#BILLCSTop30 #605 – January 18/21

2020 favourites are gradually departing the chart to make room for what’s new and fresh. There are five debuts on the new chart, a few that have been waiting through the heavy holiday period to find their way onto the chart.  There’s lots of great music coming in January alone, so the competition for future charts will be particularly fierce.

“Give It Back” by NYC producers The Disco Fries and L.A. production trio Giiants with vocalist/songwriter Allison Park continues its reign at the top.  This one leads the way in the ‘dance banger’ department for me right now, though there are other fun ones further down the chart.

Could “Nobody” by Norway’s NOTD and Catello be the one to succeed “Give It Back” at #1?  Currently experiencing one of the longest stays at #1 on US dance radio in recent memory, I hope “Nobody” is also promoted to pop radio.  It climbs 6-2.

“No One But You” (above), the quiet, beautiful R&B/pop ballad by Toronto’s Justin Nozuka with UK singer/songwriter Mahalia climbs 5-4 from an upcoming EP that will be released in the Spring.  Justin’s latest peaceful and tranquil new single is “summer night 08” – check out the video below.

Like “Bad Decisions”, “Late Night Love” by Toronto’s Francesco Yates has long-lasting power.  This funky, soulful, naughty jam climbs 7-5 to match the peak of “Bad Decisions”.

With the release of their album The Good Times and the Bad Ones, L.A. quintet Why Don’t We arrive in the Top 10 with the rollicking “Fallin’ (Adrenaline)”, moving up 11-8.

Also new to the Top 10, somewhat belatedly, is “Chew On My Heart” by James Bay, which rises 12-9.  James was last in the Top 10 with 2018’s “Pink Lemonade”, which peaked at #2.

Karen Harding is well on her way to having two Top 10’s in a row on this chart. Following last year’s #1 “Undo My Heart”, “Let’s Get Together”, a collaboration with Scottish producers Illyus and Barrientos, zips up the chart 17-12.

The fastest riser on the chart is by the venerable, influential dance group Faithless.  They’ve returned after a long absence with a new album called All Blessed, and “Synthesizer”, featuring singer Nathan Ball, soars 24-16.

With its rather obtuse, mythical-sounding lyrics and futuristic production, Deadmau5 looks to have his biggest hit to date with “Bridged By A Lightwave”, featuring the commanding vocal of Kiesza, up 25-19.

Another innovative production that throws back hard to 90’s techno is “Sinnerman” by England’s Hot Since 82 featuring vocalist/songwriter Ed Graves. From Hot Since 82’s new album Recovery, “Sinnerman” climbs 27-20.

The highest debut is by a performer who effectively replaces himself on the chart.  Illenium’s “Nightlight” (#8) departs in favour of new single “Hearts On Fire”, a collaboration with Canadian producer Dabin and Juno Award winning singer/songwriter Lights.  Also coming in various remixes, “Hearts On Fire” charges on to the chart at #22.  It’s Illenium’s 8th chart entry since 2018.

Premiering on the chart is young French producer Wizzay with the punchy house track “Jealous” at #25 from his debut EP “Who I Am?”.  Chart trivia: The uncredited vocalist on this track also appears elsewhere on this chart as part of a group of producers…

His history on this chart has spanned almost 20 years. In fact, the first time he appeared on the chart, it wasn’t even under his own name.  “Feel Something” by dance music veteran Armin van Buuren arrives at #26.  His first appearance on this chart was in 2002 with the classic “The Sound Of Goodbye” (#4) under the name Perpetuous Dreamer, before Armada Records released its first record.  “Feel Something” marks his 8th appearance under his name, with guest vocals by 2019 Eurovision winner Dutch singer/songwriter Duncan Laurence (“Arcade”).

Brits both, producer Bobby Harvey and vocalist Danny Dearden make their debuts with “Tell Me” at #27.  It’s one of my favourite deep house tracks that had to wait a little longer than usual to premiere on the chart.

At #28 is the fun alt.rock track by Toronto’s grandson called “Dirty”.  The Juno Award nominee reached #1 for three appearances (six weeks) last Spring as the vocalist/co-writer of Whethan’s “All In My Head”. 

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2021 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

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 🙂


SoCal electronic dance producer @JayB1rdmusic scores a personal best with progressive and dreamy “Escape” featuring outstanding soulful vocals by @chrxstalcreates


“Escape” is a heart-wrenching, dreamy, soulful electronic ballad from SoCal producer Jay Bird, about whom I’ve written many times.  Jay has been gradually moving into a more progressive, future bass style with his songs, and “Escape”, which has been released by Adept Records, is his best to date.  And to think that “Escape” might not have seen the light of day.  When Jay took some time away from music to regroup a few years back, “Escape” was written and almost forgotten.  Rediscovering it, he added the glorious new voice of Chrxstal Sarah, and the transformation was complete.  “Escape” has precisely placed beats and drops along with an undeniable hook. Chrxstal’s vocal is a stunner, totally nailing the emotion of the song that will truly resonate with fans of this genre.  

There’s a new dynamite duo in town: @AashMehtamusic and Victor Perry @wallflowerperry pair up for the gentle electronic ballad “Weightless”


Well this was an unexpected delight! I’ve been writing about the music of both Chicago-based producer Aash Mehta and NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry each for almost five years.  Little did I know that they were collaborating on new music, and “Weightless” is the first result.  Completely in harmony with each of their styles, “Weightless” is a gentle but progressive electronic ballad that looks on the positive side of heartbreak for fresh starts.  The singular piano riffs at the start leave you to believe you might be in store for something a little more acoustic, but the uplifting synths and beats kick in to underscore the importance of not being afraid of the unknown.  Victor’s softer tones are in beautiful understated storytelling mode, and you will be able to easily visualize hearing “Weightless” amid lights and lasers once concert-going resumes.

Published in: on January 17, 2021 at 11:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The one that got away? Ireland’s @DeanRobertmusic ponders the question after the relationship is “Gone”


“Gone” is the third single release from Berlin-based Irish singer/songwriter Dean Robert, former member of the Irish rock/R&B group IKONICS. It’s different and more introspective than previous Tipsy Records pop bops “Get Up” and “Morning”, with a slinky rhythm that will leave you wanting more. The lyrics unfold a story that some of us have faced – the relationship that could have been. “Gone” muses the regret behind not doing more to make it happen, but the bubbly melody gives “Gone” a real lift, and you can see Dean perform the song in the video above.  I’ll pitch this one to fans of Years & Years and Troye Sivan.

Published in: on January 17, 2021 at 11:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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NYC based-singer/songwriter @Reigenmusic has a big vocal showcase in the steamy “blue”

REIGEN, “blue”

“blue” evokes the images of a lonely city after a passionate relationship has ended. It’s brought to you in steamy glory by NYC-based singer/songwriter Reigen, a familiar name to these blog pages for his consistently solid, regular releases. “blue” is definitely one of his best – his voice shines in all of its glory with only the slightest of synths and guitar to accompany it, and when it lets loose, it’s dazzling.  When “blue” shifts into mid-tempo, it may remind you of of the rhythm in Ariana Grande’s “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored”.  “blue” is all about atmosphere and loss, having had a wild, uninhibited relationship that is no more.  Reigen presents it beautifully for you to indulge and enjoy.

Published in: on January 16, 2021 at 3:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Get to know the surreal melancholic style of NYC-based singer/songwriter @LisaRemar with “Fell Into”

LISA REMAR, “Fell Into”

For those who enjoy complex lyrics, with rich, melodic landscapes, then you should get to know the music of queer NYC-based alt.pop singer/songwriter Lisa Remar with “Fell Into”.  The song is deep, melancholy and layered, with rhythms pointing to the ‘boom bap’ bass-and-drums hip hop style of the 80’s and 90’s, and a basic theme of what to do and think when encountering deceptive people who only care about themselves. That creates an altered perception of those people which can be sometimes surreal and makes you question your own good judgment. Taking cues vocally from artists like Fiona Apple and Lana Del Rey, Lisa has created somewhat of a maze of emotions in “Fell Into”. Half Japanese herself, in the above video shot in Japan, she finds herself alone in somewhat of a distorted reality as she comes to grips with her findings.  And if complex songs are not entirely your thing, you will definitely appreciate the beautiful qualities in Lisa Remar’s voice – fans of the precision of Sinéad O’Connor, Mariah Carey, and Ariana Grande will enjoy.

Published in: on January 16, 2021 at 3:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Meet Indiana-born pop singer/songwriter @Jake_Schafer with “Over and Over” from his EP “The Space Between”

JAKE SCHAFER, “Over and Over”

In these days when so much popular music has so many similar qualities about it, a refreshing surprise every now and then is in order.  So meet Indiana-born singer/songwriter Jake Schafer, who has just released his EP The Space Between, which includes “Over and Over”.  It’s soulful pop that will appear to fans of The Bee Gees, Mika, Darren Hayes, and Sam Sparro among others.  Jake’s voice, particularly in his lower tones, elicits Barry Gibb vibes, and strangely in his higher tones recalls Mika more than Barry.  The music in “Over and Over” relies heavily on an infectious but basic metronomic synth drum beat.  The melody builds on its initial minimal sounds and adds ear-catching guitar and harmonies.  It all gels quite nicely and makes you wonder what’s next for Jake Schafer.

Published in: on January 16, 2021 at 3:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Be Somebody” is the new uplifting anthem from @DillonFrancis featuring Australian singer @EvieIrie


If you’re looking for an uplifting anthem of encouragement, then listen no further to “Be Somebody” by L.A.-based superstar producer Dillon Francis featuring the voice of young Australian singer/songwriter Evie Irie.  Released on his own IDGAFOS label through Casablanca/Republic, and already breaking out at US dance radio, “Be Somebody” gets right down to business with a brisk rhythm that makes its short two-and-a-half minute length go even faster.  Evie Irie’s down-to-earth vocal sounds like a blend of Billie Eilish-meets-Dua Lipa, and makes you do a double-take in a ‘where have I heard her’ before kind of moment.  “Be Somebody” has a lot of innate charm and Dillon’s slick style makes it all seamless.  I prefer its “VIP” mix, but there’s a slightly pitched up one by Moodshift, as well as a busier transformation by XIE for you to check out in the EP below where you can appreciate it in all of its variations.

“Bring That Back” is the insanely catchy deep house banger from NYC producer @Gattuso_music, Israeli-Belarusian duo @asketanatchaim and Danish singer @NadiaGattas


“Bring That Back” is a new banger that’s going to quickly get under your skin and stay there.  It’s from the collective global talents of NYC producer Gattüso and Israeli-Belarusian production duo Asketa & Natan Chaim, featuring a rich and memorable vocal by Danish singer Nadia Gattas.  While the song is called “Bring That Back”, you might be temped to call it “Do You Remember”, or ask what that new song that goes “na na na na / na na na na na na” might be.  Because the deep house rhythm track and song structure are so on point, “Bring That Back” escapes being a novelty song or an insipid pop song that was intended to unwillingly crawl under your skin.  It’s a solid dance track that has immense crossover potential to dance radio airplay.

Create your own adventure with electronic instrumental “Ddos” by Watertown, NY’s @GhostData


Ghost Data is the performing name for Watertown NY native Xzaviyer Hoffpauir, who has been making his name in the progressive electronic world as well as in the video game and animé worlds with his “Dreamsynth” sub-genre and his recordings that tell the story of “The Shepherdess”.  “Ddos” is an inspiring, aggressive instrumental that will prompt you to imagine your own adventure, whether video game or animé, as set to its music.  Its dramatic, cinematic effects hold your attention all the way through, and before you know it you have a mini-movie in your head.  “Ddos” could be the start of another story, who knows, so it’s best to pay attention with what Ghost Data has coming for us next, too.

Published in: on January 11, 2021 at 11:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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