Week after week last year, Emblem3 made teenage girls swoon with sunny cover songs on the second season of the Fox competition "The X Factor."
A fusion of pop, ska and hip-hop — think Sublime, only with washboard abs and none of the grit — the young Huntington Beach trio made up of brothers Wesley and Keaton Stromberg and best friend Drew Chadwick was also a favorite of the judges and was pegged as an early front-runner.
Emblem3 didn’t win the competition (it came in fourth) — but that doesn’t matter now.
Being mentored by show creator and judge Simon Cowell, the boys quickly scored a deal with Columbia Records and Cowell's Syco Music. The trio is set to release its debut, “Nothing to Lose,” this month and Pop & Hiss is premiering a cut from the album called "I Love LA."
The track is a breezy ode to the Golden State and is packed with plenty of shout-outs to everything the boys love about life on the West Coast (sunny skies, the beach, girls, Kobe Bryant, proximity to Las Vegas). The summer jam comes just in time to soundtrack the rest of the season's cookouts, trips to the beach and house parties.
Late last year, The Times spent the afternoon with the trio while it was still in the “The X Factor” throng. Even with a few weeks left in the competition, the boys were already plotting their debut.
“Nothing to Lose” is executive produced by songwriter and producer Savan Kotecha (Maroon 5, Usher, One Direction), with most of the album co-written by the trio. It also collaborated with Fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff, Good Charlotte’s Benji and Joel Madden and pop hit maker Max Martin (Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, Katy Perry).
The album is led by the group's hit, "Chloe (You're the One I Want)" and includes “Sunset Boulevard,” the sticky jazz and R&B-inflected rock number that scored the trio a spot on “X Factor” -- and made judges Britney Spears and Demi Lovato swoon.
“I think fans are gonna be stoked to watch us progress back into our style,” Keaton Stromberg, 17, said during the interview. “They saw us go through the whole ‘X Factor’ thing and saw that we didn’t lose ourselves.”
Listen to “I Love LA” below. “Nothing to Lose” arrives on July 30.
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun