#BILLCSNewMusicReport – February 1/23 spotlighting new songs by @_Patrick_Wolf Boy Aries @JordanRadics @Cobimusic @SurfMesa & @theSelahSol

I’m hoping that you are enjoying the updated format of the BILLCS New Music Report, which I began at the end of October, to reduce the pressure of writing every day or every other day, and to compact my reviews into a tidy, weekly showcase mainly for songs that are released independently. In 13 weeks, that has allowed me to write about over 100 songs which I put forward for your enjoyment. It’s impossible to keep up with the pace of releases, so I’m always happy when I even find a great song or two to write about that is still within 6-8 months of its release date. It’s all about discovery.

With the latest revival of older releases which I wrote about two weeks ago, the often offered insight by writers and other people in the biz that songs which were released more than two or three weeks ago are no longer up for consideration/their attention is hereby tossed into the waste bin. It’s no surprise that some independent performers are looking into their back catalogue of releases to ignite interest in songs that did not get their fair due at the time. To paraphrase the adage, “miss it once, shame on you, miss it twice, shame on me”.

In addition to the posts about individual songs, you can read about my pick of the week, along with picks from online radio buddies “Big Daddy” Russ Horton and Hunter Wilbur.  “The Musicman” James Rogers has a thing about songs from 1991 – the year of the big rock ballad – this week with his Classic Five pop hits feature. Because I’m always crazy about charts and lists, you’ll see what’s #1 and the Fastest Riser on the BILLCS Top 30, and I also include a list of the songs that were #1 on my chart this week over the past 25 years – so hard to believe that Martin Garrix’s “Animals” is 9 years old!!

The BILLCS New Music Report is a work-in-progress and I welcome your suggestions so feel free to contact me @billcs on Twitter @thebillcs on Instagram or @BILLCSMusicProjects on Facebook.

SPOTLIGHTING

PATRICK WOLF, “Enter The Day”

It was so nice to learn (thanks to Stephen Sears) of new music by London’s Patrick Wolf, his first in 11 years! The creative, unorthodox alternative pop singer/songwriter is known primarily for his albums The Magic Position (2007) and Lupercalia (2011), and their delightful songs “The Magic Position” and “The City”, both of which appeared on the BILLCS Top 30, reaching #4 and #10 respectively. “Enter The Day” is an entirely different affair though, a lyrical and thought-provoking song that extends hope to someone who is going through rough times in their life and hoping they “land in the golden mean” “where they oughta be”. Patrick gives a magnetic performance and, accordingly, the song immediately pulls you in. He’s got more music up his sleeve too. To coincide with the 20th anniversary of his debut release Lycanthropy, an EP called The Night Safari is due later this year.

BOY ARIES, “Drive”

Toronto duo Boy Aries follow up their single “Comets + The Death of Time”, which I wrote about recently, with an even more compelling song called “Drive”. The song’s about calling out someone when they’re wrong, and when apology is clearly due.  Jordan Radics’ commanding, inspired vocal turns the four words “turn your car around” into a signature unto itself – and the signal to do the right thing and mend fences. The production by Chris Perry with music by Turbo Bobbi is haunting and relatable. It will transport you back in time to a similar situation where you may or may not have received an apology. Certainly, “Drive” is slow and moody, but it’s an easy, fascinating listen thanks to a standout vocal.

COBI, “All On You”

I am all for Cobi’s current era of bluesy pop and rock songs that work so well with his voice. He scales it back to acoustic guitar for “All On You” to make both his voice and the lyrics in the song positively gleam. The harmonies break up the mix from being too static. “All On You” is simply a great song and with its fine performance it doesn’t need any additional trappings to change it or make it work any better.

SURF MESA, SELAH SOL, “City Of Love”

After breaking through the proverbial glass ceiling unexpectedly with the Dance Club Play chart #1 and Hot 100 Top 30 hit “ily (i love you baby)” in 2019, Seattle’s Surf Mesa (aka 22 year old Powell Aguirre) is back with the wistful bop “City Of Love”, which follows up last year’s wild “Marching Band” with Nitti Gritti. Led by a fresh vocal from newcomer Selah Sol, who sounds like a cross between Brandyn Burnette and Brando (singer on Loud Luxury’s “Body”), “City Of Love” is about trying to escape loneliness in the big city after a relationship has ended, but the thoughts of that person won’t go away. The song has a fine house bounce to it, which will go down well at festivals. I’ve seen Surf Mesa perform a super fun set in concert. He’s got great ears for mixing and for keeping the flow going in concert, so be sure to check out his show and listen for “City Of Love” in the mix.

FEATURING

R3HAB, AFROJACK, “Shockwave”

“Shockwave” is one of those short (2:03) blasts of solid fun that’s destined to be a club and crowd pleaser. It slams hard from the first note and is produced in a classic electronic banger structure – that could go on a lot longer with more drops – from veterans R3HAB and Afrojack. As much as I enjoy “Shockwave”, I’d love it if they’d team up next time for something even more powerful (which each has done many times before solo) that will really get under your skin.

JAMES PATTERSON, “To A Disco”

James Patterson (aka Mr JPatt) is one half of The Knocks, hardly strangers to these blog pages or my chart over the last 10 years, and “To A Disco” is his first solo release. Anyone who has ever attended a show by The Knocks is sure to love this funky ode to disco and its related good times in the 70’s – even though the artist himself was not around for it – because that’s the spirit they embrace without any pretentions. The Knocks often use other vocalists but at other times when Mr JPatt takes the lead the results have been smashing (example, “The Key” from their album 55). Any dance music lovers who know that disco is not a dirty word will thoroughly embrace “To A Disco”.

PETER WILSON, “Simone” (Matt Pop remix) and “Gone for Good”

It’s always a pleasure when two Peter Wilson delights come to my attention, but I must say I’m remiss for not knowing about the release of the Aussie singer/songwriter’s album The Great Unknown last summer, which includes both songs. But “Simone” (above) gets a percolating Matt Pop remix, which is always a good thing, adding zest to a lovely song about losing someone, which Peter conveys so well. “Gone For Good” (below) has the benefit of being co-produced by Stock-Aitken-Waterman mixmaster extraordinaire Pete Hammond. Indeed, fans of S-A-W will be mighty pleased with its slick arrangement which incorporates familiar Italodisco elements that always suit Peter’s voice, and are particularly engaging on this track.

LORI CULLEN, BETA ONE, “Here’s Where The Story Ends”

90’s alternative music fans will know right away that “Here’s Where The Story Ends” is indeed a cover of The Sundays’ memorable 1990 release. The singer is Toronto’s Lori Cullen, who has previously been a Juno Award nominee in the jazz category. She’s supported by Canadian electronic producer Beta One (aka James de Pinho) who gives the song a modernistic backdrop. Lori’s cool tones are definitely the star, and she evokes the same appeal of Harriet Wheeler of The Sundays, which will appeal to fans of the original. The pace is a bit slower and deliberate but that does not get in the way of enjoying “Here’s Where The Story Ends” for the fine electronic pop interpretation that it is.

AXEL MANSOOR, “Frame Of Mind”

After a lot of soul searching and travelling which has taken him away from creating music over the past few years, L.A.’s Axel Mansoor is back with a snappy ditty called “Frame of Mind”. It’s a really short (2:02) ode to being positive, and enjoying how you feel while it’s happening. After his more recent, complex and deeply personal and cathartic releases, “Frame of Mind” is hopefully a taste of even more good songs to come soon. Axel has been nominated for a daytime Emmy Award, was the face of Clubhouse for 7 weeks, was a contestant on TV’s “Songland”, and has even got to #1 on the BILLCS Top 30, twice! I’m sure there’s a lot brewing behind-the-scenes that I’m confident is waiting for us to hear!

BILL’S NEW MUSIC PICK OF THE WEEK

My New Music Pick of the Week  is a 5-7 minute radio segment that airs more than 20 times/week on online radio stations around the world.

Everything But The Girl’s “Nothing Left To Lose” and its cool one-take video

“BIG DADDY” RUSS HORTON’S PICK OF THE WEEK

“Big Daddy” Russ Horton is the owner of online stations Radio GTA, Halton Hills Radio Online, & FM108.ca.

“Pepper” by Death Cab For Cutie

HUNTER J. WILBUR’S BOP OF THE WEEK

Hunter J. Wilbur is the host of the online radio shows “Modern Hype” and “Addictive Energy” which can be heard on several online stations including Classic Hits Canada.

“Kelly Time” by Owl City, who brought us “Fireflies” back in 2009

“THE MUSICMAN” JAMES ROGERS’ CLASSIC FIVE

“The Musicman” James Rogers is the owner and host of The 3D Variety Show heard Tuesdays on Planet Radio Canada. The Classic Five is “pop music 101” of the post-Beatles era – classics you need to know! Each title is linked to a Spotify stream of the song.

Bryan Adams – ( Everything I Do) I Do It For You
Extreme – More Than Words
Roxette – Joyride
Wilson Phillips – Hold On
Mr. Big – To Be With You

BILLCS Top 30 #1 SONG

“Satisfaction” by Darin

BILLCS Top30 FASTEST RISER

“Wish On An Eyelash, Pt. 2” by Australian singer Mallrat and The Chainsmokers (19-12)

25 YEARS OF BILLCS TOP 30 #1’s

Songs that rocked my personal chart at this time during the last 25 years.

1998 ANGEL Joée
1999 LOST ONES Lauryn Hill
2000 FADED soulDecision
2001 HANGING BY A MOMENT Lifehouse
2002 COME ON DOWN Crystal Waters
2003 THE SOUND OF VIOLENCE Cassius featuring Steve Edwards
2004 MY TIME Dutch featuring Crystal Waters
2005 THE LETTER SONG Tyler Hilton
2006 THUNDER IN MY HEART AGAIN Meck featuring Leo Sayer
2007 DOCTOR BLIND Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton
2008 HOW TO BUILD A TIME MACHINE Darren Hayes
2009 YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK Jon Mclaughlin
2010 DELUSIONAL Simon Curtis
2011 GOLDEN TRAIN Penguin Prison
2012 MEMORIZE ME Rune RK & DATABOY
2013 1998 Matthew Koma
2014 ANIMALS Martin Garrix
2015 GOIN’ DOWN Deniz Koyu vs Twoloud
2016 NOTHING AT ALL Brandyn Burnette
2017 D E E P IN NY Bobby Nourmand featuring DOC & Goodmorning
2018 PINEAPPLE SKIES Miguel
2019 DJ’S GOTTA DANCE MORE A-Trak featuring Todd Terry
2020 FLAMES R3HAB, Zayn & Jungleboi
2021 GIVE IT BACK The Disco Fries & GIIANTS featuring Allison Park
2022 UNBREAKABLE TELYKast featuring Sam Gray

#BILLCSTop30 #658, January 30/23

Because the top of the national music charts are generally so static, change on the BILLCS Top 30 is the norm. And this was one of the closest calls between the top three songs for the number one spot.

The best places to communicate with me continue to be Twitter @billcs or Instagram @thebillcs or Facebook @BILLCSMusicProjects. Follow this blog using the “Follow” button at the bottom of the home page.

Check out my ONLINE RADIO SHOWS below too as they are increasingly tied in with this blog.  

In the end, Darin gets his third #1 on my chart with “Satisfaction” (above). The song is such an important and fun way for the singer to embrace his sexuality and share a funky, upbeat song that recalls 80’s greats like George Michael and Culture Club. His previous #1’s were the ballad “Holding Me More” and the pop/dance “Can’t Stay Away”, which initiated this new era for Darin. In fact, “Can’t Stay Away” has recently been picked up by the BBC and is in the Top 40 airplay in the UK, so who knows where it will go now! Darin’s cover of Johnossi’s “What’s The Point” (below) is also a bonus this week, as it sails 14-10, making it five consecutive Top 10’s for Darin too!

While JVKE slides out of #1 by a hair, he and Martin Garrix’s “Hero” looks like it’s next in line as it leaps 8-3. I’m travelling to Las Vegas in late February and Martin Garrix is playing his residency at Omnia, so I look forward to seeing that show and perhaps hearing “Hero” in concert!!

“Black Mascara” by Greyson Chance is one of the most unique and compelling songs on this chart this week. From his album Palladium, the song jumps 11-5.

The remaining newcomer to the Top 10 is by two artists who have been here multiple times. Armand Van Helden and Karen Harding’s “Wings (I Won’t Let You Down)” rises 12-9. It’s Armand’s 6th visit to the Top 10 and first since 2007, and it’s Karen’s 7th time in the Top 10 since 2020.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is the gentle and heartfelt “Wish On An Eyelash, Pt. 2” by Australia’s Mallrat in collaboration with The Chainsmokers, and it soars 19-12. It’s a very balanced song that reminds me of when I first heard The Chainsmokers & Halsey’s “Closer”.

The song that debuted the highest on the last chart moves up the fastest from the other debuts and that is Timmy Trumpet and Tungevaag’s delightful and frenetic “La Danse”, which climbs 24-18.

The Highest Debut on the chart belongs to UK duo Everything But The Girl. The last time they appeared on this chart was in 2000 with “Temperamental”, the title track of their 1999 album, and that song reached #2, following two #1’s. Singer Tracey Thorn also got to #2 in 2007 with her solo release “It’s All True”. Their fresh new dance track is “Nothing Left To Lose” from the upcoming album Fuse, and it arrives at #24. And watch the video for the song, above, which was shot in one take!

Premiering at #26 is Amsterdam-based UK artist Waiting For Smith with his thoughtful, beautifully sung song “Heal”. The singer/songwriter’s name is Harry Lloyd – Smith was a drummer who never showed up for rehearsals – and a few years ago he suffered a broken back as a result of a skiing accident. It’s no wonder that his new music from his EP Trying Not To Try is so giving and humble. Check out the video for “Heal” above, in which he uses his body as a canvas for people’s various thoughts.

At #27 is the return of the French disco master Cerrone, most noted for his 70’s disco classics “Supernature” and “Love In C Minor”, with his latest release “The Only One”. It features British vocalist Brendan Reilly in an excellent Jamiroquai-like performance and is made in collaboration with fellow French producer Mercer, who has been to the top of my chart twice with “Aretha” last year and “Satisfy” in 2018. “The Only One” also has those signature Cerrone synth riffs that transport me back to the 70’s.

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 Saturdays 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! The schedules have been updated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BILLCSNewMusicReport – January 25/23 spotlighting songs by @iamDabinLee x @KaiWachimusic x @iamLoSpirit @Showtek & #EDAY @partyPartyNails & @B0ySim @PaulManchin

This week I don’t have any specific opening remarks or editorial, but for those of us who are in the middle of winter, music is a great mood changer, so I encourage you to “think summer” and play or make a playlist of your favourite tunes for a bright summer day!

In addition to the posts about individual songs, you can read about my pick of the week, along with picks from online radio buddies “Big Daddy” Russ Horton and Hunter Wilbur.  “The Musicman” James Rogers goes back to the early 70’s this week with his Classic Five pop hits feature. Plus I include the songs that debuted on the BILLCS Top 30 in this week from 2018-2022.

The BILLCS New Music Report is a work-in-progress and I welcome your suggestions so feel free to contact me @billcs on Twitter @thebillcs on Instagram or @BILLCSMusicProjects on Facebook.

SPOTLIGHTING

DABIN, KAI WACHI, Lø SPIRIT, “Hollow”

“Hollow” hits you between the ears with a jarring progressive electronic production that is peppered with screams and unbridled emotions. It’s all brought to you by Toronto-born producer Dabin Lee, Idaho producer Kai Wachi, and a new name to watch, Atlanta’s Lø Spirit (aka Josh Landry), who received considerable attention last year with his cover of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill”. Everything works so well in this record, even though bigger, harsher-sounding songs are not always my thing. The production is like a whirlwind that’s mixed with a lot of wicked future bass elements and considerable finesse. It’s rare that a vocalist can both sing and scream well, but Lø Spirit gives it his all and the producers make him sound amazing. “Hollow” is a real surprise and will appeal to those who like their electronic music with lots of edge.

SHOWTEK, EDAY, “Everybody”

If you want new music that’s guaranteed to lift your spirits, “Everybody” by Dutch veterans and regular Las Vegas club residents Showtek and American vocalist EDAY (aka Haydee Rivera) will do the trick. Blasting out of big speakers, the line “everybody dance for the love of music” hits a home run, and some amusing, brief spoken-word interludes provide some novelty appeal. Showtek pulls it all together to create a happy, infectious vibe that will work well in clubs.

PARTY NAILS, BOY SLIM, “Like U”

“Like U” is a melting pot of pop/dance influences that pervade it from the 80’s through the 2010’s. Think about what would happen if Cyndi Lauper and Carly Rae Jepsen met the Real McCoy and Ace of Base and decided to make a record with some help from Cathy Dennis and Icona Pop. It’s as catchy as all hell, brought to you by L.A.-based singer/songwriter Party Nails (Elana Carroll) and Austin-based queer producer and co-writer Boy Sim (Christopher Sauceda). Party Nails’ playful vocal is the star as she teases out the song with a few dashes of Madonna along the way. Boy Sim’s vocal in the middle helps give it an unexpected European flavour and balance that was prevalent in early 90’s europop. “Like U” is aural glitter that will leave you smiling.

PAUL MANCHIN, “King”

Versatile Canadian singer/songwriter/producer Paul Manchin returns with “King”, an electronic pop release with a provocative video. Actually “King” is a re-release of a 2017 track from Paul’s album Salutations, and its theme about mental illness, giving up and helplessness will certainly resonate more to listeners post-pandemic. Paul’s vocal is alternately gentle and compelling, and his production with Black Jack is executed well, providing difficult subject matter with a vibrant melody. And do take a look at the video, with its many deliberately still scenes eventually allowing you to home in on its character’s plight. “King” is available for purchase on iTunes and will be available on streaming platforms soon.

FEATURING

NATALIE SHAY, “The Edge”

“The Edge” is a poignant song that finds comfort and resolve with its uplifting, danceable melody. British singer Natalie Shay lays all the cards on the table about the end of a close friendship, which makes “The Edge” an honest, cathartic release for her. But it also shows no fear about moving on, and the buoyant rhythm certainly celebrates that. Natalie’s appeal continues to be wide as her voice often straddles pop, rock and country, and despite delicate subject matter, “The Edge” will be an enjoyable, relatable listen for many folks.

SILVERLAND, “There Tonight”

British singer/songwriter/producer Silverland is a promising new talent who has released the electronic pop track “There Tonight”. It’s a short, uplifting song that reminds me of some songs by One Republic or American Authors. It’s got anthemic rock power that would go down well at festivals, and features some Celtic elements that draw from Silverland’s own Irish roots. Sometimes short and sweet works quite well and here Silverland makes the most of it.

ANDY SUZUKI & THE METHOD, “Chainsaw”

“Chainsaw” is a crunchy slice of rock ‘n roll that’s brought to life by NYC-based Andy Suzuki & The Method, which consists of vocalist/guitarist Andy and hand-percussionist Kozza Olatunji-Babumba. It’s the pair’s first new music in two years after both became parents for the first time during that time. The thundering arrangement veers away from their folk-influenced pop/rock sound of their earlier work, and continues in the rock vein of their last album, 2019’s Alibi, which will appeal to fans of Imagine Dragons, Bastille, and The Killers. The chorus of “Chainsaw” is riveting and memorable, and will play over again and again in your head, which is always a good thing.

JAVI, “Bad Habit”

L.A.-based Puerto Rican-American singer Javi is back after his stunning cover of Sade’s “Cherish The Day” (which peaked at #6 on my personal chart last year) with his take on Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit”, which was a #1 last Fall on my chart. It’s a straight-forward production that shows off Javi’s dynamic voice, as he tackles and accentuates the more soulful elements of the song. I’m always intrigued by covers like this that are sung in a different vocal style without changing any intent of the original, and Javi completely nails it in the Spotify link above.

BILL’S NEW MUSIC PICK OF THE WEEK

My New Music Pick of the Week  is a 5-7 minute radio segment that airs more than 20 times/week on online radio stations around the world.

The Shapeshifters covers the Talking Heads’ “Slippery People” with vocalists Ramona Renea and Fiorious

“BIG DADDY” RUSS HORTON’S PICK OF THE WEEK

“Big Daddy” Russ Horton is the owner of online stations Radio GTA, Halton Hills Radio Online, & FM108.ca.

Sofi Tukker scales it back a bit and covers Snow Patrol’s much loved “Chasing Cars”

HUNTER J. WILBUR’S BOP OF THE WEEK

Hunter J. Wilbur is the host of the online radio shows “Modern Hype” and “Addictive Energy” which can be heard on several online stations including Classic Hits Canada.

British singer Chilli Jesson with “Carolina Reaper”

“THE MUSICMAN” JAMES ROGERS’ CLASSIC FIVE

“The Musicman” James Rogers is the owner and host of The 3D Variety Show heard Tuesdays on Planet Radio Canada. The Classic Five is “pop music 101” of the post-Beatles era – classics you need to know! Each title is linked to a Spotify stream of the song.

Elton John – Crocodile Rock (1973)
Mac Davis – Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me (1972)
B.J. Thomas – Raindrops Are Fallin’ On My Head (1969)
Cher – Gypsys, Tramps And Thieves (1971)
Looking Glass – Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl) (1972)

BILLCS TOP 30 CHART DEBUTS 2018-2022

2022:

#10 Darren Hayes – Let’s Try Being In Love

#26 The Chainsmokers – High

#27 Jonas Blue featuring Why Don’t We – Don’t Wake Me Up

#28 Years & Years – Night Call

#29 Gabe James – Gracie

2021:

#22 Illenium, Dabin & Lights – Hearts On Fire

#25 Wizzay – Jealous

#26 Armin van Buuren featuring Duncan Laurence – Feel Something

#27 Bobby Harvey & Danny Dearden – Tell Me

#28 Grandson – Dirty

2020:

#23 Jessie Ware – Mirage (Don’t Stop)

#24 Chocolate Puma & Firebeatz – Soul Fifty

#25 A-Trak & Friend Within – Blaze

#27 Young Bombs featuring Aloe Blacc – Better Day

#28 Homestead – Lifeline

2019:

#20 Revelries & Sam Smyers – Don’t Think Twice

#25 Ava Max – Sweet But Psycho

#26 R3HAB & Mokita – All Into Nothing

#30 Parralox featuring Marcella Detroit – Paradise (Eric Kupper remix)

2018:

#16 Troye Sivan – My My My!

#26 Reigen – Dreams

#27 Two Friends featuring Kevin Writer – Just A Kid

#BILLCSNewMusic Report – January 18/23 spotlighting @Cerrone @Mercermusic & @BrendanReilly @SGLewis_ @CharDayWilson & @Channel_Tres @Alokoficial & @JamesArthur23 #EleanorHammond

Editorial: IS 2023 THE YEAR OF THE THROWBACK?

In the ongoing cycle of music as it relates to its audience at the time, we have seen throwbacks happen twice within the post-Beatles era (1964 to present). A nostalgia craze spearheaded by the film “American Graffiti” in 1973 – which was preceded by the reissue of the 1962 novelty “Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett that summer – saw Top 40 radio stations devoting considerable amounts of their programming to “oldies” for about 18 months. And in 1989, some creative program directors at major radio stations across the U.S. revisited records released earlier in the decade like Sheriff’s “When I’m With You”, Benny Mardones’ “Into The Night”, Real Life’s “Send Me An Angel”, and others, with great if short-lived success. Some of those songs became bigger hits than they were the first time around.

Last summer, through the popularity of Netflix’s “Stranger Things”, we saw Kate Bush’s 1985 well-remembered hit “Running Up That Hill” revived through online adulation largely on Tik Tok. Television commercials and Tik Tok led to Sia’s “Unstoppable” becoming a smash after 6 years. More recently, The Weeknd’s 6 year old “Die For You” has become a far bigger hit than the first time around, currently in Billboard’s Top 10, and Lady Gaga’s 11 year old “Bloody Mary” looks like it could follow suit. In the UK, Tom Odell’s 10 year old “Another Love” recently returned to the Top 10, and Miguel’s 12 year old “Sure Thing” has bounded into the Top 20 and also re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 this week.

So while critics are saying that Tik Tok’s peak has passed, which has recently introduced many new artists slowly into the mix like Steve Lacy, Stephen Sanchez, and JVKE, could Tik Tok really be the go-to platform for re-igniting interest in a song in some creative way? We’ll have to see if the bubble is breaking with the recent bunch of revivals.

But don’t conclude that music fans are “looking” for these older releases. Each one has a backstory as to why the additional promotion on Tik Tok has resulted in viral attention, and each one has been a major label release, so the funds to take the promotion to the next level are already there. I’m tired of hearing that people aren’t interested in new music because of oversaturation. If the tastemakers and influencers would get behind independently released music more, the same things could happen to a new performer and make them the Next Big Thing. Mark my word, it will happen, it’s just a matter of when!

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You can also read about my pick of the week, along with picks from online radio buddies “Big Daddy” Russ Horton and Hunter Wilbur.  “The Musicman” James Rogers remembers songs from 1967 through 1969 this week with his Classic Five pop hits feature. Plus I include my current BILLCS Top 30 #1 song and the Fastest Riser on the chart.

The BILLCS New Music Report is a work-in-progress and I welcome your suggestions so feel free to contact me @billcs on Twitter @thebillcs on Instagram or @BILLCSMusicProjects on Facebook.

SPOTLIGHTING

CERRONE, MERCER, BRENDAN REILLY, “The Only One”

CERRONE, BRENDAN REILLY, “Supernature”

“The Only One” is a joyous new original that combines the deft talents of veteran French disco producer Cerrone, fellow French dance producer Mercer, and British vocalist Brendan Reilly. The result is a cornucopia of dance music styles, with the song sounding a lot like what Jamiroquai would sound like if Cerrone and Mercer got at them. Cerrone’s indelible, classic electronic synth riffs are omnipresent more than 40 years later, and the funky groove makes “The Only One” impossible to resist. Brendan’s fab, soulful vocal is the icing on the cake – you might remember him for his appearance on “Moving Mountains” from Disclosure’s Grammy-nominated Caracal album. He also sang on Cerrone’s delightful redux of his own classic “Supernature” last year, check it out below too.

S.G. LEWIS, CHARLOTTE DAY WILSON, CHANNEL TRES, “Fever Dreamer”

British electronic producer/DJ S.G. Lewis has long been a festival favourite and despite 10’s of millions of streams, his songs didn’t really start to break through until the past few years with collaborations with Clairo, Robyn, Tove Lo and Nile Rodgers. “Fever Dreamer” is the kind of cool song that could make a difference and follows up his 2021 full album release Times. It’s led by a charming vocal by co-writer and producer Charlotte Day Wilson, a Canadian singer from Toronto who has been nominated for Juno Awards, and who I’ve seen in concert. The rhythm exudes a slick CHIC-kind of funky edge, and Charlotte’s soulful and touching voice draws you in. Channel Tres has worked with S.G. before and he’s an L.A. rapper whose more spoken-word interludes are reminiscent of both Idris Elba and the late Maxi Jazz’s vocals with Faithless. “Fever Dreamer” is an easy, high calibre listen that could also benefit from some creative remixes.

ALOK, JAMES ARTHUR, “Work With My Love”

While producers have covered and used elements of The Shapeshifters’ classic “Lola’s Theme” too numerous of times in the past few years, Brazil’s popular Alok crafts a glistening production that doesn’t put a damper on the original. As has been a recent trend, a new song has been written around it called “Work With My Love”, and I’m wondering if James Arthur shouldn’t record dance tracks more often, thanks to this and his excellent recent Afrojack collaboration “Lose You” (currently moving up my personal chart).  The song and vocal are nothing short of top-drawer, and I expect “Work With My Love” will become a dance radio smash.

ELEANOR HAMMOND, “Best of Tonight”

Eleanor Hammond is a new singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist from L.A. whose name you should remember as she releases her latest single “Best of Tonight”. Full of confidence and vigor, which is rooted in creating local stage musicals (including one with red hot amigo Em Beihold), Eleanor gives “Best of Tonight” a passionate vocal in a song that will resonate with many folks who have a memorable time with someone that may not have even led to anything more. The video for the song, captured splendidly by director William Chapin, is garnering attention for helping to normalize same-sex relationships and promote inclusion in that medium. “Best of Tonight” is a fine introduction to Eleanor Hammond, about whom I’m sure we’ll be hearing much more.

FEATURING

BOBBY NOURMAND, “Distortion” (Damon Jee remix)

After venturing into pop territory recently with Capital Cities for their single together “Together” (which peaked at #12 on the BILLCS Top 30), and taking a break from regular releases, L.A.-based progressive electronic producer Bobby Nourmand returns with the dark, disco-flavoured “Distortion”, which is in a remix by veteran producer Damon Jee. This picks up where 2018’s adventurous “Subterranean” and “Estranged” (which reached #1 on the BILLCS Top 30) left off with a hypnotic melody that might strike you as similar to Martin Garrix’s “Animals”. “Distortion” is ideal for late nights either at the club or out for a long drive.

BENJAMIN RUSSELL, ROB STUART, “Something In F Minor”

Canadian producers Benjamin Russell and Rob Stuart have unleashed a massive album project called Something In F Minor, which mixes progressive electronic flavours with rock flourishes, and while definitely not trying to be something to everyone, the album does offer a diverse mix of songs, including the wildly inventive title song.  “Something In F Minor” is accompanied by a clever, mostly animated video (somewhat in the vein of Terry Gilliam’s work for Monty Python, but more straight-forward) that will appeal to fans of modern art, and includes not only original artwork by Benjamin, but from artists like Rousseau, Ernst, Magritte and Dali. Benjamin is also the singer and co-songwriter (with spouse Elyse), and I recently wrote about one of the album’s other tracks, the party anthem “Yell”.  He also re-recorded his 1984 release “Miracle” for the album, but I must admit I’m still quite attached to the synth pop of the original. Benjamin’s at times theatrical sounding vocal sounds great on “Something In F Minor”, and also anchors other intriguing songs on the album like its hopeful closer “Disappear”, which touches on well-being and mental health. Overall, I’ve got to give major props to Benjamin and Rob for this bold, creative release.

OddKidOut, ISABÈL USHER, “Sleep”

“Sleep” is an unconventional electronic release that sounds melancholic but is actually rather comforting, and thus it’s a bit more of a grower than usual. It’s by L.A.-based, Philadelphia-born producer OddKidOut with lyrics and vocals by Dutch singer Isabèl Usher.  It’s a quick one at only 2:18, and OddKidOut says he made most of the track on a flight from Philly to L.A. on his laptop. It certainly has that DIY quality but the brief shifting in pace after the words are sung and the old school electronic sound are reminiscent of some releases from mid-last decade. So yeah, “Sleep” has this quirky, retro vibe on the top layer, and underneath is a warm and welcoming song.

XanTz, MAXXER, ROBBIE ROSEN, “Revived”

“Revived” is like a blueprint for everything that sounds good in a pop/dance banger that is elevated because of the songwriting and vocal.  This is one of the highly prolific Robbie Rosen’s best recent releases, and this time he’s partnered with Norwegian producer XanTz and Detroit producer Maxxer, and together they all take this song to the next level. Be prepared to bounce to the euphoric synths, and Robbie’s anthemic lyrics are sure to inspire you.

BILL’S NEW MUSIC PICK OF THE WEEK

My New Music Pick of the Week  is a 5-7 minute radio segment that airs more than 20 times/week on online radio stations around the world.

The lost art of love through dance is represented by “La Danse” by Timmy Trumpet & Tungevaag

“BIG DADDY” RUSS HORTON’S PICK OF THE WEEK

“Big Daddy” Russ Horton is the owner of online stations Radio GTA, Halton Hills Radio Online, & FM108.ca.

Australian trio daste. with “butterfly (so free)”

HUNTER J. WILBUR’S BOP OF THE WEEK

Hunter J. Wilbur is the host of the online radio shows “Modern Hype” and “Addictive Energy” which can be heard on several online stations including Classic Hits Canada.

American duo and twin sisters Lavendine with “Finding My Way Home”

“THE MUSICMAN” JAMES ROGERS’ CLASSIC FIVE

“The Musicman” James Rogers is the owner and host of The 3D Variety Show heard Tuesdays on Planet Radio Canada. The Classic Five is “pop music 101” of the post-Beatles era – classics you need to know! Each title is linked to a Spotify stream of the song.

Zager & Evans – In The Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)  (1969)
Bobby Goldsboro – Honey (1968)
Herb Alpert – This Guy’s In Love With You (1968)
Bobbie Gentry – Ode To Billie Joe (1967)
Elvis Presley – Suspicious Minds (1969)

BILLCS Top 30 #1 SONG

“Golden Hour” by JVKE

BILLCS Top30 FASTEST RISER

“Hero” by Martin Garrix and JVKE (22-8)

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #657 – January 16/23

It’s here! I can finally post it officially! Yes, the chart first published in January 1998, initially as the Tuned-On! Top 10 until August that year, when it increased to a Top 30. The chart has always been open to having both albums and singles appear, and in 2003, I began allowing any song from around the world to chart. In the 2000’s, I also allowed free downloads to chart, and one eventually reached #1 in 2009 (it was “Pink Cadillac” by 100 Akres and Roz Bell). Artists have never been restricted to having one song appear on the chart. And there are only two rules: A song can only remain on the chart for 10 appearances (20 weeks), unless it is in an upward moving position, and that only happened once (“Rolling In The Deep” by Adele peaked at #2 in its 11th appearance, then left the chart). I have been tempted at times to increase the chart to a Top 40 but my original preference has always held through those moments.

The best places to communicate with me continue to be Twitter @billcs or Instagram @thebillcs or Facebook @BILLCSMusicProjects. Follow this blog using the “Follow” button at the bottom of the home page.

Check out my ONLINE RADIO SHOWS below too as they are increasingly tied in with this blog.  

To start off this 25th anniversary celebration, I have a new #1, and it’s a song I didn’t think would initially get there, after Conan Gray’s “Yours” leapt over it, having debuted the chart after.  I’m talking about JVKE’s “Golden Hour” (above), which succeeds “Yours” and gets to the top in its 8th appearance. And even better yet for the 19 year old talented pianist and songwriter, his collaboration with Martin Garrix for “Hero” (below) is the Fastest Riser, soaring 22-8. It becomes Martin’s 9th Top 10 entry too.

“Satisfaction” (above) by Darin is right behind “Golden Hour”, moving up 3-2, from his EP My Purple Clouds. And it hasn’t happened for a while, but Darin now has three songs on the chart. His standalone single “What’s The Point” bumps up 15-14, while “Memories” (below), another track from My Purple Clouds, arrives at #29.

Matoma’s energetic anthem “The Power” (above) rises another notch, 4-3, while Joel Corry’s song with Tom Grennan, “Lionheart (Fearless)” (below) climbs 7-4.

Also new to the Top 10 are Zac Poor’s emotional delight “Ghost Boy” (11-9, above, in its new black and white video), and the teaming of Illenium and MAX for “Worst Day” (13-10, below). It’s Illenium’s 9th trip to the Top 10, while MAX has accumulated 10 Top 10’s!

Immediately outside of the Top 10, recent upstarts “Black Mascara” by Greyson Chance (16-11, above) and “Wings (I Won’t Let You Down)” by Armand Van Helden & Karen Harding (18-12, below) await their placements in two weeks. Karen’s also been a regular presence in this blog recently due to a slew of top calibre new releases!

I’m skipping through the middle of the chart because in addition to Darin’s “Memories”, there are five debuts, after a number of long-lasting favourites departed the chart. And put on those dancing shoes…

One of the most creative and memorable new releases around is “La Danse” by Australia’s Timmy Trumpet and Norway’s Tungevaag, which arrives at #24. It’s Timmy’s second appearance on the chart following 2019’s #2 “World At Our Feet”. And Tungevaag is the second Norwegian producer on the chart, along with Matoma.

At #25 is a stunning cover of Talking Heads’ “Slippery People” (above) by UK producer The Shapeshifters and vocalists Ramona Renea and Fiorious from the album Let Loose. The original version is included in the Heads’ album Speaking In Tongues, but this version more closely resembles the more obscure 1984 cover version by The Staple Singers (below). Otherwise known as Simon Marlin, The Shapeshifters has previously charted twice before, last in 2006, but more importantly, with the #1 “Lola’s Theme” in 2004. The vocalists deliver excellent performances and clearly had a good time making this one.

“Lose You” by Afrojack and James Arthur bows at #27. It’s the fourth appearance on the chart for Afrojack, but a first time for James, who usually does not record dance releases but whose voice is suited immensely well for them, lending an emotional depth and vulnerable quality to “Lose You” that another vocalist likely couldn’t provide.

The fifth debut at #28 is “No Sleep” by Toronto-based producer Famba and vocalist GLASGOW KI$$. It’s Famba’s 6th entry on the chart, following last year’s “Forever”, and continues in a similar clubby vein, a few steps removed from his more pop flavoured releases which have landed him in Canada’s Top 10.  Check out the original above, and the new Silver Panda remix below, which plays even more on some of the techno influences in the song.

Famba plays Club Noir (inside Rebel) in Toronto on February 4.

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 Saturdays 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! There have been some changes and they will be updated soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BILLCSNewMusicReport – January 11/23 spotlighting new songs by Everything But The Girl @EBTG @itsPeterGabriel @ManilaKilla @Majesticonline & @KarenHarding

While most of my blog posts are about independent performers, occasionally the opportunity to write about some bigger names arises, and this week’s New Music Report is one of those times. Everything But The Girl and Peter Gabriel both released new songs in the last week, and I’ve written about neither in the last 13 years because these are their first releases in over 20 years. And I also get to revisit a rebooted version of a song by Manila Killa that I wrote about almost exactly five years ago!

You can also read about my pick of the week, along with picks from online radio buddies “Big Daddy” Russ Horton and Hunter Wilbur, and “The Musicman” James Rogers also has his Classic Five pop hits feature which zeroes in on songs from 1980. You can also find out what was my #1 song of the week on the BILLCS Top 30 as well as the Fastest Riser on the chart. Plus I recap the top five songs from the BILLCS Top 30 from this week 5, 10, 15 and 20 years ago.

The BILLCS New Music Report is a work-in-progress and I welcome your suggestions so feel free to contact me @billcs on Twitter @thebillcs on Instagram or @BILLCSMusicProjects on Facebook.

SPOTLIGHTING

EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL, “Nothing Left To Lose”

Everything But The Girl, the British duo of vocalist Tracey Thorn and producer/musician Ben Watt, are back with “Nothing Left To Lose”, their first song together since the 1999 release of their album Temperamental, from a forthcoming album called Fuse.

Starting as an almost retro acoustic act at the tail end of the new wave era, EBTG found their own niche with alternative music fans which sustained them for about 10 years. Then noted dance producer Todd Terry remixed their acoustic ballad “Missing” (from 1994’s Amplified Heart album), which sent the song to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and opened unforeseen opportunities for them with dance music audiences for the rest of that decade. Having seen them in concert in 1985 (at Toronto’s small El Mocambo) and being a fan of their early songs, I was totally onboard for this new found success, which resulted in the stunning Walking Wounded as well as Temperamental, two of my personal favourites of the 90’s.

“Nothing Left To Lose” is like a clean slate for them, a bouncy electronic release that could set a template for other artists this year. Carried by Tracey’s deeper tones, the song has a passionate, memorable chorus while Ben’s sonic flair – featuring a beautiful bassline that pervades the song, as well as a lot of interesting, insistent effects – will be a tantalizing listen for even the best young producers. Can’t wait for the album! Check out the fantastic choreography in the video above – all done in one take!

PETER GABRIEL, “Panopticom” (Bright Side mix)

Now here’s a name that you didn’t expect to return with a self-released song almost 21 years after his last album. While reverent fans will remember him for his early work in Genesis, and most others know him from his 80’s peak with songs and eye-popping videos like “Sledgehammer”, “Big Time” and “Digging In The Dirt”, “Panopticom” transports us melodically back to the early, creative Peter Gabriel solo period from 1975-1980. This is kind of strange since “Panopticom” is a very modern and fresh sounding release with its themes of information overload and social media running through the lyrics. Peter’s voice sounds ageless here and I expect this will be a huge hit at rock and alternative stations in the months to come.

MANILA KILLA, NEVVE, “Everyday, Everyday” (Live Edit)

It’s hard to believe that this song is five years old (read my write up about the original version), but “Everyday, Everyday” remains a timeless slice of emotional dance/pop with an inviting piano melody. The electronics are stripped back for this extended “live edit” and Manila Killa has done a great job at shining the spotlight on his lyrics and vocalist Nevve, and giving the jubilant chorus an anthemic extra lift. It more than holds up for over 6 minutes and I’m hoping this crisp new version will give the song renewed attention, particularly after the success of Manila Killa’s top notch album Dusk last year.

MAJESTIC, KAREN HARDING, “Sweat”

Banger alert! There haven’t been too many around lately, so this solid teaming of British producer Majestic with house music queen Karen Harding is a great fit for “Sweat”. The song doesn’t really cover new ground, but has an infectious 90’s flavour in the synth work, and Karen shifts into house diva mode which delivers. Majestic was the producer who successfully got his remix of Boney M’s “Rasputin” onto the worldwide pop and dance charts a while back, so with its let-it-all-loose vibe, “Sweat” should not be underestimated!

FEATURING

MIKE ROGERS, “Get High”

Like with last Spring’s “Can’t Stop”, the latest release by Dutch trio Mike Rogers is meant to be heard live, and has that live-off-the-floor feel to it.  Once again led by the potent voice of Micha de Jonge – who to me sounds somewhat like Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers at times here – “Get High” is a new breed of alt.rock song, sung from the point of view of a drug dealer, which heavy on melody and tight instrumentation. What really helps the song though are the handclaps, which add to the live flavour of the sound. The tight arrangement makes “Get High” an easy listen and another reason to check out the songs of Mike Rogers.

BARRON, “Without You”

Harrison Barron is a 27 year old electronic pop artist from Nashville, who is attracting listeners after a few releases with his sparkling synth pop sound which often touches an emotional nerve. His new song “Without You” captures those points in time when you miss someone and are reunited with them, and the mood of the song shifts accordingly. Barron’s voice focuses on his higher register and is further back in the mix than usual, which makes an intriguing effect. His slighter sound is polar opposite of future bass, yet his songs include similar themes. So if you like your electronic pop light and bright, then “Without You” is perfect for you. 

KLAAS, “Heart Swipe”

“Heart Swipe” is a beautiful slice of europop from veteran German producer Klaas, who once again teams up with the always reliable songwriter Daniel Volpe. The song is a grower and focuses on the fakery of social media, from dating sites like Tinder, or others that focus on images and videos like Tik Tok, with the female protagonist of the song deciding to do her own thing instead to find someone real. The song is brisk with a slick bass synth line underneath with lots of pop crossover potential.

JAKE HUFFMAN, “Martyr”

Connecticut-based singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (including drums) Jake Huffman delivers a soaring melodic alt.rock song full of guitars with “Martyr”. What I like about “Martyr” is that it doesn’t go over the top, say Imagine Dragons-style, and focuses on Jake’s compelling vocal and the arrangement. Where it gets a little lost is with the lyrics, which seem to be about someone who always tries to get others to feel sorry for him, and seem to take second fiddle to what else is going on in the song. But “Martyr” is the kind of song that will sound great live, and fans of artists like Foster The People, INXS, Cage The Elephant and Young The Giant will take easily to Jake Huffman’s style. An interesting bit of trivia about Jake as an aside is that he’s written several songs for TV’s “Sesame Street”!

BILL’S NEW MUSIC PICK OF THE WEEK

My New Music Pick of the Week  is a 5-7 minute radio segment that airs more than 20 times/week on online radio stations around the world.

Martin Garrix and JVKE team up for “Hero”

“BIG DADDY” RUSS HORTON’S PICK OF THE WEEK

“Big Daddy” Russ Horton is the owner of online stations Radio GTA, Halton Hills Radio Online, & FM108.ca.

Nashville duo Apollo LTD with “Run”

HUNTER J. WILBUR’S PICK OF THE WEEK

Hunter J. Wilbur is the host of the online radio shows “Modern Hype” and “Addictive Energy” which can be heard on several online stations including Classic Hits Canada.

Ian McConnell reworks Bastille’s smash “Pompeii”

“THE MUSICMAN” JAMES ROGERS’ CLASSIC FIVE

“The Musicman” James Rogers is the owner and host of The 3D Variety Show heard Tuesdays on Planet Radio Canada. The Classic Five is “pop music 101” of the post-Beatles era – classics you need to know! Each title is linked to a Spotify stream of the song.

Michael Jackson – Rock With You
Blondie – The Tide Is High
Kool & The Gang – Celebration
Pink Floyd – Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)
Billy Joel – It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me

THE BILLCS TOP 30 – 5-10-15-20…

The Top 5 songs from the BILLCS Top 30 5, 10, 15, and 20 years ago…

2018

  1. PINEAPPLE SKIES Miguel
  2. CRAZY (Tiësto’s Big Room Mix) Dzeko
  3. SKY WALKER Miguel featuring Travis Scott
  4. EVERYBODY HURTS The Him featuring Ivy Adara
  5. BODY Loud Luxury featuring brando

2013

  1. PARACHUTE Matthew Koma
  2. YEAH YEAH Willy Moon
  3. 1998 Matthew Koma
  4. PLAY THE GIRL Tao Hypah
  5. TIME BOMB (WALK AWAY) Chris Wallace

2008

  1. HOW TO BUILD A TIME MACHINE Darren Hayes
  2. PAPERCUT Roz Bell
  3. DON’T STOP THE MUSIC Rihanna
  4. CALABRIA Enur featuring Natasja
  5. BEST DAYS Matt White

2003

  1. THE SOUND OF VIOLENCE Cassius featuring Steve Edwards
  2. SERVE THE EGO (Gabriel & Dresden remix) Jewel
  3. SOMETHING Lasgo
  4. JAMES DEAN (I WANNA KNOW) Daniel Bedingfield
  5. DISEASE Matchbox Twenty

#BILLCSNewMusicReport – January 4/23 spotlighting @TimmyTrumpet & @Tungevaag @TheDiscoFries @Kastramusic & @BrittLari @SLANDERmusic @SaidTheSky & @AWonderland

The end of 2022 and start of 2023 have been quiet, music-wise. It seems that many people in the music industry took a well-deserved rest, given the daunting pace of the industry that is now driven by chart and streaming numbers that totally neglect the artistry that is at its core. As such, the new music selections have been slimmer, and my verdict on a few year end releases is still undecided, so today brings you six fine discoveries.

You can also read about my pick of the week, along with picks from online radio buddies “Big Daddy” Russ Horton and Hunter Wilbur, and “The Musicman” James Rogers also has his Classic Five pop hits feature. You can also find out what was my #1 song of the week on the BILLCS Top 30 as well as the Fastest Riser on the chart.

The BILLCS New Music Report is a work-in-progress and I welcome your suggestions so feel free to contact me @billcs on Twitter @thebillcs on Instagram or @BILLCSMusicProjects on Facebook.

SPOTLIGHTING

TIMMY TRUMPET, TUNGEVAAG, “La Danse”

“La Danse” is a stunning electronic dance ballad that is built around a frenetic trance melody, giving us a reflective song about the lost art of romance as well as a bass-y banger. Australia’s Timmy Trumpet this time teams up with award-winning Norwegian producer Tungevaag, and they may just need another collaboration sometime soon. This is tight, well-made, and beautifully sung by an uncredited female vocalist.  Oh and those French lyrics, which you can’t find online or even in the lyrics video? “L’amour en danse était romance.” (Literally, the love in dance was romance, but perhaps more idiomatically, love through dance was romance.)

THE DISCO FRIES, KASTRA, BRITT LARI, “Alone At Midnight”

“Alone At Midnight” is a sweet throwback to melodic house of about 10 years ago, largely thanks to a familiar synth hook, courtesy of genre veterans The Disco Fries who this time team up with Florida’s Kastra and relatively new go-to vocalist Britt Lari, who you heard last year on Syence’s “don’t you wanna know” among others. Fortunately “Alone” is more than just about a hook, with Britt’s appealing vocal and a classic song structure contributing to a big win, that should hopefully land this song at dance radio sometime soon.

SLANDER, SAID THE SKY, ALISON WONDERLAND, “Picture”

“Picture” is an atmospheric electronic ballad that throws a huge spotlight on Alison Wonderland’s vocals. Set against a restrained future bass production, “Picture” could easily become a benchmark in production for the genre when creating a stylish release that isn’t meant to have beats and effects go over the top. L.A. duo Slander, Denver’s Said The Sky (noted for his impressive work with Illenium) and Alison have all outdone themselves here to give us a record that will endure while remaining true to the genre, and I think fans will simply adore it.

FEATURING

COBI, “Can’t Have It All”

L.A. based singer/songwriter Cobi brings us another bluesy rocker, “Can’t Have It All”.  Lyrically it’s a cathartic release about letting some things and people go in our lives, and in reflection, looking out for what’s best for you. Cobi has amazing range and it’s so well suited for this style that he’s chosen to pursue. The song may seem dark but self-realization can feel good in the end, and “Can’t Have It All” captures this well.

JAY BIRD, MAKI FLOW, “Divine and Misery”

Dipping into a trance-flavoured melody this time, Bay area electronic dance producer Jay Bird has released “Divine and Misery” in collaboration with go-to topliner/songwriter Maki Flow for the enduring Blanco y Negro on their Spitfire Music label. Maki Flow’s expressive vocal and the infectious chorus – kind of a cousin to Ariana Grande’s “Love Me Harder” – are supported by Jay Bird’s astute attention to detail and a flowing melody. The song is about accepting someone who loves you, warts and all – but with the condition that if they are going to love you, they have to be “all in” too. 

BOY ARIES, “Comets + Death of Time”

Boy Aries is the new performing name for singer/songwriter Jordan Radics, who most recently fronted the promising Toronto-based alt.rock group Blajk (2017’s “Lethal”). And it’s great to hear his deep, rich voice again on “Comets + The Death of Time”, though I’m not exactly sure what the low-key alt.pop song is all about. In the end it seems that love will rule all so hearing Boy Aries’ passionate vocal sing “I’ll love you till the death of time” repeatedly makes you believe it even more. Let’s hope we’ll see Boy Aries return to live performances sometime soon too.

BILL’S NEW MUSIC PICK OF THE WEEK

My New Music Pick of the Week  is a 5-7 minute radio segment that airs more than 20 times/week on online radio stations around the world.

It’s also the Highest Debut on the BILLCS Top 30 this week – “Hero” by Martin Garrix & JVKE

BIG DADDY” RUSS HORTON’S PICK OF THE WEEK

“Big Daddy” Russ Horton is the owner of online stations Radio GTA, Halton Hills Radio Online, & FM108.ca.

“Surfing in Iceland” by Oregon singer/songwriter Goth Babe (aka Griff Washburn)

HUNTER J. WILBUR’S PICK OF THE WEEK

Hunter J. Wilbur is the host of the online radio shows “Modern Hype” and “Addictive Energy” (returning this Saturday!) which can be heard on several online stations including Classic Hits Canada.

“Daydreaming”, a Top 40 Canadian radio hit by singer Noelle with Virginia To Vegas

“THE MUSICMAN” JAMES ROGERS’ CLASSIC FIVE

“The Musicman” James Rogers is the owner and host of The 3D Variety Show heard Tuesdays on Planet Radio Canada. The Classic Five is “pop music 101” of the post-Beatles era – classics you need to know! Each title is linked to a Spotify stream of the song.

Starland Vocal Band – Afternoon Delight (1976)
Mel and Tim – Backfield In Motion (1969)
Heart – Magic Man (1975)
Loverboy – Turn Me Loose (1981)
David Bowie – Changes (1972)

BILLCS Top 30 #1 SONG

“Yours” by Conan Gray

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #656 – January 2/23

2022 saw me strip back my blog posts to a maximum of twice a week, and the start of 2023 brings us one of those weeks with the arrival of a new personal chart. It has helped me immensely with properly preparing for the weekly BILLCS New Music Report, which will return on Wednesday. I’ve also been pleased with the reaction to my year end Top 100 and the accompanying online radio program which was broadcast four times on three different online stations.  While the start of a new year doesn’t generally kick off with surprises, the influx of new tunes onto the chart is steady as I don’t allow songs to stay on the chart for more than 10 appearances (20 weeks) unless they are in an upward movement, which has only happened once and not now for almost 12 years.

The best places to communicate with me continue to be Twitter @billcs or Instagram @thebillcs or Facebook @BILLCSMusicProjects. Follow this blog using the “Follow” button at the bottom of the home page.

Check out my ONLINE RADIO SHOWS below too as they are increasingly tied in with this blog.  

Conan Gray’s “Yours” finished out 2022 as my #7 song of the year, and gets a third appearance at the top to begin the new year.

It looks like a battle for #1 is brewing in the Top 5. JVKE’s pop-waltz “Golden Hour” (above) inches up 3-2, while Darin’s fresh and funky “Satisfaction” (also above) climbs 6-3, with “The Power” by Matoma (7-4, below) right behind it, which also becomes Matoma’s personal best on this chart. Or will another song further down the chart steal it away from them? Stay tuned in two weeks!

The only new entry to the Top 10 is Years & Years take on Crystal Waters’ “100% Pure Love”, which rises 13-9. It’s Olly Alexander’s 11th trip to my Top 10, after having three Top 10’s finish in my 2022 Top 100 (at #19, #49, and #57 respectively).

There’s lots of movement on the chart, with four songs moving up six spots or more. “Worst Day” (above) by Illenium and MAX continues to show what a magical collaboration this is, as it rises 19-13. The Fastest Riser is the hypnotic “Black Mascara” (also above) by Greyson Chance, up 25-16, indicating another promising run on the chart after having two Top 10’s last year, including #2 “My Dying Spirit” which slides to #8.  Armand Van Helden and Karen Harding’s revival of “Wings (I Won’t Let You Down)” (below) wastes no time in moving up 26-18, and Lena Leon’s #1 dance radio hit “Spiral” (also below) climbs 27-20.

With singer/songwriter JVKE eyeing #1 in two weeks, it’s timely to see him on the chart again, this time rather unexpectedly with Martin Garrix on the anthem “Hero”, which bows at #22, giving both artists two songs on the chart this week.  It’s also Martin’s 12th entry on this chart.

At #24 is the debut entry from Australian singer/songwriter Mallrat who has teamed up with The Chainsmokers to give us another song that goes down easily next to The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” and other gentle pop/dance releases. The thoughtful song is “Wish On An Eyelash, Pt. 2”, which bows at #24. It’s The Chainsmokers’ 13th appearance on my chart.

English singer/songwriter Benedict Cork returns to the chart with the haunting and melodic “Dream Of You” at #27. It’s his third time on my chart, and both of his previous entries reached the Top 5.

Returning to the chart with his second entry and his flair for ballads, Benson Boone puts his wonderful wordsmithing skills to use in “Before You” at #28. His first entry of course was last year’s “In The Stars”, which reached #2 and was my #21 song of 2022.

 

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 (returning on Saturday January 7)

This is a weekly show hosted by Hunter Wilbur that airs on several online stations but is anchored at Mix88.ca on Saturdays 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! There have been some changes and they will be updated soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BILLCSNewMusicReport – December 22/22 spotlighting new songs by @WaitingForSmith #Roskamala @TwoFriendsmusic & @BillyLockett

2022 is almost at an end, but I still have eight more songs for you to check out below, all but one independently released. And that’s the way it goes in my blog posts – I always root for the talented underdogs. 

Work now begins on my year end Top 100 of 2022, which I will begin counting down on Twitter next Thursday (December 29) through to Saturday (December 31). Like last year, I’m also preparing an online radio show of the Top 30 from the list, which will air first on Radio GTA and then on Mix88.ca on New Year’s Eve.

You can also read about my pick of the week, along with picks from online radio buddies “Big Daddy” Russ Horton and Hunter Wilbur.  “The Musicman” James Rogers has ears on songs from 1969 this week with his Classic Five pop hits feature. Plus I include my Top 5’s from the BILLCS Top 30 from the last 5, 10, 15 and 20 years.

The BILLCS New Music Report is a work-in-progress and I welcome your suggestions so feel free to contact me @billcs on Twitter @thebillcs on Instagram or @BILLCSMusicProjects on Facebook.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

SPOTLIGHTING

WAITING FOR SMITH, “Heal”

Amsterdam-based British singer/songwriter Waiting For Smith follows up the delightful “Skylight Dawn” with “Heal”, which prompts frank conversations about mental health and wellness, as depicted in its unique video. The singer, whose real name is Harry Lloyd, uses his experiences with meditation and related philosophy as a result of spending a year in hospital after breaking his back a skiing accident. While the topic may seem heavy, his execution of “Heal” as a song is a much lighter affair, a touching and well-sung treatise about new beginnings and a renewed sense of purpose. It’s culled from his recent EP Trying Not To Try.

ROSKAMALA, GREENWICHE, “Kiss Me Amnesia”

“Kiss Me Amnesia” is a compelling and moody new slice of alt.pop from Thai artist and producer Roskamala, who left a successful career as an actress and TV host in order to pursue her love of music full-time. For “Kiss Me Amnesia”, she has enlisted the vocals of new male singer Greenwiche, whose expressive tone gives an affecting side to the song. The lyrics revolve around reconciling with the past in order to successfully move on to new relationships, which is also illustrated in the above video, though its ending provokes some questions. “Kiss Me Amnesia” is a strong debut single for Roskamala and I think we’ll be hearing much more from her.

TWO FRIENDS, BILLY LOCKETT, “Hate Me”

“Hate Me” is an impressive ballad given a lift by the Two Friends treatment, as they did earlier this year with their sentimental Top 5 dance radio hit with John.k, “Wish You Were Here”. This time though, the music adds future bass touches to anchor a song about trying to strengthen a relationship when something gets called into question. Its affecting vocal is by British singer/songwriter Billy Lockett, whose voice achingly wants the relationship badly enough that “Hate Me” becomes uplifting in the end. To me it’s kind of a bookend for The Chainsmokers’ “Everybody Hates Me” and will fit like a glove in Two Friends’ live sets.

FEATURING

TheFatRat, NEFFEX, “Back One Day (Outro Song)” 

German producer TheFatRat continues to maintain his status as one of the most popular creators on You Tube and in the gaming world, thanks to his ability to lift copyright restrictions on his music, which allows it to be used freely across platforms. “Back One Day” is a post-victory song where you can imagine characters in a movie or video game celebrating their successes and looking forward to the next adventure. It’s actually a vocal version of TheFatRat’s song “Xenogenesis (Outro Song)” for which he enlisted another popular You Tube creator, NEFFEX, whose early 2000’s alt.rock styled voice alternately provides conviction and urgency to the song. Despite its immediate connection to You Tube and gaming, “Back One Day” is a versatile, energetic song that stands stalwartly on its own, and I can see DJ’s and producers playing it at festivals and other concerts.

ZOE SKY JORDAN, “Just Fine”

“Just Fine” is a solid mix of rock and folk that might be best heard in live performance – and I wrote this review before I knew about the above video. Zoe Sky Jordan is not a new name on the pop scene, a US-based Toronto-born singer/songwriter whose parents, Marc Jordan and Amy Sky, are two highly respected Canadian musicians that saw some domestic success in the 70’s and 80’s and continue performing today. “Just Fine” has a dreamy alt.pop vibe that will appeal to fans of Lana Del Rey, Lorde, and Mitski, and draws attention with a fantastic guitar solo and a memorable chorus that repeats, “I always live up to the hype, never crack under pressure”. “Just Fine” pulls you in with repeated listens and is from Zoe’s upcoming album.

BENJAMIN RUSSELL, ROB STUART, “Yell” (Rob Stuart’s club mix)

Canadian singer/songwriter/producer and electronic dance artist Benjamin Russell has a new album on the way early next year called Something In F Minor, which is his debut release in collaboration with fellow musician Rob Stuart. It has already been preceded by a few singles, out of which Rob’s club mix of “Yell” caught my attention lately. This is a lively, raw, cathartic electronic release reminiscent of 80’s new wave and post new wave artists like early Depeche Mode, John Foxx, Shriekback, and early Underworld. Of course who better to translate those inspirations than someone such as Benjamin, who was there and recorded one of my favourite Canadian synth pop songs of its day, “Miracle” (long out of print, check it out below). “Yell” is a real ear-grabber that commands your attention, and it comes in a variety of mixes in EP form, so just let yourself go and dance…..

SID SETH, “Caffeine High”

“Caffeine High” is a short and breezy slice of pop from India-born, NYC-based singer/songwriter Sid Seth. Like with previous single “Simple Yet True” (which I reviewed a while back), Sid writes straight-forward, generally upbeat songs that speak genuinely and many listeners will relate. When you’ve had a great day or have met someone special, then you live that rush of a “Caffeine High”. But the actual backstory of this song is about Sid’s initial experiences living in NYC, which he describes as “the heart-attack life. The lows are crazy and so are the highs.”

DUB ZOO, “Confusion”

I never knew that psychedelic dubstep from Australia was a thing until I learned about the music of Dub Zoo, which has been been going strong in Oz since 2016. Dub Zoo is a collective of revolving members and vocalists which mixes dark, deep fare with lighter songs. “Confusion” is one of the former, and will certainly evoke fond memories of early UB40, The Specials, and Massive Attack. Lizzie O’Keefe’s compelling voice leads the way and “Confusion” will leave fans of dubstep mighty content, while offering a breath of fresh air to new listeners. It’s culled from Dub Zoo’s new album Strange Times.

BILL’S NEW MUSIC PICK OF THE WEEK

My New Music Pick of the Week  is a 5-7 minute radio segment that airs more than 20 times/week on online radio stations around the world.

“Black Mascara” by Greyson Chance from his album Palladium

“BIG DADDY” RUSS HORTON’S PICK OF THE WEEK

“Big Daddy” Russ Horton is the owner of online stations Radio GTA, Halton Hills Radio Online, & FM108.ca.

“Girlfriend” by North Carolina singer/songwriter Hemlocke Springs

HUNTER J. WILBUR’S PICK OF THE WEEK

Hunter J. Wilbur is the host of the online radio shows “Modern Hype” and “Addictive Energy” (currently on hiatus until January) which can be heard on several online stations including Classic Hits Canada.

Saudi Arabian singer/songwriter Kali-B with “What I Mean”

“THE MUSICMAN” JAMES ROGERS’ CLASSIC FIVE

“The Musicman” James Rogers is the owner and host of The 3D Variety Show heard Tuesdays on Planet Radio Canada. The Classic Five is “pop music 101” of the post-Beatles era – classics you need to know! Each title is linked to a Spotify stream of the song. In a 1969 kinda mood this week…

Tommy James & The Shondells – Crimson and Clover
The Archies – Sugar Sugar
The Rolling Stones – Honky Tonk Women
Steam -Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye
The Beatles – Come Together

THE BILLCS TOP 30 – 5-10-15-20…

The Top 5 songs from the BILLCS Top 30 5, 10, 15, and 20 years ago…

2017

  1. Pineapple Skies – Miguel
  2. Flags – Shoffy featuring Yuna
  3. Sky Walker – Miguel featuring Travis Scott
  4. Need Your Heart – Latchmere
  5. Crazy (Tiësto’s Big Room Mix) – Dzeko

2012

  1. Parachute – Matthew Koma
  2. Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin
  3. Yeah Yeah – Willy Moon
  4. Between The Raindrops – Lifehouse featuring Natasha Bedingfield
  5. Music Makes You Lose Control – Carlos Nóbrega

2007

  1. How To Build A Time Machine – Darren Hayes
  2. Papercut – Roz Bell
  3. Don’t Stop The Music – Rihanna
  4. Me, Myself & (I) – Darren Hayes
  5. Calabria – Enur f/ Natasja

2002

  1. Serve The Ego (Gabriel & Dresden remix) – Jewel
  2. James Dean (I Wanna Know) – Daniel Bedingfield
  3. Disease – Matchbox Twenty
  4. The Sound Of Violence – Cassius featuring Steve Edwards
  5. Something – Lasgo