Back after a month, it’s 10/10 – Edition 16!!
In 10/10, 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.
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.
- TAFARI ANTHONY, “No Good”
“No Good” is Tafari Anthony’s most recent follow up to the beautifully cutting “Centerfold”, which peaked at #10 on my personal chart. His first name is pronounced ‘Ta-far-eye’, and “No Good” seethes with emotion as the singer recounts being resigned to say goodbye to someone, albeit with some reluctance. Like with “Centerfold”, “No Good” minces no words, and Tafari’s vocal is a passionate mix of contemporary and older school styles and influences that makes his music an easy fit onto any pop or R&B playlist. So brace yourself for a heart-felt story and enjoy those moments when Tafari’s voice really soars.
- grandson, “Dirty”
Canadian-American singer/songwriter grandson has already encountered a modicum of domestic fame which garnered a Juno Awards nomination and a US major label record deal. His distinct, edgy and often witty vocal style sets him apart from others, and he scored brilliantly singing on Whethan’s single from earlier this year called “All In My Head”, a #1 on my personal chart. Like that song, “Dirty” is a playful, danceable slice of alt.rock that should be added immediately to modern rock and college radio station playlists. Check out its energetic, provocative video above. “Dirty” is from his upcoming debut album called Death Of An Optimist, due in December.
- MOTEZ, “Give Your Heart Away”
Australian producer Motez is hardly a newcomer to the dance music scene, but he has set his foundation in his home country – receiving a gold single award for “The Future” – but while receiving support elsewhere by stars as diverse as Idris Elba. Dance music fans who saw him play in Las Vegas may already be familiar with “Give Your Heart Away”, whose release has been a long time coming. It’s essentially an instrumental that melds European deep house flavours with feel-good 90’s vibes around what sound like powerhouse vocal samples, which instantly make it a festival-worthy banger. Club DJ’s could eventually play this alongside of ODESZA’s “Loyal” and classics like “Show Me Love” or “Love Sensation” and the dance floor would stay packed. So continue to stay tuned to what Motez has in store for you.
- ZEN THOMAS, “What Can I Say”
There’s not much information available online about L.A.-based singer Zen Thomas (yup, his real name is Zen), but be prepared to be blown away by “What Can I Say”, his most recent single. He’s been releasing songs for about two years, including an EP called Songs About No One earlier this year. “What Can I Say” is classic current pop music – if you like Charlie Puth and Maroon 5, then the songs of Zen Thomas are not far removed. Not only is “What Can I Say” a feverishly passionate song, but Zen’s buttery voice and scorching high notes will completely turn you into a puddle. So now is definitely a good time to discover the music of Zen Thomas.
- SMALLTOWN DJ’s and BOOTSY COLLINS, “Good Thang”
Canadian electronic dance producers Smalltown DJ’s have a fun and funky treat for you in the form of “Good Thang”. The guys have created a fantastic rhythm track for the song, which has enticed collaboration from none other than one of the 70’s great funk-masters, Bootsy Collins. Bootsy adds his kingsize personality to “Good Thang” and so, through electronic dance, P-funk fans of the 70’s get one of the closest things yet to that old school funk.
- TONYB., “You Knew What This Was”
Nashville pop/R&B singer/songwriter TONYB. shows a lot of promise with his new single “You Knew What This Was”. Sporting a gorgeous tenor voice that will have you thinking Seal, D’Angelo and Usher, “You Knew What This Was” is a moody but captivating song that is highly reminiscent of Seal’s own “Crazy”. In it, he graciously calls out a former lover after their love was no longer to be forever. With bright songwriting and vocal like these, we’ll certainly be hearing more from TONYB.
- STEVE JAMES, “Us” (Joey Parki remix)
Earlier this year, Grammy-nominated songwriter Steve James released his first major label EP called +One, featuring a beautiful single “fall for you”. He then made an usual move – he started up his own indie label, Butter Beats, and released a couple of singles, one of which is “Us”. The need for fluid creativity often works in strange ways. Far less lush and polished-sounding than some of his previous work, Steve then had a remix contest for “Us”, kind of an atypical alt.dance track anyway. The best one of the bunch to me is Joey Parki’s progressive house remix, which adds more dimension to the original without totally reworking it. Its deliberate pacing pairs well with Steve’s own vocal (which sings one verse repeated) making it an inspired and memorable remix.
- GEORGIA BLACK, “Invisible Enemy”
“Invisible Enemy” is top notch creative songwriting which uses the pandemic as the basis for its obvious theme, though it can be interpreted otherwise as well. It’s brought to you by British singer Georgia Black, whose unique vocal fits the musical styles of singers like Amy Winehouse, Joss Stone, Peggy Lee, and Diana Krall. It’s a pleasing, intimate hybrid of pop, R&B, jazz and blues that would sound best in a small club setting. You’d never know from this song that Georgia spent time fronting Agent Provocateur’s Dirty Stop Out with The Clash’s Mick Jones, but undoubtedly that experience has made her solo work sound that much better!
- SEOLO and JOSEPH FEINSTEIN, “Fake Love”
“Fake Love” is a European-flavoured pop-friendly dance bop that will make you want to bounce. Seolo is relative newcomer Bálint Csenke, a producer/remixer who hails from Hungary, and who has already scored over 2 million streams with his single “Just Like A Ghost”. He’s collaborated here with German singer/songwriter Joseph Feinstein, who has quickly acquired more than 10 million streams for his songs over the past few years. The result is effortless-sounding ear candy for anyone, with Joseph’s immensely appealing and gentle vocal offsetting Seolo’s majestic synth sounds.
- MIKE VALLAS, “Train”
I’m not sure from where singer/songwriter Mike Vallas hails – I would guess Germany or Austria. During his time releasing music over the last three years, he has become a well-known presence on Tik Tok. And while my first taste of his music a few years ago was very hip hop flavoured, his new song “Train” is a more laid back indie singer/songwriter effort about loneliness after leaving a party without any company. Anyone will relate to Mike’s lyrics, and his down-to-earth vocal against a modest electronic backdrop goes down easily.