Thanks to the interactions on Twitter of many fans of BTS and member JIMIN, whose “Like Crazy” (English version) is #1 on the BILLCS Top 30, my blog received more than 1,000 unique visits, and I got over 60 new followers on Twitter, almost 74,000 views of my tweet when it went to #1 on Monday, over 4,500 likes and almost 1,700 retweets. It has been an amazing week. Thanks to the very kind BTS and JIMIN fans who tweeted back, and even made a point of checking out some of the other songs on my chart.
Among the 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, featuring songs from 1970-71. I’ve also included my #1 song and the Fastest Riser on the BILLCS Top 30.
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.
MORGIN MADISON, RYAN LUCIAN, “Stimulate”
If the intention of “Stimulate” is to keep dancers going through to late into the night, then it’s mission accomplished! Morgin Madison hails from Boise, Idaho, and after a career change to producing a few years ago, his music caught the attention of Deadmau5’s label, which released his album Living The Phantasm in 2021. His bold and anthemic remix of Tritonal’s “Out Of The Dark” resonated with me and got to #7 on the BILLCS Top 30 that year. With “Stimulate” he’s teamed up with Australian producer Ryan Lucian for a second time – their other collaboration “From The Start” is currently charting at dance music radio. “Stimulate” though is a trippy trance/techno-infused deep house track for clubs featuring infrequent male and female vocals largely used for effect. It could easily light a fire in a late night deep house set and help ignite one of those nights when dancers just won’t want to leave.
ZAC POOR, “Catapult”
L.A. based singer/songwriter Zac Poor follows up “Pink House” and the heart-wrenching “Ghost Boy” (which reached #4 at the top of the year on the BILLCS Top 30) with “Catapult”. All three singles offer up varied emotions and interesting topics, with “Catapult” about finding oneself in another potential relationship because it seems the right thing at the right time. With minimal electronic backdrop, “Catapult” showcases Zac’s formidable power and range, which I remember so well from when he covered Demi Lovato’s “Skyscraper” years ago – as good as if not better than the original. Many people will relate to this song who find them bouncing from relationship to relationship seemingly without the ability to stay with one partner. Despite all of our ups and downs, “Catapult” offers some hope when there’s an idyllic situation upon which we can build.
B. JONES, RUDEEJAY, ROBBIE ROSEN, “Face Your Fears”
“Face Your Fears” is slick eurohouse with a twist, brought to you by Spanish producer B. Jones, Italian producer Rudeejay, and frequent blog visitor, NYC singer/songwriter Robbie Rosen. The song starts off like a folk song with a classic Robbie Rosen vocal and a stunning melody that could have been forged a long, long time ago. The powerhouse synths kick in with a techno-tinged vibe, and meshing the two together, you have a potential singalong that will work just as well on the dance floor. There’s a lot of talent here too. Former “American Idol” contestant Robbie has had 11 BILLCS Top 30 chart entries including two #1’s among his prolific and vast repertoire. B. Jones is not only one of Spain’s top producers, but she is also well known throughout the world. And Rudeejay has been pleasing European audiences with memorable songs for over 20 years.
AIRPORTS, “Need U Here”
Australian multi-instrumental, producer and vocalist Aaron Lee is the force behind Airports and his latest release “Need U Here”. The song is a frenzied fireball fueled by emotion, in particular various forms of loss which Aaron has experienced himself. His fresh pop-punk style fuses with the wild energy inspired by drum ‘n bass electronic music, and shows off some impressive guitar work too. He does bring the energy level down briefly for a caring, human moment. “Need U Here” will stay with you long after it’s over thanks to an earnest vocal and lyrics that cut to the chase. Hopefully “Need U Here” will help lead Airports for a place on the international pop map.
FAMBA, OLIVIA SEBASTIANELLI, “40 Days and 40 Nights”
Canadian dance producer Famba continues with songs mainly geared for dance clubs with the techno-infused “40 Days and 40 Nights”, featuring Italian-English vocalist Olivia Sebastianelli, who has also recorded recently with such notables as Sunnery James & Ryan Luciano and Andrew Rayel. “40 Days” will appeal to those dance music radio curators too, who took Famba’s “Storm” to #1 a few years back. Musically, this one is a throwback to that song in some ways, which is not a bad thing, and the techno touches are appealing. Famba continues to evolve as a producer and Olivia’s voice is a solid match in “40 Days”.
MR! MOURAY, “Who’s Paying Now”
Laden with some great guitar riffs, “Who’s Paying Now” takes us three songs deep into Toronto quartet Mr! Mouray’s album What’s The Stouray, after previous singles “Cats Can’t Fly” and “Pretty In Ink”. The energetic “Who’s Paying Now” draws on the pop and punk roots of the band’s key members, veteran local musicians Simon Bedford-James and my long time friend and fellow music historian Jaimie Vernon (author of the indispensable The Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia). Simon’s vocals give a nod to early Elvis Costello while the song’s vibrant, edgy melody transports us through the 90’s, reminiscent of bands like Toad The Wet Sprocket and the Gin Blossoms. I was pleased to see Mr! Mouray acquit themselves quite well in concert recently at a small downtown venue in Toronto, so if you have a chance to see their show do check them out.
ROWAN FLACK, “Tipsy on the Tongue”
“Tipsy on the Tongue” is another way of looking at how words get in the way when lovers have their differences. Rowan Flack is a British singer professionally trained and educated in jazz, but “Tipsy” is a pop/soul/jazz effort that will curry favour with fans of Norah Jones and Jessie Ware. It’s sophisticated but earthy, rooted in the realities of relationships. The mellow backdrop makes the topic go down easy, and allows Rowan’s style and personality to move up front. “Tipsy on the Tongue” is only Rowan’s third release following an EP and a single, but I’m sure we’ll be hearing more of her cool and appealing talent in ’23.
JON MULLANE, “The Sun in the Summertime”
It’s great to hear a new pop song that revels in the summer season, and “The Sun in the Summertime” is brought to you by Halifax native,, singer/songwriter Jon Mullane, who you may know from his Billboard-charting single from a few years back, “My New American Girl”. “The Sun in the Summertime” eschews bells and whistles in favour of a feel-good singalong that takes its cues from The Beach Boys and The Raspberries/Eric Carmen, and would go over well in concert. A solid arrangement and a lot of enthusiasm go a long way, and “The Sun in the Summertime” is a solid add for your Summer of ’23 playlist.
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.
Norway’s Matoma returns with American vocalist James Droll for the banger “Won’t Follow You Home”.
“BIG DADDY” RUSS HORTON’S PICK OF THE WEEK
“Big Daddy” Russ Horton is the host of the “Top 40 Timeline” radio program and owner of online stations Radio GTA, Halton Hills Radio Online, & FM108.ca.
Added to the “Complete” version of the Dance Fever album is “Mermaids” by Florence & The Machine.
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.
“My City” is the collaboration between 24KGoldn, Kane Brown and G. Herbo from the film “Fast X”.
“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.
Neil Diamond – Cracklin’ Rosie
Three Dog Night – Joy To The World
Temptations – Just My Imagination
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – The Tears Of A Clown
The Honey Cone – Want Ads
BILLCS Top 30 #1 SONG
“Like Crazy” (English version) by JIMIN
BILLCS Top 30 FASTEST RISER
EuroVision winner “Tattoo” by Loreen (14-4)
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