#BILLCSTop30 #593 – August 3/20

While 2020 may now be more than half over (and some would say thank you for that), it has been chock full of great music.  Right now, my Top 5 on this new chart would seem to be untouchable for the next several weeks, though a couple of up-and-comers may change that.  

I’ve often been asked why I don’t increase my chart to a Top 40 or a Top 50.  You’re more than welcome to weigh in on this, but the BILLCS Top 30 is a chart of my current favourite songs, and that’s all there is to it.  There’s no science to it at all.  However the chart has been online for 22 years, so it is at least known in some music circles.  If it’s meaningful for a new performer to be on someone’s chart at #40 then I can understand the interest.  But it’s probably more meaningful if I’ve written about that song than if it appears on my chart.  This blog is going into its 11th year online – over 2,400 posts about all kinds of pop music form its library!

So while Lady Gaga & Araina Grande’s “Rain On Me” (above) gets a 3rd appearance (6th week) at #1, and “Never Let Me Down” by VIZE and Tom Gregory (also above) holds at #2, I’ll throw this chart’s upper spotlight on Jessie Ware.  Her sophisticated disco/dance album What’s Your Pleasure is one of my faves of the year.  “Save A Kiss” (below) remains at #3, but the title track is now also a single so check it out, also below.

NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry has one slew of new music still to come this year.  His stunning and heartfelt ballad “What I Deserve” (above, from the excellent EP Rewind), climbs to #4 and is his biggest solo song to date on my chart.  Victor has recently worked with two young Swedish producers, B3NTE and Behmer, to create a tantalizing cover of Modern Talking’s massive 80’s European hit “You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul”.  My only complaint is that it’s sooo short at only 2:19, but that’s nothing that a good extended remix can’t remedy.  Take a listen to this excellent cover choice, below.

I adore the overall theme of Greyson Chance’s “Dancing Next To Me”, which soars 11-5. It’s one of those songs that sits in your gut and gets stuck in your head for a long time.

Francesco Yates’ “Bad Decisions” (up 14-7, from his EP Superbad) becomes the Canadian singer’s second Top 10 on this chart, following his first hit “Better To Be Loved”, which reached #6 5 summers ago.  Check out the top drawer song “Queen Street Blues”, also from the EP, below.

The third new entry in the Top 10 is also the Fastest Riser on the chart, which is holding at #1 in the UK for a second week.  When dance music is large and in charge you have songs like “Rain On Me” and “Head & Heart” by Joel Corry & MNEK leading the way.  “Head & Heart” flies up the chart 21-10.

Trivecta and Fagin’s electronic anthem “Leave It All Behind” cuts through the middle of the chart and moves up 19-14.

In addition to their current banger “Tragic” (featuring Amber Van Day, up 17-15), Dutch producers The Him mix it up with Yall, Royale Avenue and Jay Nebula in their new anthemic single “Believe”, below.

The remaining debuts from the last chart are stuck behind a lot of great songs and are unable to make bigger moves.  Check out the fun video for The Prince Karma’s “Superstar” (22-19), above.  You’ll see a snazzier video for “Naked” (26-21, below) which makes Jonas Blue and MAX look fabulous.  and “Carry Me” (also below) by Canadian producer Dezza and starring veteran session vocalist Mike Schmid is definitely in it for the long run, rising 27-23.

I didn’t latch on to his biggest hit, the Grammy-nominated “Losing It”, until long after it had peaked.  But I’ve been loving Aussie producer Fisher’s strut-worthy “Wanna Go Dancin'” since it came out as ‘the flip’ of his single “Freaks” a while back.  “Wanna Go Dancin'” bows on the chart at #25.  Did you all know that Paul Fisher was once one half of the well-respected production duo Cut Snake??

The masters are back!  The Swiss duo Yello (Dieter Meier and Boris Blank) produced some of the most off-kilter, wacked out, fun dance music of the 80’s.  They are most noted for “Oh Yeah”, the song that was prominently featured in the classic “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, and became a hit a few years after its initial release.  But their other songs are innovative and unique:  “Bostich”, “I Love You”, “Lost Again”, “The Race”, and “Goldrush I” among others.  They have a new album coming soon called Point, their first release in almost three years.  Check out their wizardry in the electronic nonsense called “Waba Duba” above.  Whatever it may be about, it arrives on the chart at #27.  It’s their first entry on my chart, though if I had one before 1998 they would have appeared many, many times.

UK singer/songwriter Jazz Mino returns to the chart at #28 with her thought-provoking lyrical pop with “Like A Drunk Girl”.  She first charted two summers ago with “Misunderstand”, which reached #15.  Yesterday I wrote about her new single “New Girlfriend”.

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 2020 🙂  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!! 

 

 

 

 

UK whiz kid @AlfieTempleman knows his way around a catchy pop song with “Happiness In Liquid Form”

 

ALFIE TEMPLEMAN, “Happiness In Liquid Form”

I first encountered music by UK singer/songwriter Alfie Templeman in a department store earlier this year, where I heard “Circles”, and was taken by such a clean burst of danceable power-pop.  He continues with his catchy EP which includes the quirky title song “Happiness In Liquid Form”.  It’s amazing what can be done as an indie bedroom producer these days, and “Happiness” is as infectious as they come.  There’s a bit of 80’s UK retro appeal in the song, reminiscent sometimes of styles from the new wave tunes by the likes of Kajagoogoo or Altered Images.  Whether or not, at only 17 years old, the multi-instrumentalist has any connection to that era of music remains to be seen, though I never put anything past artists for what might inspire them.  And to think from his bio that being a vocalist never was really first and foremost – his bright, uncharacteristic tones are a big highlight of his songs for me.  You’ll be hearing a lot more of Alfie Templeman as his music continues to evolve. So far, over 10 million Spotify streams can’t be wrong.

US electronic production duo @itsCrystalSkies follows up last year’s EP “Constellations” with vocals by @hernameisLuma in touching new single “Lullaby”

CRYSTAL SKIES and LUMA, “Lullaby”

Crystal Skies continues to find a successful, pleasing balance of big synths, drops and melody in their new single “Lullaby”, which once again features the co-writing and vocal talents of the Nashville-based Luma.  It’s a gorgeous, affecting song, awash in lots of synths that you probably won’t be able to wait to hear on big speakers with lasers flashing at a concert venue once they resume safely.  In the meantime, crank up those stereo speakers to obtain the maximum effect of Luma’s soaring voice.  “Lullaby” will not disappoint, even if it isn’t as hard core heavy dubstep as some of Crystal Skies’ previous songs.  As a big bonus, all proceeds for purchase of the song go to the NAACP legal defense fund and Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB).

Published in: on August 3, 2020 at 3:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

In “New Girlfriend” is better to be the bigger person, according to UK singer/songwriter @JazzMino

JAZZ MINO, “New Girlfriend”

While I’m still immensely enjoying her last single, “Like A Drunk Girl”, British singer/songwriter Jazz Mino has followed it up quickly with “New Girlfriend”.  Always stepping outside the situation to take an objective observer stance, Jazz Mino writes and sings about how to be the bigger person when a relation ends.  So instead of creating gossip and a toxic environment, don’t divulge a lot of crap to the new person in your ex’s life.  There’s certainly nothing wrong with thinking about what you might like to do (and there are plenty of songs about that!), but you’ll only serve yourself better to separate yourself from the situation.  There’s no doubt that love and relationships can be an emotional battleground.  Jazz Mino puts forward friendly but direct ideas along with a great vocal and well-balanced production. That all makes “New Girlfriend” well worth adding on your playlist next to those new songs by Taylor Swift and Ellie Goulding.

Published in: on August 2, 2020 at 2:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

When things fall apart, rising Buffalo NY singer/songwriter @Hvnnibvl wants you to know “Who’s Gotcha”

HVNNIBVL, “Who’s Gotcha”

“Who’s Gotcha” is a likeable new release from Buffalo native Hvnnibvl, who has substituted ‘v’s for ‘a’s in his name, as he’s John Jacob Hannibal V in his clan.  He’s had some success with recent releases with producers It’s Different and KDrew, as well as opening for shows by Lil Uzi Vert and blackbear among others.  “Who’s Gotcha” is a slice-of-life tune that reassures you that there may just be someone you can lean on when a relationship comes to an end.  Hvnnibvl’s voice reminds me at times of Bryce Vine, and I think it might be showcased better in a less produced setting, which sometimes overwhelms this particular release with vocal effects.  But it’s a great song with a convincing performance, which are all the more reasons why we should get to know the music of Hvnnibvl more.

Published in: on August 2, 2020 at 2:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

The unexpected team of @Whethan and @KFlay brings it with “Hurting On Purpose”

WHETHAN and K-FLAY, “Hurting On Purpose”

Whenever it’s released, it looks like Whethan’s upcoming album Fantasy still has plenty of surprises to come our way, with his latest single “Hurting On Purpose” featuring the voice of Grammy-nominated artist K-Flay.  Like my favourite single release of his to date, “All In My Head” (featuring grandson), “Hurting On Purpose” is another one with cross-over rock radio potential that college radio stations would also enjoy.  Despite the serious topic matter of not knowing when to stop doing what’s bad for yourself, K-Flay’s vocal is surprisingly bright and playful.  This contract makes the song go down really easy, short as it is (only 2:10!).  Whethan’s production seamlessly fuses rock and electronic genres, and so many of us can’t wait to hear what else is to come. “Hurting On Purpose” is a great lead-in to the album release, which hopefully will be soon!

Published in: on July 31, 2020 at 9:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

According to singer/songwriter @ChazCardigan, you’re still fine even if “Everything’s Wrong”

CHAZ CARDIGAN, “Everything’s Wrong”

After previously releasing a full-length album and his recent major label EP Vulnerabilia, Nashville’s Chaz Cardigan is back with an indie single follow-up called “Everything’s Wrong”.  This is one that really should have been part of Vulnerabilia.  The song is a cousin to Chaz’s alt.rock radio hit “Not OK!” using similar reverse psychology in its lyrics versus its title.  So just because “Everything’s Wrong” doesn’t mean that you can’t be just fine and dandy, thank you.  There’s more to life than what goes on around you; be creative and shake those ideas out to make things happen!  The song has another very direct and powerful vocal from Chaz which sounds at times like The Killers’ Brandon Flowers and at others like Keane’s Tom Chaplin.  “Everything’s Wrong” is pretty entertaining if you’re listening to Chaz’s music for the first time, and if you enjoyed “Not OK!” then this one will resonate with you too.  Check out the video above.

Published in: on July 31, 2020 at 9:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

#BILLCSTop30 #592, July 20, 2020

My songs of Summer ’20 are here!  The Top 3 songs will be pretty unshakeable over the next four to six weeks despite a bevy of challengers on the rise.  How many of you can’t wait to get back to clubs and festivals to dance to the music that has not played in those venues yet, such as the songs from Lady Gaga’s Chromatica album?  Who’d have believed she would pull off such a strong electronic dance music record.  

When I’m faced with an adverse situation like we’ve been in for the last four months, I look towards whatever escape is available to me in music – and that for the most part is dance music.  The chart is full of it 🙂 but when other songs aren’t in the dance music genre – and I can count the entries on one hand – they are truly exceptional.

So yes it’s Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande who continue to stay put at #1 with the indefatigable “Rain On Me” (above) from Chromatica.  Gaga and Elton John also move up a notch with the intense “Sine From Above” at #12 (below).  Be sure not to overlook “Alice” and “1000 Doves” too.

Sometimes all it takes is a simple hook that takes someone like me back to the 1960’s school of songwriting.  “Never Let Me Down” by Germany’s VIZE with British singer/songwriter Tom Gregory advances 3-2 thanks to the singalong hook in this appealing bop.

Also moving up 4-3 is the luscious Jessie Ware song from her latest album What’s Your Pleasure called “Save A Kiss”.  That album is also one of your must-hears for the summer.

Multiple Juno Award winner Rezz has lit up alt.rock radio with her electronic and grungy pairing with Grabbitz called “Someone Else”, which rises 6-5.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is one of the exceptions to dance music on this chart – though the singer/songwriter in question is no stranger to that genre at all.  NYC-based Victor Perry soars 16-6 with the gorgeous “What I Deserve” (above) from his solid indie EP Rewind.  And to give you that taste of Victor in the dance genre, check out his latest single below with Dutch producer Laurentius called “Stay The Night”, whose beginning and end sounds like a distant cousin of The Chainsmokers’ & Daya’s “Don’t Let Me Down”.

It’s been a slow and steady rise but L.A.-based producer Jerin James is up 8-7 with the lush electronics of “Birds and Bees”, featuring Deverano on vocal.

New to the Top 10, at least as the artists rather than remixers, are Chicago’s Win & Woo featuring Kyan Palmer with “Sleepwalking” (above), climbing 11-9.  Win & Woo got to #5 as remixers (with Kiso Armic) previously for Brandyn Burnette’s “Made Of Dreams”.  Check out their latest below which is another banger called “Feel Em All”.

Canada’s Loud Luxury has kept their Top 10 streak intact as their 5th chart entry arrives at #10, “Aftertaste”, with vocal by Morgan St. Jean.

Even with its similar title, I think that Greyson Chance’s “Dancing Next To Me” is this decade’s “Dancing On My Own” for the younger crowd.  The song is full of many fine vocal moments from Greyson, and it vaults 18-11.

Toronto’s Francesco Yates has a top notch new EP that you’re missing called Superbad, and from that record comes his latest single, the soulful and fun “Bad Decisions”, which leaps 22-14.

Another atypical song on the chart for me is the whimsical “You Ain’t Big” by Rufus Wainwright from his album Unfollow The Rules.  This charmer rises 21-15.  Between 1998 and 2007, Rufus was a regular on this chart, appearing 13 times, including three times at #1, with “Foolish Love”, “April Fools” and “California”.

If you want no holds barred classic house music then look no further than British producer Eli Brown’s “Desire”, which wastes no time climbing 25-18.

Trivecta’s “Leave It All Behind” (above, featuring Fagin) from his EP Everyday is going to be his new signature song at concerts when they resume.  It moves up 24-19, and has recently been given a melodic remix by producer Nurko on the Everyday Remixes EP, which you can check out below.

UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson continues to be busy preparing for the launch of his third album Off Script this Fall.  While second single “Cry Wolf” is off to a great start rising 28-20, the title song has been released as the third single.  You can check out its fun video below.

The Highest Debut on the chart is destined to be one of 2020’s dance classics which has already crossed over to pop radio in Europe, and should do the same here.  It’s “Head & Heart” by Joel Corry featuring a fantastic vocal by MNEK, someone whose career I’ve been following since he scored as a teenage producer and songwriter – he’s currently all of 25 – with his work on records by The Saturdays, Duke Dumont and Gorgon City.  “Head & Heart” arrives at #21.

One new release that spells PARTY is “Superstar” by Greek producer The Prince Karma from his EP of the same name, which debuts at #22.  Expect big things for this one.  Check out his other fun track “It’s The DJ”, featuring Chicago house legend Ron Carroll weaving a one-of-a-kind story.

UK producer Jonas Blue returns to the chart and this time he’s bringing one of my favourites, the amazing MAX with him, on his latest single “Naked”, which bows at #26.  This is one to which you can really shake loose.  It’s Jonas’ fourth appearance on the chart and it’s expectant dad MAX’s ninth entry as either lead or featured vocalist!

Canadian producer Dezza makes his debut with a danceable late night grower called “Carry Me” at #27. It features co-writer and quality session vocalist Mike Schmid, and appears on a recently released Remixes EP.

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 2020 🙂  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!! 

 

 

“Handsomer” is a unique collaboration between singer/songwriters @missMollyMoore and Maty @Noyes

MOLLY MOORE x MATY NOYES, “Handsomer”

“Handsomer” is a biting post-break up song by two of alternative pop’s best songwriters in a unique collaboration, L.A.’s Molly Moore and Maty Noyes.  As regular readers of this blog and my chart know so well, Molly has released numerous, well-focused and stylished EP’s and singles over the past five years (especially Now You See Me), as well as being one half of the stellar electronic duo Cosmos & Creature.  Maty Noyes has had major label releases to her name after being propelled into the spotlight on the Grammy-winning album by The Weeknd, Beauty Behind The Madness, as well as collaborating with artists as diverse as Lemaitre and Mokita along the way.  “Handsomer” is a quick (only 2:15) and delightfully exaggerated tip of the hat to self-confidence in the aftermath of a relationship.  The singers have amazing chemistry which makes “Handsomer” a real ear-turner.

Published in: on July 19, 2020 at 5:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

“Got My Way” is bright indie electro pop from L.A. trio @thisisMoontower

MOONTOWER, “Got My Way”

The mission of “Got My Way” by L.A. indie electronic trio Moontower is to ensure their listeners are thankful for who they have in their lives, and that even if you stray off your path, you can find your way back through the love of others.  They’ve framed all of this with a bright, upbeat sound that goes down easily led by the fine voice of singer Jacob Culver.  Hand in hand with another new release with Goldroom called “Guess I’m Jaded” that is also receiving traction,  and with with several songs whose Spotify streaming numbers sends them over the two million mark, Moontower is setting itself for merit-based success, and you should definitely put “Got My Way” on your radar.

Published in: on July 19, 2020 at 5:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,