While I was on vacation recently in NYC, I didn’t write any blog posts, so of course the songs accumulate while I’m away. My solution: It’s “10/10” time with edition #27! 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. So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but I wouldn’t otherwise get to write about. Songs often end up on my personal chart, the BILLCS Top 30. They may even receive airplay on one of the many affiliate online radio stations that are learning about my blog choices and finding them good fits for my radio shows such as “Your Weekend New Music Mix” or “The Big 20”!
- PETAWANE, “Music”
The heart and soul of contemporary soul music lives and breathes in the form of veteran NYC singer Petawane (aka James Burris). His recent release “Music” is a passionate tribute to soul music of the recent past, and name-checks so many songs and performers in the process that it’s hard to keep track. “Music” could have been easily executed as a novelty track, but instead you’ll embrace it and put it on repeat. Petawane has a classic vocal style that’s influenced by the best, from Sam Cooke and Nat “King” Cole, to Curtis Mayfield and Teddy Pendergrass, to Patti LaBelle and Millie Jackson. He’s also a three-time winner of “Showtime At The Apollo”, and signed to legendary music executive Ray Caviano’s RFC Fresh label, so with “Music” you can expect something exceptional.
- SHOWTEK and MC AMBUSH, “Welcome Back Home”
Longtime electronic dance producers, The Netherlands’ Showtek, have worked with many artists over the years on too many numerous smashes to count, and continue to come through with a fantastic, fun release. “Welcome Back Home” is a feel good, inclusive song uniting people with love and music. Netherlands-based American vocalist MC Ambush – whose notable work goes back to Kevin Lyttle’s classic “Turn Me On” in 2003 – provides the encouraging, anthemic vocal that carries the song over its buoyant and well-crafted synths and melody. Club DJ’s who want their audiences to cheer will want to crank up “Welcome Back Home” in their sets.
- SHOFFY, “Nightmares in NYC”
Over the past few years, L.A.-based singer, songwriter and producer Shoffy (aka Alex Shofler) has garnered success at both Top 40 radio and on the dance music scene with his varied takes on electronic pop. In fact, the quietly introspective but direct “Flags”, from his 2017 self-titled album, reached #2 on my personal chart, and I played that song and others from the album for months. His new release “Nightmares in NYC” is laid back, reflective electronica, about being lonely in a city where it’s impossible to be alone, yet when missing someone who is thousands of miles away becomes the centre of your focus, then you might as well be in a desert instead of NYC. Shoffy’s every-guy vocal and thoughtful songwriting style here will appeal to fans of Lauv and John.k.
- GLASS PETALS and DREW RAY TANNER, “Cardio”
As its title implies, “Cardio” is destined to give night club dancers a real workout with its heavy bass synths pounding from big speakers. Glass Petals is the deep house side project for Canadian producer Felix Cartal with fellow producer Johnny Jover, and it follows up the recent “Leave Your Mind Behind” once again for the Hau5trap label. TV’s “Riverdale” fans might be doing a double take at the second artist featured – fellow Canadian Drew Ray Tanner, aka Fangs Fogarty, one of my favourite characters on the show. His distorted voice provides the sublimely ominous vocal that will compel you to give it your all on the dance floor. Just say “Fangs made me do it”.
- FUTURE KINGS and LIFFORD, “Brick House”
If you’re looking for some house music that’s laced with funky sounds, then you should be undoubtedly satisfied by this cover of The Commodores’ “Brick House” by UK producers Future Kings and British R&B/pop vocalist Lifford for Oliver Heldens’ OH2 label. While the original is certainly still heard all over the world in clubs today, Future Kings (Alex Ross and Paul Webb) deliberately turn the song on its side with a sassy, trance-house production that breathes some new life into it. And it’s helped even further by Lifford Shillingford’s compelling, rich voice, which gives it more contemporary flair while still sounding like a mix of classic Joe Simon and Clarence Carter. Fans of “Britain’s Got Talent” will also know Lifford from his performances on that show in season 12. Future Kings and Lifford deliver “Brick House” 2022 which will go down easy in clubs.
- MELØ, “XEX”
At the top of the year, I introduced you to Windsor, Ontario singer/songwriter MELØ and his catchy single “Mysteria”. You can find that song as well as three more on his EP Things We Lost, including the intriguing “XEX”. Again drawing from a myriad of influences that transport you back to the middle of the 80’s, and I might be entirely wrong, but “XEX” to me is an anthem to that which is intangible or unexplainable in the world, which is encouraging to those who always enjoy a good mystery. In some ways MELØ’s songwriting in “XEX” reminds me of British pop group China Crisis, who have an art for writing songs that often are about nothing in particular. That places a lot of emphasis on the production, harmonies and melody, which are all solid on “XEX”.
- SAGE CASTLEBERRY, “I Kinda Like It”
A charming, versatile voice goes a long way over jangly guitars and perky synths. Michigan-raised Sage Castleberry definitely has the goods as a singer, songwriter and guitarist as he proves in “I Kinda Like It”. The song’s about recognizing that it’s perfectly fine to have someone to talk to and keep you company when you’re feeling lonely, without having to commit to a relationship. “I Kinda Like It” will appeal to fans of Jason Mraz, John Mayer and Bruno Mars. Sage Castleberry isn’t an easy name to forget, and his high energy level and earnestness will take him far.
- STEVEXCOOPER & ROTHSTEIN, “Water Wings”
“Water Wings” is an upbeat new song with minimal synths carrying a slight but infectious melody, brought to you by Brooklyn producer stevexcooper and vocalist Rothstein. The song is from their upcoming EP What Are You Made Of?, and is a delight for alternative and college radio fans. Steve Cooper has had a nearly 20 year career in the music industry, and his flair for the atypical with a lot of genuine touches in “Water Wings” is impressive to the ears. You’re guaranteed to dig “Water Wings” from first listen, even if you don’t quite know why, which makes the subsequent listens all the more inviting.
- BRUNO FURLAN with MEDUSA, “Nobody”
“Nobody” is an inspired house track whose roots show reverence for the 80’s house of producers like Todd Terry. Producer Bruno Furlan hails from Brazil, and he’s got a heater here that’s guaranteed to put some big bounce into any club set. The song is led by the enticing voice of Medusa, who has brought her talents to many electronic and house tracks. From start to finish, “Nobody” is a dancefloor winner.
- BEXX, “One More Night”
There’s an interesting story behind how “One More Night” came to be. It’s brought to you by new UK pop/dance singer bexx who hopes to follow the successes of fellow Brits like Becky Hill and Rina Sawayama. The endless positive vibes of “One More Night” were inspired by the film “My Best Friend’s Wedding”, despite bexx going through a breakup at the time of writing. As you can see from the joyous video above, it’s a bright, solid three minute pop tune that show’s off bexx’s sharp vocal as well.