#BILLCSTop30 #505 – March 20/17

This 505th edition of the BILLCS Top 30 is brought to you once again by The Chainsmokers, except this time they share the #1 spot with Coldplay on “Something Just Like This”.  This is a song that appeals to the good nature of everyone, and gets The Chainsmokers their third number one on this chart, while Coldplay gets their first (both “Talk” and “Clocks” got to #2).  Can’t wait to hear more from The Chainsmokers’ upcoming album Memories…Do Not Open.  These guys have not stopped and 2017 will continue to be huge for them.

Our Top 10 continues to seem like a revolving door as recent favourites depart to the lower parts of the Top 30.

The Rest of the Busy Songs on the Rise

  • In a chart where there were no songs by The Chainsmokers, Germany’s Koni and US vocalist Danelle would be at #1 with the effervescent “Mad About You”, which climbs to #2, bypassing The Chainsmokers’ “Paris” which dips 1-3.  “Mad About You” is one of those songs guaranteed to put a smile on your face, particularly if you happen to be someone crazy over someone else.  With Callum McBride, Koni has also done a great job on a remix edit of Ed Sheeran’s “Galway Girl”, injecting just a tad of tropical flavour – give a listen below and download it for free.
  • Another German producer and American vocalist soar into the Top 5 from outside of the Top 10.  It’s Levi featuring Victor Perry on the timeless and effortless “Sail”, which vaults 13-4 and is the Fastest Riser on the chart for a second time in a row.
  • A song I simply cannot get out of my head is “Be My Love” by Mahalo featuring Cat Lewis, so much so that even in its 8th appearance on the chart it still moves upward, bounding 9-5.  The pair also have a second song taking off further down.  “WTFYWF” climbs 22-15 (both below).
  • Toronto’s Loud Luxury pairs up with Ryan Shepherd on “Something To Say”, the deep house redux-in-disguise of Craig David’s “Fill Me In”, which flies into the Top 10 15-8.
  • If there weren’t as many songs as strong as DNCE’s “Naked” the song would be much higher on the chart but not as high as the #2 placing of “Cake By The Ocean” in late 2015.  Nonetheless, DNCE reach the Top 10 a second time as “Naked” moves up 11-9.

  • The last debut in the Top 10 belongs to the currently-touring Justin Taylor Phillips, aka Crywolf, who I will see in concert on March 25.  The waltz-like epic “Windswept” jumps 14-10.
  • One of the most unique songs of the year is “Manifest”, the progressive soul/hip hop flavoured song by Brandyn Burnette from his third EP Feature Films.  “Manifest” rises 20-13.

5 Debuts (all with featured vocalists)

  • I think young Dutch producer WRLD will become another Tiesto if song choices like “Stranded” keep coming his way.  Paired up with American producers SMLE, the song benefits immensely from an outstanding, soaring vocal by Kiddo AI and bows at #21.  It’s one-of-a-kind dance music for your ears and feet!  It’s also currently available as a free download 🙂

  • Right behind at #22 is “Stay” by Zedd featuring Alessia Cara.  “Stay” is Zedd’s fourth appearance on the chart, but first in three years, and Alessia’s chart debut.  Zedd is a refreshing change of electronic style for Zedd, and Canadian singer Alessia Cara to me gives her best vocal to date (she also is one of the song’s co-writers).  All of Zedd’s three songs to hit the chart have made the Top 5, including a #1 with “Spectrum” (featuring Matthew Koma) in 2012.  Will “Stay” follow suit?  I think there’s a strong possibility!

  • Dutch duo The Him are back after finding their way to #2 last year with “Balance” (featuring Oktavian) and opening on The Chainsmokers’ European tour.  But “I Wonder” is far different from the deep house of “Balance”.  It’s got a bright summery melody in stark contrast to a divine but forlorn vocal by singer LissA – and it all works beautifully.  “I Wonder” arrives at #24.  I will be checking out The Him’s own show on March 31.
  • NYC duo The Knocks make their fifth entry on the chart with “Worship”, featuring UK singer MNEK, about whom I’ve written a number of times, and who first appeared on the chart in 2015 with Zara Larsson on “Never Forget You” (#17).  I saw The Knocks on March 17 in concert and as usual they put on a dance party that you didn’t want to see end.  Their new EP is Testify, and “Worship” is the Gospel-flavoured ear-ringer which debuts at #25.  All of The Knocks’ previous entries have reached the Top 10, including a #1 last year with “Kiss The Sky”, featuring Wyclef Jean.
  • Our final debut is also the third one from The Netherlands (a fourth Dutch entry is at #11, “Light” by San Holo).  Lulleaux makes his song “Sinner” a winner featuring a top notch vocal by SVM, and it premieres at #27, the first entry for Florida’s Tipsy Records.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

Listen for me on http://www.planetradio.ca on Tuesday evenings (returning on March 28), and with my Pick of the Week segment returning on March 27, aired throughout the week at 2:20 6:20 10:20 AM/PM EST 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second taste of new songs by @DanBlacksound with “Blow” (featuring #Fans)

DAN BLACK featuring FANS, “Blow”

The first music I heard from Paris-based UK singer and electronic artist Dan Black was back in 2009 at the time this blog began.  “Symphonies” was my favourite song of the time and his debut album UN still had not been released in North America.  It was part of an engaging soundtrack to what would turn out to be a rough winter for me.  Over seven years later, after starting a family, and after a few fine dance singles (notably “Hearts” with Kelis, and “Sunlight” with Bag Raiders), comes the first efforts from his sophomore album Do Not Revenge, and the second taste of that, following “Headphones”, is “Blow”.  Dan summarized it so well in his social media posts that it’s hard to top what he says: “… a song about those rare little diamonds, those people who blow our troubles away – even if for just a moment”.  Music listeners need all of the positives they can get, and with the billing “featuring Fans”, I’m wondering if this is the song where his fans’ voices are incorporated, after he asked them to send in their recordings?  With a breezy melody and undeniable hook, “Blow” is a perfect song for Spring, definitely (no pun intended) a breath of fresh air in 2017 even though it sounds like he has hardly missed a step since 2009.  Give it a listen above and watch for more music from Dan Black!

Published in: on March 19, 2017 at 3:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Unleashed” is the second club hit for Nathalie Archangel @NArchangel in a zippy #MattPop edit

NATHALIE ARCHANGEL, “Unleashed” (Matt Pop edit)

I am such a big believer of remixes.  They sometimes help make very good pop songs great.  Such is the case with “Unleashed”, the new single by California-based Nathalie Archangel.  In its Matt Pop edit, the song becomes a not-so-secret 80’s flavoured dance floor weapon, a pleasingly aggressive and effortless mix that has helped “Unleashed” already land in the Top 40 of Billboard’s club play chart.  “Unleashed” follows the timeless “A Higher High”, which found its way into the Top 20 of the same chart two years ago.  With pretty much the same dedicated and well-established songwriting and production team behind it as with “A Higher High”, may “Unleashed” soar even higher – a tremendous success story for Nathalie, who had her first start in the business in the early 80’s, only to persevere and find greater tidings so many years later now with dance music.  Watch the lyric video above.

Published in: on March 19, 2017 at 3:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Heavy Hearted” by UK producer #Murky features a dazzling vocal by @Anukamusic

MURKY featuring ANUKA, “Heavy Hearted” (free DL)

After a brief tease of a start, “Heavy Hearted” by producer Murky featuring vocalist Anuka has liftoff big time thanks to the singer’s spot-on high register delivery.  And as the song continues, you may find yourself singing along… to another song.  For if you didn’t catch it, the initial melody instantly recalls the 90’s dance floor classic “Free” by Ultra Naté.  Regardless, it just lends to the charm of the song as by the halfway point it will have already secured your interest with its beautiful flow and understated, complementary backdrop.  The song tends to end prematurely but that only makes you want to hear it more.  Courtesy of Manifesto, check out “Heavy Hearted” at the link above and download it for free.

Published in: on March 19, 2017 at 3:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bluesy jam: “Drinkin'” by @iamJMSN

JMSN, “Drinkin'”

“Drinkin'” is an essential rocking bluesy jam that’s going to sound fabulous in concert by L.A.-based singer JMSN.  He’ll release his fourth album Whatever Makes You Happy on April 28 and is touring in North America to support it.  After a moody pair of albums, It Is and JMSN (aka the Blue Album), and working with folks like Kendrick Lamar, Kaytranada, J. Cole, and Tyga over the past few years, JMSN’s commanding vocal takes control here with a blistering vocal that reminds you of why you got interested in the first place back about five years ago with his solo debut album †Priscilla†.  With JMSN still producing and engineering “Drinkin'”, and self-releasing his records, props here must also go to the bass work by Yuki “Lin” Hayashi which captures a deep groove that helps bring the song home.  The focus now seems to be more on real instruments and musicians than electronics.  Give “Drinkin'” a listen at the link above.

Published in: on March 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Take Me Down” is new from #Toronto powerhouse vocalist @JuliaCarlucci

JULIA CARLUCCI, “Take Me Down”

Following up her 2015 EP For Me is Toronto’s Julia Carlucci with “Take Me Down”.  Regardless of how you find your music – through radio, digital playlists, or online – “Take Me Down” is vocal-driven R&B-inspired pop whose intent is to bring the house down and make you remember who sung it.  And with the video showcase above, Julia has an appeal that could transcend Lady Gaga, Cher, and Céline Dion, even though her most immediate inspirations are the likes of Alicia Keys and Beyoncé.  Set in a classic pop setting with orchestra backing, I’m certain you’ll be hearing more of Julia Carlucci as word gets out about “Take Me Down”, as they already have in other parts of the world (Japan and Indonesia, being two)!

Published in: on March 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Goes down easy: “Irreplaceable” by Philadelphia duo @Nights_official

NIGHTS, “Irreplaceable” (free DL)

Nights is a new male duo out of Philadelphia who’ve just released their debut single “Irreplaceable”.  The style is a smooth mix of EDM, R&B and Hip Hop, more likely to appeal to fans of Chance The Rapper, Bryson Tiller or Anderson.Paak than say The Chainsmokers or Tiësto.  What I like particularly about “Irreplaceable” is the positive message that’s wrapped up in a vibe that will catch your attention when you don’t expect it.  The understated vocal is in a dreamy zone that totally suits the song.  “Irreplaceable” is a great start for Nights – folks who also enjoy RKCB and Opia will be pleased.  Get it for free at the link above.

Published in: on March 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Hard To Love” is edgy, soulful dance music by @MatthewKoma as remixed by @Nikomakesbeats

MATTHEW KOMA, “Hard To Love” (Niko The Kid remix)

Maybe one day we will see a full Matthew Koma album or perhaps another EP, but the singer continues with single releases via RCA with “Hard To Love”, his best since 2015’s “So Fuckin’ Romantic”. Getting away from his trademark higher range which has pervaded so many club hits over the last five years by the likes of Zedd, Sebastian Ingrosso, Hardwell, and Tiësto, “Hard To Love” in some ways reminds me of his earlier songs from the 2012 EP Parachute in terms of edge and grit, but slicker production and a set of new remixes, including a funky one by Niko The Kid, make “Hard To Love” stand out.  Ever dance club-friendly, “Hard To Love” could also appeal to other worldwide markets in which Matthew has had success, including the UK, Japan and Indonesia.  Check out “Hard To Love” in its Niko The Kid remix above.

Published in: on March 11, 2017 at 3:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Rising producer @Justin_Caruso lands with solid original “Talk About Me” featuring @Victoria_Zaro

JUSTIN CARUSO featuring VICTORIA ZARO, “Talk About Me”

Young L.A.-based producer Justin Caruso has been noted up to now for ear-catching remixes last year of songs by the likes of The Chainsmokers and 3Lau.  But his campaign to make original music starts with “Talk About Me”, a solid dance tune that will do well enough in clubs, but has a lot going for it as a song unto itself.  Benefiting from a gracious and slick vocal by Victoria Zaro, the lyrics tell an important tale, about being yourself and who you are regardless of what others may say.  “Talk About Me” starts off like it might be a ballad but revs up the tempo that will work well in any club set.  Just shy of a million Soundcloud plays already, the song is a sign of great things to come for Justin Caruso.

Published in: on March 11, 2017 at 3:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Breathe by #DiamondCafe is a new project by Vancouver’s @TristanTmusic for Michael Jackson and Prince fans

DIAMOND CAFE, Breathe (EP)

I’ve been a big believer in Vancouver singer/songwriter Tristan Thompson since his debut release Here For You in 2014 yielded a soulful piece of pop ear candy called “Tidal Wave”, which also topped the BILLCS Top 30.  That song as well as “Burn Again” and the title track received significant national radio airplay in Canada for an independent performer, and got notice overseas, particularly in New Zealand.  

Fast forward three years, and the singer, who is not even 20, has created a new project called Diamond Cafe, after a second album last year stalled and the label behind it folded. The EP Breathe is full of five lush, soulful pop/dance songs that will appeal mostly to Michael Jackson and Prince fans, but also to fans of performers as diverse as Sade and Adele.  The singer has also taken on production duties, and he’s definitely on the right track though perhaps some songs might benefit from a deeper sound.  His now-richer vocals with some commanding high notes score throughout, and the songs to zero in on are the title track, “Commercial Love”, and “Diamonds”.

I think Diamond Cafe will find friends with club DJ’s, EDM fans, and R&B/soul fans interested in hearing 80’s/90’s sounds mixed in with the style of today.  Some of the songs, like “Diamonds” could benefit from remixes.  Tristan Thompson should find a new and more mature audience with Diamond Cafe.  Check out the entire album on Spotify at the link above.

Published in: on March 11, 2017 at 3:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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