Toronto’s @CrashAdamsmusic switches it up with kind and gentle rocker “Delicate”

CRASH ADAMS, “Delicate”

While Toronto duo Crash Adams continue to make buzzworthy moves with fun videos and unpredictable cameos by that red couch in the artwork above throughout the city, they are on their game in terms of great songs too.  “Delicate” is the latest of these, and it trades more good timey fare for a kind and gentle rocker.  For yes, men cry, have feelings, and can be hurt easily – there are those who could also be self-described as “Delicate”.  And chalk this one up for Crash Adams for being able to convey a sensitive message in a positive way in these times when machismo and brawn often call the shots.  Don’t get me wrong – “Delicate” still rocks out as a bouncy, upbeat, tightly played track.  That these guys have been able to mesh everything together into one tidy, enjoyable and meaningful package makes “Delicate” a winner.

Published in: on November 15, 2020 at 11:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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More cool new alt.rock from England’s Beware The Bear with @SeanSmithsolo, “We Will Survive”

BEWARE THE BEAR and SEAN SMITH, “We Will Survive”

“We Will Survive” is the title track of the 5 song EP by British alt.rock group Beware The Bear and singer Sean Smith, whom many of you know from this blog from his other wonderful work in a dance/pop setting.  Following the propulsive “Wishing On The Water” (which I wrote about recently, also featured in the EP), “We Will Survive” is much needed encouraging reinforcement in these strange times when it feels like things won’t get any better.  Its catchy “yeah”(x7)  hook and Sean’s vibrant vocal highlight a well-played, refreshing release that will appeal to those who like artists from Harry Styles through to Foster The People.

 

Published in: on November 15, 2020 at 11:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Give It Back” is a pumping new banger from @TheDiscoFries, @Giiantsmusic and singer @AllisonParklive

DISCO FRIES & GIIANTS and ALLISON PARK, “Give It Back”

Making a banger and getting it right is an art unto itself – I’d be one happy camper if the quality of songs like Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande’s “Rain On Me”, Karen Harding & Digital Farm Animals’ “Undo My Heart” and Jerome Price’s “Chasing Feelings” (the latter two of which are currently on my chart) continue into 2021.  Making me very hopeful is a song you can add to this list. “Give It Back” is the second collaboration by veterans of this blog, NYC’s Disco Fries and L.A. trio Giiants, after their recent late night anthem “Believer”.  This time “Give It Back” showcases the voice of L.A.-based co-writer Allison Park, someone perhaps newer to dance music releases but not to performing and songwriting – she’s travelled across the USA and written numerous songs during the last decade.  Her polished tones make “Give It Back” go down easy amid a propulsive and irresistible arrangement.  

Electronic producer Deacon and singer @iamLorenGray bring social media star power to the dance floor with “Love for the Summer”

DEACON and LOREN GRAY, “Love For The Summer”

Continuing with the examples set by performers such as Shawn Mendes and Troye Sivan, and more recently with Lil Nas X and Dixie D’Amelio, the power of social media crossover to pop music success is evident in the infectious “Love For The Summer” by Deacon and Loren Gray.  Neither are even 20 years old – Deacon is the L.A.-based 17 year old son of actors Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe, and 18 year old Pennsylvanian Loren Gray is a Tik Tok and Instagram star who has also released several singles, including some features in dance music releases, and has appeared in videos by Taylor Swift, HRVY, and Kim Petras. “Love For The Summer” is only the second single for Deacon, and it’s an entertaining, rich production somewhat reminiscent of The Chainsmokers’ “Closer”, which allows Loren’s vocal to glide over some big beats and a warm melody.

Published in: on November 14, 2020 at 10:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Love, Inc.’s dance classic “You’re A Superstar” gets a fine reboot, complete with @SimoneDenny, courtesy of superstar veterans @MickyModelle and @FridayNitePosse

MICKY MODELLE & FRIDAY NIGHT POSSE and SIMONE DENNY, “You’re A Superstar”

Here’s a text book example of how to bring a much-loved dance hit back to life.  Two superstar producers from across the pond, Ireland’s Micky Modelle and England’s Friday Night Posse, have combined their major forces to reboot Canadian trio Love, Inc.’s “You’re A Superstar”, and what better way than with the voice of the original, the amazing Simone Denny?  While “You’re A Superstar” was a radio hit in Canada and a dance club hit in the US, it was a Top 10 pop hit in the UK and throughout Europe in 1998.  Veterans who began their careers around this time, and worked together on the “Clubland” compilations, Micky and Friday Night Posse (Harry Hard – who himself had a #1 record in the UK producing DJ Casper’s “Cha Cha Slide”) inject “You’re A Superstar” Mach 2 with 90’s techno vibes and pulsating synths along with contemporary bells and whistles to make it sizzle once again.  It also is accompanied in its EP by a variety of remixes to check out.  Sounding cheerier than ever, “You’re A Superstar” aims to help you celebrate the good times that you deserve.

“Please Say So (Don’t Leave Me In Silence)” is ear-grabber electronic pop from SoCal singer/songwriter @TylerGelrud and Montreal producer Gerard Peters

TYLER GELRUD & GERARD PETERS, “Please Say So (Don’t Leave Me In Silence)”

He’s recorded under different project names during the last decade, so 2020 marks a return for Orange County-based singer/songwriter Tyler Gelrud with a new single and a fresh sound in “Please Say So (Don’t Leave Me In Silence)”.  And it’s a real ear-grabber whose chorus pulls you into the song to appreciate its finesse and balanced production for an independent release.  It’s Tyler’s second collaboration with Montreal producer Gerard Peters, and there’s obvious synchronicity which has led to this outcome.  The star though is Tyler’s vocal, which is affecting and engrossing rather than pleading, and it makes “Please Say So” really soar.  

#BILLCS Top 30 #600, November 8/20

After reaching a milestone of 2,500 blog posts last week since I began writing the BILLCS Music Blog in 2009, I’ve also hit another milestone with the BILLCS Top 30.  It’s edition #600, which would be over 1,200 if it was weekly.  The chart first began online in January 1998 and the first published #1 was “Angel” by Canadian singer Joée.  I had previously posted Top 10 versions of the chart on a few websites or message boards, starting in September 1997.  The chart remained a Top 10 until the edition of August 31, 1998, when it was extended to a Top 30.

There are 5 debuts on the chart, and we have a new #1 song in edition #600.  It’s an exhilarating instrumental called “House Is Happiness” by German producer and saxophonist Stan Sax, who is one half of the duo Saxity, and also records under the name of ZEROBADDAYS.  “House Is Happiness” is a real toe-tapper and you’ll have a tough time staying still.  It’s yet another independently released song to reach #1 on my chart.

Sweden’s Pawl & Discrete have another snappy house record that will vie for #1 with “Type Like That”, making another big bold move, advancing 10-3.

But the one to watch is the glorious “Diamonds” by Sam Smith, from his excellent new album Love Goes.  “Diamonds” soars 17-5, the Fastest Riser on the chart, among a bunch of fine breakup songs in Love Goes.  “Diamonds” features one of Sam’s best vocals, and it’s his highest placing on this chart since 2014.

Two songs arrive in the Top 10 for the first time.  Sweden’s Agnes obtains her fourth Top 10 song on this chart with “Fingers Crossed” (13-8, above), most recently reaching #3 on “Tough Love” by Avicii.  Singer/songwriter/producer Lauren Mayhew and Moroccan teen producer Mariline debut in the Top 10 with the warm and fuzzy progressive dance track “We Are Home” (11-9), which was written by Lauren at the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE).

Stan Sax’s other project, Saxity, climbs 16-13 with “Fantasy”, featuring outstanding vocals by Victor Perry and American Idol alumnus Robbie Rosen.  You can see all three gents in the video above.

Denver producer Illenium has a new personal best this week as “Nightlight” (21-17) becomes the #1 song at Dance Music Radio in the USA.  

Out of four debuts two weeks ago, “No One But You” by Toronto’s Justin Nozuka with British singer/songwriter Mahalia leads the way, climbing 24-18.  Be sure to download Justin’s APP from the App Store, and you’ll find a list of all of his major concert performances over the years, plus some new exclusive acoustic clips to keep you entertained during these strange times.

The highest debut belongs to the ever-so-talented (and dad-to-be) MAX, from his excellent album Colour Vision, with “Blueberry Eyes”, featuring singing by his buddy SUGA of BTS.  This song, written for MAX’s wife Emily, arrives at #25, and joins MAX’s collaboration with Jonas Blue, “Naked” (#15), on the chart.  “Naked” recently peaked at #4.  BTS previously appeared on the chart in early 2018 with “DNA”, which peaked at #13.

Next up is another artist currently on the chart, NYC-based Welsh singer/songwriter Bright Light Bright Light.  His outstanding duet with Erasure’s Andy Bell called “Good For Goodbyes” arrives at #26 (above) and has also been released as an extended remix created by Grammy Award winner Tracy Young (below).  Tracy in fact appeared on the chart back in 2002 with her radio edit of Cyndi Lauper’s “Shine” (#5).  “It’s Alright, It’s OK” by Bright Light Bright Light and Montreal trio Caveboy also climbs 18-16.

Making their chart debut is the L.A. quintet Why Don’t We with the rock-flavoured “Fallin’ (Adrenaline)” at #27.  This single by the group of early 20-somethings follows up their 2018 debut album 8 Letters.  And with “Fallin'” already brewing at Top 40 radio, I’m sure another album is not far behind.

Also making his chart debut is British electronic dance producer Jerome Price, with vocalist Cally Rhodes, on the irresistible dance banger “Chasing Feelings”, which bows at #28.

While “Dancing Next To Me”, one of my favourites of 2020, departs the chart after a maximum 10 chart stay (20 weeks), Greyson Chance returns immediately to maintain the flow at #29 with his latest single “Bad To Myself”.  This one has a lot of personal and earnest touches, referencing Greyson’s recent bout with anorexia.

 

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station 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 in 2021 🙂  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 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

 

It’s a double play for England’s @KarenHarding: Singing on banger “Let’s Get Together” with @IllyandBarri, and co-writing “No One Knows” with @HenriPFR and @Fambamusic with vocal by @CastelliChiiara

ILLYUS & BARRIENTOS x KAREN HARDING, “Let’s Get Together”

HENRI PFR & FAMBA and CHIARA CASTELLI, “No One Knows”

Following the Top US Dance Radio and worldwide success of “Undo My Heart” (currently #1 on my personal chart), England’s Karen Harding continues with personal bests in 2020 as both vocalist and songwriter.  

“Let’s Get Together”, in collaboration with Scottish production duo Illyus and Barrientos, is another deep house banger hot on the heels of “Undo My Heart”, a smoking and very natural follow up.  Whether intentionally or not, it draws a lot from old school disco and classic dance vocalists like Kristine W.  The production is lush and full of shiny effects which fortunately take second place next to Karen’s gorgeous vocal.

Karen co-wrote “No One Knows” with Belgium’s Henri PFR and Canada’s Famba (about whom you have read much in these pages).  It’s an intriguing mid-tempo deep house club track with a classic song structure and a compelling vocal by Swiss singer and You Tube/Instagram star Chiara Castelli.  The song benefits from a number of hard stops and seamless vocalizing by Chiara to keep it moving along briskly.

“Rolling Papers” is unexpectedly light-hearted and playful from Brandyn Burnette @EMAN8 and Toronto’s @leFrenchBraids

BRANDYN BURNETTE and FRENCH BRAIDS, “Rolling Papers”

“Rolling Papers” is one new song that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face.  Brandyn Burnette has been hard at work in 2020 as both a solo and feature artist, regularly releasing new songs to showcase his pop, hip hop and R&B styles.  “Rolling Papers” might be a bit of a crapshoot but it’s a whole lot of fun.  The singer shows off his deft wordsmithing and is aptly supported by rising Toronto electronic producer French Braids (aka Sean Fischer), with whom Brandyn worked earlier this year on the track “Legend”.  But in “Rolling Papers” it’s great to hear Brandyn’s verses freewheelin’ in a lighter, feel-good setting, and that is a big win for fans and new listeners.

Leap of faith: “Jump With You” is by up-and-coming teen producers Kai Stevens & Catchphrase with vocalist Kate Klein

KAI STEVENS & CATCHPHRASE and KATE KLEIN, “Jump With You”

NYC-based producer/remixer and multi-instrumentalist Kai Stevens follows up his electronic ballad from this past summer, “Hero”, with “Jump With You”.  The song should also appeal to fans of Illenium, Galantis and Adventure Club in terms of melody and emotional qualities, rather than bigness of production.  It’s promising work in collaboration with two other newcomers, 19 year old Buffalo NY producer Catchphrase and the touching voice of Kate Klein.  The song’s story about taking an unexpected leap of faith when you fall for someone will resonate easily with fans of any progressive electronic dance music including the ‘sadboi’ sub-genre.