UK-based producer @iamEmbody revives a classic 90’s hit as “Be Cool” with vocalists @MarcoFoster_ and #Bailey

EMBODY, MARCO FOSTER and BAILEY, “Be Cool”

It’s been a while since Lithuania-born, UK-based producer Embody has graced us with original music, after creating one of my favourite songs of Summer ’16 with “Dreamin'”.  He continues on a light tropical house vibe with “Be Cool”, which is actually a surprise cover of Des’ree’s huge 1994 hit “You Gotta Be”.  Great songs will often translate well to any setting, and “Be Cool” keeps a lot of the same familiar flavour of the original.  It’s aided immensely by the male/female duo talents of US singer Marco Foster (about whom I’ve written several times), no stranger to contributing to dance tracks himself, as well new singer Bailey.  Their voices have similar qualities that are fused together well in the production.  “Be Cool” should be a no-brainer for dance radio and clubs (remixes will help) as the original will attest to its timeless popularity.

Published in: on July 16, 2018 at 4:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Being strong is hard in the face of “Tough Love” as recounted by @BrightLightx2

BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT, “Tough Love”

If someone so very badly hurts another person in a relationship, then the price is to face “Tough Love”, the second taste of Wales-born singer/songwriter Bright Light Bright Light’s upcoming release following the recent “How I Feel”.  While BLx2 (Rod Thomas) had a stellar year in 2017 with gorgeously happy songs, such as my favourite “New York Pretty”, 2018 brings us to a return of more downbeat stories that make you think and inspire as with many songs in Rod’s extensive repertoire.  “Tough Love” gets right to the point, enabling you to be strong enough to call out someone who is mistreating you.  And the line you belong as far way from me as you can get is indeed the rusty nail in that relationship’s coffin, if you have ever experienced such a thing.  So get to know “Tough Love” and “How I Feel” in anticipation of BLx2’s upcoming Fall tour, which will take him to my city (Toronto) and many others for the first time!

Published in: on July 16, 2018 at 4:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Rocket Girl” brings together the many talents of @Lemaitremusic and @BettyWho

LEMAITRE and BETTY WHO, “Rocket Girl”

It’s been out for a while, but don’t let “Rocket Girl” fall outside of your radar.  It’s a solid mix of dance, pop and rock flavours courtesy of the unexpected collaboration of Norwegian producers Lemaitre and NYC-based Australia-bred singer Betty Who, following up Lemaitre’s 2017 album Chapter One.  “Rocket Girl” is a dance anthem that is scored with rock guitars and heavy bass synths, a good companion to Pink’s latest releases if you ask me.  Anyone who has seen Lemaitre in performance knows that while their genre focus is electronic dance, that does not limit what elements they will bring into their songs.  There’s a lot of graceful keyboard work in “Rocket Girl” too, which creates a beautiful bridge with an outro of relentless drums and percussion, barnstorming right back to the chorus.  Betty Who’s vocal is engaging and proud to lead the way as our “Rocket Girl”, so check it out at the link above.

Published in: on July 16, 2018 at 4:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A welcome return for UK singer @Haywoodemusic with bubbly reduxes of her biggest hit as “Roses 2018”

HAYWOODE, “Roses (2018)”

Sid Haywoode had steady popularity in the UK throughout the mid-80’s on the pop and dance charts, which had its apex with “Roses”.  It became a #11 hit in a UK reissue in 1986, and could be frequently heard side-by-side hits of the day by Sheila E. and Jody Watley.  Although she only released one album in the 80’s, Haywoode’s loyal fan base allowed her a return to the music scene at the top of this decade, and 2018 is the perfect time for a redo of “Roses” courtesy of Energise Records.  And when you have invested producers like Matt Pop and Andy Sikorski on the scene to make it work, well you know that the results are going to be even better than expected.  “Roses 2018”, particularly in its Matt Pop edit and extended versions, simply sparkles and highlights those important old school touches in a relationship that might be weathered by social media these days.  Not being a hit outside of Europe in the 80’s, “Roses 2018” has the benefit of sounding slick and contemporary to blend without issue but more importantly to stand out on its own all over again.

“Down For Me” is a slick new original from @PLSandTYbased

PLS&TY, “Down For Me”

It’s been a few minutes since we had new original music from Florida-based producer PLS&TY, though he’s kept us busy with remixes for songs by Jocelyn Alice and SAINT WKND & MAX among others.  “Down For Me” shows him in slick form with rhythmic future bass that has both impressive beats and a chill factor to keep it quite interesting.  Add an uncredited sultry and memorable female vocal, and there’s very little to quibble about.  “Down For Me” is club and radio friendly, a stylish no-brainer that gives you an impressive taste of what PLS&TY will be bringing this year.

Published in: on July 11, 2018 at 9:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Going down easy: “The Pain I Feel” by @mr_MarlonPercy and @LOFRAMES

MARLON PERCY and LOFRAMES, “The Pain I Feel”

“The Pain I Feel” is a lovely European house-flavoured alt.dance song that’s as much for your heart as it is for your feet, and is guaranteed to stop you in your tracks on your first few listens.  The singer/songwriter is London-based Marlon Percy, and his vocal here rings true without question.  It has a raw, almost live-off-the-floor bluesy feel at times that is contrasted by more produced sections where it sounds quite pristine.  Anglo-French production duo LOFRAMES knows how to bridge the emotional parts of the song while still very much making you want to unleash on the dance floor.  I’ve mentioned before in these blog posts that someone’s pain in a dance song brings out the need to empathize through the rhythms and beats.  “The Pain I Feel” is a fabulous, unassuming, fresh-sounding collaboration that awaits your  undivided attention!

Published in: on July 11, 2018 at 9:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Australia’s @JYYE_official offers another sparkling earworm with “Look At You”

JYYE, “Look At You”

JYYE is on a roll with his follow up to the shimmering “Somewhere Else”, which currently resides at #14 on my personal chart.  And you can hear a similar sound to make you want to play ‘air xylophone’ amid guitar and synths in a smaller dose in parts of “Look At You”.  It’s a short song that is really all about its soulful singalong chorus as much as it is guaranteed to make you dance and clap along.  Its closest comparison would be to Kungs vs Cookin on 3 Burners’ 2017 smash “This Girl”.  And that’s great company to keep in a mix!

Published in: on July 11, 2018 at 9:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Finland’s @Aliskymusic gives us the edgy “Traces” with American singer @Iolitemusic

ALISKY and IOLITE, “Traces”

It’s moody and offers its fair share of dramatic vocal effects, but nonetheless “Traces” by Finnish producer Alisky and featuring young American vocalist IOLITE will easily snag your attention.  There’s an almost psychedelic rock side to the futuristic house style that Alisky tackles with a lot of finesse.  IOLITE’s vocal tells a story that’s even more of a mystery unto itself once it’s distorted and reshaped in “Matrix” like musical fashion.  Best of all I like “Traces” because it’s bold and doesn’t hold back.  Alisky offers a bracing alternative take on house music that makes you want to hear more.

Published in: on July 11, 2018 at 9:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #539 – July 9/18

The new chart is fueled with so much activity that I have to be really picky about what I’m writing about in this accompanying post.  Songs 7 through 18 are all on the rise!! One thing that’s certain though is the new #1.  It’s brought to you by a producer/DJ who is in his own zone creating innovative music that stands apart from most others.  AND he has the highest debut among three with his hypnotic follow up.

The Top 10

  • Bobby Nourmand not only had the first EP to chart both songs on my chart in its 20 year history, but those songs actually made their way to #1.  The Subterranean EP comprises the dark title track and the haunting, almost scary “Estranged” (both above – don’t play this one alone in the dark!!).  It becomes Bobby’s second #1 following last year’s playful “D E E P in NY” (featuring DOC & Goodmorning).  Get the extended mixes over at Bobby’s Beatport page.  Bobby also debuts at #23 with “The Sun” (below), featuring Blonde’s Adam Engle on vocal.  Despite its 6 minute length it’s a deep, soothing dance track that sounds unlike anything out there in dance music.  2018 is turning out to be a brilliant year for Bobby Nourmand.

  • Bobby getting another #1 stopped The Him from getting theirs – this week anyway.  “Broken Love”, co-written and sung by Parson James, is a perfect midsummer reflection of a breakup, and it climbs 5 to 2.

  • Electric Light by James Bay is one of my favourites of 2018 thus far and “Pink Lemonade” lands at #3 this week.  James’ recently announced North American tour has been postponed till next year.  I missed his gig this past Spring in my city because it sold out too quickly.  Hopefully the new one will also be a headliner at a bigger venue (and not opening for someone bigger, as has been known to happen).
  • Adam Foster’s retooling of Marvin Gaye’s “Too Busy Thinkin’ Bout My Baby” as “Time” continues to climb, rising 10-7.  You cannot keep a great song away even changed up like this.  A super creative idea, to be honest!
  • Rüfüs Du Sol’s “No Place” is not only a dance floor gem but it’s a real earworm that should by all rights be played on radio (but likely won’t be).  It’s the fastest riser on the chart, advancing 18-9 for the Aussie threesome.

  • The other new entry to the Top 10 is “Lonely” by Norway’s Matoma featuring MAX on vocal.  It’s Matoma’s second Top 10 here following 2016’s “False Alarm” (#6), and it’s MAX’s 6th as either a lead or featured performer.  Can’t wait to see MAX again in concert in November!!

Movin’ On Up

  • Talk about heavy summer anthems! You can party hardy to “Back The Funk” by Estonia’s Madison Mars as it heads towards the Top 10, soaring 19-11.

  • Florence & The Machine have a winner of a lead single from the new High As Hope album.  The powerful “Hunger” climbs 20-15.

  • It’s already a huge hit in Canada, with the UK not far behind, but what about the US?  It’s making its way up Billboard’s Dance Club Play chart – “Jackie Chan” by Tiësto and Toronto’s Dzeko featuring Preme and the omnipresent Post Malone.  It’s a fun, kind of silly singalong which is a summer winner.  “Jackie Chan” rises 23-16 and is Tiësto’s 4th chart entry as an artist, his first since 2007!
  • Not to be outdone by “Jackie Chan” is French producer RetroVision’s “Get Down” and its enthralling sample of The Shapeshifters’ classic “Lola’s Theme”.  It moves up 24-17.

  • And also right behind, just to throw another true independent performer into the mix, is England’s Lostchild with his engaging “Blacklist”, available in pop/dance and acoustic versions that are equally worth your time.  “Blacklist” glides up the chart 25-18.

Also New To The Chart

  • Miami’s Alyx Ander gets his first hit for Spinnin’ with “Casually” (#25) in collaboration with Dutch duo Redondo and featuring Maria Z on vocals.  Alyx wrote the song with Maria and it is not only a touch of grace for the dance floor but it’s a great long lyrically and melodically too.  It’s Alyx’s third entry, following last year’s Top 10’s “Memories Of You” (#5) and “Wake Up For The Night” (#4), so he’s on a roll.

  • A new song by the pairing of veteran smash hitter Tony Moran and powerhouse vocalist Jason Walker is always welcome on my chart, largely because they tend to be larger-than-life, exhilarating songs designed for clubs.  Their latest, and on its way to the top of the Billboard club chart, is “I’m In Love With You”, totally sizzling in the Victor Dinaire and Bissen remix, and it bows at #26.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

“American Summer” is an idyllic good time, the third single from L.A. trio @Giiantsmusic

GIIANTS, “American Summer”

Following the smashing debut “Small Talk” as well as “Looking Up” comes the third single from L.A. based production/songwriting trio Giiants with “American Summer”.  It’s Giiants’ first for Ultra after releasing the others through Tipsy Records, continuing the breakthrough of the terrific mystery trio which is starting to unfold discreetly online (check out their Facebook page for some very familiar names written in these blog pages!).   I’m writing this fittingly on the 4th of July as it kickstarts summer with with its bright, heartfelt lyrics and joyous melody.  Even if you don’t live in the USA, you can’t help reflect on past summers with this song, and try to make future summers even better.  While there are plenty of shiny synths present to send the song into higher gear, it’s the acoustic guitar work that will charm you into “American Summer” from the very first note until you are completely swept away.  Add “American Summer” to your Summer Freedom playlist using the Spotify link above.

Published in: on July 4, 2018 at 10:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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