“Hungry Ghosts” by Canadian duo @TheBigEast offers well-crafted songs for cottage-country fun

THE BIG EAST, Hungry Ghosts

I don’t write about pop/rock records with heavy country music influences a lot unless they are well-sung, genuine songs like from Huntsville, Ontario duo The Big East in Hungry Ghosts, the follow-up album to 2014’s Under Currents.  James Jones and Kip Daynard are here to offer up a good time for all, a signal for you to jump into the vehicle and head to cottage country, and the songs work best when they are full-tilt rocking or soft and heart-felt.  “Too Far Gone” is the winner here, a retro-rocker in the John Mellencamp style of rock that gets things off to a barreling start following the other opener, also a rocker called “The Wild Life”.  Most of The Big East’s inspiration seems to continue to draw from The Eagles and Neil Young, but can also easily appeal to fans of more recent bands such as The Lumineers or Mumford & Sons.  “Love Monkey” is probably the bluesiest and most soulful song within that might catch your ear, but another one worthy of attention is the tender ballad “My Heart Belongs To Me”.  The Big East has already started to receive notable airplay in Canada with some of the fine songs within.  Check out all of the songs on Hungry Ghosts at the link above.

Published in: on May 7, 2017 at 9:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Unconventional “Dreams” lets rising producer @KidFroopy follow the beat of his own drum

KID FROOPY, “Dreams”

I must admit I was a bit side-swiped upon first listen of the latest by American producer Kid Froopy called “Dreams”.  While Kid has garnered significant attention over the last year remixing the likes of songs by Terror Jr. and having his own music remixed by other rising stars like WRLD, he has remained an enigma who follows the beat of his own drum.  So “Dreams” isn’t really a Dance/EDM track, but an electronic one that might even be better suited for alt.rock and college radio.  Its unconventional chilled out flavour seems to draw from classic 70’s rock like Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles, yet the lyrics contain a very contemporary edge, with vocals that are alternately quiet or harmonic, not usually found in this kind of record.  After a few listens I expect you will enjoy the different kind of diversity that Kid Froopy is offering here.  Throw back to the first time you heard “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People, and likely scratched your head, that’s my best reference point.  Check out what Kid Froopy’s been up to in “Dreams” at the link above.

Published in: on May 6, 2017 at 3:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

“These Four Walls” is the new EP from @AmbassadeursUK with delightful “3 AM” featuring @BoRocha

AMBASSADEURS featuring BO ROCHA, “3 AM”

UK producer Ambassadeurs has unleashed his long-awaited EP These Four Walls, and among the electronic ear candy within is “3 AM” which features the vocals of fellow Brit Bo Rocha.  “3 AM” is one mid-tempo song that shouldn’t slip under the radar, it’s absolutely perfect for clubs with a stunning vocal by Bo featuring beautiful high notes that just don’t grace any old song.  I think “3 AM” could benefit from remixes – as long as the vocals are left alone, don’t mess with ’em! 😉  Check it out at the link above for an unexpected gem of the week 🙂 Hopefully another collaboration between the pair is forthcoming at some point!

Published in: on May 6, 2017 at 3:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

“Unsteady” by @XAmbassadors is reshaped into acoustic EDM by @CosmosNCreature

COSMOS & CREATURE, “Unsteady” (free DL)

In great anticipation of their debut EP together, Cosmos N Creature – Brandyn Burnette and Molly Moore – very selectively pick X Ambassadors’ “Unsteady” as a cover to whet your taste buds for what’s to come.  X Ambassadors’ fans will appreciate how this favourite talented pair reshapes the song acoustically and with EDM flourishes, all of which make their vocals together stand out so much more.  You’ve already heard CnC on their own original “Young” as well as featured in other original songs by Vicetone, Two Friends, PLS&TY, and Kiso.  That Brandyn and Molly are so prolific and have so many outlets for their songs and projects – in pop, alt.rock, and dance/EDM genres, as vocalists and songwriters – is great news for us.  “Unsteady” is as good as it gets, a great choice that’s free for you at the link above.

 

Published in: on May 3, 2017 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Soulful Brit @hithisisAshdown scores with “Where It Hurts”

ASHDOWN, “Where It Hurts”

If you like Nathan Sykes’ ventures away from The Wanted, then Londoner Murray Ashdown could easily be your new go-to-guy for the soulful and romantic “Where It Hurts” for Heroic.  The song has an elegant undercurrent to the slick and pointed production which makes no hesitation in creating a great mood before its brilliant chorus strikes.  Like Ed Sheeran, Ashdown’s British accent shines through too, giving the song some extra appeal.  You’ve already heard Ashdown’s voice grace songs by Dooqu, JPB, and particularly Owkey’s “Know Myself”, a grower that recently hit #15 on my personal chart.  With his vocal talent and charm, Ashdown has tremendous pop appeal so I think the dance/EDM world is lucky to have its way with him first 🙂  Check out “Where It Hurts” above and pick it up at your favourite digital store.

Published in: on May 3, 2017 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

“Be Happy” has gentle Spring loving in the air courtesy of L.A.’s @FRND69

FRND, “Be Happy”

“Be Happy” is a gentle and loving hymn of positive reminiscence for Spring by L.A. mystery man FRND for Crooked Paintings.  He’s getting his name out there as performer and remixer/producer, and “Be Happy” is great for a slow dance and a few swirls, and even a catchy breakdown before the end to make you let go a bit.  FRND has a knowing, reassuring voice that will definitely give you those happy feels, more so if love is in the air.  Not to be underestimated, if you’re looking for something a little different and downtempo with house vibes then “So Happy” will fit that order nicely. 

Published in: on May 3, 2017 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

#BILLCSTop30 #508 – May 1/17

We have more new music out there in the world to listen to than ever, yet our favourites remain near and dear to us.  One of those continues to top the BILLCS Top 30 while new ones bubble underneath.

The Top 10

  • “Something Just Like This” by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay stays atop for a fourth appearance – that’s eight weeks, while new official pack arrived within the last two weeks.  Absolutely no complaints about the selection: R3hab, Alesso, Don Diablo, Like Mike & Dimitri Vegas, Jai Wolf and ARMNHMR.  Since Alesso’s latest arrives in the Top 10 this week, check out his remix above.
  • Any of the Top 5 that are still on the rise have what it takes to be at #1 in two weeks.  “Something To Say” (above) by Toronto’s Loud Luxury and Ryan Shepherd advances to #2 with its warm and crowd-pleasing redux of Craig David’s “Fill Me In”.  L.A.’s Mahalo collaborates again with singer Cat Lewis for the rollicking “WTFYWF” (below) which moves up to #4, while WLRD and SMLE take “Stranded”  (also below) 9-5 thanks to an amazing vocal by Kiddo AI which caps a song that sounds like nothing else out there.
  • Toronto’s Blajk are resurfacing after a quiet few months – they play Toronto’s NXNE festival in late June.  “Lethal”, from their EP Limited, holds at #6.

  • “Stay” by Anton Zaslavski – I mean Zedd – and Alessia Cara is becoming one of the biggest hits of 2017, and the official video dropped this week.  To think in 2012’s video for “Spectrum”, both Zedd and Matthew Koma only had fleeting cameos!  It moves up 11-8.

  • It’s definitely a grower, but some remixes also arrived this week for “I Wonder” by The Him featuring LissA, by Westfunk and Teelena.  Check out the latter’s below.

  • As I mentioned up top, “Falling” by Alesso becomes the Swedish producer’s first Top Tenner here, rising 16-10.

Movin’ On Up

  • With a new song hot off the presses as well, Axel Mansoor’s “Wasted My Love” is the fastest riser on the chart, soaring 19-12.  The sweet voice, the beautiful melody, and the thoughtful lyrics are what will win you over if you haven’t yet heard him.  One to watch!!  And free to download below.
  • Although it’s more of a French-appearing moniker, Lulleaux is from The Netherlands and the very catchy – thanks to a trumpet melody that recalls Capital Cities’ “Safe And Sound” – “Sinner”, with vocals by SVM, climbs 18-13.
  • The Knocks (BRoc and JPatt) are already recording their second album, so think of this EP of Testify as a palate-whetter, with “Worship” featuring MNEK being a focal track, which rises 17-14.
  • No sooner than “Sign Of The Times” drops and his self-titled album is on the way, but Harry Styles launches a huge tour which will sail into a city near you.  “Sign Of The Times” climbs 21-15.

  • “Runaway” by Spirix featuring Xuitcasecity is no slouch either in its second appearance, with a killer melodic hook, zipping into the Top 20 23-17.

  • The Netherlands’ Steve Void has a new single coming soon too called “West LA”, and while “Never Been Better” has taken a little while to shift into high gear, it moves up 26-21.

Four Debuts

All of our debuts are by brand new performers 🙂

  • Bowing at #26 is “Heavy Hearted”, a beautifully sung EDM mid-tempo ballad as recorded by the mysterious producer Murky, featuring Polish singer Anuka to make the song really sparkle.  Get it for free at the link above.
  • Captain Cuts may be new performers but they are hardly new to the music scene.  The trio are well-established producers, songwriters, and remixers, witness Walk The Moon’s massive “Shut Up And Dance”, Bebe Rexha’s recent “I Got You”, and Grouplove’s “Tongue Tied” for three!  “Love Like We Used To” has all kinds of pop potential as well as for clubs with a variety of remixes, including by Canadians Young Bombs which lands at #27.
  • Arriving at #29 is Philadelphia duo N I G H T S, whose spicy mix of R&B and EDM has yielded the strutting “Party”, which is also a free download at the above link.
  • By no means least at #30 is Australia’s Spenda C featuring rapper Cult Sh∅tta and an uncredited female vocal in “Release”.  I just love the way this song flows between pop, EDM and hip hop.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

Planet Radio Canada is on hiatus and will return http://www.planetradio.ca 🙂

 

“Be Like You” brings back remixer @SeanTurkmusic to crank it up for @CVBZmvsic

CVBZ, “Be Like You” (Sean Turk remix)

It’s been a few months, but I’ve been excited to know for a while that this fine Sean Turk remix of CVBZ’s “Be Like You” was on its way for Ultra Music.  And it was well worth the wait.  Sean’s choices in picking top notch songs for remixing continues with “Be Like You”, a great introduction for me to Oregon-bred L.A.-based singer/songwriter CVBZ.  The NYC producer/remixer ignites the pop stylings of the original to deliver amped-up ‘bedroom bass’ dance floor heaven well before the minute mark.  Which is a good thing because this is such a delightful remix – and it goes by much too quickly.  Pick this one up at your favourite online digital store.

Published in: on April 29, 2017 at 8:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

A tale of two “Raccoons” theme covers: @BrightLightx2 and @Spraypopmusic revive “Run With Us”

BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT, “Run With Us”

SPRAY, “Run With Us” (Matt Pop remix)

In one of the stranger coincidences in 2017, “Run With Us”, the late 80’s theme song to a Canadian kids’ TV program – which ran from 1985 to 1992 and itself followed a series of full length animated features starting in 1980 – shows its enduring effects!  It gets a new lease on life with two new reverent cover versions of the Lisa Lougheed original (a minor Canadian hit which I know very well and peaked at #69 nationally in 1988, below), one by none other than Bright Light Bright Light, and the other by those cool UK wordsmiths and purveyors of pop, Spray.

Bright Light x2 (aka Rod Thomas) just released his EP Cinematography 2: Back In The Habit, a gloriously curated 6-pack of cover versions, including Madonna’s “Causing A Commotion”, Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, and Lisa Loeb’s “Stay (I Missed You)” – as well as “Run With Us”.  Rod’s rendition could have easily competed with the original in the 80’s, definitely intended as a loving interpretation that was obviously something important to him when he was much younger, and has stuck like glue through adulthood.  Needless to say, it’s great!

Spray, the duo of Jenny McLaren and Ricardo Autobahn whose music I have also written about a number of times, actually covered “Run With Us” back in 2007 for their album Children Of A Laser God.  With impeccable timing – there is apparently a 2017 “Raccoons Dance” or something like that in the works by original TV show creator Kevin Gillis – they’ve brought their enthusiastic rework into 2017 with a jazzed-up remix by Matt Pop (who recently did similar wonders for Nathalie Archangel’s Billboard charter “Unleashed”) as well as a lyric video.  It’s a different take on the song from Bright Light Bright Light’s, but they go kind of hand-in-hand in inspiration.

So all of you lovers of that old “Raccoons” theme can immerse yourself with two solid throwbacks – both available at all digital stores.

Your 1st epic summer ’17 song: @BobbyNourmand with “D U S T”

BOBBY NOURMAND, “D U S T” (free DL)

L.A. producer/DJ Bobby Nourmand has been honing his versatile dance music sound and it has experienced quite an evolution during this past year, culminating most recently with the raucous but still refined and insanely catchy “D E E P in NY”, one of my favourites of 2017 so far (a BILLCS Top 30 #1 in January too).  “D U S T” continues in the deep house realm but it’s an epic song in all kinds of ways.  It’s bold like this big ray of sunshine swooped in to signal the coming of summer.  It will bring the beach to you where there may not even be a beach.  It’s also got a rich soulful vocal sound that resonates throughout and makes you wait for it to arrive when the song has much more chill moments.  Plus at 5 and a half minutes, “D U S T” creates a fun journey when you know where you’re headed and feel better when you get there.  “D U S T” is a grower, and it makes you come back to it, expecting, wanting and getting more out of it each time.  And as Bobby’s gift to you for your kind attention, get it as a free download at the link above.

Published in: on April 25, 2017 at 8:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,