Sophisticated and dreamy: “Eyes” by Philly duo @NiGHTS_official

NiGHTS, “Eyes”

In 2017, Philadelphia duo NiGHTS released a number of singles with a lot of unique flavours, but the one that latched on to me was “P A R T Y”, which ended up being a favourite of mine with its wonky rhythm and soulful but somewhat droll vocal.  The guys show another side to their music with the very chill and sophisticated alt.soul of “Eyes”.  It takes a few listens but it’s well worth it.  “Eyes” has a beautifully light and percussive rhythm, with the vocal here offering a really unexpectedly dreamy quality to the song.  It reminds me of some 70’s or 80’s R&B – Stevie Wonder’s “Send One Your Love” comes to mind – where you just take the graciousness of the song in stride and absorb all of what it offers.  “Eyes” could easily find its way onto a playlist where it could be comfortable side by side with songs by Drake or Janet Jackson (maybe “No Sleeep”).  Check it out at the link above.

Published in: on May 16, 2018 at 10:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

British singer @JulesRendell has a classic pop voice and positive vibes fill “The Return”

JULES RENDELL, “The Return”

In my world of music, there is always room for fine vocalists who challenge you to get the most out of their songs.  It takes a few listens, and it isn’t always apparent, but Jules Rendell’s “The Return” seems to be about love and being free and confident.  The British singer has a beautiful, classic, versatile pop voice, and it’s the showcase of this particular song.  Its accompanying video is worth checking out as her dancer friends kind of act like a Greek chorus of sorts, accentuating the themes I’ve mentioned with a unified approach that will make you feel good about everything.  “The Return” is the third single from Jules’ new album I M A G I N E, whose overriding theme is mental health awareness.  On her Soundcloud page, there are more originals by Jules but also a few tasty covers from a Candi Staton song (yeah – that soulful edge!) through to ….. James Blake.  Watch “The Return” above, and check out her exceptional and live cover from a few years ago of James Blake’s “Retrograde” below.

Published in: on May 16, 2018 at 10:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

#BILLCSTop30 #535 – May 14/18

A busy Top 10 on the new chart leaves some songs stranded behind current favourites, but that should change in two weeks.  Plus, among the four debuts, we find two by much respected performers with multiple chart appearances.  

The Top 10

  • Holding at the top for an impressive three appearances (six weeks!) is “Smile”, the quirky alt.electronica song by Norway’s Dyrisk and England’s Nik Ernst.  Think Massive Attack meets MGMT, and you have a strangely fun, sarcastic, and very different winner.  Nik has a new solo release coming in June that is going to be the bookend to “Smile” 🙂  Way to go Tipsy Records!
  • My favourite song that I heard coming out of Miami Music Week in March is Mercer’s “Satisfy”, which advances 5-2 and is a shoo-in for #1 next week.  It features a spot-on vocal by Chicago’s Ron Carroll on what is otherwise a top notch Eurohouse track.

  • The Chainsmokers’ latest songs have gotten big thumbs up from fans like me but I don’t think the audience that loved “Closer” or “Paris” has tapped into them just yet.  Both “Everybody Hates Me” (8-6, above) and former #2 “Sick Boy” contain very real sentiments about observations The Chainsmokers have obviously made in achieving their success.  I truly enjoy this other side of them, but if a club banger might be due, then bring it on 🙂
  • Like The Chainsmokers, Canadian producer Robotaki has ended up with two songs in the Top 10 on this chart.  “I Want You” rests comfortably at #3 while the entirely different, gritty, soulful “Butterscotch” (featuring singer Jamie Fine – of the duo with Elijah Woods, who were one of the winners of Canada’s TV competition “The Launch” – and producer Falcxne) zips into the Top 10, up 14-7.

  • Rounding out the Top 10 are no strangers to the chart.  Dutch producers The Him climb 12-8 with “White Lies”, their 4th Top 10, while England’s Years & Years advances 13-10 with “Sanctify” from their upcoming album Palo Santo (both above).  You can check out The Him’s recent collaboration with Jay Hardway called “Jigsaw” and Years & Years’ bubbly new single “If You’re Over Me”, below.

Movin’ On Up

  • Last week, Jesse McCartney announced his U.S. tour which will take him to just about every major city, so watch for dates near you.  His latest single, “Better With You” rises 18-13.
  • The fastest riser on the chart happens just as the artist’s song “Prisoner” drops from its #7 peak.  L.A.’s Bobby Nourmand has a dark winner with his Subterranean EP, which contains two songs, the title track and the deep and dangerous “Estranged” (both above), which move up together 26-15.
  • As Martin Garrix established almost 5 years ago, the clever dance producer under 20 is a real and more frequent thing these days, and Chicago’s Whethan has his share of fans which helped get him to collaborate with New Zealand duo Broods for “Be Like You”, which rises 22-17.
  • Fresh off of his appearance at Canadian Music Week on Friday is British Columbia native Tyler Shaw with “Cautious” in its remix by Halifax’s Famba, which climbs 24-18.

Debuts

  • Not only is his new single “Run” his 13th solo chart entry here since 2014 – that’s outside of his collaborations with Molly Moore and Elephante and his side project with Molly, Cosmos & Creature – Brandyn also co-wrote Jesse McCartney’s #13 “Better With You” with Molly and Jesse.  “Run” is the introduction to the story that led Brandyn to where he is today, from his upcoming album Emanate, and arrives on the chart at #22.

  • Australia-based singer/songwriter Troye Sivan’s star continues to rise and rise with beautiful songs like “Bloom” which bows at #26.  “Bloom” may have a specific meaning at its source, but it really is a song that anyone can relate to when you find yourself in a position to give yourself to someone in a relationship.  Troye’s upcoming album is also called Bloom, and this is his 6th chart entry including his collaboration with Martin Garrix on “There For You”.
  • A new chart upstart to watch who has been making great house music in Florida these last few years is Adam Foster with “Time”.  You’ll notice instantly that “Time” features the voice of Marvin Gaye.  It’s essentially a clever rework of Marvin’s 1969 hit “Too Busy Thinkin’ Bout My Baby” – one of my personal all time faves – and somehow transforms it into a new song by working its way around the original’s chorus.  “Time” drops onto the chart at #27.

  • I’m fortunate enough to meet and see in performance some very nice and kind folks in the industry from time to time, and two happen to be Norwegian producer Matoma and US singer/songwriter MAX (Schneider).  Then the unthinkable happens – an unanticipated collaboration, which turns out to be golden!  So we have Matoma and MAX with “Lonely”, with an insanely catchy instrumental hook and another brilliant vocal by MAX.  It premieres at #28.  It follows Matoma’s 2016 Top 10 “False Alarm” and is also MAX’s 6th appearance on the chart as either a lead or featured vocalist.  Matoma also is the third Norwegian on the chart – the others being Dyrisk (#1) and Alan Walker (#11).

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 new BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

You’ll want to get to know @LostChilduk a bit more with revealing “Blacklist” (original and acoustic!)

LOSTCHILD, “Blacklist”

UK singer/songwriter Lostchild bravely got in front of the video camera and then had them let loose for the video of “Blacklist” (above).  Inspired by Madonna’s “Justify My Love” – you’ll recall Lostchild’s earlier take on her song “Skin” that I wrote about last year – basically the video is several hours in the life of a very exposed Lostchild (in more ways than one – so NSFW!) in his room.  It runs through a lot of underlying emotions, and of course is often very playful and naughty too.  All in all, it’s a video to show the very human side of our performer as he sings to a former lover who has shut him out.  If the video’s a bit too risque for you, then fortunately Lostchild has a tamer, acoustic video for the song as well.  As much as the original of “Blacklist” could be a fun song for dancing, the acoustic (below) is actually my preference as Lostchild showcases his expressive voice without layers of production to surround it.  The video is a bit more chipper too but still with enough rough edges to give off some genuine feels.  Both videos of “Blacklist” are terrific showcases for Lostchild, so your kind attention for what’s next is required in 2018!

Published in: on May 10, 2018 at 8:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Jaunty “Anything Can Happen” is an upbeat winner from @TimLegendmusic and @MaikaMaile

TIM LEGEND and MAIKA, “Anything Can Happen”

18 year old South Carolina producer Tim Legend has a song you’ll want to hear over and over again with “Anything Can Happen”.  Featuring a convincing killer vocal by Florida’s Maika, “Anything Can Happen” is one of those fun songs that will just leap out of your speakers and shake you between your ears.  The production gets all anthemic when it needs to but mainly allows the song to unfold in the same way perhaps as “I Like Me Better” by Lauv.  “Anything Can Happen” has both a lot of restraint and energy, as well as an engaging chorus, all from another young and notable producer, and picked up for release by Ultra no less.  Check it out at the link above and then pick it up at your favourite digital music store.

Published in: on May 10, 2018 at 8:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Premiere: Fresh techno-inspired “Lifeline” is by new L.A.-based producer @PrizmMusic

PRIZM, “Lifeline” (free DL)

“Lifeline” is an enjoyable balance of lilting pop and powerhouse techno-inspired future bass by new L.A.-based producer Prizm.  The melody and effects play on the affecting anonymous male vocal and the emotional resolve of the song, stretching it in a variety of appealing ways that will have dance music fans in a state of bliss. “Lifeline” is heavy without being too far out.  The drops and crunch all act as an envelope for a song inside that will make you want to sing.  And one of the best parts of “Lifeline” is that it easily sustains its over 4 minute length.  Prizm is definitely one to watch, with more to come very soon.  In the meantime, grab “Lifeline” for free (under “More”) at the link above while you can.

Published in: on May 10, 2018 at 8:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

80’s-style Europop is revisited successfully by @AllanJay101 with “Almost In Heaven”

ALLAN JAY, “Almost In Heaven”

Scotland’s Allan Jay is a relative newcomer to the dance music scene, making himself known over the past few years through opening for acts like The Vengaboys and Blue in Europe and the UK.  He’s had a number of club successes including a cover of Paul Lekakis’ 80’s hit “Boom Boom Boom”.  So it’s no surprise that his latest original single for Energise, “Almost In Heaven”, is also a well-conceived throwback to 80’s Europop.  But both the lyrics and Allan’s vocal right from his first notes capture a lot of today’s sentiments about letting loose and having a blast on the dance floor with someone special, making it more of a stylistic tribute than an easy carbon copy.  It’s a pretty easy sell to international audiences, including fussy North American club goers, who should embrace it in the same way as songs by the likes of Cascada in recent years.  Add “Almost In Heaven” to your Whirling Europop playlist using the Spotify link above.

Published in: on May 5, 2018 at 10:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sweden’s @weareBrohug throws it down dirty with “Sinner”

BROHUG, “Sinner”

Keeping their trademark brohouse style intact, Swedish bros Brohug are back with the heavy-hitting future bass of “Sinner”.  It’s an aggressive, dirty house track that recalls the style of 80’s progressive acts like Britain’s Cabaret Voltaire while also reveling in more contemporary rhythms similar to  American counterparts such as The Knocks.  With one of its refrains being “back the fuck up”, it’s hard not to visualize “Sinner” going down well with club DJ’s who will use the suggestive antics of the song to crank up their audiences.  Overall Brohug’s “Sinner” is in-your-face fun, and you can add it to your playlist of Dirty House Hits using the Spotify link above.

Published in: on May 5, 2018 at 10:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Germany’s @Saxity is back with their surprising take on “The Seed” by @TheRoots

SAXITY, “The Seed” (free DL)

German production duo Saxity return with a deep house rendition of The Roots’ powerful 2003 hit “The Seed”.  While it lacks the blistering guitar crunch of the original as well as Cody ChesnuTT’s streetwise vocal, Saxity make this cover slick and rhythmic that will surprise dance club goers as much as it did me when I first listened and realized that this was indeed a song I already knew quite well.  The guitar work is pushed back more in the mix and still works, while the uncredited male vocal also has a credible soulful edge that holds up against gritty lyrics.  “The Seed” is from Saxity’s upcoming project “Internationally Homemade”, and you can get it for now for free at the link above.

Progressive dance duo @SayLessmusic return with blistering trap of “Rapture”

SAYLESS, “Rapture” (free DL)

When you think Nashville, you often think of country and pop music more than other genres.  It’s a diverse place musically, so finding a creative progressive dance duo from that city may not be entirely unexpected.  I wrote about the duo SayLess last year, and their follow up song is “Rapture”.  Taking cues from acts such as Say My Name, VVL, Lit Lords, and Bailo, “Rapture” straddles melodic and accessible pop dance music with a heavily creative and dirty side, featuring a blistering drop and impressive instrumentation that should make it stand out within the trap sub-genre.  The song structure is appealing, and not a turn goes by without SayLess keeping you wondering what’s coming next.  I don’t know a lot about trap as a sub-genre, but I do know when songs will ring bells with their intended audience.  “Rapture” will have hard core trap fans sold, and should also draw in dance music fans looking for something a touch different and well done.  Get to know SayLess by downloading “Rapture” for free at the link above.

Published in: on May 5, 2018 at 10:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,