The end of 2022 and start of 2023 have been quiet, music-wise. It seems that many people in the music industry took a well-deserved rest, given the daunting pace of the industry that is now driven by chart and streaming numbers that totally neglect the artistry that is at its core. As such, the new music selections have been slimmer, and my verdict on a few year end releases is still undecided, so today brings you six fine discoveries.
You can also read about my pick of the week, along with picks from online radio buddies “Big Daddy” Russ Horton and Hunter Wilbur, and “The Musicman” James Rogers also has his Classic Five pop hits feature. You can also find out what was my #1 song of the week on the BILLCS Top 30 as well as the Fastest Riser on the chart.
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.
TIMMY TRUMPET, TUNGEVAAG, “La Danse”
“La Danse” is a stunning electronic dance ballad that is built around a frenetic trance melody, giving us a reflective song about the lost art of romance as well as a bass-y banger. Australia’s Timmy Trumpet this time teams up with award-winning Norwegian producer Tungevaag, and they may just need another collaboration sometime soon. This is tight, well-made, and beautifully sung by an uncredited female vocalist. Oh and those French lyrics, which you can’t find online or even in the lyrics video? “L’amour en danse était romance.” (Literally, the love in dance was romance, but perhaps more idiomatically, love through dance was romance.)
THE DISCO FRIES, KASTRA, BRITT LARI, “Alone At Midnight”
“Alone At Midnight” is a sweet throwback to melodic house of about 10 years ago, largely thanks to a familiar synth hook, courtesy of genre veterans The Disco Fries who this time team up with Florida’s Kastra and relatively new go-to vocalist Britt Lari, who you heard last year on Syence’s “don’t you wanna know” among others. Fortunately “Alone” is more than just about a hook, with Britt’s appealing vocal and a classic song structure contributing to a big win, that should hopefully land this song at dance radio sometime soon.
SLANDER, SAID THE SKY, ALISON WONDERLAND, “Picture”
“Picture” is an atmospheric electronic ballad that throws a huge spotlight on Alison Wonderland’s vocals. Set against a restrained future bass production, “Picture” could easily become a benchmark in production for the genre when creating a stylish release that isn’t meant to have beats and effects go over the top. L.A. duo Slander, Denver’s Said The Sky (noted for his impressive work with Illenium) and Alison have all outdone themselves here to give us a record that will endure while remaining true to the genre, and I think fans will simply adore it.
COBI, “Can’t Have It All”
L.A. based singer/songwriter Cobi brings us another bluesy rocker, “Can’t Have It All”. Lyrically it’s a cathartic release about letting some things and people go in our lives, and in reflection, looking out for what’s best for you. Cobi has amazing range and it’s so well suited for this style that he’s chosen to pursue. The song may seem dark but self-realization can feel good in the end, and “Can’t Have It All” captures this well.
JAY BIRD, MAKI FLOW, “Divine and Misery”
Dipping into a trance-flavoured melody this time, Bay area electronic dance producer Jay Bird has released “Divine and Misery” in collaboration with go-to topliner/songwriter Maki Flow for the enduring Blanco y Negro on their Spitfire Music label. Maki Flow’s expressive vocal and the infectious chorus – kind of a cousin to Ariana Grande’s “Love Me Harder” – are supported by Jay Bird’s astute attention to detail and a flowing melody. The song is about accepting someone who loves you, warts and all – but with the condition that if they are going to love you, they have to be “all in” too.
BOY ARIES, “Comets + Death of Time”
Boy Aries is the new performing name for singer/songwriter Jordan Radics, who most recently fronted the promising Toronto-based alt.rock group Blajk (2017’s “Lethal”). And it’s great to hear his deep, rich voice again on “Comets + The Death of Time”, though I’m not exactly sure what the low-key alt.pop song is all about. In the end it seems that love will rule all so hearing Boy Aries’ passionate vocal sing “I’ll love you till the death of time” repeatedly makes you believe it even more. Let’s hope we’ll see Boy Aries return to live performances sometime soon too.
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.
It’s also the Highest Debut on the BILLCS Top 30 this week – “Hero” by Martin Garrix & JVKE
BIG DADDY” RUSS HORTON’S PICK OF THE WEEK
“Surfing in Iceland” by Oregon singer/songwriter Goth Babe (aka Griff Washburn)
HUNTER J. WILBUR’S PICK OF THE WEEK
Hunter J. Wilbur is the host of the online radio shows “Modern Hype” and “Addictive Energy” (returning this Saturday!) which can be heard on several online stations including Classic Hits Canada.
“Daydreaming”, a Top 40 Canadian radio hit by singer Noelle with Virginia To Vegas
“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.
BILLCS Top 30 #1 SONG
“Yours” by Conan Gray