In these blog posts lately, I seem to be zeroing in on upbeat, fun tracks, and seven out of the eight varied songs in this week’s Report are just that, while one creatively covers a well-established country-pop song in a way you’d be hard pressed to anticipate.
Among the other features in the Report, you can check out my pick of the week, along with one from the host of “Top 40 Timeline”, “Big Daddy” Russ Horton, plus Hunter Wilbur’s “Bop of the Week”. “The Musicman” James Rogers has his Classic Five pop hits feature, focusing in on some big hits from 1971 this time. Plus I have my #1 song on the BILLCS Top 30 and 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.
REMINDER: Click the photo above the artist’s name and song title to hear the song or watch the video.
THE DISCO FRIES, ECHE PALANTE, “Give Me Your Soul”
The Disco Fries let the music do the talking and create an anthemic dance track around the words in its title, “Give Me Your Soul”. This one’s guaranteed to make you bounce and should be an instant festival hit this spring and summer. Nick and Danny have partnered this time with Miami producer Eche Palante, who has had a number of successes with remixes as well releases through Spinnin’ and Universal in the last decade or so. A few years back he tapped into some thoughtful and memorable house tracks in “The Lonely” and “Midnight”. So “Give Me Your Soul” is a well-rounded collaboration, and I would pitch it to fans of Showtek and Afrojack.
THEFATRAT, SHIAH MAISEL, “Out of the Rain”
German electronic producer TheFatRat creates some of the most imaginative music for gaming fans, as well as for dance music lovers who enjoy generally upbeat, fun and compelling songs. “Out of the Rain” is an intriguing collaboration with NYC vocalist Shiah Maisel which adds a light Caribbean flavour to the rhythm. The lyrics tell a story of a world besieged by rain and those who are determined to leave it for a brighter future, so it sounds like it might be the start of a series of conceptual songs (and maybe videos) from TheFatRat. “Out of the Rain” is one of his best recent releases that should find favour with electronic music lovers well outside of his fanbase.
TELYKAST, GEORGIA KU, “You Got Me”
As more and more dance songs draw increasingly from melodic house of the early 2010’s, you can always count on L.A. production trio TELYKast to create something mighty enjoyable without sounding derivative. Teaming up this time with go-to dance vocalist and songwriter Georgia Ku, “You Got Me” oozes positivity and will find favour especially with lovebirds on the dance floor. After their huge breakthrough early last year with “Unbreakable” (a BILLCS Top 30 #1), TELYKast continues to focus on making high quality productions and collaborations which have helped them secure big concert and festival gigs. I’ll be very happy with more like “You Got Me”, please!
BEN ELLIS, “Ed’s House”
Welsh singer/songwriter Ben Ellis has only released a handful of singles, but “Ed’s House”, as recommended in the Report last week by my music buddy Hunter Wilbur, is definitely is ticket to the next level. It’s a fun bop-and-a-half that recalls house parties as a teenager, with some interesting pop culture references – I think Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag” might have been released before Ben was born, though it fits well in the story! Ben and his mates who wrote the song definitely have a way with words and the melody is light-hearted with the right kind of feel-good vibe. Like other young UK artists such as Alfie Templeman, Ben Ellis has zeroed in on a “sound” early and I think it will take him far.
ANGEL X STAR, “Jolene”
Angel X Star is a brother-sister duo from Hertfordshire, England and they’ve done what many might feel is unthinkable, and turned Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” inside out and sideways – well somewhat anyway. But in doing so, their rendition works quite well as a bouncy Afro R&B track with the message of heartbreak ever-present, but knowing that the root of heartbreak is love. Angel X Star’s version of “Jolene” gets better with each listen, when you realize they are not messing with the song at all but providing an alternate interpretation. Both Angel and Star have fine voices and the uncomplicated production provides an earthy backdrop where much can be left to your imagination.
PLS&TY, LOST BOY, “Party In My Head”
Summer has arrived early with the cheery feels of “Party In My Head”, which is the first new release in two years for L.A.-based, Florida-born dance producer PLS&TY. And he’s brought along fellow L.A.-based vocalist/songwriter Lost Boy, who provides a fun pop vocal to carry the house rhythms of the track. “Party in My Head” features slick production and its good-natured, carefree energy reminds me of dance music from about eight years ago, particularly when Justin Bieber released his Justified album and collaborated with Diplo and Skrillex, which is a sound I think dance music lovers currently miss. The record is a fine welcome back for PLS&TY and I’ll welcome another collaboration with Lost Boy anytime.
D’AMICO & VALAX, FAYZONE, “Mirage of My Heart”
Italian dance production team D’Amico & Valax are on a roll with their latest melodic deep house track, “Mirage of My Heart”. American singer/songwriter Fayzone has a boy-next-door voice that works well in this song, particularly as it goes along. The seductive mystery of the song also becomes more apparent as the production becomes increasingly layered with synths and effects. “Mirage of My Heart” will fit in nicely on playlists next to songs by Meduza, Gryffin and more.
JAKE HUFFMAN, “Babe”
Following up his single release from earlier this year which I wrote about called “Martyr”, Connecticut musician Jake Huffman returns with a song that will have you humming or toe-tapping called “Babe”. Jake wrote the song with intentions of creating a dark romance inspired by horror and sci-fi movie. And while the song has elements of that, particularly at the start, its lyrics are broad enough to fit a myriad of situations. “Babe” does have an undeniably catchy chorus though which will leave the song firmly planted in your head.
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.
“Brilliant Still”, an album track by James Bay from his third album Leap.
“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 Hope She Cheats” by Amanda Marshall from her forthcoming album Heavy Lifting.
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.
Maryland rockers All Time Low with “Sleepwalking”
“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.
Rod Stewart – Maggie May
Janis Joplin – Me And Bobby McGee
Carole King – It’s Too Late
James Taylor – You’ve Got A Friend
Melanie – Brand New Key
BILLCS Top 30 #1 SONG
“The Only One” by Cerrone & Mercer featuring Brendan Reilly
BILLCS Top30 FASTEST RISER
“I Feel Like Dancing” by Jason Mraz (20-5)
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