It’s the return of 10/10!! In 10/10 (or tenoutoften) , I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.
I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs. That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually.
Writing 10/10 features means I can cover more songs in one shot. So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about.
- TRITONAL and HENRY DARK, “Shivohum”
Austin, Texas-based producers and Enhanced label owners Tritonal recently and suddenly dropped one of their most creative trance-flavoured releases to date, right after their latest full length album U & Me. In partnership with Aussie producer Henry Dark, “Shivohum” is a Sanskrit mantra about being one’s inner self. The arrangement is gorgeous and infectious, and “Shivohum” has the potential to be a positive festival crowd pleaser around the world. I’m glad producers like Chad and Dave are looking way outside the box to draw in new fans with the help of others like Henry. To me “Shivohum” is their best work since the still-breathtaking Painting With Dreams album. You can purchase the extended version of “Shivohum” on Beatport.
- GRAMATIK, RYAN SHAW and PROBCAUSE, “Don’t Give Up”
Gramatik is back and he’s once again bringing the funky dance music which riveted me a few years back with the Jenaux remix of “Native Son Prequel” featuring singer Leo Napier. This time with “Don’t Give Up”, the Slovenian-born, NYC-based Denis Jašarević employs the deep down soulful voice of veteran singer Ryan Shaw as well as some hip hop inflections from ProbCause. All of the pop, electronic, soul and rap elements in “Don’t Give Up” simply seem to gel naturally, which makes it a feast for both the ears and the feet. It’s from Gramatik’s latest album Re:coil Part II.
- ERIC SHARP and SISTERWIFE, “Love The Rain”
A video of contemporary dancers performing in the rain would be highly appropriate for “Love The Rain”, the latest by L.A. producer Eric Sharp. He follows up one of my favourites of 2019, “Monday Blues”, with a lighter piece of ear candy that is carried by the playful vocal of Sisterwife. “Love The Rain” is a real toe-tapper, reminiscent sometimes of mid-80’s Europop, one that you can foresee club goers enjoying a lot on the dance floor.
- COBI, “Island In My Mind”
Life moves in strange ways as the lyrics of “Island In My Mind” reflect upon, from the mind and music of L.A.-based, Minnesota-bred singer/songwriter Cobi, whose song and video “Don’t You Cry For Me” have received millions of plays since its release in 2016. Continuing his solo career five years after departing from the Boston collective Gentlemen Hall, and following up his two-part EP Songs From The Ashes, Cobi offers a strong but more nuanced performance this time around to go hand-in-hand with those ages-old weighty thoughts that temper everyone’s minds – birth, death, why? But the music is definitely uplifting which will make “Island In My Mind” a focal point in Cobi’s live show, to which I hope he will return and look forward to seeing, perhaps in 2020.
- MOKITA, “colorblind”
I could write endlessly about how I’ve been impressed by the music of Nashville singer, songwriter and producer Mokita in 2019, particularly “Kiss and Tell” and “London”, both of which reached #3 on my personal chart. “colorblind” continues with another of Mokita’s unique perspectives when you’re down and out, feeling that the magic and colour is gone from the world, and you just find yourself drifting without purpose. Like a lot of his other songs, “colorblind” still has a positive side to it, and like his recent EP 4201, it should be sought out by fans of great pop music.
- HONEY BEARD, “Like A Fire”
Honey Beard is an award-winning Toronto-based indie duo who create electronic alternative pop that’s a shade darker than usual, definitely rooted in new wave circa 1980 by artists such as Depeche Mode, Visage, Ultravox, and early Spandau Ballet. As sung by Gary J. Conlon with synths from Tom Bell, “Like A Fire” is a compelling new song which will be part of the forthcoming EP Whispers Of Light, which you can order on Bandcamp. With other more current influences like M83, Honey Beard will definitely appeal to those who like their electronic pop with progressive touches and complex layers. “Like A Fire” definitely pulls you into its sublime chorus and it’s interesting how Gary’s voice tends to meld into the music sometimes instead of always being front and centre.
- DIFFERENT HEAVEN, “History Of Us”
Fresh from his appearance in 10/10 blog #5 with “Strangers”, Spanish producer Different Heaven follows up that song with “History Of Us”. As you might anticipate, it’s a retrospective about a relationship that is no longer, puncuated by melodic Europop vibes and a powerful isolated vocal break by the uncredited singer that totally makes (and concludes) the song. “History Of Us” starts out as a straight forward pop song and by sticking with it, the song ends up being something special by the end, which to me is well worth the wait.
- ADAM KAHATI and GABI SKLAR, “Tell Me”
Following up the tropical flavoured “Let You Go”, NYC producer and songwriter Adam Kahati offers a melodic house track that would sound as great on the radio as it would in clubs. It features the distinct voice of co-writer Gabi Sklar, who would sound fine alongside recent releases by Lennon Stella or Maty Noyes, and would appeal to fans of Lana Del Rey. “Tell Me” has a restless arrangement and doesn’t stay in one musical place too often, which definitely makes the song go much brisker after the first 45 seconds or so. Some fine synth work with percussive elements go a long way too.
- VANESSA FORERO, “La Catrina”
“La Catrina” is a folk song about the famous female skeleton figure that is synonymous with La Dia De Los Muertos in Spanish culture. The song about that figure and its special significance to a girl by Colombian-British singer/songwriter Vanessa Forero is set to an entertaining stop-motion animation video that definitely recalls the spirit of the Oscar-winning animated movie “Coco”. It’s a great story and well-worth watching, with a lively vocal by la Vanessa.
- AEORO, “Crushing On You”
Part fairy tale, part romance novel but always ‘fun and flirty’ as described by the singer herself, “Crushing On You” is a gentle and positive new song guaranteed to make you smile by southern Florida-based singer, songwriter and producer Aeoro. There are definite shades of Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey in Aeoro’s voice, and also like both, she is a songwriter who definitely uses her wordsmith skills to perk up your ears in “Crushing On You”. You should know that Aeoro is also a huge rock music fan so you can anticipate influences from the likes of Alanis Morissette to creep into future releases.