A week or after the last one and I’m back with an 11th edition of “10/10”!
I’ve just had a week where a slew of fantastic music was released. I’ve had to continue to be selective with what I write about since my daytime job continues to keep me busy in the home office during the week.
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, and they are not listed in any particular order. Three of the six debuts on my most recent chart were featured in the 10/10 blog feature.
Writing 10/10 posts 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.
- YEBBA, “Distance”
“Distance” is a song many of us have been waiting for by YEBBA, the Grammy-award winning, rising singer from Arkansas who has already worked with Mark Ronson, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, A Tribe Called Quest, Stormzy, and Maroon 5’s P.J. Morton. From her stunning indie solo debut in 2017 with “Evergreen” (which got to #4 on my chart), the musical red carpet was laid in waiting, and now YEBBA continues to walk that walk with “Distance”. It’s a beautiful, laid back song, just perfect for these times in doors, that somehow fuses styles of Sade and Adele with the less likely soulful ones of long ago faves like Deniece Williams or Stephanie Mills. And talk about an amazing vocal!! It’s also her solo major label debut for RCA, with an album coming. Indulge in this one – I’m sure the album will be full of other gems!
- KSENIA, “Fire With Fire”
Poised to break out with a powerful voice is Russian singer Ksenia. Her recent single “Fire With Fire” also packs a memorable punch as a song, for what is a great vocalist without a great song? Comparisons to JoJo or Demi Lovato are apt; her voice flows with such ease from note to note. The acoustic moments sung over piano work as well as those with full instrumentation. We’ll definitely be hearing much more from Ksenia in a big way!
- VIZE and TOM GREGORY, “Never Let Me Down”
German producers VIZE have been fortunate to find major name support out of the gate since starting in 2018, with popular remixes for the likes of Sam Feldt (the much played “Post Malone”), Timmy Trumpet (last year’s excellent “World At Our Feet”), Alan Walker, Felix Jaehn, and Afrojack! Together with British singer/songwriter they may just have an electric dance Song of the Summer of 2020 with “Never Let Me Down”. The song is built around an insanely basic and instantly memorable hook. The overall results are extremely polished, playful and well-sung. “Never Let Me Down” could be a surprise breakout all over and is a must for dance music radio airplay.
- DANNY DEARDEN, “Can’t Stop Me Now”
British singer Danny Dearden has been primarily known over the last few years as a songwriter or as a featured vocalist, working with dance producers such as Michael Calfan and Dario G. “Can’t Stop Me Now” is a big step forward as a solo record for Danny through Sony. And what’s fantastic is that the original co-write is such a no-brainer of an earworm, with a few undeniable hooks that leap out at you from your speakers. The team he’s working with knows what sounds good, and at a later date I think that remixes will help this one resonate with club DJ’s. “Can’t Stop Me Now” is a great start for a singer/songwriter with huge potential.
- THE HIM and AMBER VAN DAY, “Tragic”
Games dramatic people play is the topic of “Tragic”, the latest release from Dutch producers The Him, following the wacked-out techno of “Freestyle Scientist”. British singer Amber Van Day convincingly and stylishly recounts how well she saw through a previous flame before ditching him as someone who deemed himself to be “Tragic”. It’s a fast eye-opener and perfect subject matter for the dance floor. The Him seem to be on an appealing retro tip, once again offering up synths and effects that are cool throwback to the beginning of the last decade.
- AXEL MANSOOR, “Cold Sweat”
“Cold Sweat” is a slightly more sultry new release from L.A.-based, Emmy Awards-nominated singer/songwriter Axel Mansoor. It dropped a few weeks ago on the eve of his appearance as a contestant on NBC’s “Songland”, where he got to work with songwriter-to-the-stars Ester Dean (and perform for H.E.R.!) to polish up his great song “Scary”. I’m hoping that delightful song receives a release, but in the meantime “Cold Sweat” is a fine new song with some witty lyrics recounting a tense situation in a rather calm and collected manner. The record has a well-balanced mix of acoustic and band instrumentation, and features one of Axel’s best vocals.
- SPENCER SUTHERLAND, “Help”
Part of watching a number of online festivals and performances over the past several weeks for me is always discovery. Spencer Sutherland is a singer from Ohio who has performed with Ariana Grande and Zendaya, and also auditioned for the UK edition of The X-Factor a few years back. He gave an outstanding acoustic performance in Elvis Duran’s recent online festival, and his latest release is “Help”. It starts off as an unassuming vocal track that draws you in immediately – and then the bigger production kicks in to showcase his potent voice. Spencer has a Sam Smith-calibre falsetto that is also a highlight in “Help”.
- XAVERIUS FUNK, “Wicked” (D-Wayne remix)
I’m never gonna turn my back on a solid electronic banger with pop appeal. Such is the case with the infectious 2-Dutch release “Wicked” by well-known Dutch producer Xaverius Funk, whose music has been supported by many of the biggest names in the biz including Hardwell and Steve Aoki. “Wicked” also has the bonus of being remixed by another established Dutch producer, D-Wayne. It’s a big and bouncy number that pulls out some retro vibes from dance music of the earlier part of the last decade that really make it work.
- MELYZ, “Bad Together”
Could you ever be in a relationship where you’re “Bad Together”? New British singer Melyz describes her thoughts about such an arrangement in this sly new original song. Fortunately she places most of the could-be-lurid story up front, leaving lots of room for a dark melody, punctuated by a few well-placed effects, and deliberate rhythm to take hold. Melyz rises above the song itself with a smart and seductive vocal delivery.
- THE BRIG, “You Know”
“You Know” is a fun, rock-flavoured dance track from Russian producer The Brig. He appears to have an established following in Europe over the past 5 years or so with a heavier dubstep style. “You Know” strays from that path, and revvs you up with guitars and synths, then catches you off guard with the casual interjections of the title by a female voice throughout. “You Know” is also a good one to play up loud in the car.