Fine new music releases have been bountiful of late, so it’s “10/10” time again with edition #28! 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, in fact three songs from edition #27 by Petawane, Showtek and Sage Castleberry, all currently appear on the BILLCS Top 30. So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but I may not otherwise get to write about. These songs 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”!
- DIMASH QUDAIBERGEN, “Zhalyn”
He’s a superstar in his native Kazakhstan, but musically the global playing field becomes a lot smaller when you possess talents like Dimash Qudaibergen. He’s a classically trained singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist who can sing in a dozen languages. He can also reach High C notes with ease, which is always remarkable for a male performer because so few can do that. You won’t hear it in “Zhalyn” though, which means “flames” in English, and while it’s sung in Kazakh, you’ll be swept away by the enticing exotic rhythms, arrangement and Dimash’s commanding vocal. Very rarely do foreign language songs cross over into the English language music world, but “Zhalyn” warrants your attention.
- CRASH ADAMS, “Give Me A Kiss”
It’s one of the brightest end-of-summer songs this year, and “Give Me A Kiss” is another winner from Toronto duo Crash Adams, their first release this year. They always come up with carefully crafted ear candy that rocks out with a goal of making you smile. The accompanying video above, which already has over a million views, is a treat as the duo, sporting matching jackets, shirts and slacks again, take over a part of L.A. to spread positive vibes, complete with the return of their sofa (this time it’s yellow). All that’s needed to complete the circle is for Crash Adams to resume playing some live gigs in the near future.
- HANNE MJØEN, “I Never Told You”
Hanne Mjøen is a rising pop singer from Norway whose music is beginning to attract attention and resonate worldwide with streams approaching the 25 million mark. She also was featured on Canadian dance producer Felix Cartal’s “My Last Song” last year. “I Never Told You” is perhaps her strongest release to date, with her well-honed vocal set against a bubbly, sometimes euphoric backdrop that supports her story of confidence and being strong, knowing that you can’t always tell the people closest to you everything that goes on in your life. With “I Never Told You” leading the way, I’m sure Hanne’s songs will continue to grow and continue to reach more people through the integrity of her lyrics.
- THE HIM & BRUNO MARTINI, “Before You Break”
“Before You Break” recalls those points in time where you might want more out of a relationship or situation, but realize that for the best it’s wiser to just walk away. It’s the latest release from The Him (aka Jeroen Kersters) in collaboration this time with Brazilian producer Bruno Martini. It’s a solid house release that veers to the pop side of the spectrum, with an gritty vocal by an uncredited male singer. There’s some pedigree songwriting talent (Toby Jacob and Tiggi Hawke, among others) that have made “Before You Break” happen, so if you enjoy Loud Luxury, Joel Corry or Sam Feldt, then this one is perfect for you!
- MAGGIE SZABO, “Uh Oh”
Hamilton, Ontario-born Maggie Szabo has been releasing her own music for the last decade or so, with her more recent songs getting increasing acclaim, and “Uh Oh” is one of the best of them. It features a vibrant melody with a vocal that has a sweet soulful edge. The production is sheer shiny pop and comparisons to Taylor Swift or Demi Lovato would not be unreasonable. Maggie’s also been a recognizable voice on dance music releases by the likes of Schiller and BEAUZ, and as a songwriter she recently co-wrote “Slo-mo”, the Spain Eurovision 2022 entry by Chanel which won 3rd place. With all of this quality plus the bounty of songs in her portfolio over the past few years, it’s only a matter of a little more time where you’ll see Maggie Szabo on the charts.
- JAY BIRD, “Catch Me Again”
Bay area producer Jay Bird returns and continues to grow with his house music tracks with “Catch Me Again”. The theme of the song is familiar and relatable – needing someone to be there for you at the worst of times – and Jay’s synth work and rhythms keep this one moving smoothly. I must say I particularly enjoy the uncredited male vocal. It’s rough around the edges at times but world-weary, and completely embraces the vibe of the song without making it a desperate plea. “Catch Me Again” will definitely leap to attention in the middle of a house set and is a particularly satisfying listen.
- GATHERING OF STRANGERS, “Red and Gold”
“Red and Gold” is a rocking new anthem for you to add to your list to check out. Gathering Of Strangers is a new quintet from Manchester who channel bands like U2, The 1975 and The Killers to create a refreshing mix with many familiar elements. What is most notable though about “Red and Gold” is its high octane jubilance, which guarantees instant reaction if played live in concert. The band’s tight instrumentation and versatile vocal instills a sense that they are capable of much more than anthemic rockers, so Gathering Of Strangers is fresh and worth watching.
- SCOTT MAGNUS, “Wanting You Back”
“Wanting You Back” is a song about what people who are seeking a relationship positively dread – being ghosted, particularly after everything seemed to be going along well. Manchester’s Scott Magnus is back, and as you may recall I featured him three times last year in these blog pages with unique songs that demonstrate huge potential, particularly for an artist who has to face living with ADHD, Autism and Dyspraxia daily. “Wanting You Back” expresses the emotion and confusion that’s left when someone has lied. The urgency in Scott’s vocal drives the song and the low-fi production, complete with background chatter and white noise, represents all those colliding, irritating thoughts in our minds when something like this happens, and suits the song well.
- HVNNIBVL, “Never Enough”
After writing about three of his singles back in 2020, L.A.-based John Hannibal V, aka HVNNIBVL, returns with what could be his best and most accessible one to date with “Never Enough”. The Buffalo, NY native writes about a past relationship which has caused some reflection, but elects to move on, and thus “Never Enough” is actually set to a driving, upbeat melody. What has improved immensely for HVNNIBVL is the production, which no longer overwhelms, in favour of a crisp, clean backdrop that enhances the melody and arrangement. Pop music wise, fans of many artists from Charlie Puth through to The Chainsmokers will enjoy the radio friendly vibe of “Never Enough”.
- HOLNE, “November Sky”
Meet Holne, an indie pop singer/songwriter/guitarist who hails from Devon, England, and his gentle track about rekindling a past relationship called “November Sky”. What sets this one apart from others is the infectious and relatable chorus, and Holne’s often slight but precise vocal. I’m not sure if this is meant to be a serious stab at getting someone back or just wishful thinking but you can decide for yourself. “November Sky” is eloquent and sincere, and will appeal to fans of James Bay, James Morrison or Benedict Cork.