Canada’s @MenwithoutHats1 revive @thehipofficial’s “Blow At High Dough” as fresh rock-flavoured europop

MEN WITHOUT HATS, “Blow At High Dough”

It’s a bold move, but 80’s Quebec pop group Men Without Hats, who have been back recording and touring during the last 10 years, have a strong new offering with their apt, often reverent cover of The Tragically Hip’s 1990 rocker “Blow At High Dough”, one of my favourites from that classic Canadian band.  And “The Safety Dance” creator Ivan Doroschuk doesn’t opt for novelty either, taking cues from europop contemporaries like Depeche Mode and particularly Pet Shop Boys to transform “Blow At High Dough” into a rock-flavoured synthpop. Ivan’s striking vocal captures the late Gord Downie’s intensity, and the rock guitars and slick synths form a tasty mix.  “Blow At High Dough” appears on the 5 song EP Men Without Hats Again (Pt. 1), which also includes a rework of “The Safety Dance” called “No Friends Of Mine”, plus covers of song originally recorded by Lou Reed, The Rolling Stones, and Mott The Hoople. The EP appears in advance of what is likely to be a full album (Pt. 2) of originals.

Australia’s @Parralox is back with a sublime cover choice, The Human League’s “The Black Hit Of Space”

PARRALOX, “The Black Hit Of Space”

John von Ahlen’s Parralox project is usually unpredictable with its oft-80’s inspired originals as well as many of the sublime and sometimes daring cover choices that have been recorded over the years.  Bowing to the legacy that is The Human League, John and team have reached back to pre-Dare! Human League to record “The Black Hit Of Space”.  The original was (at the time) futuristic sounding, deliberately paced progressive electronica from the album Travelogue, and the band also included Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh, who subsequently left to form Heaven 17.  Parralox’s rendition of “The Black Hit Of Space” reimages the song as an uptempo Martin Rushent-produced slice of electropop.  The late and much revered Rushent produced numerous 80’s new wave releases including those by Pete Shelley, The Stranglers, The Associates, and even The Go Go’s Talk Show album.  The song is accompanied in the video by images that appear to have been culled from the early 70’s Canadian TV show “UFO”, which has a cult following 50+ years later.  Parralox has succeeded with “The Black Hit Of Space” by turning it inside out and putting a fresh, contemporary spin on it.

England’s @TheWanted return with pure pop confection “Rule The World”

THE WANTED, “Rule The World”

I was pleased to see that The Wanted recently reunited to release a compilation album of their biggest songs called Most Wanted: The Greatest Hits and perform some shows in England.  That album includes their new single “Rule The World”, which is an enjoyable pop confection that shouldn’t be swept under the radar, so easily done when so many big things happen every week in the music industry. “Rule The World” could easily have been a hit for Max, Tom, Nathan, Siva, and Jay back in their 2012-13 heyday, co-written by Max, as well as Lauv and others. But having a great song these days doesn’t always seem to be enough, so that’s why I promote discovery through my blog as being quite important for songs that might miss out.  While “Rule The World” has already been endeared to The Wanted’s many fans, pop music lovers in general will find the harmonies in addition to the fine songwriting to be a major treat.

“Swimming In Gold” is sparkling dance/pop from @John_Skyfield @theLaurentius and @MAYLYN_music


For a dance/pop song that will light up themusic, room, you need listen no further than “Swimming In Gold”, a collaboration between Germany producer John Skyfield, Dutch producer Laurentius, and prolific Nashville-based singer/songwriter MAYLYN.  Its lilting melody and bright synths are in complete sync with its lyrics, which are a celebration about being in love.  But “Swimming In Gold”‘s pedigree proves the dynamics in the trio that created it. John Skyfield is currently on my chart as a producer with Shoby and Victor Perry on “Wish I Didn’t Miss You”. I’ve written about Laurentius before with his songs “Stay The Night” (also with Victor) and “Fucking To Forget”. MAYLYN’s big moment came not long ago with co-writing and singing “Yellow” with Martin Jensen and Giiants. It’s always fascinating to see all of this talent connect and make such an enjoyable release.

Toronto’s Cmagic5 @5cmagic returns with the heartbreak in “Dancing On My Heart”

CMAGIC5, “Dancing On My Heart”

Cmagic5 is a strong new singer/songwriter talent out of Toronto that you need to keep your ears on. Still a teenager, and also an actress and model, she’s already released an album Ready To Run, which spawned the sultry and potent “Love Me If You Can”, which had a run up my personal chart before topping out at #12, and has cumulative 10 million streams in a short period of time.  “Dancing On My Heart” starts out deceptively, like it might be a ballad for a first dance at an event, but before the end of the first minute we find out that the protagonist’s love interest is a cad who has broken her heart.  It’s like Cmagic5’s own uptempo variation of “Careless Whisper” as she references, intentionally or not, the “guilty rhythm” that the “guilty feet” in “Careless Whisper” would make. Aside from that anecdote, it’s a solid, ear-grabbing production with another memorable vocal by Cmagic5.  Footnote: “Dancing On My Heart” is co-written by Grammy Award winner Will Champlin, who was a third place finalist on “The Voice” back in Season 5.

Meet London-based Italy-born singer/songwriter Alessandra Boldrini @alebold with “Never Going Back”


“Never Going Back” is a song that oozes self-confidence and self-awareness when a relationship has completely ended, and it’s brought to life by singer/songwriter Alessandra Boldrini.  With a dance/pop style that would appeal to fans of Dua Lipa, Katy Perry and Jess Glynne, the Italian-born, UK-based newcomer has a charming but assured vocal that leaves “Never Going Back” (below) stuck in your head. She’s currently juggling her music career with studies at the famed British and Irish Modern Music Institute, so she’s 100% in it to win it.  I think Alessandra Boldrini will sound even better in a much more polished setting, and I’m excited to hear what she releases next.

You’ll feed off @LeahKatemusic’s 80’s inspired DGAF energy in “Shit Show”

LEAH KATE, “Shit Show”

Already a young entrepreneur and Tik Tok favourite who has racked up over 30 million Spotify streams alone with her song “Fucked Up The Friendship”, L.A.-based Leah Kate’s appealing DGAF approach and fun, 80’s inspired spirit are front and centre in her latest release “Shit Show”.  The singer, songwriter and guitarist is kind of the antithesis of the dour pop being purveyed by Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish in favour of energetic rock’n roll that has The Go Go’s, Katrina & The Waves, and Cyndi Lauper 80’s moments written all over it. What I like best about “Shit Show” is that it’s earnest and not exploitive, and it’s refreshingly not so much in your face. You’ll either love it or leave it but Leah Kate is well on her way and you can expect to hear and see a lot more of her.

#BILLCSTop30 #624, October 11/21

October kicks off with a brand new #1 song on the BILLCS Top 30, as well as five songs debuting. Otherwise the top portion of the chart retains relatively stable, with lots of activity brewing in the lower portion. 

Note that while I did manage to solve the Spotify link issue with WordPress, I can only get the solution to work in single blog posts, so Spotify links in my chart posts will continue to display as small.

Make sure you read about my ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES (see details after the post) – all kinds of online radio announcing projects now keeping me busy!

Rising 3-1 is “Sanctuary” (above) by Dutch producer Howen and “American Idol” finalist Robbie Rosen, who is also a wonderfully prolific songwriter and producer.  From the first note of Robbie’s voice to the piano coda, this is an emotional and euphoric house track that is not to be missed!  And there’s more good news for Robbie – one of the five new entries on the chart is “To The Top” (below), which he recorded with German producers Natixx and Lyon Brotherz, and arrives at #25.  That makes it three songs on the chart – “Don’t Want Perfect”, with Quebec producer Kayliox, slides 9-15.

It’s strange for songs #5-#8 to get stuck all at the same time, but that should shake loose in two weeks, especially for the wonderfully q-wacky “Nonchalant” by Duck Sauce (#8).

Two songs make their first appearances in the Top 10.  “Life’s Okay” (above) is a gentle, feel good, soulful house track by Russian producer Marava and Canadian singer/songwriter Eadie, which climbs 11-9.  And “15 Minutes” (also above) by Damon Sharpe and The Disco Fries edges up 12-10.  This is the fourth visit to the Top 10 (and second time this year) for The Disco Fries (aka Danny and Nick). Check out Damon’s recent release “Paint The Sky” (with Polina Grace) below.

Gina Naomi Baez is currently celebrating the EP release of “My Time”!  Not only does it include the uplifting power anthem and title track (above), which moves up 17-14, but also its “fueling my fire version” remix, which turns the ballad into an equally powerful house-flavoured track (below).  The EP also contains recent single “Liquor Love” packaged with three previous releases.

Charging into the Top 20 are “Chasing Stars” by Alesso, Marshmello and James Bay (23-17, above) and “Almost Home” by trance masters Above & Beyond with singer Justine Suissa (24-18, below).

The Fastest Riser on the chart is the previous chart’s Highest Debut, the rollicking “Turn Off My Mind” by Morgan Page and Lights, rising 27-20.

Also making headway, without surprise, is “Wish I Didn’t Miss You” by German producers John Skyfield and Shoby and NYC vocalist Victor Perry, moving up 28-22.  It’s a soul-filled interpretation of Angie Stone’s huge dance and R&B hit from 2002.

At the top of the debuts is the joyous “Summer In Brooklyn” by Canadian producers Young Bombs and L.A.-based singer Jordy, which bows at #23.  Take a moment to let the wonderful reminiscences fill your head – and then dance and create wonderful times again.  “Summer” follows Young Bombs’ “Better Day” (featuring Aloe Blacc), which got to #3 on this chart last year.

Next at #24 is the first appearance on the chart for Australian DJ and producer Sonny Fodera with “Angel” featuring the beautiful voice of Clementine Douglas.  It’s culled from Sonny’s upcoming album Wide Awake. “Angel” also becomes the sixth song with that title to appear on my chart in its 23 year history, which puts it in a tie with “Breathe”.

This could be the only time you see Ed Sheeran songs back-to-back on my chart, so bowing at #27 is “Shivers”, a brisk and lively follow up to “Bad Habits”, which recently peaked at #5.

The final debut at #30 is “Play It Cool”, the sophisticated but brief house track by UK/Irish duo Menrva, with a cool rhythm and equally cool vocal by British singer Island Banks.

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

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


Radio GTA – listen to The Big 20 from 10pm to Midnight EST as “The Musicman” James Rogers and I bring you the latest in new songs mixed with classics and songs you haven’t heard in a while.  And on Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 6pm I bring you “Your Weekend 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! It’s a different mix from Radio GTA’s show, and like that one it is also commercial free, proudly brought to you by Symposium Cafe Restaurant & Lounge in Georgetown, Ontario!

Planet Radio Canada –  I’m featured Tuesdays between 7 and 7:30 pm with my New Music Pick of the 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.  

My New Music Pick of the Week also now airs on Radio GTA Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm EST, and on Halton Hills Online on Saturdays and Sundays at 10pm EST!








“Is It Enough?” is silky smooth British-style house music by @realFutureKings and @LauraDaviemusic


“Is It Enough?” is super smooth British-style house music from UK/Canadian production duo Future Kings and Welsh singer/songwriter Laura Davie.  “Enough” is a co-write between the artists, and is the kind of songs that DJ’s can slide in next to 90’s classics like Robin S’ “Show Me Love” and “Finally” by CeCe Peniston and still stand out with its infectious groove. Laura has sung alongside such major and diverse talent as Culture Club, Tom Jones, The Blessed Madonna and Jax Jones, while Future Kings have cemented their reputation as solid and reliable producers through their releases with MOYA this year, most recently “Peace”.  “Is It Enough?” is a big step forward and a hot dance track that you should keep your ears on.

Indie dance artist Michael Medrano @stachepapi strikes a chord with brisk and fun “I Don’t Wanna Talk About Love”

MICHAEL MEDRANO, “I Don’t Wanna Talk About Love”

Dance music isn’t often given enough credit for being thoughtful and capturing the feelings and sentiments of its audience. California-based indie dance artist Michael Medrano has that down pat with his releases which wander from strange and unique to more accessible fun dance/pop.  “I Don’t Wanna Talk About Love” slides into the latter category, with Michael taking several Charlie Puth-esque cues in his runs in the chorus, which form the memorable centre of the song. And Michael even has a brief spoken monologue which is the answer to “why don’t you wanna talk about love?”.  The self-proclaimed disco dad has a strong social media following which spreads the word about his releases, and Michael’s “I Don’t Wanna Talk About Love” is an easy one for dance/pop fans and even club DJ’s to embrace.