For the first time since January, I bring you my 10/10 feature!!
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. In fact my recent #1 “Shivohum” by Tritonal & Henry Dark, was included in a previous 10/10!
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.
- GARETH EMERY and ANNABEL, “You’ll Be OK”
British electronic dance producer Gareth Emery says “You’ll Be OK” is the best song he’s released to date. And he has many reasons to say that, for it’s a gorgeous song with trance-drenched synths and some big, frenetic beats. It’s also actually a personal story about being on a plane he thought would crash, and based on a letter he was writing to his wife at the time. Its video above has an emotional ‘life flashing before your eyes’ story as a result. “You’ll Be OK” has many soft and peaceful moments, which hit home a little more knowing this information. Vocalist Annabel personifies it all with her rich and gentle voice, and it’s extremely appropriate as a backdrop to what’s going on in the world right now. “You’ll Be OK” is an amazing follow up to Gareth’s current hit “Yesterday” and is culled from his forthcoming album called The Lasers.
- WIN & WOO and KYAN PALMER, “Sleepwalking”
American dance producers Win & Woo continue with a series of songs released through Armada that portray how much better they keep getting at their craft. “Sleepwalking” features Arizona-born, L.A. based singer Kyan Palmer, who has been gracing other electronic dance records over the past few years with his R&B-influenced style. “Sleepwalking” is a big, bouncy, fun record that can easily ignite a set at a key point in the evening at a dance club. It also has big potential for dance music radio airplay.
- CHET PORTER and ALISON WONDERLAND, “Bummed”
We’re all “Bummed” that his upcoming club tour was cancelled, but we’ll just get more time to enjoy the unconventional sound of “Bummed”, Torontonian Chet Porter’s collaboration with Australian electronic producer Alison Wonderland. “Bummed” has an early 80’s DIY new wave vibe about it that’s utterly charming, complete with old school drum machine sound. Chet and Alison collaborated on a song that suits their voices and has plenty interesting that’s going on within. Go deeper and you’ll find all of those delightful melodic flourishes that you get inside every Chet Porter song. “Bummed” is a both a refreshing surprise and a winner. Definitely play it alongside Porter Robinson’s new music for starters.
- THE HIM, “Freestyle Scientist”
It looks like Dutch producers The Him have been immersed in late 90’s techno-house, if “Freestyle Scientist” is any indication. It’s an extremely playful departure from the duo’s pop-leaning deep house tracks which have graced these blog pages (and my personal chart) many times in the last four years. Brace yourself this one. Add some early Chainsmokers-flavoured synth vibes into the mix and it looks like “Freestyle Scientist” could be the start of a new musical era for The Him. Check out the trippy video above.
- JESSIE REYEZ, “Love In The Dark” (Dzeko remix)
Award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Jessie Reyez has a Canadian radio hit with her latest single “Love In The Dark”. And with her recognition earlier this year as a Grammy nominee, you can bet that the song will garner attention stateside as well. It’s amped up for clubs by fellow Canadian and esteemed electronic dance producer Dzeko. He puts just the right kind of propulsion behind the deep house rhythms, and you’ll wonder why it wasn’t a dance track in the first place. Club DJ’s will want to showcase this remix of “Love In The Dark” in a mid-evening set for immediate reaction.
- SUPER DUPER, “All On You”
Hailing from Nashville’s vibrant music scene, which includes a lot of electronic dance music, is Super Duper (aka Josh Hawkins) who definitely pushes some interesting boundaries in “All On You”. The song honestly starts out like nothing special, with a distorted vocal and a rather uneventful lead in. But Super Duper totally shifts the rhythm and feel of the song just after the first minute, and “All On You” grabs you with a sudden WTF magnetic force. The beats kick in and you immediately start having flashbacks to songs like M83’s “Midnight City”. “All On You” now has you completely under its spell and so it succeeds rather well in a roundabout way. Super Duper’s latest is released by the Fader label and is currently being featured on every major streaming platform. Remixes could help push “All On You” further.
- MATT FAX, “Light On”
French producer Matt Fax eloquently captures the current rise of old-style trance and techno vibes in his latest release, the instrumental “Light On”. This percolating track will sit nicely next to tracks by Gabriel & Dresden or Above & Beyond in a late night trance set. Matt keeps the atmospherics working and ever changing which makes “Light On” a synth-filled feast for the ears.
- KIESZA, “All Of The Feelings”
Calgary’s Juno Award-winning Kiesza has brought us many fine vocals since coming back to the music scene as an independent artist after suffering a life-altering accident. “All Of The Feelings” is one of those feel-good, vibrant songs that has ‘hit’ written all over it, and many people would hear this as a return to the pop/dance style that brought us “Hideaway” back in the day. We’ve seen how versatile Kiesza can be with her songs, most of which are original co-writes. “All Of The Feelings” may skew a more commercial slant but it’s such a well-written and performed release that no one should quibble. And you can see her perform it in the video above.
- MADISON MALONE, “Fragile Heart 1”
L.A.-based singer/songwriter Madison Malone dazzles us with her pitch perfect voice on “Fragile Heart 1” from her unique album called I & II (that’s One and Two). The highly listenable album consists of five songs each recorded in two different versions, all of which work pretty well because the songs themselves are so strong. But it’s “Fragile Heart 1” that stands out – kind of what could happen if a minimalist Rufus Wainwright song somehow transformed into one with Sarah McLachlan inspiration. “Fragile Heart 1” is emotional and vulnerable but still very hopeful. Madison has made herself known at festivals like SXSW and on a recent US tour, so definitely keep your eyes and ears out for her.
- JERIN JAMES and DEVERANO, “Birds And Bees”
Jerin James is a new name to the dance music biz though he is hardly a newcomer, having previously recorded under another name and had other roles in the industry. “Birds And Bees” is all about atmospherics and vocals, and even if the song overall to me is a bit familiar and what I would call ‘much ado about nothing’, it works quite well. The dramatic, sophisticated production is enhanced by Deverano’s stylish and often far-reaching vocal – he’s graced a number of dance records and always gives them a big lift when they need it. “Birds And Bees” is a compelling start for Jerin James.
A new supplement to the 10/10 feature is my new Spotify playlist called the BILLCS Viral Weekly. Check it out below as it contains some of the songs in this 10/10 blog post!