A new era of music from David Archuleta @DavidArchie is underway with “Faith In Me”

DAVID ARCHULETA, “Faith In Me”

Two years ago, when I wrote about David Archuleta’s release “Movin'”, I hinted that the former “American Idol” finalist may be entering another era as his now-independently released music was moving away from a corporate pop sound and now incorporating electronics and dance rhythms. “Faith In Me” confirms it all as a celebratory and more polished dance bop that welcomes listeners to 2020’s David, now free from his previous religious obligations and open about his sexuality. “Faith In Me” wears its honesty and commitment on its sleeve and features an exuberant vocal from David which his fans will love. Check out the video above, co-directed by his friend and former “Glee” star Kevin McHale.

L.A.’s @KaceyFifield releases debut album “Between The Lines” featuring “Say It” and a video for the title track

KACEY FIFIELD, “Say It” and “Between The Lines” (video)

Between The Lines is an auspicious debut album for 17 year old L.A. singer/songwriter Kacey Fifield, and it includes the three previous solid singles which I’ve written about – “Toxic” (with Indian producer Nippandab), “Like Us” (with Albanian producer Marin Hoxha) and “Palms” (with South Korean producer Little Rain). The rest of the songs within Between The Lines ruminate about relationships with others, and the mixed feelings that evolve when those relationships end. My favourite among the new songs is “Say It”, created with new American producer Noble. Like the three singles, “Say It” stands out from the rest thanks to a punchy melody, and it will also resonate with listeners because of its earnest lyrics. All songs once again are co-written with Kacey’s mentor and collaborator, Robbie Rosen, who also produces one song and two connecting interludes. Other producers such as Germany’s Toniia and Mexico’s Ricardo Padua help shape the rest of the tracks to create a unique package.  Check out “Say It” above and the video for “Between The Lines” below.

London-based singer/songwriter @iamAlicePisano returns with feel good single “Ink”

ALICE PISANO, “Ink”

“Ink” shows another side of Italy-born, London-based singer/songwriter Alice Pisano, has she follows-up the well-received “Boys Like You”. “Ink” is a feel-good mood-changer, a contagious song that will appeal to the introvert in all of us, and one that you can play when you need a quick pick-me-up distraction. Alice uses the word “ink” in a different way than its usual meaning, which also makes the song immediately memorable. Fans of Demi Lovato or Selena Gomez will find that “Ink” is in their zone, though I also get 80’s pop vibes from “Ink” that recall songs of Belinda Carlisle or The Bangles. Alice’s invested vocal and a carefree, effortless-sounding melody will draw you back again and again to “Ink”.

Meet new Australian electronic pop duo AYA J with shimmering “Be Your Lover”

AYA J, “Be Your Lover”

“Be Your Lover” is about investing yourself completely in the person you love. It’s brought to you by new South Queensland duo AYA J, which consists of Gumbaynggirr singer-songwriter Angus Field and American drummer Sam Miller, who now resides in Australia. These talented guys have already racked up a number of award nominations and live performances domestically. Though “Be My Lover” is only their sixth single in two years, it has the potential to latch on to dance and pop audiences who enjoy fellow Aussies Rüfüs Du Sol and LANY, as well as artists as diverse Charlie Puth, Meduza or Joel Corry. The emphasis is on creating a memorable, shimmering melody, led by Angus’ captivating vocal, and set to crisp production by Joachim Mueller.

#BILLCSTop30 #649, September 26/22

Online radio is now a bigger thing in my daily life than I ever thought it would be, and it’s a lot of fun to be back in the announcing element after many years. So be sure to check out my shows The Big 20 and Your Weekend New Music Mix, as well as my short segment My New Music Pick of the Week, every week. You can find the schedule of stations on which they air near the bottom of the home page of my blog site or go to ONLINE RADIO SHOWS after the blog post.

Jessie Ware’s “Free Yourself” shot to #1 quickly two weeks ago, and it holds tight at the top for a second appearance. It’s still kind of early to call which song might succeed “Free Yourself” at #1, but there are rumblings below.

Francesco Yates gets a personal best on the chart with “Jimi” climbing 3-2. It’s a fun track with a great guitar solo – I’m hoping he’s holding out for the right deal while we all enjoy his independent releases. But can “Jimi” hold on enough to succeed “Free Yourself” at #1?

Scotland’s LF System continue to surge up the chart with their UK #1 “Afraid To Feel”, which climbs 10-4. Is #1 a possibility in the near future?

Petawane’s ode to sweet soulful love songs, “Music”, continues to rise steadily, this time up 7-5.

Rarely does half of the Top 10 make an exodus, but that’s what has happened on this chart, allowing several songs to move up quickly.

Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit” is the deserved Fastest Riser as it climbs 16-6. Will #1 be in reach for this one?

Fred Again.. and Swedish House Mafia rework Future’s “Turn On The Lights” as “Turn On The Lights Again” (above), certain to be a festival anthem over the next year. The song moves up 11-7 but the red hot Fred Again.. has another new one worth checking out called “Danielle (smile on my face)” below.

French producers Coopex and Charles B team up with American super-talent Robbie Rosen for the fast but fun “The Boss”, climbing 17-8. You’ll be singing along to this one as it name-check’s Diana Ross’ same-titled song from 1979.

Canadian-German duo Lola Dutronic move up 12-9 just as the summer ends with “Let’s All Dance (Our Last Summer)”.

And the Canadian Top 15 radio hit for DVBBS and Brandyn Burnette, “Summer Nights”, rises 13-10. It’s DVBBS’ fourth visit to my Top 10, and Brandyn’s 15th as a lead artist (add one to include a release under his pseudonym EMAN8).

Greyson Chance’s new album Palladium has arrived, and it’s a highly personal album of many moods and ruminations based on experiences which carved the strange path for Greyson that has finally led here.  I’m still digging “Athena” (above), which climbs 19-13, but the album is chock full of songs to keep you paying attention, and one of those is the provocative “My Dying Spirit”, whose new video you can watch below. And I’m looking forward to hearing all of its songs at his show in my city in December!

Luca + Giam and Sam Merkin’s “Hold Me Down” reached #3 a while back, and their latest collaboration “Full Force” could get there too, if a 22-15 move gives any indication.

The Highest Debut at #25 belongs to the extremely infectious 80’s throwback “Celebrate” by Dutch producer Laurentius and Luxembourg singer/songwriter Khalid Oke. Emphasizing African rhythms and references, it’s a sheer delight that comes from their upcoming EP together called Jaiye.

The enduring #1 “Romance with a Memory” by The xx’s vocalist/bassist Oliver Sim exits the chart after the mandatory 10 appearances (20 weeks), and is immediately replaced by the enthralling “GMT” at #26. This is a slower, deliberately paced song with a striking story (partially an ode to London, England), carried by an excellent, sympathetic vocal by Oliver.  It’s from his new album called Hideous Bastard, which also contains “Romance with a Memory”. You can also check out the minimalist extended remix by his bandmate Jamie xx above.

Canadian dance producer Famba returns to the chart for the first time since 2020 with his fifth entry, the splendid trance-influenced deep house track “Forever” at #27. Famba first appeared on the chart almost 6 years ago with the amusing “Right Here Right Now” which peaked at #2.

Singer/songwriter Lily Lane is now based out of L.A. but originally from Boston, and her song “Bad” arrives at #28. It’s taken from her EP Queen of Hearts and is led by an unmistakable, powerful vocal. Lily is also the sister of Tucker, one half of the duo Sofi Tukker.

 

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! You can also follow me on Spotify at the following link:  BILLCS Top 30 Songs.

ONLINE RADIO SHOWS

You can hear me and many of my blog choices on this growing list of online radio stations and features! 

Radio GTA

Listen to The Big 20 from 10pm to Midnight EST on Wednesdays as “The Musicman” James Rogers and I bring you the latest in new songs.  The show also repeats on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. EST and Sunday mornings at 2:00 AM EST. You can hear past episodes of The Big 20 at this link.

On Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 6pm EST I bring you “Your Weekend New Music Mix” six hours of commercial-free music from the 2000’s including many song choices from this blog.

Halton Hills Online

“Your Weekend Music Mix” has a second home on Saturday and Sunday evenings from 8pm to Midnight EST! It’s a different mix from Radio GTA’s show, and like that one it is also commercial free. “The Big 20” also airs on this station at 6pm EST Saturdays.

The 3D Variety Show by Planet Radio Canada

I’m featured Tuesdays between 7 and 7:30 pm EST with my New Music Pick of the Week which debuts every week on “The 3D Variety Show” with “The Musicman” James Rogers, and I also join occasionally for looks at music from our past through some live segments.  A repeat of “The 3D Variety Show” airs on Wednesdays at 7pm EST on Radio GTA.  My pick of the week airs 20 times during the week and you can view its schedule by clicking here.  You can hear past episodes of The 3D Variety Show at this link.

Addictive Energy

This is a weekly show hosted by Hunter Wilbur that airs on several online stations but is anchored at Mix88.ca on Sundays beginning at 8pm EST. You can hear past episodes of Addictive Energy at this link.

For other details about the shows, such as dates and times of broadcasts, go to my home page and scroll down to the bottom right side!

 

 

 

 

 

 

L.A.-based electronic producer @Shoffymusic releases new album “…Onward” led by opening track “fade”

SHOFFY, “fade”

Following up the singles “Nightmares in NYC” and “Love Ya”, L.A.-based electronic producer Shoffy releases his latest full album …Onward, on which “fade” is the opening track. Shoffy’s style is likeably low key and even mysterious at times, though we already heard with “Love Ya” that he can break loose with an infectious dance track. “fade” is seeping with intrigue as we wonder, though one repeated verse, why the singer feels like he’s going to fade away, and Shoffy leaves you with a few sullen images to digest set to a light house rhythm track. It’s an engrossing start to an album of many moods (including one track “Olivia” featuring rapper sIDizen King) filled with consistently slick production.

In “All My Friends”, British alt.rock singer/songwriter @DrewThomasmusic ponders life changes and what you should do about them

DREW THOMAS, “All My Friends”

Drew Thomas is a promising talent from Nottingham whose affable personality shines through the songs through which he lives his life. “All My Friends” has an anthemic Killers-Sam Fender bent about it that fronts the reality that in certain times of our lives things change among friends, and sometimes we’re the spectator waiting for it to happen to us, or perhaps even resisting or even resenting those changes. “All My Friends” embraces that time full on with guitars ablaze and rocks out accordingly, splendidly sung by Drew. With songs like this that would sound great played live in concert (and the video above captures a favourable taste), I wouldn’t expect Drew Thomas to be a DIY talent too much longer.

Rising indie talent @Steven_Thad releases new EP “Mr. R&B” featuring “Goodbye, Farewell”

STEVEN THAD, “Goodbye, Farewell”

Washington D.C. area pop/R&B talent Steven Thad quickly follows up his pensive “Do You Remember” with a new 5 song EP of originals, Mr. R&B, on which it’s included, along with another standout track, the brief but touching “Goodbye, Farewell”. Despite all of the good intentions in the relationship he’s singing about, in this song Steven sings with resignation about one that has completely ended, and in its simplicity you can sense the understandable isolation when he sings of his recurring thoughts about that person which probably won’t leave his head for a while yet. I enjoy Steven’s lo-fi approach to his songs, which are alternately upbeat and joyous, or quieter and ruminating. Be sure to check out the EP and his other songs while you can, most of which I’ve reviewed in these blog pages this year.

Meet British alt.pop singer/songwriter @JoulieFox with stirring track “Running”

JOULIE FOX, “Running”

British singer/songwriter Joulie Fox evokes the sultriness of Lana Del Rey with the power of Marina Diamandis and dashes perhaps of Lady Gaga, Sinéad O’Connor and Julee Cruise. Her new song “Running” focuses on someone getting as quickly away from a relationship as she can, but accompanying this are thoughts awash of unfinished business which will have to be dealt with at another time. It’s kind of an unsavory part of breaking up, but the song’s surreal melody and arrangement and Joulie’s careful, atmospheric vocal breathe it full of intrigue on an atypical musical ride.

It’s “10/10” #28: @Dimash_official @CrashAdamsmusic @hannemjoen @thehim & @brunomartini @allaboutmaggie @jayb1rdmusic @GOSofficial @ScottMagnus9 @HVNNIBVL #Holne

Fine new music releases have been bountiful of late, so it’s “10/10” time again with edition #28!  In “10/10”, I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.  I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the “10/10” lists are any less than those featured individually, in fact three songs from edition #27 by Petawane, Showtek and Sage Castleberry, all currently appear on the BILLCS Top  30.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but I may not otherwise get to write about.  These songs may even receive airplay on one of the many affiliate online radio stations that are learning about my blog choices and finding them good fits for my radio shows such as “Your Weekend New Music Mix” or “The Big 20”!

  • DIMASH QUDAIBERGEN, “Zhalyn”

He’s a superstar in his native Kazakhstan, but musically the global playing field becomes a lot smaller when you possess talents like Dimash Qudaibergen. He’s a classically trained singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist who can sing in a dozen languages. He can also reach High C notes with ease, which is always remarkable for a male performer because so few can do that. You won’t hear it in “Zhalyn” though, which means “flames” in English, and while it’s sung in Kazakh, you’ll be swept away by the enticing exotic rhythms, arrangement and Dimash’s commanding vocal. Very rarely do foreign language songs cross over into the English language music world, but “Zhalyn” warrants your attention.

  • CRASH ADAMS, “Give Me A Kiss”

It’s one of the brightest end-of-summer songs this year, and “Give Me A Kiss” is another winner from Toronto duo Crash Adams, their first release this year. They always come up with carefully crafted ear candy that rocks out with a goal of making you smile. The accompanying video above, which already has over a million views, is a treat as the duo, sporting matching jackets, shirts and slacks again, take over a part of L.A. to spread positive vibes, complete with the return of their sofa (this time it’s yellow). All that’s needed to complete the circle is for Crash Adams to resume playing some live gigs in the near future.

  • HANNE MJØEN, “I Never Told You”

Hanne Mjøen is a rising pop singer from Norway whose music is beginning to attract attention and resonate worldwide with streams approaching the 25 million mark. She also was featured on Canadian dance producer Felix Cartal’s “My Last Song” last year. “I Never Told You” is perhaps her strongest release to date, with her well-honed vocal set against a bubbly, sometimes euphoric backdrop that supports her story of confidence and being strong, knowing that you can’t always tell the people closest to you everything that goes on in your life. With “I Never Told You” leading the way, I’m sure Hanne’s songs will continue to grow and continue to reach more people through the integrity of her lyrics.

  • THE HIM & BRUNO MARTINI, “Before You Break”

“Before You Break” recalls those points in time where you might want more out of a relationship or situation, but realize that for the best it’s wiser to just walk away. It’s the latest release from The Him (aka Jeroen Kersters) in collaboration this time with Brazilian producer Bruno Martini. It’s a solid house release that veers to the pop side of the spectrum, with an gritty vocal by an uncredited male singer. There’s some pedigree songwriting talent (Toby Jacob and Tiggi Hawke, among others) that have made “Before You Break” happen, so if you enjoy Loud Luxury, Joel Corry or Sam Feldt, then this one is perfect for you!

 

  • MAGGIE SZABO, “Uh Oh”

Hamilton, Ontario-born Maggie Szabo has been releasing her own music for the last decade or so, with her more recent songs getting increasing acclaim, and “Uh Oh” is one of the best of them. It features a vibrant melody with a vocal that has a sweet soulful edge. The production is sheer shiny pop and comparisons to Taylor Swift or Demi Lovato would not be unreasonable. Maggie’s also been a recognizable voice on dance music releases by the likes of Schiller and BEAUZ, and as a songwriter she recently co-wrote “Slo-mo”, the Spain Eurovision 2022 entry by Chanel which won 3rd place. With all of this quality plus the bounty of songs in her portfolio over the past few years, it’s only a matter of a little more time where you’ll see Maggie Szabo on the charts.

  • JAY  BIRD, “Catch Me Again”

Bay area producer Jay Bird returns and continues to grow with his house music tracks with “Catch Me Again”. The theme of the song is familiar and relatable – needing someone to be there for you at the worst of times – and Jay’s synth work and rhythms keep this one moving smoothly. I must say I particularly enjoy the uncredited male vocal. It’s rough around the edges at times but world-weary, and completely embraces the vibe of the song without making it a desperate plea. “Catch Me Again” will definitely leap to attention in the middle of a house set and is a particularly satisfying listen.

  • GATHERING OF STRANGERS, “Red and Gold”

“Red and Gold” is a rocking new anthem for you to add to your list to check out. Gathering Of Strangers is a new quintet from Manchester who channel bands like U2, The 1975 and The Killers to create a refreshing mix with many familiar elements. What is most notable though about “Red and Gold” is its high octane jubilance, which guarantees instant reaction if played live in concert. The band’s tight instrumentation and versatile vocal instills a sense that they are capable of much more than anthemic rockers, so Gathering Of Strangers is fresh and worth watching.

  • SCOTT MAGNUS, “Wanting You Back”

“Wanting You Back” is a song about what people who are seeking a relationship positively dread – being ghosted, particularly after everything seemed to be going along well. Manchester’s Scott Magnus is back, and as you may recall I featured him three times last year in these blog pages with unique songs that demonstrate huge potential, particularly for an artist who has to face living with ADHD, Autism and Dyspraxia daily. “Wanting You Back” expresses the emotion and confusion that’s left when someone has lied. The urgency in Scott’s vocal drives the song and the low-fi production, complete with background chatter and white noise, represents all those colliding, irritating thoughts in our minds when something like this happens, and suits the song well.

  • HVNNIBVL, “Never Enough”

After writing about three of his singles back in 2020, L.A.-based John Hannibal V, aka HVNNIBVL, returns with what could be his best and most accessible one to date with “Never Enough”. The Buffalo, NY native writes about a past relationship which has caused some reflection, but elects to move on, and thus “Never Enough” is actually set to a driving, upbeat melody. What has improved immensely for HVNNIBVL is the production, which no longer overwhelms, in favour of a crisp, clean backdrop that enhances the melody and arrangement. Pop music wise, fans of many artists from Charlie Puth through to The Chainsmokers will enjoy the radio friendly vibe of  “Never Enough”.

 

  • HOLNE, “November Sky”

Meet Holne, an indie pop singer/songwriter/guitarist who hails from Devon, England, and his gentle track about rekindling a past relationship called “November Sky”. What sets this one apart from others is the infectious and relatable chorus, and Holne’s often slight but precise vocal. I’m not sure if this is meant to be a serious stab at getting someone back or just wishful thinking but you can decide for yourself. “November Sky” is eloquent and sincere, and will appeal to fans of James Bay, James Morrison or Benedict Cork.