#BILLCSTop30 #640 – May 23/22

Thanks to my recent online announcing gigs, the music from my blog continues to find new outlets online. My new music pick of the week segment airs 13 times per week, and the songs I feature on The Big 20 air 4-6 times per week. This is all growing thanks to the diligence and foresight of Russ Horton who operates two of the stations, Radio GTA and Halton Hills Online. I’m glad to be a part of this! I was a college radio station DJ, as well as Music Director, Program Director, and Station Manager, so did I ever expect to be back in the game years later, even if not on terrestrial radio? 

Make sure you read about my frequently updated ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES (see details after the post)!

Mercer’s amazing R&B/house track “Aretha” remains locked at #1 for a second appearance with nothing currently about to take over anytime soon.

While #1 and #2 (“The Half Moon Came Up In The Sky” by Frankmusik) stay put, the rest of the Top 10 gets a shuffle.

Luca + Giam and Sam Merkin move up 5-3 with the fun dance track “Hold Me Down”.

On their latest album Dance Fever, Florence & The Machine have returned to the emotional, gothic sound that made them famous. “My Love” is now one of my favourite songs by them, and it climbs 7-4.

Also diving into the Top 5 is Harry Styles with “As It Was” rising 9-5.  His new album Harry’s House might even be as good as Fine Line with more plays. Never being a fan of One Direction, I underestimated his vocal talents over the years till he went solo.

It came 4th at EuroVision but was an overall favourite of both the public and the judges. Sweden’s Cornelia Jakobs moves up 10-6 with “Hold Me Closer”. Check out her EuroVision performance above.

New to the Top 10 is fellow Melodifestivalen contest entry “Bluffin'” by Liamoo, which rises 12-8.

Getting his second Top 10 is L.A.-based producer Damon Sharpe with top Asian DJ VIVID with “First Time”, which climbs 15-10. Damon got to #5 last year with “15 Minutes” with The Disco Fries.

 

VASSY and GT_ofice just inch outside of the Top 10 with the energy blast that is “Tuff”, climbing 14-11.

Victor Perry’s latest original “Punching Bag” is also off to a fast start, rising 20-12.

“The Edge” by Belgium’s Niviro and L.A.’s Harley Bird makes a huge jump in its second appearance, climbing 22-13.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is the funky and unique “Romance with a Memory” by The xx’s Oliver Sim, which soars 24-14.

All of that top-of-the-chart activity takes us to the new entries, and there are five of them which command your attention!

The Highest Debut at #24 is Washington-born newcomer Benson Boone with his gorgeously sung song about heartbreak called “In The Stars”. He bowed out of appearing on “American Idol” and ended up catching the attention of Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons, and landed a major label deal with Warner. Watch out for this fine new talent!

Next at #25 is a gorgeous techno instrumental created to benefit Ukraine.  It’s called “Unity” and it’s by Gareth Emery teaming up with Ukrainian producer Omnia. It’s a fantastic, highly melodic track that stands on its own. I’d love to see it featured at one of Gareth’s shows with all of the new laser works he’s been adding, most recently in his show in Las Vegas. The clip above is from Ultra Miami. “Unity” is Gareth’s third chart entry, and he reached #1 with “We’ll Be OK” (now the name of his record label), which was in the Top 10 exactly two years ago.

At #27 is social media fave Conan Gray with his best song since his duet with Lauv in “Fake” (#12, 2020) called “Memories”. This one definitely will tug at your heart strings, and the singer continues to impress me with his songwriting and vocals.

I saw French producer Hugel spin a set during Miami Music Week and was pleased at the variety of music he chose, well outside of the standard stuff you hear in so many sets. One of the songs that caught my ears was one of his called “Madonna”, a fun, manic release created with female German producer Lovra, and it arrives on the chart at #29.

Rounding out the debuts at #30 is “Let Me Down Easy (Lie)”, a thoughtful but to-the-point ballad by L.A.’s Why Don’t We. The boys just departed the chart with Jonas Blue’s “Don’t Wake Me Up”, which peaked at #5.

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 🙂

ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES

You can hear me and many of my blog choices on this growing list of online radio stations and features! Links to all stations appear later in this section in blue.

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 Sunday mornings on Radio GTA at 2:00 AM EST, at 8pm EST on Sundays on Party Dog Radio, and then at 7:00 am EST Fridays on Unique Radio Australia!

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, now brought to you by the Appalachian Pub & Eatery in Georgetown, Ontario!  “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” now airs on Wednesdays at 7pm EST on Radio GTA.  

My New Music Pick of the Week also now airs on:

More new affiliates are joining and I’ll update this list as I receive new information.

 

L.A.’s @LeahKatemusic has a smash in the waiting with “10 Things I Hate About You”

LEAH KATE, “10 Things I Hate About You”

What I wrote about Leah Kate’s single “Shit Show” last Fall seems to be taking off even more as the social media star has a gem with “10 Things I Hate About You”. Taking its cues from Gayle’s “abcdefu”, Avril Lavigne, Cyndi Lauper, and perhaps even the same-titled movie, “10 Things” is a universal theme song for post-relationship blahs with a bit of a twist at the end. I really enjoy the energy in this song through Leah Kate’s vocal and the harmonies, and like the L.A.-based singer/songwriter’s past releases, “10 Things” stays with you as a fun one that’s not grating or annoying. “10 Things” will stand the test of time and is a song that would provide a blast in Top 40 radio playlists.

NYC’s @Reigenmusic returns with his first Spanish-language release, the sensual “tu ritmo”

REIGEN, “tu ritmo”

I’ve written about NYC pop/dance singer/songwriter Reigen numerous times in recent years, but with “tu ritmo” he tackles a song that is principally sung in Spanish. It’s a beautiful, sensual song whose key phrase “deseo tu ritmo” means “I want your rhythm”. And that of course is the rhythm of romance, sex, and maybe even love. Reigen’s nuanced vocal leads the way, and the above video was shot in Spain featuring dancers from the LGTBailamos dance school providing an ideal backdrop for the story. Fans of Latin music and the singer will adore this one.

Get to know Dutch alternative trio Mike Rogers with the rollicking “Can’t Stop”

MIKE ROGERS, “Can’t Stop”

Mike Rogers is a Dutch alternative trio with pop, rock and dance music roots, consisting of producers Mike Mago and Roger van der Zwan (TWR72), and vocalist Micha de Jonge (from the group Kita Menari). Very reminiscent of the intent of dance act Miike Snow, Mike Rogers is intended to be a live act, with a full album coming next year. Ahead of all of that is “Can’t Stop”, a powerful new single about a guy trying to breakaway from his past life of being constantly misunderstood. Micha’s voice is bold and deep and unlike anything you’ll hear on the radio, and the overall sound of the single is of triumph and exhilaration. Put “Can’t Stop” on your list of songs to check out.

Sweden’s @Darinofficial keeps the groove on max with “Superstar”

DARIN, “Superstar”

One of the sheer delights of 2021 was to have Swedish star Darin back recording in English after an eight year absence, during which time he focused on songs in his native language. “Can’t Stay Away” was my #2 song of the year, and it was followed up with the heartfelt ballad “Holding Me More” – both songs reaching #1 on my personal chart. “Can’t Stay Away” even got a second wind when it became a big hit in Italy this year. “Superstar” follows the happy, uninhibited groove of “Can’t Stay Away” with another airy dance/pop release that will please his fans immensely. Though perhaps not as strong as the previous two singles, “Superstar” features another impeccable Darin vocal and bright production by no less than the renown Stuart Price, along with rising British duo Billen Ted and co-writer Jamie Hartman. With “Superstar”, I certainly can’t get enough of Darin’s current releases, as well as the dynamic, memorable style in its video above (with the same director as “Can’t Stay Away” too).

Keeping up with prolific NYC singer/songwriter @RobbieRosenlive: “Purpose” with Florida-based producer @TedBello777, and “D.A.M.N.” with German producer Rolipso and mystery producer Booty Leak

 

TED BELLO and ROBBIE ROSEN, “Purpose”

ROLIPSO, ROBBIE ROSEN and BOOTY LEAK, “D.A.M.N.”

Former “American Idol” contestant and singer/songwriter Robbie Rosen, is someone who lives and breathes music every day. With multiple dance music releases happening all the time, it’s almost impossible to keep up with him, and I do try to catch most of his releases. Today I’ve got two of his best recent ones for you.

“Purpose” is not only a splendid piece of songwriting, but it’s an exceptionally tight collaboration with veteran Florida-based producer Ted Bello. In a timely coincidence, Shawn Mendes echoed the theme of this song with his touching and eloquent speech at Canada’s Juno Awards this past week. “Purpose” is an uplifting song with a bubbly, friendly pop/dance melody with tropical flourishes that reassures the listener that they are enough and have a purpose. It’s one of Robbie’s best recent vocals too.

“D.A.M.N.” is simply too short at only 2 minutes long but Robbie makes the most of it in a crisp, rich deep house production by German producer Rolipso and mystery producer Booty Leak. This one’s about that deep down fascination with someone when they tweak that special spark that you want to pursue. Robbie’s convincing vocal and a concise story keep “D.A.M.N.” crammed with intrigue, but then… it’s over and you mutter to yourself “now, wait a minute”…

NYC’s @JakLizard crafts positive R&B vibes with “Young Americana”

JAK LIZARD, “Young Americana”

I recently introduced you to Jak Lizard with “Ride Home”, some down-home easy going R&B that reminds me a lot of 90’s well-remembered group Arrested Development.  Jak’s recently released a six song EP, Young Americana, that includes “Ride Home” as well as the equally fine title song. About the EP, Jak says, “The six-track release is a love letter to optimism in a time of strife and the idea that when we stick together, we cannot be stopped”. And that is certainly a powerful, much-needed message especially for the young people who listen to this record. It fuses 70’s Motown and Stax flavours with 90’s R&B, along with a bevy of horns and beats that keeps the melody busy while Jak sings his optimistic message. As someone who through his songs is outspoken about love and positivity, Jak Lizard is definitely one to watch.

L.A.’s @TwoFriendsmusic team up with @Johnk for the sentimental dance/pop of “Wish You Were Here”

TWO FRIENDS and JOHN.k, “Wish You Were Here”

Two Friends (Eli and Matt) have been touring relentlessly in 2022, so in-between that and making Big Bootie mixes, we have their first release of the year, “Wish You Were Here”. It features and is co-written with singer John.k, known for his thoughtful acoustic hit “If We Never Met”. “Wish You Were Here” is an unexpected and interesting collaboration, a few steps away from the party-hard elements of many of Two Friends’ more recent singles, with a softer, reflective vocal by John.k that doesn’t feel out of place at all. In fact, although it’s not an anthem like past Two Friends’ songs like “Just A Kid” or “With My Homies”, it contains similar relatable sentiments and a bubbly synth melody which would make it fit tight in a Two Friends set. I’m looking forward to hearing this one in concert. PS:  the video is a heart-tugger (keep a tissue handy)!

Two Friends perform at History in Toronto on June 30 and July 1.

Meet new L.A.-based indie pop/rock singer/songwriter @JJBravesmusic with “Starrdust (I Am Human)”

JJ BRAVES, “Starrdust (I Am Human)”

“Starrdust (I Am Human)” by JJ Braves will grab your attention for two very good reasons. First, its tidy arrangement is packed with nostalgia circa 1986 – think John Parr, Mr. Mister, Heart, Bon Jovi. Second, it’s got a provocative set of lyrics which make you think about your limited time in this world and what you want out of your life. It’s all brought to you by new L.A. singer/songwriter JJ Braves, the performing name of Josh Keever, who has a big, earnest and convincing voice that reminds me of NYC rocker Ryan Star. While “Starrdust” may initially seem anachronistic, it ends up being fresh and bold, reminding us to be mindful not to place artists in closed boxes.

Enjoy the sultry R&B and jazz flavours of Kosovo’s @SYTE___ with “Where Did The Love Go”

SYTË, “Where Did The Love Go”

SYTË (which means “eyes” in Albanian) is a promising new duo from Kosovo with their sultry R&B and jazz flavored released “Where Did The Love Go”. The arrangement is very inviting, which makes it easy to enjoy the song. Singer Nita Kaja conveys her sentiments in writing through this song after reuniting with a friend after months of isolation. “Where Did The Love Go” cautions us not to second guess our feelings even during tough times. Its vibrant melody and catchy rhythm along with Nita’s crisp vocal make SYTË’s “Where Did The Love Go” a great song for quiet Sundays or long pensive drives.