#BILLCSTop30 #618, July 19/21

If you haven’t already done so, get those dancing shoes ready for the rest of the summer because there is plenty of hot dance music of all sub-genres for you to enjoy, and part of the fun is finding out about it through sources like my blog or the ONLINE RADIO AFFILIATES (see details after the post).  Once again, we have a new #1 from an artist who has been to the top before and just released a new album on Friday!!

That artist of course is Denver-based electronic producer Illenium, whose fourth album Fallen Embers dropped on Friday. While not as strong a release as Ascend, it has plenty of highlights and emotional shifts that will keep you totally engrossed.  Illenium’s recent single “Sideways”, which is now a North American dance radio hit – a bit surprising considering it’s usually harder than what dance radio normally plays – featuring Valerie Broussard’s stunning vocal and production partner Nurko.  You can also check out the album opener “Blame Myself” below, featuring an out-of-character but bang on appearance by Tori Kelly.

Trying to get a place in line for the top is the glorious “The Feels” by Cash Cash and the amazing Alex Newell, which rises 9-4. Though not a single – a strange move by the record company – it can be found on Cash Cash’s latest album Say It Like You Feel It.

Also contending for the top is “Can’t Stay Away” by Sweden’s Darin, his first English language release in about eight years. It soars 14-7.  It’s his highest peaking song since 2009’s “Girl Next Door” (#5).

I’m totally loving Greyson Chance’s quirky and infectious “Hellboy” from his album Trophies, which moves up 11-8 to become his second Top 10 on this chart following last year’s “Dancing Next To Me” (#2).

Arriving in the Top 10 for the first are social media stars Nessa Barrett and jxdn, who have two great voices that deserve attention with “La Di Die”, which climbs 13-10.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is some deep house bliss from England courtesy of Charlie Lane, Gold 88 and vocalist Kate Wild with “Give Me That” zipping up the chart 19-11.

Toronto indie pop/rock duo Crash Adams have a new personal best on the chart.  “Symphony” rises 15-12, surpassing the #13 peak of last year’s “Too Hot To Touch”.

While “Myself In You” yields the pole position to “Sideways”, “Slip Away” by French producer Kislaw and NYC singer/songwriter Victor Perry continues to build momentum, up 17-13.

“You” by Regard, Troye Sivan and Canada’s own Tate McRae is one of the more distinct songs you’ll hear on pop and dance radio, and it climbs 21-15.

The “Reprise version” of Moby’s “Natural Blues” as passionately sung by Gregory Porter and Amythyst Kiah moves up 24-17, from Moby’s recent album of retooled songs called Reprise.

New Toronto solo artist CMagic5 continues to climb with her recent “Love Me If You Can” (23-18) from her independent release Ready To Run.

And look who gets the Highest Debut – Ed Sheeran!! I’m highlighting this because it’s the first time he’s appeared on my chart and “Bad Habits” is one helluva way to do that, bowing at an exceptional #20.  It’s definitely one of the songs of Summer ’21. He’ll continue with the mathematically-titled albums with The Quadratic Formula, coming soon.

Premiering at #28 is one fun song that doesn’t let up, thanks to its party vibe and multi-lingual versus (sung in Portuguese, French, and African language Bambara (check out the cool video above, which just dropped today).  It’s “Mon Cheri” by US dance music mainstays and Grammy nominees Sofi Tukker in collaboration with fellow Grammy-nominated Mali duo Amadou & Mariam.  It’s culled from the new Red, Hot + Free album, which has proceeds going to three LGBTQ2S+ charities: The Trevor Project – http://www.thetrevorproject.org The Ally Coalition – https://theallycoalition.org; and SAGE – https://www.sageusa.org. “Mon Cheri” is Sofi Tukker’s first chart appearance since their 2018 #1 with Benny Benassi “Everybody Needs A Kiss” and fourth overall.

The third debut at #30 is “Back To You” by Chicago electronic dance producer Aash Mehta with fellow producer Charlotte’s ephem, a terrific house track for summer that’s guaranteed to make you dance.  Regular blog readers know I’ve been writing about Aash’s music for about five years and it’s his first appearance on the chart. 

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 🙂

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 – currently on hiatus but returning in August, listen to the “3D Variety Show” with “The Musicman” James Rogers. I’m featured every Tuesday between 7 and 7:30 pm with my New Music Pick of the Week, and I also join occasionally for looks at music from our past as well as the occasional live segment.

 

Chicago’s @AashMehtamusic will light up the dance floor with “Back To You” with fellow producer and newcomer ephem

AASH MEHTA and ephem, “Back To You”

Aash Mehta is a familiar name to readers of this blog who have enjoyed his ethereal, romantic and reflective electronic pop and dance tracks over the last five years.  Breaking out of that mold for now, Aash returns with a fun, bass-laden house track called “Back To You”, which introduces fellow producer, Charlotte, N.C.’s ephem (aka Nilay Ghatlia) to the scene.  With its punchy rhythm, echo-ey vocal call backs, and a solid uncredited female vocal, “Back To You” is an engaging surprise, the kind of song that’s placed in a set midway through the evening deliberately to keep dancers on the floor.  The strong results in “Back To You” signal that this collaboration between Aash and ephem is worth repeating.

Published in: on July 4, 2021 at 9:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Chicago’s @AashMehtamusic taps into his Indian influences for deeply personal “Ma” featuring @iamSonez

AASH MEHTA and SONEZ, “Ma”

It’s a bit off the beaten path even for the producer himself, but Chicago’s Aash Mehta is back with a personal but progressive ode with “Ma”.  The song incorporates musical elements from his Indian heritage, as well as being bilingual with both English and Hindi verses.  Most of the song is recorded at a deliberate pace with focus on a vocal by Sonez that’s subtle and strong in all the right places.  At 4:45 it is a little long but is punctuated by two solid buildups, one which really serves as the climactic moment in the song in its last 1:30 or so.  It may take a few listens but you can appreciate the unique touches by Aash and the multi-cultural moments all the more.  “Ma” is a beautiful, relatable love-letter and reinforces the need for artists to take time to make their songs personal when they can.

Published in: on May 9, 2021 at 2:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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There’s a new dynamite duo in town: @AashMehtamusic and Victor Perry @wallflowerperry pair up for the gentle electronic ballad “Weightless”

AASH MEHTA and VICTOR PERRY, “Weightless”

Well this was an unexpected delight! I’ve been writing about the music of both Chicago-based producer Aash Mehta and NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry each for almost five years.  Little did I know that they were collaborating on new music, and “Weightless” is the first result.  Completely in harmony with each of their styles, “Weightless” is a gentle but progressive electronic ballad that looks on the positive side of heartbreak for fresh starts.  The singular piano riffs at the start leave you to believe you might be in store for something a little more acoustic, but the uplifting synths and beats kick in to underscore the importance of not being afraid of the unknown.  Victor’s softer tones are in beautiful understated storytelling mode, and you will be able to easily visualize hearing “Weightless” amid lights and lasers once concert-going resumes.

Published in: on January 17, 2021 at 11:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Dear Music” is a unique ode to song from Chicago’s @AashMehtamusic and vocalist Capelle

AASH MEHTA and CAPELLE, “Dear Music”

I tend to write a lot about uptempo, upbeat music, but every now and again an intriguing slower song creeps into my mix.  “Dear Music” is a beautiful electronic ode to song, personified like being in a relationship, courtesy of the much-respected producer from Chicago, Aash Mehta, about whose music I’ve written numerous times.  The vocalist Capelle has sang on other songs by Aash in the past, and her rich tones embody one side of the relationship as she wistfully sings “where do you go when the music’s gone?”.  “Dear Music” is a fine song for slow dancing by a small fire on a beach as the sun sets – *big deep sigh* – and it’s hard not to enjoy.

Published in: on July 31, 2020 at 9:36 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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Smooth electronic rhythms enhance the inviting stories of “Discover Infinity” by @AashMehtamusic

Aash Mehta

AASH MEHTA, Discover Infinity

What does ‘infinity’ mean to you?  Chicago-based producer Aash Mehta may help you out with that question with the songs in his new album Discover Infinity, which is a follow up full release to last year’s EP Stardust. 

Like its predecessor, Discover Infinity focuses on the softer side of electronica that is full of bigger, special moments.  The stories of love, romance and friendship are earnest and appealing to anyone.  There is a fine in-house repertory company of male and female vocals within that offer different perspectives in their songs. 

To me if you like the stories offered by folks like Above & Beyond and the Alan Parsons Project but enjoy the ear-catching quieter melodies of others like Chet Porter and San Holo, then the music of Aash Mehta is for you.  Aash anchors the album with a couple of preceding singles that I wrote about, “Infinite Summers” featuring Lydia Kelly, and “Say Goodnight” featuring the duo of Capelle and Gavin Garris.  Lydia and Capelle appear again in other strong songs “Silver Linings” and “Edge Of What We Know” respectively, and the album is punctuated, like a good, progressive electronica album should be, by a few interesting instrumental interludes. 

With each release, Aash’s songs and music grow stronger, and I think the adventurous choice on the album is “The Call”, featuring singer Andy Sandrick, which has an ages-old, folky flavour to it which meshes well into the electronic genre.  “Running With The Bulls” is a dramatic, eventful instrumental that provides the album’s climax, so to speak.  The album finishes with its most thoughtful song, “Equal”, featuring male vocalist Rence, which is your impetus to do something about discovering your own ‘infinity’.

Head over to Aash’s Facebook page where he fills you in on the backstory of each song in Discover Infinity.  The album is terrific food for thought with silky melodies that you can dance and sway to, and stories that everyone can embrace.  Give a solid listen at the Spotify link below.

Aash Mehta opens up for Elephante on his Glass Mansion tour in Chicago on October 20 at The Bottom Lounge.

 

Published in: on October 4, 2018 at 7:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sad songs say so much: “Going Numb” by @AashMehtamusic and @BriTolani

AASH MEHTA and BRI TOLANI, “Going Numb”

It’s always a pleasure to listen to the softer, romantic side of electronic dance pop with music by Chicago-based producer Aash Mehta.  He returns with the familiar voice of Bri Tolani as collaborator with “Going Numb”.  Bri was of course featured in Aash’s Stardust EP last year on “In Your Eyes” but her voice is well known in dance pop.  With dance or electronic pop music, there aren’t many outright sad songs, usually in favour of uplifting, post-relationship tunes.  Well life doesn’t always work that way and “Going Numb” tells a realistic and heartfelt story about those feelings right after a breakup, nicely conveyed by Bri amid Aash’s usual lush but gentle synths.  “Going Numb” is solid electronic pop for your mind and heart. 

Published in: on April 14, 2018 at 1:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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With “No Secrets”, Chicago-based producer @AashMehtamusic channels singer/songwriter @AlexaLusader’s emotional story

AASH MEHTA featuring ALEXA LUSADER, “No Secrets”

Following his lush, often romantic electronic pop EP Stardust, Chicago-based producer Aash Mehta returns with “No Secrets” featuring L.A. singer/songwriter Alexa Lusader.  It’s a special release because it chronicles Alexa’s own experience harbouring a constraining secret for many years.  Working through it all, the song allows her to “inspire others to speak up, free themselves, and live life” the way it should be.  It’s less about the music and a lot about the solid vocal and well-thought lyrics.  Similar to his way to tap into a romantic ballad, in “No Secrets” Aash channels the story through his graceful production.  Listen closely to “No Secrets” at the link above. 

Published in: on November 18, 2017 at 10:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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One last dance on the beach makes “Infinite Summers” by @AashMehtamusic featuring @Lydia__Kelly_

AASH MEHTA featuring LYDIA KELLY, “Infinite Summers”

Following up his lush and romantic EP Stardust, should we expect anything less than a song about “Infinite Summers” from Chicago-based producer/DJ Aash Mehta?  Working once again with Lydia Kelly (you’ll remember last year’s “FriendZone”), “Infinite Summers” is one of those songs for a last dance on the beach at the end of summer, knowing that those kinds of moments will always be in our thoughts if not in real time.  So there’s a mix of emotions as a result, happy but forlorn, and even the synthesized horn sounds have a warm appeal about them.  So give the summer another whirl for now and forever, and check out “Infinite Summers” above while you’re at it 🙂

Published in: on September 4, 2017 at 7:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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