My10/10 feature is back with edition #18, the first 10/10 since April. There are just so many fine releases out right now and I don’t want to cast any aside that deserve your attention.
For those not familiar with10/10, 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.
I must say that edition #18 has quite the global variety of musical flavours for you to check out!
- JAROD GLAWE and ROBIN VANE, “Belong To You”
Chicago producer/songwriter/engineer Jarod Glawe is still a relative newcomer to the music scene, but he’s moved very quickly to receive remixes by the likes of Thomas Gold and AMPM, and to start his own Sony The Orchard-distributed label, Blu Ember Music. “Belong To You” is the first release, and you might has well start off with a bang. It’s a gorgeous deep house track full of emotion that’s heavily reliant on the vocal by Dutch singer/songwriter Robin Vane. Together Jarod and Robin are a dynamic force. Outside of the song’s chorus, Robin’s voice at times reminds me of Dan Smith of Bastille when he sang “Happier”, but he has soulful edges that perfectly suit the warmth of this song. “Belong To You” is a delightful surprise waiting for you to hear it.
AUTOGRAF and WIN & WOO and SINGA, “Break Me Down”
Two of Chicago’s finest house production teams unite for “Break Me Down”. The duos of Autograf and Win & Woo have released some of their best music within the last two years, particularly Autograf’s “Ain’t Deep Enough” and Win & Woo’s “Sleepwalking” (both landing in the Top 10 of my personal chart last year), so it’s intriguing to hear the results of their collaboration. “Break Me Down” is a fairly easy going but atmospheric chill house track with lots of interesting synth sounds and an expressive vocal by Philadelphia’s SINGA. It would be fitting to play this song early on in a club set to get the crowd moving. Autograf and Win & Woo have given “Break Me Down” lots of layers that pull you in and keep you listening (and dancing).
- AIBAI and COLBY HANSEN, “Aura”
“Aura” is a lilting and melodic slice of electronic pop from Minnesota, courtesy of producer Aibai and singer Colby Hansen. While the song narrates a queer relationship about being smitten with a cute girl while out dancing and wanting to dance with her, it is easily relatable for all genders. It leaves to chance about whether or not to pursue your thoughts and feelings, and be caught up in the excitement of a first-time encounter. Colby’s dreamy vocal basks in the blurred circumstances, while Aibai’s production will keep your feet moving, though it sometimes overwhelms Colby’s vocal towards the end. Nonetheless these two young women have created a tight collaboration that works.
- AMY CORREA BELL, “Fuck It I’m Good” ( Beat Ventriloquists remix)
I’ve said many times before in these pages that I’m a big believer in remixes, and how they can transform a song. “Fuck It I’m Good” by San Fernando’s own Amy Correa Bell isn’t a new song, in fact it was released three years ago until the singer got the brilliant idea to reinvent it during the pandemic with a variety of producer friends. The resulting Beat Ventriloquists remix is certainly a fun deep house rework with a funky edge that keeps you guessing where it’s heading, particularly beyond the three minute mark. The new mix adds more spice to the feisty attitude that Amy brought with the original. So if you like your house mixes on the adventurous and unconventional side then be sure to check this one out.
- daysormay, “Ego”
Vernon, British Columbia trio daysormay tackle Sigmund Freud in their own unique way in “Ego”. The indie rock group take influences from the likes of The Beastie Boys and Blink-182 and roll it all up into a convincing package which is a lot of fun if – when it doesn’t wear out its welcome. The video for “Ego” is clever, with eyes very hard not to be on lead singer Aidan Andrews, who lends a lot of inspired energy to the proceedings. Twin brothers Carson and Nolan Bassett round out the group, and they are often hidden under masks when not in synchronized rhythm with Aidan. While obviously filmed on a budget, the video does have its moments (some scenes from The Art Of Noise’s “Close (To The Edit)” come to mind), but like the song itself, is simply too long. Less is often more but this is a fine first look at daysormay, and I’m looking forward to more from them.
- iamrebelwill, “Addicted”
iamrebelwill is a talent for the 2020’s. A queer black singer born in Montreal but based in Toronto, he created “Addicted” as an anthem about being hopelessly in love – and being just fine with that – after spending his early years afraid of being himself. He’s got an engaging voice and personality in this song, and influences seem to be drawn most from the late 90’s such as The Fugees, Lauryn Hill, and OutKast. With a tight groove and lyrics co-written by Tafari Anthony, whose own music has appeared in these blog pages, there’s a lot to enjoy about “Addicted”, and iamrebelwill is certainly a name worth remembering for future releases.
- PROMISE LAND x DANNY DEARDEN, “You Turn My Love Around”
Veteran Italian duo Promise Land (Nazario and Fabio) team up with UK singer/songwriter sensation Danny Dearden for house music that oozes positive vibes in “You Turn My Love Around”. Promise Land has been releasing music for about 12 years, and have had great success with many of their Spinnin’ Records releases, as well as with remixes for Fedde LeGrand, Flo Rida, and especially with Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child”! Danny is becoming a go-to voice in dance music with his versatile tones and seasoned songwriting skills. “You Turn My Love Around” mixes 90’s European house vibes with bright synths. At times the production and its high synth notes seems to compete with Danny’s high register, but it’s a minor quibble in this quick but lively release.
MONSIEUR ADI, “Guardian”
In true surprise fashion, French-American musician/producer Monsieur Adi returns to the music scene rather inauspiciously with “Guardian”. In the former part of the last decade, Adi remixed songs by the likes of Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Ellie Goulding and Lana Del Rey, and also released a number of solo releases which often had vocals by others. In 2014, he was the opening DJ on Beyoncé’s “Mrs. Carter” European tour, and was poised to break out with his rework of Soul II Soul’s “Back To Life” as “What’s Going On” (featuring A*M*E, which peaked at #2 on my personal chart). Since that time, he’s released a scattered few singles, so it’s nice that “Guardian” surfaced as some of our strange times are coming to an end. It’s a warm and mellow song, almost like a fable that unfolds about some unknown presence who is there to guide and perhaps look after you. The vocal for “Guardian” is also by sung Adi for the first time and it’s a pleasing performance. Hopefully “Guardian” will be followed up soon with more new music from Monsieur Adi.
SHOBY & VICTOR PERRY, “Hero”
It’s not covered very often, but there’s no one else I could think of who could do Enrique Iglesias’ smash from the early 2000’s more justice than NYC singer Victor Perry. It’s a faithful version of “Hero” which is turned into a mid-tempo house number spiced with a lot of sax sounds by German producer Shoby. It was especially important to my ears to get the bridge down right and Victor embraces it right down to the quiver in his voice. The pair bring the song up to date while paying homage to it, so be sure to give it a listen particularly if you’re a big fan of Enrique or the song itself. “Hero” has also been released through Warner Denmark, no less.
DIRTY RUSH & GREGOR ES, “The Rhythm”
Dirty Rush and Gregor Es are two Polish producer/DJ’s who have a pretty wild output of house-flavoured music. They are tamed somewhat in their latest release “The Rhythm”, which shows off their slick skills without needing to embellish them too much with effects or crazy ideas. The beats are huge, with plenty of bounce, so it’s not hard to picture “The Rhythm” being played around midnight in a club to crank up the party.