#BILLCSTop30 #557 – March 18/19

The lack of blog posts hardly means I’ve stopped listening to new tunes, and in particular the 30 songs in my chart 🙂  The blog posts will come, but in the meantime it’s a mainly feel-good kind of chart with two new entries.

For a third appearance at #1 (6 weeks), it’s “Closure” by Dutch producer Steve Void with vocalist Andy Marsh and its outstanding and memorable video. 

Challenging next week will be current #2 “i’m so tired…” by Lauv and Troye Sivan, which is finding its greatest favour in the UK where it’s headed for the Top 10 this week.  

And #3 is also in contention is “Don’t Think Twice” by Netherlands-based Emirati production duo Revelries and US producer Sam Smyers with US-based Dutch vocalist Oktavian.  Revelries has yet another release later this week with Henri Purnell and Cookin On 3 Burners called “Force Of Nature”, so watch for it!

Sweeping into the Top 5 as the Fastest Riser on the chart twice in a row is the celebrated collaboration of Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Armin van Buuren and W&W with the insanely catchy “Repeat After Me”.  What a crowd pleaser 🙂

Stephen Puth joins brother Charlie in obtaining a Top 5 hit on my chart with “Sexual Vibe” climbing 7-5.  I’m predicting big things for Stephen too!

Australia’s Sam Bluer moves up 9-7 with “Bite My Tongue”.  I really think a collaboration with Troye Sivan is in order, don’t you?

The other newcomer to the Top 10 is by Nashville’s Mokita.  “London” (above) is a gorgeous miss-you song with one of the warmest lyrical hooks I’ve hard in ages.  Mokita has a new one that I’ll preview here until its proper blog post.  It’s called “Kiss And Tell” (below).

“Love” by Simon Curtis advances 17-12 and is eyeing the Top 10 – no strange place for this week’s birthday boy Simon, it’s just missed him for the last three years since the reboots of “8bit Heart” (#1) and “Super Psycho Love” (#3) 😀

Also moving upward is Parralox’s latest “Paradise”, a redux of a single from a few years back with a new vocal by Marcella Detroit and a heavenly house remix by Eric Kupper.  It climbs 16-13.  Parralox was last in the Top 10 in 2015 with #4 “Aeronaut”.

The biggest mover of the last chart’s new entries belongs to the deep house of Mahalo’s “Go Ahead”, featuring an infectious chorus and a potent vocal by MŌZ.  It rises 26-20. Go ahead, take that risk!!

New entry #1 is a bit of a surprise – “Sucker” by The Jonas Brothers at #25.  The Jonasei, as I like to call them 😛 , previously charted in 2008 with “S.O.S.” (#15), but Joe has charted solo and with DNCE, and Nick’s “Chains” also made its presence known in the interim.  But “Sucker” is simply a very good pop song, with all the right chops, and is highly deserving of its success.

New entry #2 at #29 is the out-and-out inspiring disco of “Let’s Go Dancing” by UK producers Horse Meat Disco featuring the enthusiastic vocal of US singer Amy Douglas.  This one’s nothing fancy and with one aim – to make you dance your ass off.  It shall succeed 🙂

The chart will return in two weeks after my visit to Miami Music Week!!

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 🙂

 

 

 

 

“I Saw The Devil” is soulful alt.pop from Toronto by Carlaw with vocalists @JamesCollins1 and Stephanie Bleakley

CARLAW and JAMES COLLINS & STEPHANIE BLEAKLEY, “I Saw The Devil”

“I Saw The Devil” is a nifty slice of soulful alt.pop that showcases a number of Toronto performers.  I’ve written about singer/songwriter/actor James Collins a number of times, and his vocal here is smooth and restrained, in contrast to Stephanie Bleakley’s dynamic wallop which recalls other Canadian women like Dalbello or Simone Denny. 

And what of lead artist Carlaw?  Well I may be wrong, but I think it’s likely a pseudonym or new name for those talented guys The Boomtang Boys, who’ve had many Canadian hits of their own from the 90’s through to the 2000’s such as “Squeeze Toy”.  They co-wrote “I Saw The Devil” with James, and someone else also gets a songwriting credit – now’s the time for the interesting back story!  That someone is Canadian actor Jason Priestley, currently in “Private Eyes” but most noted of course for “Beverly Hills 90210”. 

As James tells me, “”I saw the devil… I embraced him, but I pushed him away” was a direct quote Jason had commented to his wife and sister when he came out of a coma, after his tragic car racing accident.  Jason also gave me his blessing in having a song written around that quote… a quote written in his memoir.”

So let that quote be your guide, along with the multitude of talent behind “I Saw The Devil”.

Toronto’s @GoldComplexband returns with the R&B/jazz/pop fusion of their album New Soul featuring “Meant To Dance”

GOLD COMPLEX, “Meant To Dance”

It’s been a while since we heard from Toronto’s Gold Complex, an eight member R&B/jazz/pop collective that released its first EP a few years back.  Since that time, I’ve also written about their lead singer Will Bowes and his solo work.  Gold Complex’s album New Soul – which includes “Backbone” from their EP – is everything that you could like about a fast-paced, effortless record that straddles many genres.  Will can be a powerhouse singer given the song, and we’ve heard his softer but potent solo songs too.  And the band is incredibly tight – these musicians have each other’s backs, hard enough to do with eight personnel.  But if there’s a song to focus on here, to me it’s the lively, diverse “Meant To Dance”, one of the more pop-oriented songs on the album but it’s incredibly radio friendly.  It’s got a delicious pause around the minute mark which can make or break a song, but it shifts wisely into high gear right after, and then unleashes Will’s fierce voice.  The rest is a delightful mix that has a lot of 70’s flavour.  And a dance remix could open up “Meant To Dance” to clubs too.

I was fortunate to see Gold Complex in concert for one of their sets in Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday, March 9.  They are better live than on record, and this is where Will’s wide vocal range has the opportunity to flourish.  I hope to see them again, perhaps in a more intimate setting, either indoor or outdoor, for full effect!

Published in: on March 13, 2019 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

#BILLCSTop30 #556 March 4/19

The new chart is ready to roar with all of the songs charging up the chart, especially those breaking through and into a very busy Top 10.  And just to add fuel to it all, four more songs debut to challenge in the coming weeks.  Over 2,200 songs have appeared in the BILLCS Top 30 since its inception in 1998!!

But it’s “Closure” by Steve Void and Andy Marsh that secures #1 for a second appearance.  It’s a hard song to get out of your head, matched by a memorable, heartfelt video.  “Closure” is release #100 for Steve’s Strange Fruits label and he reported that it’s already received over 4 million plays.  Well-deserved – a very special song indeed.

Racing up 6-2 is the incredibly likable “i’m so tired…” (above) by new best buds Lauv and Troye Sivan.  We’ll have to see in two weeks if “Closure” stays put again, but for now you can check out the MNEK remix for “i’m so tired…” below!

Moving up impressively to #3 is “Don’t Think Twice” by Revelries and Sam Smyers featuring singer Oktavian.  It’s also a strong contender for the top so we’ll have to see if there’s room for it eventually.  “Twice” is Revelries second Top 10 here following last year’s “Infinitum” and it’s also Oktavian’s too – he was featured on The Him’s #2 “Balance” from 2016.

I love finding singers with fantastic voices and great potential.  Such is the case for NYC-based singer/songwriter Ryan Gibeau with “Flying Away” from his fine indie album Quiet Fall.  It climbs 9-6.

“Sexual Vibe” (above) by Stephen Puth is such an ear-charmer, and it rises 12-7.  Puth the Younger already has a new song and video out called “Half Gone” – check it out below.

The Him’s “Look At Us Now” (above) moves up 10-8.  The prolific duo – recently added to the Miami Music Week Spinnin’ Hotel gig roster – offers up another new tune “Tell Your Friends”, featuring Loote, below.

Young Australian Sam Bluer gets his first Top 10 entry with “Bite My Tongue”, a great companion to Troye Sivan’s “My My My!”, and moves up 11-9.

San Holo fan favourite “lift me from the ground”, featuring Sofie Winterson, breaks out of the middle of the chart and climbs 15-10.

The fastest riser on the chart is a must for upcoming festivals and when you have star power such as Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Armin van Buuren, and W&W creating the song, then how can it be anything but?  “Repeat After Me” charges up the chart 19-13.

“Love” is Simon Curtis’ gorgeous first song to appear on the chart since reduxes of earlier songs “8bit Heart” and “Super Psycho Love” rebooted in 2016. The more sophisticated “Love” is off to a good start, up 22-17.

Right behind is “London” by Nashville’s Mokita, who is also up at #15 with R3HAB for “All Into Nothing”.  This heart-fluttering love song climbs 24-18.

And the fun “Take It Off” by L.A. duo Two Friends rises 27-21 as the guys wind down their “With My Homies” tour.

Leading the debuts is French production team KRONO with the soulful “Perfect Strangers” for Tipsy Records at #25 featuring a winning vocal by PIOTR.

L.A.-based producer Mahalo has his second concurrent chart entry with the catchy future bass of “Go Ahead” featuring vocalist MŌZ.  It arrives at #26, as Mahalo’s other charted release “In My Arms” slips from 2-4.

I love me some danceable alt.pop/rock and Italy’s Mark Mendy delivers it with “Black Gasoline” at #26.  It features Australia’s Beamish Brothers on vocals; they charted late last year with Revelries on the previously mentioned “Infinitum” (#10).

The fourth debut at #27 is “Chemistry or Chemicals” by Matt Beilis, a busy singer/songwriter from NYC who occasionally appears on dance music releases.  This is his first solo appearance; he previously charted with Electric Bodega with “Rest Of My Life” (#4) in 2016.

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 🙂

 

“Black Gasoline” is driving alt.pop/rock from Italian producer @MarkMendy with Australia’s #TheBeamishBrothers

MARK MENDY and THE BEAMISH BROTHERS, “Black Gasoline”

“Black Gasoline” has a driving, infectious groove that can’t miss.  It’s an unexpected slice of alt.pop/rock marking the return of Italian producer Mark Mendy that also launches a musical direction change for Australia’s The Beamish Brothers (Ben and Jeremy), who have been go-to voices on many a dance record these past few years.  “Black Gasoline” has crisp rock edges that carry a flow that doesn’t let up.  The Beamishes’ voices fit like tight gloves in this setting, sometimes exuding pop vibes you’d find in songs by Shawn Mendes and Years & Years.  So slice and dice it into whatever category or genre you want.  However you like it “Black Gasoline” aims to please and hits the wide-appeal mark with ease.

Published in: on February 22, 2019 at 11:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

#BILLCSTop30 #555 – February 18, 2019

There has to be luck in triple numbers, right?  So edition 555 is upon us with the chart in its 21st year online.  5 new songs invade the chart, and the Top 10 is all shaken up to the point of crowning a new #1 song.

A beautiful video for the new #1 song was released last week and it belongs to “Closure” by Dutch producer Steve Void with singer Andy Marsh.  Although Steve has been to the Top 10 3 times before, it’s his first #1.  The video is all about four young people who all don’t seem to fit in, but find happiness being together.  It doesn’t really have much to do with the theme of the song, but it doesn’t have to.  Well done!

Mahalo and Le:Blanc move up to #2 with a 2:25 dazzler called “In My Arms” (above).  LA-based Mahalo also has a new single that’s totally different in the deep house vein from “In My Arms” called “Go Ahead” featuring MŌZ, below.

“Play” by Jonas Blue and Years & Years (above) advanced 6 to 3.  Among a number of songs to drop on Valentine’s Day was Years & Years’ “Valentino” featuring UK vocalist MNEK (below).

“Don’t Think Twice” is the latest from Netherlands-based Emirati duo Revelries with fellow producer Sam Smyers and vocalist Oktavian.  It climbs 10-4 with eyes on #1 but some competition all around so we’ll see what ultimately gets there when it’s time!

Another song to watch closely on the chart is “I’m So Tired…” by Lauv and Troye Sivan which is the fastest riser soaring 22-6.  The pairing between the two singers was so unexpected but so spot on!

Also new to the Top 10 this week are NYC-based singer/songwriter Ryan Gibeau with “Flying Away” (12-9, above) and its retro pop ballad appeal, and The Him’s propulsive “Look At Us Now” (below), bound to be a festival fave soon, as it climbs 13-10.  It’s the Dutch duo’s 6th time in the Top 10.

Also keep your eyes on “Lift Me From The Ground” by San Holo featuring Sofie Winterson from San’s album1, which moves up 23-15.  The bigger the speakers, the better the song sounds!

Another song to be played loud at festivals is in the mandatory participation needed in “Repeat After Me” by Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Armin van Buuren and W&W.  It jumps up the chart quickly 25-19.

UK producer Maff Boothroyd has some slick classic house for clubs with “Take Me Away” (above) moving up 27-21.  Also new from Maff is “Miss You”, below.

“Love” by Simon Curtis is the L.A.-based singer/songwriter’s first new music in 6 years.  It’s Simon’s 16th chart entry, including 3 songs on which he was featured, since “Delusional” arrived on the chart just over 10 years ago.  Check out the lyric video for “Love”, above.

Next up at #24 is the second chart entry for Nashville singer Mokita with “London”.  He’s already up at #17 with R3HAB on “All Into Nothing”.  Like that song “London” is also a ballad, but more in the indie singer/songwriter style, and it has lyrics that will just make you melt.

At #25 is the 11th chart appearance for Sam Smith since 2014 with “Dancing With A Stranger” featuring US singer Normani.  It’s a great song that mashes up perfectly with Majid Jordan & Drake’s “Hold On, I’m Coming Home”!  It’s Sam’s first entry since songs from his fine second album The Thrill Of It All.

Dutch producer John Christian has a #26 debut with “Let’s Get This Thing Started”, a fun mix of deep house and booming big room sounds.  It also uses the music from the 70’s hit “Popcorn” by Hot Butter as a hook.  Listen for it!

The fifth debut belongs to L.A. producers Two Friends with the fun tease of “Take It Off” at #27.  It follows last year’s “Just A Kid” which peaked at #13 and itself followed numerous remixes which also charted.  About “Take It Off”, the guys say “this song is about being with someone who’s super guarded & all you wanna do is scream TRUST ME! but they still have trouble letting you in.”

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 🙂

Nashville duo #ApolloLTD’s “Heaven (All Around You)” is a delightful piano-driven ballad

APOLLO LTD, “Heaven (All Around You)”

A well-known singer/songwriter posted this past week wondering what songs kids would slow dance to these days.  Look no further than Nashville duo Apollo LTD’s “Heaven (All Around You)”.  It’s a gracious but still edgy ballad, with Jordan Phillips’ passionate vocal letting loose, rasp and all, near the end, and Adam Stark working all kinds of magic on the keys.  The lyrics will speak easily to many who enjoy the music of All-American Rejects, All Time Low, or Simple Plan, and there is definitely retro 80s/90s appeal to “Heaven (All Around You)”.  Watch the nicely shot video above for full effect.

Published in: on February 18, 2019 at 5:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

“Yellow Brick Road” is electro-soulful from @weareFannypack and singer @SeannBowe

FANNYPACK and SEANN BOWE, “Yellow Brick Road”

Making it three solid singles in a row are Dutch producers Fannypack with “Yellow Brick Road”.  And this one’s quite different from the others (“Simple” and “Just A Bitch”), tapping into electronic sounds and altered vocals that one might find in contemporary R&B or Hip Hop, which may help introduce Fannypack’s music to fans of those genres. L.A.-based Seann Bowe is the vocalist, and he was also nominated for a Grammy this year as a co-writer of “Happy Hour” by Weezer, which makes him an interesting choice for an electronic release.  “Yellow Brick Road” has an extremely strong first minute which aptly connects the theme and the soul-searching distorted vocal, and then the melodic hook arrives to only make you want to hear more.

Published in: on February 15, 2019 at 11:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Watch out for new UK singer/songwriter @NatalieShay with “Yesterday”

NATALIE SHAY, “Yesterday”

After winning a slew of recent awards in her native London, which led to a story in Billboard last month, Natalie Shay is more than ready to shine in the worldwide spotlight that a solid song like “Yesterday” might bring for her.  Co-written and recorded with Jonathan Vears, who has worked with the likes of Imagine Dragons, “Yesterday” is richly layered, punchy pop/rock that recounts a relationship that was never meant to be.  Natalie’s style often recalls artists like Alanis Morissette, or perhaps even her own namesake, Natalie Imbruglia – one that will rock right out but still capture a beautifully trained voice with expressive qualities.  “Yesterday” is a worthy introduction to a new talent that we will hear more of throughout the year.

Published in: on February 9, 2019 at 11:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

#BILLCSTop30 #554 – February 4/19

Some new songs make inroads deeper into the chart and there are four debuts.

But it’s once again A-Trak and Todd Terry who dominate the list for a 4th appearance (8 weeks) with “DJ’s Gotta Dance More”.

But “DJ’s Gotta Dance More” (above) should give way next week to the fantastic song that soars 10-2, which is “Closure” by Dutch producer and record label honcho Steve Void.    The original version is above and the new acoustic version is below in its video featuring singer Andy Marsh.

The disco-tastic “Mister Love” by Luxembourg’s White Chocolate (above)advances 8-5, while the pairing of Jax Jones and Years & Years is a winner with “Play” (below) moving up 9-6.

New to the Top 10 are the *rock and roll* of “Siren” by The Chainsmokers (above) – who have more new music coming this week with 5 Seconds Of Summer called “Who Do You Love” – featuring Aazar, rising 14-9, and the fastest riser on the chart from Netherlands-based Emirati duo Revelries in partnership with Sam Smyers and vocalist Oktavian for “Don’t Think Twice” (below), moving 20-10.  The Revelries lads also have new music coming out this week called “Handle” featuring MFLR.  

“Shooting Star” (above) by NYC singer/songwriter/producer Anna Yvette reaches a new peak of #11, while Sam Bluer’s “Bite My Tongue” (19-14) and “Sexual Vibe” (21-15) by Charlie Puth’s younger brother Stephen (both below) are both eyeing the Top 10.

Indie songstress Molly Moore jumps into the Top 20 for the 5th time with “Be Here Now” (22-17, above), while hot newcomer and Milwaukee native of Albanian heritage Amanda Koçi, better known as Ava Max, rises 25-18 with former UK #1 “Sweet But Psycho” (below).

Dance master R3HAB takes it slow and romantic with “All Into Nothing” (26-19, above) featuring Nashville vocalist Mokita.  Once known as Marcy Levy, the incomparable Marcella Detroit graces “Paradise” by Parralox (Eric Kupper remix, below) with her vocals and in its video.

The highest debut on the chart at #22 is one of the most delightful collaborations of 2019 so far.  Who woulda thunk that the music of Lauv and Troye Sivan would be so darned harmonious with “I’m So Tired…”.  It’s Lauv’s 2nd chart entry, following “I Like Me Better” (#3), and Troye’s 7th.  By Spring, this song should be everywhere.

I didn’t care much for the next song until its drawing power convinced me at a concert in November.  I’m talking about San Holo’s “Lift Me From The Ground”, featuring Sofie Winterson on vocals, from San’s acclaimed Album1.  The crowd reaction to “Lift Me” in NYC in November was almost overwhelming, a really defining moment for San Holo with his rock star live show.  “Life Me” arrives at #23.  It’s San Holo’s third chart entry following “Light” (#4) and “Brighter Days” (#12, now #28).

2019 has kicked off with some fun music, and one anthem that should by all rights be played at every festival is “Repeat After Me”.  It premieres at #25 and is by the all stars that are Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Armin van Buuren and W&W.  It’s the first time on the chart for Dimitri, Mike and W&W, but it’s the 5th for Armada Music founder Armin.  He first charted in 2003 with a #1 “Just Another Day” (featuring Ray Wilson) and got another #1 in 2008 with “Going Wrong” (featuring Chris Jones).  Welcome back Armin for the first time since 2013’s “This Is What It Feels Like” (featuring Trevor Guthrie, #6).

The final debut belongs to UK producer Maff Boothroyd with the retro-flavoured deep house of “Take Me Away” at #27. It’s also the second entry for the Strange Fruits label, also at #2 with label owner Steve Void’s “Closure”.

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 🙂