After a lengthy course of writing blog posts about individual songs, I’ve launched the BILLCS New Music Report to showcase a week’s worth of new music at a time every Wednesday. In this way I can cover more of the songs, while also linking the Report to the growing online radio world, in which I am very present these days. I think it’s the future for what used to be on radio and has now been replaced by crass commercialism that just happens to play music – the same music, over and over and over.
The first section is called SPOTLIGHTING, which focuses on my five most notable new songs of the week. Then, there’s another section called FEATURING with several more cool new songs. Both sections continue to feature You Tube links to the songs. The “10/10” feature may return and will be worked into this new format.
I’ve also brought aboard my very good radio friends Russ Horton and Hunter Wilbur, and of course my best friend of over 40 years, James Rogers, into the Report to offer their expertise. Russ and Hunter will give their own picks of the week every week, and James brings us his Classic Five of the week – wonderful pop hits of the post-Beatles era that the younger readership in particular should get to know.
The BILLCS New Music Report is a work-in-progress and I welcome your suggestions so feel free to contact me @billcs on Twitter @thebillcs on Instagram or @BILLCSMusicProjects on Facebook.
GATTÜSO and ZAK ABEL, “I’ll Be There”
Following up the recent “Afterglow” (which reached #8 on my chart), NYC-based Israel-born dance producer GATTUSO has a winner with “I’ll Be There”. It’s led by a committed and driven vocal by dance music mainstay ZAK ABEL, whose underlying rasp makes the infectious chorus even more affecting. GATTUSO’s rich production gives “I’ll Be There” a warm ambience which will be greatly appreciated by regular club dance floor denizens.
M-22 and ELLA HENDERSON, “Heartstrings”
German-UK production duo M-22 released one of my favourite songs of 2019 with “White Lies”, which promptly got to #1 on my chart. And after ELLA HENDERSON’s recent teaming with Nathan Dawe on “21 Reasons”, she was the right voice for “Heartstrings”. Her urgent vocal reminds me of Robyn at times circa “With Every Heartbeat”, and the chorus and drop are undeniable.
TASBA, “Inner Child”
TASBA (aka Tanya Barrera) is a new electronic dance producer from Denver who has loads of potential. It’s no surprise that her song “Inner Child” was picked up immediately for release. It’s got a gentle house vibe that TASBA lifts using a snappy rhythm with various shifts within the melody, which keeps the pace moving. “Inner Child” is the kind of song you’ll hear in a club and want to Shazam right away, and is a good start for an artist who is finding her niche stylistically and is also playing live gigs as well.
FIORIOUS and AUSTIN ATO, “Feel So High”
NYC singer/songwriter FIORIOUS and Scottish producer AUSTIN ATO make a formidable duo with “Feel So High”, which just oozes creativity. The song has early 80’s electropop roots that somehow translate into a fast-paced house track that’s guaranteed to be a dance floor filler. The highly energized vocal by FIORIOUS keeps “Feel So High” sizzling.
D’AMICO & VALAX and RICKYSEE, “So Close”
“So Close” is a fierce deep house track by Italian producers D’AMICO & VALAX and Detroit-based singer RICKYSEE. Taking its cues from early 90’s European house, “So Close” rides an aggressive rhythm layered with synths that play into a powerful chorus. Club DJ’s wanting to keep their dance floor full and the vibe relentless should insert “So Close” midway through a key set of the evening for best results.
CARLY RAE JEPSEN and RUFUS WAINWRIGHT, “The Loneliest Time”
I can’t go without mentioning “The Loneliest Time” – the title song from CARLY RAE JEPSEN’s new album – because of the presence of fellow Canadian and longtime personal fave RUFUS WAINWRIGHT, who can truly be a chameleon when he wants to be. His sublime vocal slides behind Carly Rae’s lead and gives the song added and unexpected dimension. Both singers sound fab and clearly enjoyed making this one.
LUFTHAUS and ROBBIE WILLIAMS, “To The Light”
“To The Light” is the most compelling track on the new EP Soul Seekers by LUFTHAUS, a Germany-based electronic project led by none other ROBBIE WILLIAMS! He’s probably one of the least likely names you’d find associated with trance music but Armada believed in it enough to release it. It’s in stark contrast to the 25th anniversary of Robbie’s debut solo album Life Thru A Lens and perhaps a timely shift in direction. Early hits like “Millennium” and “Rock DJ” offered electronic backdrops and sharp melodies. And Robbie’s vocal here broods and works so well over a familiar if linear landscape. Definitely work checking out!
SUNNERY JAMES & RYAN MARCIANO, BRUNO MARTINI and MAYRA, “Closure”
A tribal backdrop gives “Closure” a more progressive sound than usual from electronic dance music faves SUNNERY JAMES & RYAN MARCIANO and BRUNO MARTINI. MAYRA’s powerful vocal seethes with internal anguish and gives “Closure” a strong emotional core. It’s definitely a sidestep for the producers from creating bangers, but “Closure” shows their strong and inspired collaboration at work.
EGZOD and BERTIE SCOTT, “The Way Out”
Florida-based electronic dance producer EGZOD (aka France-born Carlos Carvalho-Martins) has worked hard for just more than the last half decade developing his brand of melodic progressive songs. And it’s paying off – “The Way Out” has landed release on Spinnin’ Records. It also features the recognizable voice of UK go-to dance music singer BERTIE SCOTT. The song is long on melody and shifts into a breathtaking whirlwind in the last minute which is major icing on the cake. This one has all kinds of sync possibilities for film, TV and video games.
MARTIN LUKE BROWN, “grateful”
“grateful” is a warm welcome back to British singer/songwriter Martin Luke Brown, who brought us a splendid slice of soulful pop back in 2015 with his major label release “Take Out Of Me” (which got to #7 on my chart). Since that time MLB (has he is often called) has been mainly writing songs for others, and “grateful” is his first release since 2018. It’s a gritty but inviting track that echoes the raw 60’s vibes of The Beatles and their contemporaries while being channeled through late 70’s punk of the likes of Elvis Costello.
FRANKMUSIK, “Complete Me Completed”
“Complete Me Completed” signals a wrap to the new FRANKMUSIK version of his 2009 album Complete Me. The full album will be released soon as a new package but in the meantime all of its songs have been re-recorded and re-vamped. “Complete Me” is full of soaring FRANKMUSIK vocals that will make you think songs from his 2014 album By Nicole. The production is full of subtleties and power that are customary with a FRANKMUSIK release. What his task did though was take a lot of very good songs stuck in 2009 trappings and made them so much better.
L.A. based singer/songwriter Hunter Elizabeth rebrands herself as HUNTER on her new EP Hello: My Name Is HUNTER. After seeing some success with a year long residency at a popular L.A. club and a connection with Willie Nelson’s son Lukas that opened a lot of doors for her, HUNTER proves her versatility and how to craft a 3 minute pop song with “Closer”. It’s an upbeat love song about celebrating with those closest to you after the difficulties we experienced in the pandemic. Her bright voice highlights a song that is set out to show you a good time, and provides a welcome introduction to the EP.
BILL’S NEW MUSIC PICK OF THE WEEK
My New Music Pick of the Week is a 5-7 minute radio segment that airs more than 20 times/week on online radio stations around the world.
“Together” by L.A. pop duo CAPITAL CITIES and L.A.-based electronic dance producer BOBBY NOURMAND
“BIG DADDY” RUSS HORTON’S PICK OF THE WEEK
“Big Daddy” Russ Horton is the owner of online stations Radio GTA, Halton Hills Radio Online, & FM108.ca.
“Runaway To Mars” by Canadian singer TALK
HUNTER J. WILBUR’S PICK OF THE WEEK
Hunter J. Wilbur is the host of the online radio shows “Modern Hype” and “Addictive Energy” which can be heard on several online stations including Classic Hits Canada.
“See The Light” by Nashville-based singer/songwriter STEPHEN SANCHEZ
“THE MUSICMAN” JAMES ROGERS’ CLASSIC FIVE
“The Musicman” James Rogers is the owner and host of The 3D Variety Show heard Tuesdays on Planet Radio Canada. The Classic Five is “pop music 101” of the post-Beatles era – classics you need to know! Each title is linked to a Spotify stream of the song.
“She Loves You” by THE BEATLES (1964)
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by THE ROLLING STONES (1965)
“House of the Rising Sun” by THE ANIMALS (1964)
“I Get Around” by THE BEACH BOYS (1964)
“I Want To Hold Your Hand” by THE BEATLES (1964)
BILLCS Top 30 #1 SONG
“Jimi” by FRANCESCO YATES
BILLCS Top30 HIGHEST DEBUT
“Charlie Be Quiet” by CHARLIE PUTH