she charming was to watch. So, get in the Christmas spirit (if that’s your thing), and watch her perform each carol below, and then buy the EP if you’re digging it.

Phoenix – “Alone on Christmas Day” (ft Bill Murray)

(@wearephoenix)
The French rock band Phoenix have returned by covering an unreleased Beach Boys holiday track, called “Alone on Christmas Day”, and they performed it live on the Netflix original holiday special, “A Very Murray Christmas“, directed by Sofia Coppola. The song features a little vocal help from Bill Murray (he’s hands-down the billest, as you all should know!), as well as actor Jason Schwartzman on drums, singer/actor Paul Shaffer (formerly David Letterman’s band leader) on piano, and David Johansen (of the New York Dolls) shaking a percussion instrument. It’s a nice little jazz-pop Christmas song, with a hint of comedic relief, that will surely get you in the spirit. Stream the song below!

Chic Gamine – “Christmas Vol. 1” EP

(@chicgamine)
Last year, Canadian soul-pop band Chic Gamine released their first holiday-themed EP, called Christmas Vol. I. I didn’t know about it last year, so I’m posting it today. It’s a 5-track project that includes songs like: “Throw Another Log (On The Fire)”, a mellow pop song that’s about spending Christmas with people you love, complete with country-tinged guitars and drums, and tender back-up vocals; “Noel (au coin de Portage et Main) “, a sweet-sounding song that’s driven by marching drums, a little quirky synth line, and a groovy guitar bit; a soulful and melancholy cover song about unrequited love around the holidays, called “Last Christmas”; and a couple others. This EP is more easy-going pop and tender soul, stripped of the rock-influence that I was kind of used to hearing in their music; however, that said, it’s particularly fitting for the season. Give it a listen below, and download for $4.95 over on Bandcamp.

Fletcher – “Live Young, Die Free”

(@findingfletcher)
Pop singer Fletcher‘s latest song is called “Live Young, Die Free”, and it’s another uplifting single. Over an energetic, dance floor-ready beat that’s booming with percussion, this catchy rebellious tune is about living life without any regrets, and not being afraid of taking risks and making new opportunities for yourself. Stream the song and look out for it on her debut EP due out early next year.

Fletcher – “War Paint” video

(@findingfletcher)
I didn’t know pop singer Fletcher released a music video for her anthemic single “War Paint” back in July, so here I am sharing it with you now. Directed by Garen Barsegian, a group of contemporary dancers dance with great strength and confidence, in the dark, with colorful bursts of powder paint and glitter, while Fletcher’s fierce voice sings the chant-along song about fighting for what you believe in. Check it out, and then listen to a remix of the song by Vancouver production duo Young Bombs.

Astrid S – “Hyde” live acoustic video

(@astridsofficial)
Shortly after posting up Astrid’s music video for “Hyde“, I came across this exquisite acoustic rendition and fell in love. Good laaaawd! Her goosebumps-inducing voice soars through the high, tender notes and mid-range notes so effortlessly, and her melodies are beautiful, over the three live cellos playing behind her. No words can explain the melancholic beauty of this version and her voice. Watch it now.

Astrid S – “Hyde” video

(@astridsofficial)
Astrid Smeplass, known today as Astrid S, is a Norwegian pop singer and songwriter whose musical journey began at an early age when she learned piano at 6-years-old and began writing songs as a young teenager. She got noticed when she was 16-years-old, having auditioned in the Norwegian version of American Idol, in 2013, and then made it through to fifth place (see all of her performances in this 20-minute video). Now at 19-years-old, she has dropped three singles (“Shattered” and “2AM” released in 2013 and 2014, respectively); she won “Best Norwegian Act” in the MTV Europe Music Awards this year; and she has a brand new single (“Hyde”, which I’m sharing today) that released late October and its accompanying video has racked up nearly 90K views since its release on November 5th.

Donna Missal – “Hotline Bling” (Drake cover)

(@DonnaMissal)
After Drake‘s “Hotline Bling” song/video came out, the internet flooded with memes, jokes, and parodies. Then there are song covers, of course, which I haven’t really heard (not that there aren’t a ton, but I didn’t go out searching for them, nor were any sent to me -emoji praise hands here-). I’m not a big fan of Drake to begin with, so I welcome covers of his songs sometimes and, today, I heard one that I liked!

Wafia – “Heartburn”

(@wafiaaa)
Wafia is an R&B/pop singer-songwriter/producer based in Brisbane, Australia, and she is gearing up to release her debut EP, titled XXIX, on November 20th. After hearing her captivating voice on Ta-Ku‘s “American Girl“, I decided to check her out.

“Heartburn” is the first and only single that has been released from her forthcoming album. Over a downtempo percussion-driven beat, produced by Ta-Ku and Andrei Eremin, Wafia unveils a tender part of herself where she sings about ignoring her gut when she first sensed that someone was bad for her and, after going with her heart, she came out on the other side heartbroken by lies and betrayal. Listen to the song below.

Rubee Rayne – “Nightshift”

(@rubeerayne)
After releasing her biggest single “DSYLM (Don’t Say You Love Me)” last year and the music video for it a few months ago (watch here), the UK-based singer Rubee Rayne dropped a new song two weeks ago, called “Nightshift”.

As she sings about love, her soft R&B-pop vocals breathe delicately over a warm, glimmering electronic beat that unfolds with a stunning guitar solo. It’s a lovely song. Listen to “Nightshift” below and download for free. “I wrote you a song, baby // I was up all night long, all night long // Just to write you a song // I was up all night long.

Teenage Love – “Deserted Places” video

Life is just a bowl of cherries, until they’re an accessory in your death. Teenage Love‘s music video for “Deserted Places”, from their debut EP Gold, is a mildly eerie, orchestral pop song about death. Filmed and directed by Sanne This, we see the Teenage Love ladies baking sweet treats, aiding in the sarcastic irony behind a gluttonous slob (played by Karl Wieck Davidsen), who gets killed by his sin.

I like the electro production, layered with sharp percussion, melancholy violin, bouncing “pop pop pop” vocals, and textured synth bits. Can’t forget their hauntingly sweet vocals, especially when they sing together; there’s a brief innocent-turned-growling sound in their voices towards the end, that I like, while singing “let’s forget it all!” Watch the video below!