British indie pop singer/songwriter @Jazz_Mino returns with a quest for “Happiness” from her new EP “Dirty Laundry”

JAZZ MINO, “Happiness”

There are people we come across in our lives that never seem happy, they always seem to put on a false front or a smiling face at the right times. When you’re in a relationship with someone like this, then it’s best that they move on, for the best for both of you because one day they will find that “”Happiness” doesn’t ever hurt”, as sings British singer/songwriter Jazz Mino.  It’s the new song and lead track from her EP Dirty Laundry, which includes her unique reflections on past relationships such as “Part Of This” and the exceptional “Like A Drunk Girl”, which reached #11 on my personal chart last year.  Like those songs, you must stick with “Happiness” to let it gel and get more personal with you. The thoughtful lyrics and vocal are surrounded by cheerful synths that help make the song – and especially its chorus – sparkle. 

Published in: on February 22, 2021 at 10:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Electric Polar Bears @weareEPBmusic team up with singer/songwriter Tyler Graves for the emotional dance pop of “Back 2 You”

ELECTRIC POLAR BEARS and TYLER GRAVES, “Back 2 You”

“Back 2 You” has an interesting strategy for a dance pop release – it aims for your head and your heart, and then your feet.  This is thanks to the smooth and involving story about a couple who have lost their magic together, and it’s up to one of them to rekindle the sparks.  You might of heard of producer/DJ duo Electric Polar Bears, and their energetic concerts and parties over the past few years where they are masked in LED polar bear helmets, while singer and co-writer Tyler Graves is the pitch-perfect voice behind two Seven Lions favourites, “Only One” and “Senseless”.  Together they’ve created an engaging song inspired by what some people are going through during isolation in lockdowns.  And the video, which stars Instagram and Tik Tok “queen of the shuffle” Elena Cruz, helps take you to a happier, blissful place such as the dance party by the EPB’s, when we will one day be able to celebrate together. The EPB’s future/tech-house mix with familiar pop synths is inspired and stands out from the rest.

UK producer/musician Thomas Atlas delivers his brand of ‘garage funk’ with “Got This Feeling”

THOMAS ATLAS, “Got This Feeling”

If “Got This Feeling” feels like a spirited throwback to classic disco/funk, it’s because of the live-to-floor sound produced by Birmingham, England producer/guitarist/vocalist Thomas Atlas.  Like the music of Earth, Wind and Fire and the Philadelphia R&B sound of the 70’s in general, “Got This Feeling” is a big mood changer, one with which to celebrate the good times.   Thomas toured heavily in his early career in R&B/soul bands, and the imprint that it has left on his music is indelible. Influences from all stars like Nile Rodgers, George Duke, and George Benson are apparent, with “Got The Feeling” mixing easily into contemporary R&B/dance music by the likes of Usher as it would a classic like Sister Sledge’s “He’s The Greatest Dancer”.  Be sure to check out the video below where he performs “Got The Feeling” in an unplugged setting.

Published in: on February 20, 2021 at 10:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A.-based dance producer @JerinJamesmusic returns with top notch orchestral electronic music with “Dance Again”

JERIN JAMES and SILKE, “Dance Again”

Last year, one of the real ear-openers which made a winning slow burn with me was “Birds and Bees”, the debut single by L.A.-based electronic dance producer Jerin James, which peaked at #7 on my personal chart. Although he’s released a few singles in-between, such as “You”, “Dance Again” is the logical follow up to “Birds and Bees”, being another gorgeous take on orchestral electronic dance music in the style of an Argentine Tango.  It’s complimented immensely by an elegant but powerful vocal by Silke, in a bolder setting than “Birds and Bees”.  But it all works like a charm and should be Jerin’s most successful release to date. An entire EP of this style would be most welcome!

Published in: on February 20, 2021 at 10:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Any Other Way” is compelling melodic future house from Moroccan electronic dance producers @Choujaa_music and Mariline

CHOUJAA & MARILINE and MARIE FONT, “Any Other Way”

“Any Other Way” examines when you’re deep in love and willing to stick it out through the good and bad.  It’s brought to you by two relatively new and promising names in the electronic dance world from Morocco who have previously recorded together, specializing in future house music, Choujaa and Mariline.  Choujaa’s releases have seen support from Dash Berlin, Sander van Doorn, and Lucas & Steve among others, while Mariline had a hot release last year with Florida singer/songwriter Lauren Mayhew in “We Are Home”, which reached #6 on my personal chart.  Rounding out their techno-influenced melodies is the passionate and sincere vocal by Marie Font – actually a better known ‘mystery singer’ taking a pseudonym for this release.  “Any Other Way” is engaging and melodic house music, the kind of which that continues to make you relive the good times that will one day return in clubs and on dance floors.

Published in: on February 20, 2021 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Boston’s @GillianHeidi returns with largely acoustic, emotional alt.pop of “burnout”

GILLIAN HEIDI, “burnout”

“burnout” is a quiet, emotional alt.pop song that recalls someone who seems to be disenchanted, aimless, and distanced from the people who care about her the most.  You’ve already got to know Boston teen singer/songwriter Gillian Heidi through my blog posts last year about her songs “desperate” and “high”.  While my past comparisons have touched on everyone from Billie Eilish through to Joan Osborne, it’s clear she has actually been innovative within the pop realm that has recently brought the charts back to life with Olivia Rodrigo’s “drivers license”.  “burnout” has a similar uncertain theme to it, with the protagonist gazing at the stars to ponder what’s to come.  Gillian’s vocal in “burnout” is particularly strong and affecting, always a beneficial tell-tale sign when in a minimal, sombre arrangement.

Published in: on February 20, 2021 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A.’s AxelMansoor @iamaxelm sings his truth (and that of many others) in “kids can be so stupid” featuring @Abhi_theNomad

AXEL MANSOOR and ABHI THE NOMAD, “kids can be so stupid”

Readers of this blog know that the songs of Axel Mansoor have been a regular presence in these pages since 2017.  He’s been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award, appeared on NBC’s “Songland”, and now, is the APP icon (below) for the latest social media sensation, the by invitation-only Clubhouse!  Truth can be cutting but it can also soothe the minds of those who have their own variation of it, so if you want a hush to go over a room of people, then play “kids can be so stupid”.

To get directly to the point, it’s about being bullied at school as a child, and how those memories still play in our thoughts years and years later.  The song is a relatable, totally understandable recollection, while in the back of my mind I can always think of my own parents talking with the parents of some of those kids. And they were the adults who supported their children’s bullying activities, creating immediate bad blood between families in the neighbourhood because of the attitude “it’s not my kid, it’s your kid”, despite the bullying often being about being short, fat, effeminate, brown, black, Asian, and so on. If you didn’t fit their mold, you were not only different, you were not welcome either. Even as time passes, the bullying continues… and guess what, those kid bullies grow up to be adult bullies too, who some of us have had the unfortunate experience of working with. 

Axel’s simple and heartfelt way with words and melody, and the compelling rap from Austin’s Abhi The Nomad, are what make “kids can be so stupid” work so well. 

So adults, don’t let your babies grow up to be bullies.

Be sure to watch for Axel Mansoor on the Clubhouse APP for the regular session called “The Lullaby Club”.

Get to know UK alt.rock singer/songwriter Nathan Day @spacethang with “She Came Down From The Stars”

NATHAN DAY, “She Came Down From The Stars”

Nathan Day is a new solo performer from the UK who previously led the band Darlia, which opened for The 1975 on tour, among others.  His single “She Came Down From The Stars” – great title, eye-catching video too – should be put on the radar for those who enjoy 90’s flavoured alt.rock with electronic flourishes.  His voice will appeal to fans of Nirvana, Radiohead, Oasis, and The Verve, and “She Came Down” is definitely a grower, one that will stand out on alt.rock radio stations and generate texts and emails inquiring about the performer.  Look for a slow build on this one.  Talents like Nathan Day need time to be nurtured with the public, and the kickstart will be when fans look for it to be played on the radio and for placements on popular rock streaming playlists.

Published in: on February 18, 2021 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A. singer/songwriter @Emelinemusic takes control of the end of a relationship in “6 foot deep”

EMELINE, “6 foot deep”

The thought of knowing that a relationship is over puts dread into most people’s minds. L.A.-based alt.rock singer/songwriter Emeline has other ideas though, in her latest release “6 foot deep”.  Through her own songs and initiatives as well as that of side project GARZA, Emeline brings forward messages of hope and empowerment.  “6 foot deep” is about realizing a relationship is dead before your partner does. You know all of the signs and reasons, but s/he likely does not.  It’s powerfully enacted in the entertaining video, in which Emeline dons various personas where she is in control of her own destiny, whether the absent partner understands or not – when you’re “6 foot deep” its time to move on before you suffocate. The song is well-executed and compelling, and I would pitch to fans of Halsey, Lorde, and Hayley Williams, who are most likely to embrace the free-flowing music of Emeline.

Published in: on February 18, 2021 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #607 – February 15/21

Change is afoot at the top of the chart, as new songs make inroads, and recent favourites start to run their course.  My chart is totally based on my opinion, there is no science or method to the chart – what I currently enjoy most is at the top, and I’ve been pleased to share my list with you online for 23 years.  The only rule I’ve had in place is that songs drop off after 10 appearances (20 weeks), to help keep the chart fresh, unless the song starts climbing back upward, which has only happened once (Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” managed 11 appearances and peaked at #2).

Swedish production duo NOTD get their first #1 with vocalist Catello with “Nobody”, which also recently topped the US dance airplay charts for 5 weeks.  Also contributing to the songwriting were Sandro Cavazzo, noted for his work with Avicii, and Victor Thell of Smith & Thell.  NOTD is the first Swedish act to top my chart in over 8 years, since Swedish House Mafia did it in 2012 with “Don’t You Worry Child”!

Swiftly moving up to second place is “Like Gold” by Loud Luxury & Frank Walker featuring vocalist/co-writer Stephen Puth.  Loud Luxury have two #1’s to date on my chart – their rework of Craig David’s “Fill Me In” with Ryan Shepherd, and “Show Me” with fellow Canadian group Nikki’s Wives, while their greatest overall success, “Body” (featuring brando) also got to #2. Will “Like Gold” become their third #1?

Charging into the Top 5 is Japanese-British sensation Rina Sawayama with the Lady Gaga-inspired “Lucid”, moving up 9-4.  Will “Lucid” become her first chart topper?

UK dance legends Faithless obtain their first Top 10 on my chart just shy of 22 years, since “God Is A DJ” (which bowed on this chart in March 1999), with “Synthesizer”, featuring vocalist Nathan Ball, which climbs 11-7.  It’s from their recently released album All Blessed.

Any of the songs ranking 11-14 could find their way into the Top 10 in two weeks.

Rising 14-11 is the dark and mysterious “Sinnerman” (above) by veteran UK producer Hot Since 82 featuring singer/songwriter Ed Graves, from the album Recovery.  The joy of finding synergy and harmony with someone is reflected in “All About You” (also above) by The Knocks and Foster The People, which moves up 15-12.  The dazzling collaboration of Illenium, Toronto’s Dabin, and fellow Canadian Lights is hard at work in “Hearts On Fire” (below), which climbs 18-14.  But the Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to UK producer Bobby Harvey with fellow UK vocalist Danny Dearden for the intense and emotional deep house track “Tell Me” (also below), which soars 21-13.

Out of the songs that debuted two weeks ago, two move up seven places on the chart.  Mahalo’s US dance hit “Not Watching Anymore” (above) rises 28-21, while SoCal electronic dance producer Jay Bird’s personal best to date called “Escape” (featuring Chrxstal Sarah, below) climbs 30-23.

The first of four debuts belongs to Victor Perry, in collaboration with German producers Cal1 and l’essay for the soft and lovely “Stories”, which arrives at #27.  Victor is just finishing off a long run on the chart with “Fantasy” (#25), which peaked at #3.  “Stories” is also a very welcome follow up to last year’s “What I Deserve”, which got to #2 behind Joel Corry & MNEK’s “Head & Heart”.

Next up at #28 is the quirky delight “Space Melody” by Germany’s VIZE and Sweden’s Alan Walker, partnering this time with fellow producer Edward Artemyev and vocalist Leony.  VIZE reached #2 last year with the infectious “Never Let Me Down”, while Alan Walker gets his third appearance on the chart, one of which of course was “Faded”, which peaked at #3.

Also making his third appearance on the chart is NYC indie pop-dance-soul singer/songwriter Reigen with the dark and dreamy “blue” at #29.  Both of Reigen’s other songs have reached the Top 10, with “Come Back To Me” climbing to #2 and his cover of The Cranberries’ “Dreams” peaking at #10.

Making his debut on the chart is Toronto R&B/pop singer/dancer D!XON with “Arms Around Me” at #30.  Be sure to check out its diverse and well-choreographed video above, which totally suits the bold and sexy vibe of the song.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

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 🙂