#BILLCSTop30 #619, August 2/21

The summer dance hits keep-a-coming, although, as you may have noticed in some recent blog posts, my ears have been swayed away from beats in favour of a good pop or rock song too, so you never know what will catch my attention for the most part.  Also, make sure you read about my ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES (see details after the post) – all kinds of online radio projects now keeping me busy!

Today, Illenium announced his initial Fallen Embers tour, in support of his new album of the same name, and it will hit eight cities, including his own home town Denver, plus San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Orlando among them.  His single “Sideways”, featuring the voice of Valerie Broussard and additional production in collaboration with Nurko, gets a second appearance at #1!  But there are several challengers brewing below.

Up until “The Feels”, NYC’s Cash Cash had never been on my chart before, and neither had singer Alex Newell, but that song brought them together on Cash Cash’s album Say It Like You Feel It, and “The Feels” climbs 4-2.  I’ll say it again – WHY isn’t this a single???

Sweden’s Darin soars 7-3 with “Can’t Stay Away”, which matches his highest peak on the chart, remember 2008’s “Breathing Your Love” (with Kat DeLuna)? “Can’t Stay Away” is one of the brightest and bubbliest songs of Summer ’21.

I thoroughly enjoy Greyson Chance’s “Hellboy” every time I hear it, and it becomes his second Top 5 on this chart moving up 8-4.

The solid British house represented by “Give Me That” by Charlie Lane, Gold 88 and Kate Wild zips into the Top 10, rising 11-6.

The warm tones and strong melody of “You” send it up the chart 15-9 for Regard, Troye Sivan and Canada’s Tate McRae. It’s Troye’s first time in the Top 10 since 2019’s #1 “i’m so tired…” with Lauv.  

As former #1 “Myself In You” slides to #13, NYC’s Victor Perry replaces himself in the Top 10 (again!) with “Slip Away” with French producer Kislaw, moving up 13-10.  You can check out Victor’s new cover of Ne-Yo’s “So Sick” with producer Boehm below.

To no surprise, Ed Sheeran’s massive hit “Bad Habits” climbs 20-12, definitely another great song of Summer ’21.

The Fastest Riser on the chart, climbing 28-19, is “Mon Cheri” by acclaimed dance duo Sofi Tukker and fellow Grammy nominees, Mali-based duo Amadou and Mariam.  This incredibly catchy song is from the charity album Red Hot + Free, and I’d love to see it net a Grammy nomination itself!

“Back To You” by Aash Mehta and ephem is not wasting any time finding its place on the chart. It soars 30-22.

Jay Bird’s future bass anthem “Gone Tomorrow”, with vocals by Clay Agnew, climbs 25-20.  You can get a different taste of what Jay Bird has been working on with his new pop/house track “Energy” featuring Jessica Chertock, below.

And speaking of Jessica Chertock, the NYC singer/songwriter is also the vocalist on the Highest Debut on the chart.  This time she tackles Noah Cyrus and late fan fave XXXtentacion’s 2017 release “Again”, and totally slays it in the process.  With production by Russia’s Purple Guns and rap and harmonies by Florida’s Young Jae, this is one cover that’s better than the original and should not go unnoticed.  It arrives with a splash at #23.

UK rocker Sam Fender is back with his first new song in two years, the title track of his upcoming album called “Seventeen Going Under”.  It’s a great anthem for young adults in our time with Sam’s voice halfway between Tom Chaplin of Keane and Paul Weller. It’s Sam’s second chart entry, debuting at #25, following “Will We Talk” (#14).

“Break Me Down” is a moody but slick deep house track – the drop kicking off the chorus is a killer – from two Chicago dance production duos, Autograf and Win & Woo, which bows at #26 featuring vocalist SINGA.  It’s Autograf’s second showing on the chart following last year’s “Ain’t Deep Enough” (#3) and Win & Woo’s third, following last year’s “Sleepwalking” (#9).

“Don’t Want Perfect” is the first appearance on the chart for Quebec producer Kayliox, and he’s paired with dance go-to vocalist Robbie Rosen, who keeps replacing himself on the chart – continuously since February – as “Waves” is about to depart.  “Don’t Want Perfect” is a top notch showing for both artists and debuts at #27.  You’ll read more about another new release by Robbie in the week in my blog pages!

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES

Radio GTA – listen to The Big 20 from 10pm to Midnight EST as “The Musicman” James Rogers and I bring you the latest in new songs mixed with classics and songs you haven’t heard in a while.  And on Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 6pm I bring you “Your Weekend Music Mix” six hours of commercial-free music from the 2000’s including many song choices from this blog.

Halton Hills Online – “Your Weekend Music Mix” has a second home on Saturday and Sunday evenings from 8pm to Midnight! It’s a different mix from Radio GTA’s show, and like that one it is also commercial free, proudly brought to you by Symposium Cafe Restaurant & Lounge in Georgetown, Ontario!

Planet Radio Canada – currently on hiatus but returning this month, listen to the “3D Variety Show” with “The Musicman” James Rogers. I’m featured every Tuesday between 7 and 7:30 pm with my New Music Pick of the Week, and I also join occasionally for looks at music from our past as well as the occasional live segment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Nah” is the fun new dance release by the triple threat talents of @SonnyFodera, @SineadHarnett and @KOLIDESCOPES

SONNY FODERA & KOLIDOSCOPES and SINEAD HARNETT, “Nah”

One memorable phrase that music fans can never seem to get enough of is “nah nah nah”. And it’s with the triple threat talents of Australia-born Sonny Fodera, L.A. based British soul singer Sinéad Harnett, and rising Aussie producers and songwriting talents KOLIDESCOPES (Joel Corry & MNEK’s “Head & Heart”), who make the most of it all from a legitimately fun place. Sinéad’s knowing vocal puts the subject of this end-of-relationship song in their place, kissing off all of the braggadocio and leaving it swimming in deep water with nowhere to go.  The production really sparkles, which means that “Nah” should impress the hell out of fans, club DJ’s, and radio programmers alike after Sonny’s recent success with Just Kiddin and protégé Lilly Ahlberg on “Closer”.

“Never Love You Again” is solid dance pop from the surprise pairing of @CheatCodesmusic, @LittleBigTown and @BrynChristopher

CHEAT CODES, LITTLE BIG TOWN and BRYN CHRISTOPHER, “Never Love You Again”

It may look like a big question mark on paper, but there’s no denying that “Never Love You Again” is a solid dance pop release that has hit potential all over it.  L.A. based trio Cheat Codes have come such a long way in the five years that I’ve known of their music (and seeing them open for Matoma), supporting The Chainsmokers on tour, recording with Demi Lovato, and recently scoring a dance radio hit with Tinashe with “Lean On Me”.  Add the talents of multi-award winning Nashville country quartet Little Big Town and British go-to dance music voice and pop/R&B singer Bryn Christopher, and you think that too many ingredients might spoil the proverbial musical broth.  But they don’t – all of the voices blend seamlessly and lift what might otherwise seem like a routine leave-you-with-no-regrets song to much greater heights.  Kudos to all and radio programmers need to make note of this one especially when collecting listener opinions about it.

Emirati dance production duo @Revelriesmusic are back with the zesty house of “Heatwave”

REVELRIES, “Heatwave”

It’s been a hot moment since we’ve had music from Revelries, the Emirati dance producers who really hit their stride in 2019-20 with creative bangers like “Don’t Think Twice” (which reached #2 on my personal chart), “Fall-Out” (also #7 on my chart) and “End Up Like That”).  “Heatwave” doesn’t miss a step, a zesty house track that could fit in so well with any mid-evening house set in a club.  The uncredited female vocal is a fine match for the deep rhythms and beats, and Revelries are so good at always adding other sounds discretely into the mix that you don’t really notice how effective they are at rounding out the song until after two or three listens.

Published in: on July 31, 2021 at 9:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

“Qué Bonita” is a lively dance release that bridges flamenco and house courtesy of producers True Religion and guitarist Juan Carmona

TRUE RELIGION and JUAN CARMONA, “Qué Bonita”

We’ve all been far too locked up in the pandemic, and “Qué Bonita” helps us all celebrate living life and having a great time. It’s brought to you by DJ duo True Religion (aka producer Danny Eagle and neuroscientist (!) Carlos Perez-Carracedo Lopez) and flamenco guitarist extraordinaire Juan Carmona. While perhaps relying on influences from the 90’s and 00’s – Jennifer Lopez’s “Waiting For Tonight” comes immediately to mind – there are also loads of shades of 70’s disco with vocalist/co-writer Amy Gill sounding an awful lot like Pattie Brooks (“After Dark” from the “Thank God It’s Friday” soundtrack) at times. And the long 7:48 mix (below) of “Qué Bonita” is definitely music to club DJ’s ears, making frequent segues in and out of Spanish rhythms while still packing the wallop of a deep house track. “Qué Bonita” has instant appeal and a great time, as planned, will be had by all.

Toronto-based dance producer @Fambamusic returns with future house-flavoured “Games We Play” with vocalists @meubrando and MKLA @okaytolove

FAMBA, BRANDO & MKLA, “Games We Play”

After the resounding success of “Wish You Well”, “Swear to God” and “Still Call You Mine” at radio in Canada and “Storm” on the dance charts, I was pleased to see Halifax-born Toronto-based dance producer Famba take a few steps back and deliver a more edgy, future house-inspired record in “Games We Play”.  It’s a super-quick (2:26) ride but it’s loaded with polish and character, which is helped immeasurably by standout vocalists Brando and MKLA, who is also from Toronto.  The world knows Brando’s voice quite well from singing on Loud Luxury’s “Body”, and MKLA’s voice has been showcased to terrific effect in recent releases by Steve Aoki (a cover of “Losing My Religion”) and Lukas Estrada (“Never Leave You”).  More suited for clubs, “Games We Play” will need some extended remixes for club DJ’s.  I first wrote about Famba in 2016 and as a next step after his EP Wishes Vol. 1, “Games We Play” continues to show the great strides he continues to make.

Published in: on July 29, 2021 at 9:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Meet new British indie rockers @TheIslasband with “The Absence Of You”

THE ISLAS, “The Absence Of You”

Even if it doesn’t hit you from the first verse, by the time you’re well into “The Absence Of You” by Norwich, England quartet The Islas you’ll be wanting to hear more.  With obvious inspiration from The Killers, Paul Weller/The Jam, and Keane, The Islas go hand-in-hand with the new breed of rocker coming out of England led by talents like James Bay or Sam Fender. “The Absence Of You” has a lot of older school about it too though – it takes me back to the early 90’s with music of The La’s, The Railway Children, and Material Issue, fabulous melodic pop/rock that was nearly drummed out of existence by the burgeoning grunge scene.  “The Absence Of You” will definitely get any crowd going, and Islas lead vocalist Nathan Baverstock has a voice to make some hearts flutter in a Brandon Flowers way while taking total command of the song.  The music is tight and energetic, and there’s not much else you can ask for in a rock song these days.

Published in: on July 29, 2021 at 9:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

“Life’s Okay” is one of the more unique songs of the year by Russian producer @Maravamusic and Canadian singer/songwriter #Eadie

MARAVA and EADIE, “Life’s Okay”

“Life’s Okay” is one of the year’s most unexpected treats. It’s an electronic dance tune that mixes in alt.soul vocals and pop melodies with sunny, positive vibes.  It’s brought to you by relatively new Russian producer Marava, who has the art of transformation up his sleeve and usually produces songs with a more progressive edge, and Toronto-based singer/songwriter Eadie, whose soulful Amy Winehouse-inspired voice stands out because she doesn’t quite sound like any current singer that I can think of right now.  The feel-good melody is what will draw you in to Eadie’s lyrics, which in the song’s chorus, beautifully delivered by the singer, will simply make you smile.  It’s refreshing to hear a dance song that doesn’t sound like what’s on the radio and isn’t full of bassy house beats, which you can attribute to Marava’s tidy production. “Life’s Okay” is a winner that should not be overlooked.

 

Published in: on July 29, 2021 at 9:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Pop/rock singer/songwriter @PeterWisemusic is back with jaunty feel-good single “Neutral”

PETER WISE, “Neutral”

I first brought NYC’s Peter Wise to your attention just under two months ago and he’s back with a follow up to “Window Dressing” called “Neutral”.  Peter definitely has a songwriting flair to keep you listening. A natural with whimsy that makes much of the music of Paul McCartney, John Mayer, Jason Mraz and others so easy to digest, Peter tackles that important place that we get to sometimes with dating where you don’t quite know what to do, so the easiest thing is to do nothing!  That is until your right kind of person comes along which allows you to move out of “Neutral”.  The song features excellent harmonies and a fine, enthusiastic vocal from Peter, your new voice of encouragement for these situations.  

Published in: on July 29, 2021 at 9:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

It’s “10/10” #19: @Gina_Naomi_Baez @MikeLindup #Fubu & @DannyDeardenuk @omgRainMan & @PeteChosen @RobertBallmusic @OsvaldoSupino @TommieSunshine & @theDiscoFries (remixed) @LindaVargmusic @djKarazey & @EstyRichard @iamWiese

It’s time for “10/10” edition #19!  July has been an incredibly busy month for releases and in order not to get overwhelmed or to miss any songs that I think you need to hear, I’ve compiled 10 reviews into one neat blog post package.

For those not familiar with10/10,  I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.  I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually, and they are not listed in any particular order.  Writing 10/10 posts means I can cover more songs in one shot.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about.

  • GINA NAOMI BAEZ, “My Time”

There’s a good chance that you’ve seen NYC’s Gina Naomi Baez on “Orange Is The New Black” or Netflix’s “She’s Gotta Have It”, on Off-Broadway, or caught one of her viral You Tube videos that have given her a substantial social media following. However, you may not know Gina the singer/songwriter, and “My Time” is about to change all of that. It’s an immediately inspiring song that challenges you to make the most of your time and strive to new heights for yourself and no one else. Being a cancer survivor as a child, having to challenge herself regularly must be second nature to Gina, and her glorious vocal, which at times recalls the power of Sia, is certainly a knock out. “My Time” is also co-written and produced with extreme precision by Matthew Tryba (Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande).

  • MIKE LINDUP, “Time To Let Go”

If you’re a fan of 80’s pop, R&B or jazz, then you already know keyboardist Mike Lindup as one of the principals and vocalists in the amazing British group Level 42 (“Something About You”, “Lessons In Love”).  If not, then his new solo effort “Time To Let You”, is as good a song to get to know him and his fluid style as a new Level 42 song – and he and Mark King still head up the band to date, which performs live now and again, mainly in England (I saw them perform live back in the 80’s too).  “Time To Let Go” harkens back to earlier fan-favourite Level 42 records such as their self-titled album or The Pursuit of Accidents with its rhythmic jazz-R&B fusion, and will also appeal to fans of jazz masters of that era such as Pat Metheny or Jean-Luc Ponty. Mike’s recognizable tones and falsetto sound marvelous here, and I hope there is more to come!

  • FUBU and DANNY DEARDEN, “Under My Skin”

UK singer/songwriter Danny Dearden returns to “10/10” territory this time in collaboration with Scottish producer Fubu for “Under My Skin”.  You know a solid partnership has occurred when the producer and singer can elevate a song to be more than the sum of its parts.  In other words, Fubu’s no-holds-barred rhythms and Danny’s totally infectious vocal make the most of a song that in other hands could have been… ordinary. Fubu cut his teeth revitalizing songs like Lumidee’s “Never Gonna Leave You”, Blu Cantrell’s “Breathe” and “Freak Like Me” by Adina Howard, so that pedigree speaks for itself. “Under My Skin” is a fine release by a team-up worth repeating.

  • RAIN MAN & PETE CHO and REBECCA BRUNNER, “Over It”

“Over It” has designs on transporting you out of pandemic fatigue to either get prepared for or back out into the night life, depending on where you are in the world.  Chicago’s Rain Man and Pete Cho along with vocalist/co-writer Rebecca Brunner will make sure that you get there with a brisk rhythm track and zesty synths gliding underneath Rebecca’s world-weary but encouraging vocal. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from either Rain Man or Pete Cho, so “Over It” marks a welcome return for both. Rain Man of course had a huge dance radio hit a few years back with “Bring Back The Summer” (which landed on my personal chart too) and, as its third original member, was also the anchor of Krewella’s initial success with their hit “Alive”. Pete has had sporadic but consistently solid releases over the past few years after being a successful restauranteur for many years. I think club DJ’s will love “Over It” as a part of club goers’ return to nighttime living.

  • ROBERT BALL, “I Need A Man”

Toronto-born singer/songwriter Robert Ball is not a new name to performing or to Canadian music, having performed in theatrical productions at Stratford, Ontario, on Royal Caribbean cruises, and opened for or recorded with fellow Canadians such as Shawn Desman, Keshia Chanté, Maestro, and Saukrates.  And as a gay man, Robert lays his soul bare with his new single “I Need A Man”. It’s as if someone had transported early 70’s cabaret through the soft and sultry voices of Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross and Jeffrey Osborne into a passionate, expressive song whose vulnerability will reach beyond LGBTQ2S+ audiences, making Robert Ball a vocalist to watch for and remember.

  • OSVALDO SUPINO, “Lights Down Low”

It’s been a few minutes since I’ve written about the songs of Italian LGBTQ2S+ singer Osvaldo Supino, who had some memorable moments in the last decade with beauties such as “I Have A Name” and “Goodbye”.  While he’s continued to record since that time (sometimes in Italian too), “Lights Down Low” came to my attention recently.  The song’s production endows it with a much-needed mystique to support Osvaldo’s soft but enticing vocal.  The video above also shows what you can create with a variety of costume changes to enhance his performance. “Lights Down Low” is another solid addition to Osvaldo’s repertoire and I think dance mixes could help send it over the edge at clubs.

  • TOMMIE SUNSHINE and THE DISCO FRIES, “Don’t Look Back” (Gerd Janson vocal remix)

When you just see the artists’ names, you know that a track like “Don’t Look Back” simply can’t miss. But what you might not know is that this is a remix of a song that Tommie Sunshine and The Disco Fries originally released in 2011, reviving Avicii-era vibes in a progressive remix by veteran German producer Gerd Janson.  Gerd melds the vocal track creatively with layers of synths for intriguing and contemporary results, making this one an easy mixing choice for club DJ’s.  Tommie and the Disco Fries guys have both made signature leaps and bounds over the years and “Don’t Look Back” is a cool choice for a revival.

  • LINDA VARG, “Standing In The Middle Of The Road”

Currently taking a path that isn’t often pursued these days, Sweden’s Linda Varg has massive music industry pedigree which includes being a finalist in Swedish Idol in 2010 and having a major label deal with the group Supernatural. “Standing In The Middle Of The Road” is a straight-forward, even retro-sounding pop-rock track with synth elements that give it a rich scope, and it will appeal to fans of Bebe Rexha and One Republic. “Standing” has a strong message and imagery – don’t wait for people to run over you and shatter your dreams, and, as Linda says “don’t live as a victim of your own bad thoughts.” Her unique persona and this energetic song (co-written by one of Sweden’s best internationally known talents, Ulf Nilsson, with whom Linda has previously recorded) should help Linda acquire worldwide attention.

  • KARAZEY and ESTY RICHARD, “Through My Mind”

“Through My Mind” is a breezy, effervescent pop/dance track brought two you by two artists from Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, producer Karazey and vocalist Esty Richard.  With its delightful, pulsating rhythm and a vocal by Esty that could remind you alternately of Halsey or Emily Warren albeit with some gentler tones. Karazey is another producer who is coming to your attention while still a teenager. He knows how to build good momentum and provide focus on the strong vocal while creating a backdrop that’s not flashy while still being memorable. “Through My Mind” is a fine introduction to both artists.

  • WIESE, “Hear Me”

The positive post-lockdown songs of the pandemic continue with “Hear Me” by Norwegian producer Wiese. He’s from Bergen – the same place from which hail Kygo and Alan Walker.  He’s definitely got a talent for creating a mix influenced by R3HAB and Imanbek in “Hear Me”, an uplifting song about all of the possibilities life still has to offer post-pandemic. Wiese’s mix of deft female vocal and pitched-down male vocal – likely by the same uncredited singer, Erin Jarvis – offers a welcome dynamic, and “Hear Me” works well for the dance floor with radio potential too.