Toronto producers/DJs @weareFlightSchl have out-of-the-box radio hit with “Figure It Out” with vocals by @CVBZmvsic

FLIGHT SCHOOL and CVBZ, “Figure It Out”

If you reside in Canada and listen to pop radio, then without a doubt you have already heard “Figure It Out” by Toronto producers/DJs Flight School with vocals by L.A.-based singer/songwriter CVBZ.  With help from winning an iHeartRadio contest for this independent release, the Toronto’s Guillaume Viau and Conor Stief, who each had separate careers on the bubble mainly as remixers, joined forces to become Flight School.  “Figure It Out” features the distinct voice of CVBZ, who has already been written about in these blog pages several times as one to always watch.  The song should by all rights be this year’s “Body” (the Loud Luxury smash) at radio, and I expect it will follow a similar path to be a worldwide hit.  Very rarely these days do songs breakout from radio but “Figure It Out” is that positive and worthy exception!

flightschool

Published in: on April 28, 2019 at 3:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A’s @Mahalo_dj collaborates with Poland’s @Milkwish for dark deep house of “Alone Again”

 

MAHALO and MILKWISH, “Alone Again”

Led by a silky and soulful uncredited male vocal, “Alone Again” is haunting late night deep house in another collaboration between L.A.-based Mahalo and Poland’s Milkwish that got the attention of Tiësto’s AFTR:HRS label.  It’s a fine late night driving song with rich synth work that’s a solid bookend follow up to the recent “Go Ahead”, which is sitting in the Top 10 of my personal chart.  If those two songs aren’t enough, the ultra-prolific Mahalo (aka Nick Jay) also has two more releases, the more pop-oriented “Falling” with Lipless and singer Carly Paige, and the biting “So Cold”, with DLMT and vocalist Lily Denning.  “Alone Again” is my choice out of the three, but check out the other two below for different sides of this talented guy!

UK singer/songwriter @JamesPoole_ brings on some uncharacteristic funk with “Goodness Gracious”

JAMES POOLE, “Goodness Gracious”

Keeping his fine voice in falsetto mode from last year’s enjoyable ode to positive self image called “Perfectly Me”, UK singer/songwriter James Poole returns with the delightfully funky “Goodness Gracious”.  Keeping the tone light with keen intent on making you boogie your heart out, “Goodness Gracious” recalls Sam Sparro-meets-Jamiroquai influences that work well with James’ Mika-esque vocal.  James has been unpredictable with what to expect with his recent releases. “Goodness Gracious” has wide appeal for those who like their grooves especially deep.

Published in: on April 28, 2019 at 3:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s 10/10 #02: New songs from @pete80s, #EricZava @DJMirkoB & @GorashDaniel, @finis_mundi_, @Iliramusic, @Boye_Sigvardt, @JeanorJuan & @FoxandCharm, @EleriAngharad92, @BLRofficial, @TimmyTrumpet @BlissNEso & @LeeFields12, and @Showtek & @LeonSherman in an @ATrak remix

10/10 #02

10/10 (or tenoutoften) is my new feature where I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I will also 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. 

Writing 10/10 features means I will be able to cover more songs in one shot than I’ve been able to do recently.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about. 

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tenoutoften 02

  • PETER WILSON, “Like Dynamite”

The Australian singer who so aptly brought us a different kind of “Verona” with UK singer Sean Smith returns with a two song EP, the better of which is “Like Dynamite”.  It’s a complete throwback to mid-80’s danceable modern rock, with particular and welcome reference to New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle”.  Peter’s voice really flourishes in this setting and it’s a lot of fun!

  • ERIC ZAVA, DJ MIRKO B and DANIEL GORASH, “Even In Confusion”

Another song that might take some of its cues from 80’s new wave is “Even In Confusion” by Italian producers Eric Zava and DJ Mirko B with singer Daniel Gorash on vocal.  Don’t even think Italodisco with this one.  It’s delightful melodic house music that could be a real surprise to club DJ’s.  The echoey vocal reminds me of early 00’s ATB records and totally suits the song.  “Even In Confusion” is memorable and will definitely get you dancing!

  • FINIS MUNDI, “Right Now?”

Accompanying his recent album release Everything After is the single “Right Now?” by Swedish producer Finis Mundi.  This is sophisticated deep house for the late night time which could happily accompany songs by Bobby Nourmand or Faithless into the wee hours.  It’s definitely atypical of the dance music from Sweden and taps much more into UK or Chicago/New York house rhythms for deep, dark effect.

  • ILIRA, “Do It Yourself”

Breaking out of Germany is the effusive pop sound of Switzerland-raised Kosovo-Albanian singer Ilira with “Do It Yourself”.  The production for this song is a hybrid US/UK bounce back to about six years ago – think Miley Cyrus meets Icona Pop.  Like songs from that time by both artists, “Do It Yourself” is a potent anthem for young women.  It’s very distinct and has the potential to cut through a lot of other samey-sounding pop of today with its splash of a few years ago.

  • BOYE & SIGVARDT, “Ganja Fiyah”

You’ll recall the unique song “Astronauts” by Danish producers Boye & Sigvardt (with MAGNÜSand UHRE) which I wrote about a few years back.  After a few releases with American label Big Beat, the lads (Christian and Christian) have been trying out a variety of dance styles, and “Ganja Fiyah” is an unexpected trip into fun deep house with striking bass beats and explosive synths.  Fans of Don Diablo, Afrojack and Armin van Buuren will definitely dig this one.

  • JEAN JUAN and FOX & CHARM, “Strangers”

Dutch producer and Soave label head Jean Juan unleashes his second single under his new moniker called “Strangers”, this time in collaboration with Mexico-based Turkish producers Fox & Charm.  It’s exotic-sounding deep house that will cause instant reaction when dropped mid-set.  “Strangers” is full of propulsive rhythms and an appealing vocal that go down pretty easy.  Jean Juan says he’s just getting started and I’ll look forward to what’s next!

  • ELERI ANGHARAD, “Earthbound” (acoustic)

Although she classifies herself as a Country artist but hails from Wales, Eleri Angharad has a lot of pop potential if the acoustic version of the title track from her recent album is any indication.  She could easily ride the wave of popularity created by the likes of Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris, though she definitely has her own take on her craft.  In fact the vocal on “Earthbound” reminds me a lot of California duo Bahari’s contribution to electronic sensation Illenium’s “Crashing”, so I could visualize her in that setting as well.  Recording acoustically is not recommended unless you can really prove yourself and Eleri has no problem instilling her appealing personality into this performance.

  • BLR, “Méduse”

Dutch producer BLR returns to Tiesto’s AFTR:HRS label – he was the first artist signed back in 2016 – with the enchanting “Méduse” and its seductive French vocal.  You can definitely expect a dark, hypnotic trip that has late 70’s/early 80’s retro appeal that will recall music from the likes of Cerrone or Patrick Juvet.  “Méduse” will definitely be a force on the dance floor with the clock strikes 12!

  • TIMMY TRUMPET, BLISS N ESO, and LEE FIELDS, “High”

You may have already heard, but Australian producer/DJ Timmy Trumpet is set to be part of the European Space Agency that’s linking dance music with space travel!  You can hear all about that right here, but in conjunction with that announcement is the release of Timmy’s latest single “High”.  While “Freaks” continues to be played everywhere at events and on dance music radio worldwide, “High” goes back to Timmy’s jazz and R&B roots, featuring veteran US soul singer Lee Fields as well as reknown Aussie/American hip hop trio Bliss N Eso.  The blend of influences remind me of early 90’s mixes that incorporated all of those styles as well as house music, and Timmy and team successfully update that sound with “High”.

  • SHOWTEK and LEON SHERMAN, “Listen To Your Momma” (A-Trak remix)

You can’t keep a good song down and I’m a big believer of remixes to help good songs reach greater heights.  “Listen To Your Momma” by Showtek and Leon Sherman was actually released in 2015, but it’s such a fun song with an inspired vocal that a bevy of remixes have now surfaced.  The best of the bunch is from A-Trak, who recently woke us all up with the praise to to the house music gods and stern advice for DJ’s with Todd Terry in “DJ’s Gotta Dance More”, which was #1 for several weeks on my personal chart.  With it’s big bounce and plenty of vinyl scratching, A-Trak’s remix of “Listen To Your Momma” should make headway to clubs and festivals all over the world this year.

 

 

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #559, April 15/19

The top of the chart appears relatively unchanged, but the bottom of the Top 10 is all abuzz as a few songs soar, and four debuts add to the pleasures.

I can’t get enough of “i’m so tired…” by Lauv and Troye Sivan, such that I think they should record another song together.  It would be the perfect follow up until Lauv’s forthcoming album is ready.  “i’m so tired…” is locked in at #1.

The only new entry to the Top 5 belongs to Nashville’s Mokita.  The pensive “London” advances 6-4, while the singer/songwriter gets his 3rd chart entry with the bubbly and knowing “Kiss And Tell” at #26.  Watch out for Mokita, his music is absolute fire right now!

“Love” by Simon Curtis rises 8-6.  I can’t wait to hear what Simon has coming next, and as gorgeous and soulful that “Love” might be, I want something more hard-hitting and danceable next 🙂

The fastest riser on the chart is by UK/Germany production duo M-22 with “White Lies”, which catapults 23-7, with definite eyes on #1 in the coming weeks.  I saw the duo drop the song at Miami Music Week and with those deep house vibes, courtesy of some influence from Inner City’s “Good Life”, “White Lies” simply can’t miss!

In a darker but somehow uplifting vein is “Go Ahead” by L.A.’s Mahalo featuring vocalist  MŌZ.  It climbs 13-8 and follows the now-departed “In My Arms” for a 5th Top 10 song here for Mahalo 🙂

In any other week a 24-9 leap would be the fastest riser, but in direct competition with M-22’s “White Lies” is another brilliant new dance song, “Good Things” in its disco edit by Cedric Gervais and Just Kiddin’ featuring vocalist Kyan.  “Good Things” just brims with fun and energy and like “White Lies” is bound to be one of my favourite songs of the year.

The Top 10 isn’t done yet if Sam Smith and Normani have any say in the matter.  “Dancing With A Stranger” climbs 14-10, becoming his first Top 10 since “Too Good For Goodbyes”.

Just outside of the Top 10 there’s “Black Gasoline” bubbling under and rising 17-11 for Italy’s Mark Mendy and featuring some irresistible vocalizing by Australia’s Beamish Brothers (Ben and Jeremy).  

We find another, more famous set of brothers moving up 19-15.  It’s those Jonasei with “Sucker” still keeping fans happy in the shadow of the new, quieter single “Cool”.

There’s so much great dance music always coming from The Netherlands, and “Enlighten Me” by DubVision and SYZZ is no exception.  This rollicking foot-fest climbs 26-18.

NYC singer/songwriter Matt Beilis enters the Top 20 with his Maroon 5-ish “Chemistry Or Chemicals” moving up 22-19.

Disco dancing is alive and well with the clubland enthusiasm of “Let’s Go Dancing” by UK producers Horse Meat Disco and NYC vocalist Amy Douglas, which jumps 25-21.

Ever-prolific Illenium moves up 27-22 with the softer, almost Country-flavoured (in a “The Middle”/”This Feeling” kinda way) “Crashing” featuring California duo Bahari on vocals.

The highest debut belongs to Belgium’s Felix De Laet, or Lost Frequencies as you better know him.  Featuring vocalist Flynn, “Recognise” packs a punch when it slams right into its great chorus at the :25 mark.  “Recognise” bows on the chart at #25.

German producers and musicians Saxity have been to the Top 10 twice, with “Brothers” and “You Found Me”.  They’re back and wanting to party hard with “Weekend” at #27.  I just love all of the instrumentation that the song has to offer in the background, which makes it sometimes seem like it really wanted to be an Earth, Wind & Fire record in disguise 😛

The final debut is a reprise of a collaboration between another German producer, Final DJs and US-based Welsh multi-talent Bright Light Bright Light.  The strut-worthy house of “Wild” arrives at #28 following their #11 charting song from a few years ago called “Lost In Feelings”.

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 🙂

L.A.’s @weareMako pushes boundaries with futuristic rock-electronica of “Coyote”

MAKO, “Coyote”

When I last saw Mako – L.A.-based singer/songwriter/producer Alex Seaver – in concert over a year ago, he tipped me off after the show that his next releases would be much more adventurous and progressive.  And while he’s been busy scoring the video game series League Of Nations and collaborating with the likes of Illenium and The Glitch Mob, there was nothing to prepare me and his fans for “Coyote”.  The dance/pop of “Smoke-Filled Room” and “Breathe” now has to make room for a new futuristic, intense and emotional side of Mako.  “Coyote” is a dark song that you might find amping up a critical scene in a movie rather than on the dance floor.  It’s challenging but draws you in, allowing you to expect the unexpected without being polarized.  Mako has a dedicated fan base that I think will easily embrace “Coyote”.  I’d also definitely pitch the song to fans of Illenium, Odesza, Rufus Dü Sol and others who continue to successfully test the waters with songs and styles that stimulate and instigate your attention.  Like other performers such as Lemaitre, I must remind you that Mako is also a rock band led by Alex and there is prominent guitar and other live instrumentation amid the electronics in “Coyote” too.  Check out the animated lyric video above.

Published in: on April 15, 2019 at 9:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Alt.Soul Variations featuring Victor Perry @perksofbeingvic: “Eve” with @ZBDmusic and “Boomerang” with @Labrosemusic

ZEROBADDAYS and VICTOR PERRY, “Eve”

LABROSE, “Boomerang”

For the last few years you’ve read fairly frequently in these blog pages about NYC-based, Georgia-bred singer/songwriter Victor Perry.  Victor has one of the most distinct, consistent, engaging (and unsigned!) male voices around – and other than when producers choose to mess with it a bit, it doesn’t hurt that his voice is almost perfectly on key every time 🙂 Victor has two recent releases, a second partnership with Germany’s ZEROBADDAYS (aka Mr. Stan Sax of Saxity) and a new one from his side project with British producer Ficci called Labrose.  “Eve” is lyrical retrotastic Michael Jackson-inspired alt.soul – it reminds me of those fine deeper songs you’d often find on a late 70’s Jacksons album that still resonate today.  It’s quite a different record from the first ZEROBADDAYS collaboration, the gentle “We’ll Be Okay”.  “Eve” is lovely and a real grower.  “Boomerang” is more pop flavoured and follows up last year’s catchy “Gravity”.  It’s more of a late night “quiet storm” track with Victor’s voice gliding over the lilting electronic backdrop.  Add “Eve” and “Boomerang” to your favourite playlists where pop and R&B converge ASAP!

Published in: on April 15, 2019 at 9:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Chicago-based producer @AashMehtamusic returns with lovesick “Vodka Soda” featuring Apollo Gray

AASH MEHTA and APOLLO GRAY, “Vodka Soda”

Following the success of last year’s progressive, lush electronic pop album Discover Infinity, Chicago’s Aash Mehta is back with his first 2019 offering, “Vodka Soda”.  It’s a departure from his swooning romantic stories, and this time we find a protagonist (through a captivating vocal by Apollo Gray) so lovesick, perhaps with someone who doesn’t reciprocate, and he doesn’t quite know what to do about it.  So while he might be drowning his sorrow in his drink – or maybe not – “Vodka Soda” is also his metaphor for this particular crush.  Aash’s music really plays to your heart strings for this down-on-his-luck guy, and “Vodka Soda” ends up being a real slice-of-life story, for not only the downhearted, but perhaps for that target of affection who will be on your mind for a long, long time.

Published in: on April 15, 2019 at 9:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Love Me Less” is classy pop with an edge and new from @MAXmusic and @QuinnXCII

MAX and QUINN XCII, “Love Me Less” 

By early 2018, MAX’s “Lights Down Low” become The Song That Could – it went platinum in the US and reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 two years after its release.  I was delighted to be a very early supporter of the song (and singer, back to 2015) and watch its ongoing success and the growth of the singer himself in the process.  Between 2016 and 2018, MAX was featured as a vocalist on countless dance and electronic songs, many of whom you can find written up in these blog pages.  And his energetic, personable concerts have now made him a major draw at festivals.  

So “Love Me Less” is a new chapter for MAX.  I don’t think I would be remiss in thinking that NYC’s Hell’s Kitchen’s Angel is targeting the same audience as Ariana Grande with this song.  It’s edgy pop that sparkles with a fluid interlude from Quinn XCII that fits just right.  MAX can unleash all in a song when given the opportunity, but here he is totally on point.  And of the video above – the expression “If life gives you lemons, then make lemonade” comes to mind.  MAX had throat surgery earlier this year that must have been so scary.  But he has completely recovered and we’ll be hearing a lot more new MAX songs this year 🙂

Published in: on April 13, 2019 at 9:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s a happy-go-lucky throwback – and instant Graduation Song for 2019 – for @itsPapaYamusic with “Yesterday”

PAPA YA, “Yesterday”

Every once in a while L.A. duo Papa Ya grace us with a new, cheery slice-of-life song.  This year we have the wistful bop “Yesterday”, obviously written with a past love in mind.  But with a delightful video of home movies and a summery synth melody, “Yesterday” also has Graduation Song 2019 written all over it and to me should be marketed as such!  This is a no-brainer, feel good, singalong in whose lyrics anyone can see themselves.  Do yourself a favour and stream and download “Yesterday” and remember where you read about it!

Published in: on April 13, 2019 at 9:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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