The 10/10 feature is back!! 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.
- HUNTER and ROSHIN, “I Don’t Forget” (extended mix)
Toronto’s Hunter Siegel is known for his many No Neon club shows and for being a respected producer, DJ and remixer. 2020 brings us his latest EP I Might Forgive, I Don’t Forget, and its lead track “I Don’t Forget”, in partnership with newcomer and fellow Canadian Roshin, is a memorable, pounding, gritty deep house club banger. It’s dark and haunting and is an easy centrepiece around which club DJ’s can build a set. If you like music by Faithless, The Chemical Brothers, and Bobby Nourmand then “I Don’t Forget” is for you, particularly in its extended mix above.
- SAXITY, “Forget Me Nots”
The German production duo Saxity returns and brings some long lost Patrice Rushen back to “Forget Me Nots”. That’s because the melody of the song is long associated with its smash sample in Will Smith’s “Men In Black”. But that was 1997 and 23 years later an uncredited female vocal in classic R&B style gives this great song new life amid the usual classy Saxity production including the requisite spiffy sax solo. “Forget Me Nots” is a great and overdue cover choice!
- FRANCESCO YATES, “I Got You”
My fellow Scarborough, Ontario native singer/songwriter/guitarist Francesco Yates offers a silky smooth retro-flavoured ballad in “I Got You”. As I’ve seen several times in concert, Francesco can rock it out with the best of them but also kills it with a soft, romantic song, which we haven’t really heard since his 2014 debut on “Honey I’m Home”. And there’s a brilliant soulful falsetto as well that brings shades of Justin Timberlake at his best. Like “Honey”, “I Got You” is tender and sincere and may be a welcome throwback to the Francesco Yates sound that most people got acquainted with in the first place. Don’t let this one slip through the cracks.
- REVELRIES, BOYBOYBOY and WILL CHURCH, “Fall-Out”
2019 brought us my favourite Revelries release thus far with the infectious “Don’t Think Twice” (featuring Oktavian) reaching #2 on my chart and finishing at #11 for the year. Spicing it up with some funky touches and a staccato kind of rhythm, “Fall-Out” is a bit softer but a grower alongside other songs by the Netherlands-based Emirati production duo like “Naked” or “Handle”. “Fall-Out” is a collaboration with production trio Boyboyboy and England-based German-born singer Will Church. There’s a lot of instrumentation in the mix and with the mystique of Will’s vocal and a compelling melody, it all gels together nicely.
- MAHALO & SHUHANDZ and BRENDAN REILLY, “Sweet Spot”
Coming off of his biggest record to date last year called “So Cold”, L.A.-based producer Mahalo continues to be busy making great music like his new one “Sweet Spot”. Never one to get fixed with similar melodies and beats, “Sweet Spot” has an airy, jazzy quality about it in partnership with fellow L.A. based producer Shuhandz and a dreamy vocal by England-based American singer Brendan Reilly. If you recognize Brendan’s voice then you’re a fan of Disclosure’s Grammy-nominated Caracal album, where he was featured in “Moving Mountains”. “Sweet Spot” is a tidy mix that ends before you know it in just under three minutes. Club DJ’s with a soft spot for jazzy vibes will take to this one.
- MATT FAX and TROVE, “Animal”
“Animal” is an atmospheric release by French producer Matt Fax with vocals by one of Australia’s favourite go-to voices for dance music, Trove, known most recently for his work on Famba’s Canadian radio hit “Wish You Well”. “Animal” has seductive, dark qualities about it, that keep getting richer until Trove’s vocal stops entirely. And that’s when an extended coda takes over, which DJ’s will absolutely love for mixing purposes. Though only just into his 20’s, Matt Fax has been working with all of the best labels for European house so 2020 could be the year where we hear much more original music from him. “Animal” definitely amps up the intrigue and Trove’s vocal glides beautifully through it all.
- SPENCER BARNETT, “I’m Fine”
Spencer Barnett is a talented L.A. teen with massive pop appeal if his latest single “I’m Fine” is any indication. It’s the title track of his latest EP in which Spencer sings to justify why he’s okay, whereas the sullen melody may convince you otherwise. Its moodiness captures the complex sentiments of today’s teens who were too young when One Direction peaked about 6 years ago, which makes him an instant draw for the lovelorn and heartsick among them. His indie charm is proving successful so far though with a club date coming up in February in NYC. So I think we’ll be hearing more from young Mr. Barnett in the coming year.
- DEEP CHILLS and NOT FAMOUS, “Backfire”
Italy’s Deep Chills spreads his tropical vibes into the winter months for us with the savvy mix of pop and dance genres in “Backfire”. The song features a delightful vocal by L.A. singer/songwriter Not Famous and a memorable bridge and chorus that will waste no time turning into a singalong. Deep Chills doesn’t make you forget that the song at its production roots is a dance record so you can waste no time busting a few moves as well. “Backfire” is a playful and bright release that deserves your attention.
- WE ARE FURY and MICAH MARTIN, “Echoes”
“Echoes” is the hard-hitting recent single from Vancouver production duo We Are Fury from their two-song EP called Dusk, which also features the compelling instrumental, “Resistance”. Taking cues from Illenium and Seven Lions and other progressive-minded producers, Stuart and Joachim bring Iowa singer Micah Martin on board for alt.rock atmospherics that will transport you back to the mid-2000’s heydays of My Chemical Romance and Linkin Park. “Echoes” will be a force unto itself in a live set in the same way that Illenium’s “Blood” (from Ascend) leaves audiences spellbound. We Are Fury definitely brings all of the goods with “Echoes”.
- GARETH EMERY & NASH and LINNEY, “Yesterday”
Melodic dance music has a fascinating way to draw you in, and through its various iterations in the sub-genres of dance music, I hope that it will always be present. After his return with Ashley Wallbridge for last year’s album Kingdom United, UK producer Gareth Emery continues in 2020 with the beautiful “Yesterday”. Working with newcomer and fellow UK denizen NASH, they take a few cues from early 80’s electronic music by employing the lovely voice of American singer Linney, who is no stranger to dance music and recalls vocalists like Maggie Reilly and Annie Haslam. “Yesterday” flows and pours out a positive message about leaving behind what should stay in the past. It keeps you locked in for its just over 3 minutes, and then of course wanting more.