Meet Lauren Ashley @lamissbevhills with heartfelt new single “All This Love”

LAUREN ASHLEY, “All This Love”

Sometimes keeping it simple is best, and Georgia-born Christian singer/songwriter/film-maker Lauren Ashley has that flair with her new single “All This Love”.  The song structure is classic pop, but with a tidy guitar hook that will make you perk up your ears from first listen. So while it all may sound a touch familiar, “All This Love” is still an easy, memorable listen. Lauren’s honed vocal veers from sultry moments to others which are earnest and direct in their intentions.  There’s some huge potential here and I think future releases with richer, more creative production and a few more defining moments will enhance Lauren’s vision as a pop artist.

L.A. indie electronic dance trio @TELYKast crack dance music radio with smash “Unbreakable” with Nashville’s @SamGraymusic

TELYKAST and SAM GRAY, “Unbreakable”

“Unbreakable” is one of those uplifting songs that’s going to get firmly planted in your head over the next few months.  It’s by hard-working L.A. electronic dance trio TELYKast with Nashville singer/songwriter Sam Gray, and they have managed to crack the dance music radio Top 40 for a second time this year with it, the first time being with “Nobody To Love” with social media star Loren Gray, which reached the Top 20.  That’s a mean feat for an unsigned act and I’m sure the offers will start to pour in after they played EDC in Las Vegas recently. “Unbreakable” benefits from rich production, deep synths, and a soaring vocal by Sam Gray that makes it all the more memorable and perfect for large club and festival settings, with pop radio potential too!

Get to know Simon & The Island @Simonandtheis, the new project from @TheStrumbellas’ Simon Ward, with “Muse”

SIMON AND THE ISLAND, “Muse”

Simon Ward is a member of the veteran Canadian alternative rock band The Strumbellas, who won the Juno Award for Single of the Year in 2017 for “Spirits”, a #1 alternative track in North America which also was a Top 10 single in several European countries.  He’s launched his own project, Simon and the Island, with a self-titled album out of the gate led by the track “Muse”.  It’s a lovely, steadfast song about the power of unconditional love, with an anthemic, Imagine Dragons-styled chorus that really brings the song home.  In “Muse”, Simon doesn’t stray too far from folk-influenced style of rock music that The Strumbellas have trademarked over the years, but it’s honest and personal, qualities that listeners regularly seek out in a good pop song with an intriguing story, that will also sound great in concert.  Fans of The Lumineers and American Authors will also enjoy.

British Columbia trio @daysormay return with new album called Just Existing and single “25”

daysormay, “25”

British Columbia trio daysormay have a flair for creating bright and fun-sounding songs that have a much deeper side to them.  With songs that bask in hip hop flavours in an alternative rock setting, the guys are back with a full album called Just Existing, which is accompanied by new single and video, “25”.  At first listen, “25” sounds like an enjoyable, quirky alt.pop song with singalong potential.  But with subsequent listens, you realize that the song is actually about mental health challenges that young adults face, especially now-unrealistic demands, self-imposed or imposed by others, like being a success by age 25. daysormay’s singer Aidan Andrews has solid every-guy appeal to get the message across, and the video does offer some deft, subtly humorous moments. “25” is well-suited for college and alternative rock radio play, which could help generate more buzz for a clearly talented trio.

#BILLCSTop30 #625, October 25/21

There are occasions on which, for reasons unknown, temporary writer’s block sets in, and I have to rely on the music and the facts behind them to help get me by. So, do forgive me for the lack of personal insights in this blog post. It’s actually been a pretty busy week for new songs, which will send some fine additions to the chart in the coming weeks. And because of the recent change by Spotify on how its song links interact with the free WordPress website-making format, I will not be using Spotify links in my blog posts until further notice, unless there is no other available link to a song.

Make sure you read about my ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES (see details after the post) – all kinds of online radio announcing projects now keeping me busy!

For now, “Sanctuary” (above) by Dutch producer Howen and NYC singer/songwriter and “American Idol” contestant Robbie Rosen rules my chart for a second appearance, with no sign yet of what might succeed it.  Robbie also has the inspiring anthem led by a flute-sounding hook “To The Top” (below) moving up 25-18 for him and German producers Natixx and Lyonbrotherz.

Out to challenge in two weeks is “Never Going Home” (above), the brisk, summery dance track by French producer Kungs, which climbs 6-3.  Out to thwart it is the fun track with a fierce vocal sample called “Nonchalant” (below) by Duck Sauce, which rises 8-4.  But it’s the choice music sample that seals this one for me, a song called “Queen Of The Rapping Scene” by British new wave group Modern Romance, a favourite of mine back in 1981.

The Fastest Riser on the chart also has eyes on #1, and that’s “Microdose” by Danish producers Boye & Sigvardt with vocalist Jordan Shaw, soaring 13-5.  It beats Boye & Sigvardt’s previous peak of #6 four years ago with “Astronauts”.

The other new entries to the Top 10 are “Only One” (above) by Felix Cartal and Karen Harding, up 11-9, which is Felix’s third Top 10 and Karen’s fourth, and The Weeknd’s “Take My Breath” (below), climbing 12-10, from his forthcoming album.  You can also check out The Weeknd’s new collaboration with Swedish House Mafia called “Moth To A Flame”, also below.

Cutting through the middle of the chart is “Almost Home” by legendary trance trio Above & Beyond and their frequent vocalist Justine Suissa, who sounds as amazing live in concert as she does on record (I saw A&B five years ago in concert, and Justine was on tour with them).  “Almost Home” climbs 18-12.

The rest of the chart is in a bit of a log jam because of all of the new music that arrived within the last month.  “Turn Off My Mind” by Morgan Page and Lights makes the most of it and moves up 20-15.

One to keep your eyes and ears on in the coming weeks is the impressive and funky “Play It Cool” by UK/Irish duo Menrva and singer Island Banks, which rises 30-23.

The highest of four debuts is the second appearance on the chart by UK sensational dance music singer/songwriter Karen Harding.  She recently released her new EP Sweet Vibrations and from it comes “You & I (All I Need)”, a wonderful, happy song for our times, which bows at #27. New video coming this week!

Next up is the sinewy alternative electronic sound of Nashville-based indie singer/songwriter stef with “sicc”, which hits the chart at #28.

Then at #29 there is Manchester, England-born, Kansas-based indie singer/songwriter Tommy Newport with one of his unique songs “Bubblegum” from his new EP Liquid.

And joining the chart at #30 is “Everything”, by frequent charter Brandyn Burnette, with his collaborator Charlotte Sands (with her trademark blue hair).  “Everything” is culled from Brandyn’s new EP F.A.T.E. and is his 19th chart appearance since 2014, including features as well as one song billed under his alias EMAN8.

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! You can also follow me on Spotify at the following link: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES

Radio GTA – listen to The Big 20 from 10pm to Midnight EST as “The Musicman” James Rogers and I bring you the latest in new songs mixed with classics and songs you haven’t heard in a while.  And on Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 6pm I bring you “Your Weekend Music Mix” six hours of commercial-free music from the 2000’s including many song choices from this blog.

Halton Hills Online – “Your Weekend Music Mix” has a second home on Saturday and Sunday evenings from 8pm to Midnight! It’s a different mix from Radio GTA’s show, and like that one it is also commercial free, proudly brought to you by Symposium Cafe Restaurant & Lounge in Georgetown, Ontario!

Planet Radio Canada –  I’m featured Tuesdays between 7 and 7:30 pm with my New Music Pick of the Week on the “3D Variety Show” with “The Musicman” James Rogers, and I also join occasionally for looks at music from our past through some live segments.  

My New Music Pick of the Week also now airs on Radio GTA Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm EST, and on Halton Hills Online on Saturdays and Sundays at 10pm EST!

 

 

 

 

Canada’s @MenwithoutHats1 revive @thehipofficial’s “Blow At High Dough” as fresh rock-flavoured europop

MEN WITHOUT HATS, “Blow At High Dough”

It’s a bold move, but 80’s Quebec pop group Men Without Hats, who have been back recording and touring during the last 10 years, have a strong new offering with their apt, often reverent cover of The Tragically Hip’s 1990 rocker “Blow At High Dough”, one of my favourites from that classic Canadian band.  And “The Safety Dance” creator Ivan Doroschuk doesn’t opt for novelty either, taking cues from europop contemporaries like Depeche Mode and particularly Pet Shop Boys to transform “Blow At High Dough” into a rock-flavoured synthpop. Ivan’s striking vocal captures the late Gord Downie’s intensity, and the rock guitars and slick synths form a tasty mix.  “Blow At High Dough” appears on the 5 song EP Men Without Hats Again (Pt. 1), which also includes a rework of “The Safety Dance” called “No Friends Of Mine”, plus covers of song originally recorded by Lou Reed, The Rolling Stones, and Mott The Hoople. The EP appears in advance of what is likely to be a full album (Pt. 2) of originals.

Australia’s @Parralox is back with a sublime cover choice, The Human League’s “The Black Hit Of Space”

PARRALOX, “The Black Hit Of Space”

John von Ahlen’s Parralox project is usually unpredictable with its oft-80’s inspired originals as well as many of the sublime and sometimes daring cover choices that have been recorded over the years.  Bowing to the legacy that is The Human League, John and team have reached back to pre-Dare! Human League to record “The Black Hit Of Space”.  The original was (at the time) futuristic sounding, deliberately paced progressive electronica from the album Travelogue, and the band also included Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh, who subsequently left to form Heaven 17.  Parralox’s rendition of “The Black Hit Of Space” reimages the song as an uptempo Martin Rushent-produced slice of electropop.  The late and much revered Rushent produced numerous 80’s new wave releases including those by Pete Shelley, The Stranglers, The Associates, and even The Go Go’s Talk Show album.  The song is accompanied in the video by images that appear to have been culled from the early 70’s Canadian TV show “UFO”, which has a cult following 50+ years later.  Parralox has succeeded with “The Black Hit Of Space” by turning it inside out and putting a fresh, contemporary spin on it.

England’s @TheWanted return with pure pop confection “Rule The World”

THE WANTED, “Rule The World”

I was pleased to see that The Wanted recently reunited to release a compilation album of their biggest songs called Most Wanted: The Greatest Hits and perform some shows in England.  That album includes their new single “Rule The World”, which is an enjoyable pop confection that shouldn’t be swept under the radar, so easily done when so many big things happen every week in the music industry. “Rule The World” could easily have been a hit for Max, Tom, Nathan, Siva, and Jay back in their 2012-13 heyday, co-written by Max, as well as Lauv and others. But having a great song these days doesn’t always seem to be enough, so that’s why I promote discovery through my blog as being quite important for songs that might miss out.  While “Rule The World” has already been endeared to The Wanted’s many fans, pop music lovers in general will find the harmonies in addition to the fine songwriting to be a major treat.

“Swimming In Gold” is sparkling dance/pop from @John_Skyfield @theLaurentius and @MAYLYN_music

JOHN SKYFIELD, LAURENTIUS and MAYLEN, “Swimming In Gold”

For a dance/pop song that will light up themusic, room, you need listen no further than “Swimming In Gold”, a collaboration between Germany producer John Skyfield, Dutch producer Laurentius, and prolific Nashville-based singer/songwriter MAYLYN.  Its lilting melody and bright synths are in complete sync with its lyrics, which are a celebration about being in love.  But “Swimming In Gold”‘s pedigree proves the dynamics in the trio that created it. John Skyfield is currently on my chart as a producer with Shoby and Victor Perry on “Wish I Didn’t Miss You”. I’ve written about Laurentius before with his songs “Stay The Night” (also with Victor) and “Fucking To Forget”. MAYLYN’s big moment came not long ago with co-writing and singing “Yellow” with Martin Jensen and Giiants. It’s always fascinating to see all of this talent connect and make such an enjoyable release.

Toronto’s Cmagic5 @5cmagic returns with the heartbreak in “Dancing On My Heart”

CMAGIC5, “Dancing On My Heart”

Cmagic5 is a strong new singer/songwriter talent out of Toronto that you need to keep your ears on. Still a teenager, and also an actress and model, she’s already released an album Ready To Run, which spawned the sultry and potent “Love Me If You Can”, which had a run up my personal chart before topping out at #12, and has cumulative 10 million streams in a short period of time.  “Dancing On My Heart” starts out deceptively, like it might be a ballad for a first dance at an event, but before the end of the first minute we find out that the protagonist’s love interest is a cad who has broken her heart.  It’s like Cmagic5’s own uptempo variation of “Careless Whisper” as she references, intentionally or not, the “guilty rhythm” that the “guilty feet” in “Careless Whisper” would make. Aside from that anecdote, it’s a solid, ear-grabbing production with another memorable vocal by Cmagic5.  Footnote: “Dancing On My Heart” is co-written by Grammy Award winner Will Champlin, who was a third place finalist on “The Voice” back in Season 5.