Chances are, you've never heard of Doug Locke. The singer/songwriter from Houston, Texas, hasn't blown up the charts yet, but that's about to change. After premiering his music video for “#ThisCouldBeUs" last August, Locke has finally dropped his new EP entitled “Blue Heart" — and it's amazing.
The EP consists of seven new songs, including a bonus remix version of “#ThisCouldBeUs." As he describes it, the album consists of a unique combination of “electric pop, funk rock, and R&B/Soul-inspired songs," all of which were written by Locke and producer Eric McNeely. Each track on “Blue Heart" is unique, combining styles from several of Locke's musical inspirations to create a brand new sound to pop music.
1. "Rendezvous" (feat. Kaleena Zanders)
Upon first listen, I already knew "Rendezvous" would be my favorite song off of "Blue Heart." If Prince, Lenny Kravitz, and Lady Gaga had a kid, this song would be their lovechild. This anthem about sexual liberation is completed by the inclusion of female vocalist Kaleena Zanders, whose soulful tone adds a unique element to the song. Definitely add this one to your list of songs to jam to in the car.
Scratch that — this should be the song on repeat in your car. The music video for "#ThisCouldBeUs" blew up last August, earning more than 400,000 views on YouTube and a feature in the Huffington Post. Even though it's about a lost love, this upbeat, straight-pop tune will leave you smiling — and Locke's practiced falsetto will have you swooning.
3. "Give it Up"
If this song doesn't make you want to party, I don't know what will. It's perfect for fist bumping, jumping up and down, and being generally abnormal. Locke's vocals shine in this electronic pop dance tune, shifting from his angelic falsetto in the verses to his strong, deep-toned voice in the chorus. The spoken-word section of the bridge is my personal favorite aspect of this club jam.
4. "Style on Fleek"
Keep the kids away from this one, it's the only explicit track on the EP. But Locke isn't playing around — he drops the F-bomb multiple times over the song's three-minute runtime. "Style on Fleek" is your standard going out song, and Locke uses familiar partying tropes ("poppin' bottles,' "finna get crunk") to get us in the mood. The chorus is vaguely reminiscent of songs like Kanye West's "Clique" or Sage the Gemini's "Gas Pedal" — reason enough for you to check it out.
Okay, kids, get your laughter out now. I'll go out on a limb and say this song isn't about condoms. The higher tones of Locke's voice stand out on this track and add to the dreamlike, ephemeral quality of the melody. The only slow song on the EP, Locke proves that he can excel at any tempo.
If life's getting you down, this track will get you through the tough times. It's a triumphant pop anthem with a heavy drumbeat that invokes images of a "battleground" — or perhaps it's Locke telling us to march to the beat of our own drum. Regardless, you'll have trouble trying not to sing along.
7. "#ThisCouldBeUs (Dreaming Mix)"
I still haven't decided which version of this song I like better. The "Dreaming Mix" version opts to forego the original chorus for much of the song, instead replacing it with the bridge from the original track. The end of the song combines the two, laying the chorus and the bridge overtop of each other and creating a cool, echoed vibe. The remix is a pleasant surprise at the end of an album full of pleasant surprises, and it only makes me want to hear more from Doug Locke as his career progresses.