Singer/actor @ReeveCarney’s diverse album “Youth Is Wasted” yields rhythmic and radio-ready “Truth”

REEVE CARNEY, “Truth”

While you may not know his name, you’ve almost certainly seen singer and actor Reeve Carney in recent years (his great uncle was Oscar-winner and comedian Art Carney).  I first wrote about him back in 2011 when he won the lead on Broadway as Spider-man, whose theatrical soundtrack offered the uplifting and catchy “Rise Above 1” as a single featuring Bono and The Edge from U2 (I saw the fine play when I was in NYC but Reeve didn’t perform that evening).  He’s played on and off in New York with his brother in their band Carney, and has more recently become better known as Dorian Gray in HBO’s “Penny Dreadful” and bringing a new spin to Riff Raff in the TV remake of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” last year.  But Reeve has never been away from music, having built his own studio, and his debut album Youth Is Wasted was released late last year.  It’s full of jazz-tinged, classic-rock-bred originals with a unique whimsical side – Rod Stewart meets Amy Winehouse via Paul McCartney.  My favourite song this far is an album track called “Truth”, a rhythmic, somewhat bluesy, but lyrically edgy song that shows off Reeve’s alternately soft or raspy but wide-ranging voice, reminding me a lot of Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, and it’s very radio-friendly.  Reeve is currently on tour supporting Youth Is Wasted, so get a taste of what he has to offer by checking out “Truth” at the Spotify link above.

Reeve Carney plays The Drake Hotel in Toronto on Saturday, May 27 and I will be there 🙂

Reeve Carney

Published in: on May 21, 2017 at 5:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Troubled” is shiny emotional pop/dance from @iamtheElephante featuring @iamDebsDaughter

ELEPHANTE featuring DEB’S DAUGHTER, “Troubled”

After touring the hell out of North America since last Fall, L.A.-based Elephante follows up his well-received EP I Am The Elephante with a new original, “Troubled”, featuring fellow L.A.-based singer Deb’s Daughter, who has recently collaborated with Audien as well as scoring a Billboard club play #1 with Dimitri Vegas, Like Mike and Diplo on “Hey Baby”. “Troubled” is a fine emotional song with a folk edge to it, which is ultimately carried by a shiny chorus that will make you sway away.  I like to hear different voices in dance music and Elephante is certainly bringing that to the table with many of his songs. Deb’s Daughter has an earthy Sheryl Crow meets Wynonna Judd vibe about her voice and it totally suits the song.  “Troubled” may not have as much wow-factor as last year’s “Closer” or “Plans” but it’s definitely got me intrigued to see where Elephante is headed next.  Give it a spin at the Spotify link above.

elephante4

Published in: on May 21, 2017 at 5:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A refreshing, bright house remix by @Christofimusic peppers @Transvioletband’s “Future”

TRANSVIOLET, “Future” (Christofi remix) (free DL)

It’s easy for producers and remixers to get comfortable in one genre and repeat the formula that gave them their greatest success.  Michael Christofi is certainly a producer/DJ to watch, particularly with recent remixes of songs by Elohim and Opia as well as his own originals, and walls of genre and sub-genre don’t seem to matter much to him.  Here he accentuates the vibrant but softer alt.pop of “Future” by L.A.-based quartet Transviolet, who you may have seen on tour with Mikky Ekko or LANY within the last year or so. Christofi has peppered the song with enough of a bright, bouncy house vibe that clubs should easily embrace this remix.  Fans of the song will enjoy how true Christofi has also stayed to the melody and intent of “Future” in this official remix, as well as to vocalist Sarah’s unique style.  You can also see Transviolet this month if you’re in LA as they play some local shows.  Check it out at the link above and get it for free.

Published in: on May 17, 2017 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #509 – May 15/17

For the first time since March, following “Something Just Like This” by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay, which stayed up top for 4 appearances (8 weeks) as did Brandon Skeie’s “So Bad” last summer, there is a new #1 on the BILLCS Top 30, and a few more contenders bubbling below!

The Top 10

  • My fellow Torontonians, Loud Luxury and Ryan Shepherd ascend to the top with “Something To Say”, their brilliant deep house rework of Craig David’s “Fill Me In”.  It’s the first time since another fellow Torontonian finished out 2016 at #1, that being The Weeknd with Daft Punk and “Starboy”.
  • Mahalo and Cat Lewis continue to rise in the Top 5 as the rollicking “WTFYWF” arrives at #3.
  • One of the most unique songs out there in every good sense of that word is Brandyn Burnette’s “Manifest”, and this song from his third EP Feature Films jumps 7-4.

  • Eyeing the Top 5 and the top of the chart is Alesso’s huge club hit “Falling”, which moves up 10-6.
  • The sweet soul of L.A.’s Axel Mansoor lands in the Top 10 with “Wasted My Love” climbing 12-9.

  • L.A.-based producer Spirix gets his second Top 10 hit here with “Runaway”, featuring pop/hip hop duo Xuitcasecity on vocals, to make an addictive blend of EDM, pop, soul and hip hop.  It bounds into the Top 10 soaring 17-10.

Movin’ On Up

  • Harry Styles looks to be the bona fide pop star formerly of One Direction, as “Sign Of The Times” from his new self-titled album winds its way up to the outskirts of the Top 10, rising 15-11.
  • L.A.-based singer/songwriter Eddy Faulkner is halfway up the chart with his first entry “Cruel”, a slick blend of pop and dance styles with rich production, moving 18-15.
  • Check out Steve Void’s fun new video for “West L.A.” below, as I’m hardly done yet with his previous single “Never Been Better” (above), which climbs 21-16.  The memorable, commanding uncredited vocal is by British singer Grace Tither.

  • The fastest riser on the chart has one of the quirkiest hooks around which will grow on you big time.  With its blend of soulful pop and EDM, Philadelphia duo NiGHTS vault 29-17 with “Party”.
  • NYC’s Andy Suzuki & The Method have announced upcoming tour dates in (natch) NYC, but also Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Boston, which is always a great way to feel the energy they bring to their music.  “I Need You Now (The More You Leave)” is from their second album The Glass Hour, and rises 24-19.
  • They co-produced “Break Up Every Night”, a song on The Chainsmokers’ album Memories… Do Not Open.  The trio Captain Cuts joins The ‘Smokers on the chart with “Love Like We Used To” (Young Bombs remix), climbing 27-22.

Debuts

  • 25 year old singer/songwriter/producer Charlie Puth is back with a song from his upcoming second album.  “Attention” is as infectious as it gets, with a slightly dirty and soulful rhythm to counter Charlie’s knowing vocal.  It bows at #23 and becomes Charlie’s 4th entry on the chart, the last being “We Don’t Talk Anymore” (with Selena Gomez), which peaked at #5.
  • L.A. producer/DJ Bobby Nourmand grabbed a #1 song here earlier in the year with the crazy “D E E P In NY” (featuring great verses rapped by D.O.C. and Goodmorning).  He returns with the first bright light of summer for those of us in colder climates called “D U S T”.  It’s a mini-epic for a long drive up a sandy beach on a clear night, and bows at #24 – and it’s Bobby’s gift to you as a free download 🙂
  • New to the chart are Germany’s Lars Beck and Henri Purnell with their deep house production “Silent Games” featuring Hawaiian vocalist Zekt at #26.  This mix of EDM, soul and folk styles will catch you immediately and draw you in with Zekt’s classic way of unfolding a story.  You can get “Silent Games” as a free download for a limited time.

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 🙂

“Line”, Latvia’s Eurovision entry by @TrianaPark receives a saxxy transformation by @Stan_Sax

TRIANA PARK, “Line” (Stan Sax remix) (free DL)

Germany’s Stan Sax is no stranger to these pages or my personal chart, having one of my favourite songs of the year with “Brothers” as part of duo Saxity, and adding trademark sax work to broaden the appeal of last year’s bubbly but inauspicious “Vague” by Fabian Luttenberger.  “Line” was this year’s Latvian entry for the Eurovision contest by the quartet Triana Park and regrettably this radio-friendly tune, a Top 10 hit in Latvia, didn’t move on to the upcoming finals.  But Mr. Sax has turned “Line” a bit inside-out and sideways, anchoring the song in a slower rhythm which gives it a more alt.rock vibe.  And of course there’s lots and lots of sax, and the melody and rhythm become a much more free-flowing jam session, making it quite the surprise by the end.  I often say that fine songs can receive some drastic but creative transformations and Stan Sax has a winner with “Line”, which you can download for free at the link above.

“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  
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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  
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“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  
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#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 🙂

 

That cool voice belongs to L.A.’s Axel Mansoor @iamAxelM with “Out Of My Head”

AXEL MANSOOR, “Out Of My Head” (free DL)

Right now I can’t get enough of Axel Mansoor’s pensive and knowing breakup ballad “Wasted My Love”, which currently rising in the Top 20 of the BILLCS Top 30.  Score winner #2 for Axel with another original “Out Of My Head”.  He’s got this cool, easy going voice that’s hard to dislike, especially when in harmony with himself.  But Axel also taps into a gritty soulful vibe now and then that makes me want to listen to his songs as much as I do the likes of favourites such as Brandyn Burnette.  “Out Of My Head” has an interesting alt.pop song structure, kind of gliding along gracefully on a cloud until a bit of a welcome switch up near the end.  So now we have two equally fine introductions to the natural talents of Axel Mansoor, and like “Wasted My Love”, you can get “Out Of My Head” at the link above for free.

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