In this edition of the report, we’ll let the music, reviews and features speak for themselves! Be sure to listen to all of the songs by clicking on the photos above the song title and artist.
Among the features, you can read about my pick of the week, along with picks from online radio buddies “Big Daddy” Russ Horton and Hunter Wilbur. “The Musicman” James Rogers has his Classic Five pop hits feature featuring songs from 1979/80 this week. I also look back on the BILLCS Top 30 from the last five years to find out what songs debuted on the chart in each one of the years 2018 to 2022.
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.
MARCUS & MARTINUS, “Air”
“Air” was the distant runner-up in Sweden’s recent Melodifestivalen contest, and Loreen’s stunning “Tattoo” went on to become Sweden’s representative at EuroVision in May. But let’s also just say that “Air” was the obvious runner-up to “Tattoo” among a lot of mediocre entries this year. Marcus & Martinus are twin early 20-something’s from Norway, and they have imminent potential to breakout worldwide, even if “Air” may not be – but should be – the song to do that. Nonetheless, “Air” is a beautifully crafted song that’s a terrific showcase for the singers, and they certainly gave their all on the Melodifestivalen stage, winning over a whole bunch of new fans in the process.
COBI, “Telepathic Powers”
L.A.-based alternative singer/songwriter Cobi has continued with a series of releases that draw heavily from bluesy rock and R&B. This time, “Telepathic Powers”, with such a beautiful guitar melody, steps right out of 70’s and 80’s romantic R&B jams, making that long absent sub-genre sound completely fresh again. “Telepathic Powers” is rich, warm and inviting, with another splendid Cobi vocal, and you’ll want to play it more and more. A full album of Cobi’s recent releases would be sure to sparkle!
Hailing from Norway but now based in Spain and of Chilean heritage, Reya is definitely out to seduce your ears with the infectious release “attention”. Although she had some success recording under another variation of her name, Reya wanted to express herself more honestly, incorporating both style and language from her heritage, which is why “attention” is partially sung in Spanish. With an alternately sultry and sassy vocal alongside a taut arrangement that perhaps comes to life a little later in the song than usual, Reya’s “attention” is out to out to conquer without apology, and it’s going to leave one line stuck in your head for days: “I can make the phone stop”. So we can say that Reya’s simpler quest for “attention” from music fans certainly succeeds with this song.
Laroie is the new moniker for Gab Godon, once one half of acclaimed Montreal duo Heartstrings, which had the fortune to work with Kaytranada while he was on the rise. After working with a childhood friend in Heartstrings and splitting a few years back, Gab took time to carve out a new persona in Laroie. “Tragedy” is the title song of her new six song EP, and its slick 90’s flavoured R&B will make your ears stand at attention. Shades of Janet Jackson, SWV and Brandy will be dancing inside your head as you listen to her engaging but mellow mid-tempo sound in this release. “Tragedy”, I suspect, is just a small but vibrant taste of what’s in store for us from Laroie.
LAST HEROES, DYSON, “Stay The Night”
British singer Dyson’s vocal is showcased admirably by Colorado production duo Last Heroes in “Stay The Night”. It’s a melodic deep house track that employs some well-placed bounce to elevate it further next to your average house track about finding that one person who is a “keeper”. Although they have never visited my blog pages before, Last Heroes have been making music for the last seven years or so and have played alongside top electronic producers like Illenium, Seven Lions and more. Dyson’s credits in the pop/dance genre are a songwriter’s dream – BTS, Basshunter, Tritonal, Loud Luxury, Zack Martino, Anastacia, and countless others. Although “Stay The Night” to me could have been a bit shorter, all of that experience translates into a catchy release that really shines.
THE SUMMER SET, “Under The Influence(r)”
“Under The Influence(r)” is fun, cheery, edgy alt. rock with some creative wordplay courtesy of Arizona’s The Summer Set, who returned last year with their first album in 6 years called Blossom. Lead singer Brian Logan Dales also wrote “Under The Influence(r)”, and he’s in fine form vocally too. Set to a tight melody, the song’s lyrics will keep you intrigued because you won’t know what to expect next in a story about a guy who gets his heart broken by a social media influencer. The music reminds me of late 90’s and early 2000’s pop-punk bands (think American Hi-Fi or Bowling for Soup), so when it’s all done right like in “Under The Influence(r)”, almost anything can sound refreshing all over again.
GT_OFICE, CHRIS PADIN, KRYSTA YOUNGS, “Invite Only”
Following up his recent Top 20 national radio hit “Never Together” – his hit from last year, “Tuff”, with VASSY, debuted a year ago on my chart, see further near the bottom of the page – Miami producer GT_ofice is back with a melodic earworm, “Invite Only”. This time his collaborators are NYC producer Chris Padin and L.A.-based singer/songwriter Krysta Youngs, who has some impressive credits writing for BTS among others. “Invite Only” is about making sure you don’t let your guard down, and being in control of your own destiny with love. Krysta’s vocal is assured and vibrant, while the producers spice it up with 90’s flavours and bass synths that make it ideal for late nights in clubs.
ROBERT FALCON, STEPHANIE SCHULTE, “Kids”
I think you’ll be as surprised as me when you hear this unexpected and enjoyable dance music cover of “Kids”, originally by MGMT, by Belgian producer Robert Falcon with NYC vocalist Stephanie Schulte. While the style isn’t surprising, given that excerpts of the original is often played in clubs and at festivals, it’s the exceptional quality in production by Robert and vocal by Stephanie that make this cover a good investment of your in time. The basic arrangement is pretty faithful, surrounded by lusher keyboards, but with a pop vocal that’s quite far removed from MGMT’s original. That all makes this rendition of “Kids” well worth hearing and a solid addition to pop or dance playlists.
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 25 times/week on online radio stations around the world.
“City of Love” by Seattle producer Surf Mesa with vocalist Selah Sol
“BIG DADDY” RUSS HORTON’S PICK OF THE WEEK
“Big Daddy” Russ Horton is host of the “Top 40 Timeline” radio show and the owner of online stations Radio GTA, Halton Hills Radio Online, & FM108.ca.
“I Feel Like Dancing” by Jason Mraz
HUNTER J. WILBUR’S BOP 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.
Nashville country/pop duo Eddie & The Getaway with “Born To Run To You”
“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.
M – Pop Muzik
Styx – Babe
Dolly Parton – 9 To 5
Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
Rod Stewart – Da Ya Think I’m Sexy
BILLCS TOP 30 CHART DEBUTS 2018-2022
#25 Mercer – Aretha
#26 Cornelia Jakobs – Hold Me Closer
#27 GT_ofice, VASSY – Tuff
#28 Florence & The Machine – My Love
#29 Liamoo – Bluffin’
#21 Eric Saade – Every Minute
#24 Lordnox, Victor Perry – Myself In You
#26 Finneas – American Cliché
#27 Karen Harding, Shift K3Y – Morning
#24 Smith & Thell – Goliath
#26 ARTY, Griff Clawson – You’re Not Alone
#30 Jake Shears – Meltdown
#25 Jonas Brothers – Sucker
#29 Horse Meat Disco, Amy Douglas – Let’s Go Dancing
#19 MK – 17
#25 Years & Years – Sanctify
#26 Sofi Tukker – Baby I’m A Queen
#27 The Him – White Lies
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