#BILLCSTop30 #561 – May 13/19

A few impressive moves fuel the new chart, as well as four debuts and a new #1!

So what’s up top now?

Why it’s “White Lies” by UK/German production duo M-22.  It’s one of my favourite songs of the year so far, using early 90’s house (specifically Inner City’s “Good Life”) as a reference point.  I also found out through her Twitter account that the song is sung (uncredited) and co-written by British vocalist A*M*E.  You know her from the Grammy-nominated UK #1 “Need U” with Duke Dumont and through this blog from her vocal in Monsieur Adi’s “What’s Going On” (which peaked at #2 on this chart), a 2013 rework of Soul II Soul’s “Back To Life”.

Almost hand-in-hand with “White Lies” in terms of a fun and upbeat dance tune is “Good Things” by Cedric Gervais and Just Kiddin featuring vocalist Kyan, which advances 4-2 in its disco edit.  

Italy’s Mark Mendy moves up 7-6 with “Black Gasoline” with vocals by Australia’s Beamish Brothers, and now available in some additional remixes by Provi and farfetch’d.

New to the Top 10 is another dance bop to accompany the top two songs.  It’s “Enlighten Me”, an even brisker house number, from The Netherlands’ DubVision and SYZZ.  It climbs 13-8.

France’s KRONO lands in the Top 10 up 12-9 with “Perfect Strangers” and a great vocal from PIOTR.

The fastest riser on the chart soars 24-10.  It’s “Love Me Less” by MAX and Quinn XCII from MAX’s upcoming album House of Divine.  Watch out for some surprise pop-up concerts from MAX, maybe in a city near you!

Another impressive move this week is from “Wild” by Final DJs and Bright Light Bright Light, which rises 21-13.  And to give you a taste of something else, Final DJs recently remixed Queen’s 1984 hit “Radio GaGa” (below), taking away some of the heavier synths in favour of more of a pop flavour which suits the song nicely.  It’s a free download too – just press the “BUY” button for your digital copy!

Also on the move is “Do You Mean”, the latest by The Chainsmokers and featuring Ty Dolla $ign and Canadian singer bülow.  It moves up 22-16.

A second French producer appears on the chart for the first time and that is Kidswaste with his melodic and danceable “Sleeping Pills”.  Featuring vocalist KOLE, the song moves up 27-21.

The highest debut belongs to a familiar name to this chart – L.A.’s Mako.  Otherwise known as Alex Seaver, “Coyote” is one of his more progressive solo offerings, but boy is it an intriguing one, capped with some solid upper registry singing that makes it so memorable.  “Coyote” bows at #23.  Mako’s most recent chart entry here was a big one – he got to #1 in early 2018 with “Breathe”.

Although he’s new to the Canadian radio scene with his recent Top 10 hit “Wish You Well”, Halifax’s Famba appeared on my chart in late 2016 with his groovy Armada release “Right Here Right Now” (that throwback is below), which got to #2 on the chart.  Famba’s back with some delectable new dance pop in the form of “Swear To God” which debuts at #27.

Also big in Canadian radio is “Figure It Out”, the iHeart Radio contest winner by Toronto duo Flight School and featuring L.A.-based vocalist CVBZ.  It arrives at #28, a first time entry for Flight School, but CVBZ previously got to #2 with the Sean Turk remix of “Be Like You” in 2017.  He also did vocals for Cheat Codes in “Feels Great” and for NOTD in the recent “Start It Over”.

The fourth debut is for Washington DC based producer Manila Killa with “Atypical” featuring singer GiGi at #29.  Take a close look at its video above featuring a wonderfully inspiring lyrical dance routine, Manila Killa among the dancers 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 🙂

 

 

It’s 10/10 #03: New songs from @JayB1rdmusic and @DanniCarra, @Prizmofficial, @NickHagelin and @itsPaxton, @DaveWinnel, @JanosBAndersson, @thisisMokita, @iamNickPeters and @JamieGreymusic, @weareGODAMN, @Aadysimusic, and @iamAxelM

10/10 #03

10/10 (or tenoutoften) is this blog’s new feature where I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually. 

Writing 10/10 features means I can cover more songs in one shot .  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about. 

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  • JAY BIRD and DANNI CARRA, “Let You Down” (free download)

“Let You Down” marks a personal best for SoCal producer/remixer Jay Bird.  It’s one of those songs where every aspect has been carefully crafted, balanced, and executed.  With a beautiful melody and danceable rhythm that doesn’t bow to any particular dance sub-genre, “Let You Down” is a warm and inviting story about being dedicated to a special someone.  It also marks another collaboration with singer Danni Carra (check out my blog post about “The Reason”, which was released earlier this year).  “Let You Down” is a generous free download – get it while you can at the link above.

  • PRIZM, “The Prizm”

L.A. based producer Prizm returns after a bit of a break to showcase his melodic side after a few harder edged tracks last year.  “The Prizm” has an uplifting, anthemic quality about it at times, and veers into softer, emotional EDM about half way through before the beats return and lead to a quiet ending.  The song reminds me, production-wise, of others that have come from Sweden in the past few years, using a pitched up vocal to carry it through.  The result is a creative and diverse release that should serve as a springboard for Prizm.  

  • NICK HAGELIN and PXTN, “Good Time”

“Good Time” is a breezy Latin-infused song meant for mid-evenings as the sun is setting.  It comes from always charming Atlanta-based singer/songwriter and ballet dancer Nick Hagelin, about whom I’ve written for many years, including long before his Top 10 finish in Season 10 of “The Voice”.  Taking time to balance raising a young family and maintain his professional dancing while recording and writing songs, “Good Time” marks Nick’s first release in about two years with a nice change of pace, still sounding fresh and improvised at times.  Here he brings along his buddy from “The Voice”, fellow Top 10 finisher Paxton Ingram (here billed simply as PXTN), which adds an in sync energy to the song.  Here’s to more new music from Nick Hagelin!

  • DAVE WINNEL, “Ksamil”

Dave Winnel is an Australian producer/remixer who divides his time between Sydney and The Netherlands, thanks to his work with Armin van Buuren and many others associated with the Armada label.  Only recently starting to release his own material, a four song EP called Lily Of The Valley (The Journey) has arrived from Dave.  Amid some imaginative, more progressive songs comes “Ksamil”, which has a different presence from the other songs.  “Ksamil” is small beach-side village in Albania in which Dave wrote it.  In contrast to some percolating synths, it’s got relaxing and gentle elements that make it perfect for an outdoor festival on a sunny day.  Play this one back-to-back with Tez Cadey’s “Logic” and create your own mini-voyage.

  • JANOS, “Zero”

Janos is a Norway-based Swedish singer, songwriter and musician who has been releasing music for most of this decade, receiving some attention at home and in England.  “Zero” is danceable alternative pop-rock with an outside-of-the-box approach to songwriting.  I’m really not too sure what the song is actually all about but there’s an affable vocal, tight instrumentation and production, as well as a carefree feel that, despite Janos’ European origins, reminds me most of 90’s American bands like Third Eye Blind or The Rembrandts.

  • MOKITA, “Til I Don’t”

Current blog favourite Nashville-based singer/songwriter Mokita continues his sturdy roll of top notch songs with “Til I Don’t”, following “All Into Nothing” (with R3HAB), “London”, and “Kiss And Tell”.  “Til I Don’t” is a quickie at only 2:07 and perhaps his slightest of the four, but it’s tightly crammed with words from Mokita’s always interesting perspective on relationships.

  • NICK PETERS and JAMIE GREY, “Where Did You Go”

18 year old French producer Nick Peters has released a few consistent singles of his own since 2016, while providing remixes for others such as Major Lazer.  Regular blog readers know how much I enjoyed his 2017 collaboration with Frank Pierce and Scott Vega (now known collectively as Juscova) called “No Love In Brooklyn” (#4 on my personal chart).  “Where Did You Go” is top drawer and benefits from anchored deep house beats and rhythms, and a memorable, soulful vocal from British singer Jamie Grey.  The radio edit alters the pace slightly, so go for either version, focused on the beat or the lyricism, as you see fit.

  • GODAMN, “Kickers”

Although they were previously known under other names in the dance music scene, GODAMN is a Swiss production duo who have been getting support from the best in the biz since they emerged under this name in 2017.  Their latest, “Kickers”, is a fun bass house production that would highlight any club DJ’s set and trigger instant reaction from lovers of this sub-genre.  GODAMN have a clever, bouncy club hit in the making with “Kickers” so lend an ear for it this Spring and Summer.

  • AADYSI, “Don’t Need You”

Taking its cue seemingly from both techno-styled trap and science fiction movie themes, NYC producer Aadysi is back with “Don’t Need You”.  Featuring Aadysi’s own vocal, the song starts off with some punchy beats, but slows down into a trap-influenced rhythm which morphs into some unexpected and smartly made progressive synth pop.  “Don’t Need You” then circles back to its heavier edges before a soothing, spacey ending.  It’s a stylish electronic kiss off to a past relationship that’s well worth your attention.

  • AXEL MANSOOR, “Busy”

L.A.-based singer/songwriter Axel Mansoor continues his consistent string of releases with “Busy”.  Ever the interested observer in relationship, Axel provides a convincing story to ensure that you do not forego who and what are right in front of you every day.  A midtempo beat and some well-placed synth work carries a lilting acoustic guitar melody that will make you clap or tap along.  “Busy” is indie pop that goes down easy while providing honest food for thought.

#BILLCSTop30 #560, April 29/19

Rounding out a very un-Spring like month of April (at least here in Toronto) is a chart where change is afoot in the Top 10.  Four promising debuts also will generate some interest!

Sitting proud at the top for a third appearance is “i’m so tired…” (above) by Lauv and Troye Sivan, one of my favourite and very natural collaborations in recent years.  But to give you a taste of what Lauv has coming on his upcoming album, check out the video for his new song “Drugs And The Internet” below.  While perhaps more of a grower, the video is quite entertaining.  And two fascinating facts:  Lauv co-wrote both “Broken” by Tritonal and Jenaux featuring Adam Lambert (#4, 2016) and “Boys” by Charli XCX!!

Charging up to second place is the rollicking “White Lies” by UK/German production duo M-22.  It’s a sizzling dance track that should be one of Spring’s biggest club hits IMO, with major influence coming from early 90’s house with particular homage to Inner City’s classic “Good Life”.

Nashville’s Mokita has a lot to cheer about in this chart.  One of the more interesting and charming story songs to appear in a long while, “London” (above), advances 4-3, while the more forthright “Kiss And Tell” (“if I can just kiss and tell ya”) (below) is the fastest riser on the chart, climbing 26-15.

“Good Things” in its ‘disco edit’ has been veteran producer Cedric Gervais’ only appearance on my chart to date, but what an entry – the collaboration with Just Kiddin’ and vocalist Kyan soars 9-4.

Mahalo and MŌZ rise into the Top 5 with the dark deep house of “Go Ahead”, moving up 8-5.  Despite its tense melody, the song does have a positive story that takes a few listens to sink in.

“Black Gasoline” by Italy’s Mark Mendy has slowly become one of my favourites as it climbs 11-7.  It’s a different kind of alt.dance song thanks to some personable vocals by Australia’s Beamish Brothers. Jeremy and Ben also have a new one on their own that’s outside of the dance genre which you can check out called “Kills Me Every Time” (below).

The other new entry to the Top 10 belongs to the Jonas Brothers.  No one could have told me six years ago that the Jonasei would ever be in my Top 10, but yet hear they are up 15-10 with a great piece of songwriting and arranging called “Sucker”.

Though they’ve had a couple of remixes that have landed in my Top 10, L.A.’s Two Friends get a personal best for their original work as “Take It Off” (above) climbs 13-11.  The prolific duo have another song on deck too called “Dollar Menu” featuring singer Dani Poppitt, below.

“Enlighten Me” is the fast-paced new song by Dutch producers DubVision and SYZZ with a keen, positive message that accentuates the bounce for you.  It moves up 18-13.

The previous chart’s debuts all make promising moves.  Lost Frequencies’ first entry on the chart is “Recognise” (above) featuring vocalist Flynn, which rises 25-20.  Then there’s another winning combination with Germany’s Final DJs and Bright Light Bright Light teaming up for “Wild” (also above), climbing 28-21.  And blog faves Saxity rev us up for the summer months thinking about every “Weekend” (below) till then.  The song advances 27-23.

3 chart veterans return with debuts along with one newcomer.  First up is “Do You Mean”, the latest surprise as chart entry #11 from The Chainsmokers, who add vocalists Ty Dolla $ign and Canada’s Juno Award-winning bülow into the mix to great effect.  “Do You Mean” may not resonate with you at first listen, but it definitely sinks in a few more later.  Following the late 2018 entry of “Siren”, “Do You Mean” arrives at a smashing #22.

And then there’s the 7th chart entry for New York’s own MAX with “Love Me Less” featuring hip hop vocalist Quinn XCII at #24.  It’s MAX’s first appearance here since last year’s vocal on Matoma’s “Lonely” (#10) and his first lead appearance since his own classic “Lights Down Low” (#3), which I charted upon its arrival in 2016.  “Love Me Less” is also from his upcoming album “House Of Divine”.

The lone newcomer to the chart is France’s Kidswaste (aka Quentin Beauvois), about whom I’ve been writing for the past few years.  His gorgeous melody and synths arrangement in “Sleeping Pills” featuring vocalist KOLE sends it to a #27 debut.

The final premiere for this chart is the steamy and funky “Adore You” by Jessie Ware at #28.  Now expecting her second child, which will postpone any touring for a while, “Adore You” is the soulful, romantic bookend to last year’s “Overtime” (#6).

 

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 🙂

 

 

 

 

L.A’s @Mahalo_dj collaborates with Poland’s @Milkwish for dark deep house of “Alone Again”

 

MAHALO and MILKWISH, “Alone Again”

Led by a silky and soulful uncredited male vocal, “Alone Again” is haunting late night deep house in another collaboration between L.A.-based Mahalo and Poland’s Milkwish that got the attention of Tiësto’s AFTR:HRS label.  It’s a fine late night driving song with rich synth work that’s a solid bookend follow up to the recent “Go Ahead”, which is sitting in the Top 10 of my personal chart.  If those two songs aren’t enough, the ultra-prolific Mahalo (aka Nick Jay) also has two more releases, the more pop-oriented “Falling” with Lipless and singer Carly Paige, and the biting “So Cold”, with DLMT and vocalist Lily Denning.  “Alone Again” is my choice out of the three, but check out the other two below for different sides of this talented guy!

It’s 10/10 #02: New songs from @pete80s, #EricZava @DJMirkoB & @GorashDaniel, @finis_mundi_, @Iliramusic, @Boye_Sigvardt, @JeanorJuan & @FoxandCharm, @EleriAngharad92, @BLRofficial, @TimmyTrumpet @BlissNEso & @LeeFields12, and @Showtek & @LeonSherman in an @ATrak remix

10/10 #02

10/10 (or tenoutoften) is my new feature where I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I will also continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually. 

Writing 10/10 features means I will be able to cover more songs in one shot than I’ve been able to do recently.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about. 

tenoutoften

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  • PETER WILSON, “Like Dynamite”

The Australian singer who so aptly brought us a different kind of “Verona” with UK singer Sean Smith returns with a two song EP, the better of which is “Like Dynamite”.  It’s a complete throwback to mid-80’s danceable modern rock, with particular and welcome reference to New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle”.  Peter’s voice really flourishes in this setting and it’s a lot of fun!

  • ERIC ZAVA, DJ MIRKO B and DANIEL GORASH, “Even In Confusion”

Another song that might take some of its cues from 80’s new wave is “Even In Confusion” by Italian producers Eric Zava and DJ Mirko B with singer Daniel Gorash on vocal.  Don’t even think Italodisco with this one.  It’s delightful melodic house music that could be a real surprise to club DJ’s.  The echoey vocal reminds me of early 00’s ATB records and totally suits the song.  “Even In Confusion” is memorable and will definitely get you dancing!

  • FINIS MUNDI, “Right Now?”

Accompanying his recent album release Everything After is the single “Right Now?” by Swedish producer Finis Mundi.  This is sophisticated deep house for the late night time which could happily accompany songs by Bobby Nourmand or Faithless into the wee hours.  It’s definitely atypical of the dance music from Sweden and taps much more into UK or Chicago/New York house rhythms for deep, dark effect.

  • ILIRA, “Do It Yourself”

Breaking out of Germany is the effusive pop sound of Switzerland-raised Kosovo-Albanian singer Ilira with “Do It Yourself”.  The production for this song is a hybrid US/UK bounce back to about six years ago – think Miley Cyrus meets Icona Pop.  Like songs from that time by both artists, “Do It Yourself” is a potent anthem for young women.  It’s very distinct and has the potential to cut through a lot of other samey-sounding pop of today with its splash of a few years ago.

  • BOYE & SIGVARDT, “Ganja Fiyah”

You’ll recall the unique song “Astronauts” by Danish producers Boye & Sigvardt (with MAGNÜSand UHRE) which I wrote about a few years back.  After a few releases with American label Big Beat, the lads (Christian and Christian) have been trying out a variety of dance styles, and “Ganja Fiyah” is an unexpected trip into fun deep house with striking bass beats and explosive synths.  Fans of Don Diablo, Afrojack and Armin van Buuren will definitely dig this one.

  • JEAN JUAN and FOX & CHARM, “Strangers”

Dutch producer and Soave label head Jean Juan unleashes his second single under his new moniker called “Strangers”, this time in collaboration with Mexico-based Turkish producers Fox & Charm.  It’s exotic-sounding deep house that will cause instant reaction when dropped mid-set.  “Strangers” is full of propulsive rhythms and an appealing vocal that go down pretty easy.  Jean Juan says he’s just getting started and I’ll look forward to what’s next!

  • ELERI ANGHARAD, “Earthbound” (acoustic)

Although she classifies herself as a Country artist but hails from Wales, Eleri Angharad has a lot of pop potential if the acoustic version of the title track from her recent album is any indication.  She could easily ride the wave of popularity created by the likes of Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris, though she definitely has her own take on her craft.  In fact the vocal on “Earthbound” reminds me a lot of California duo Bahari’s contribution to electronic sensation Illenium’s “Crashing”, so I could visualize her in that setting as well.  Recording acoustically is not recommended unless you can really prove yourself and Eleri has no problem instilling her appealing personality into this performance.

  • BLR, “Méduse”

Dutch producer BLR returns to Tiesto’s AFTR:HRS label – he was the first artist signed back in 2016 – with the enchanting “Méduse” and its seductive French vocal.  You can definitely expect a dark, hypnotic trip that has late 70’s/early 80’s retro appeal that will recall music from the likes of Cerrone or Patrick Juvet.  “Méduse” will definitely be a force on the dance floor with the clock strikes 12!

  • TIMMY TRUMPET, BLISS N ESO, and LEE FIELDS, “High”

You may have already heard, but Australian producer/DJ Timmy Trumpet is set to be part of the European Space Agency that’s linking dance music with space travel!  You can hear all about that right here, but in conjunction with that announcement is the release of Timmy’s latest single “High”.  While “Freaks” continues to be played everywhere at events and on dance music radio worldwide, “High” goes back to Timmy’s jazz and R&B roots, featuring veteran US soul singer Lee Fields as well as reknown Aussie/American hip hop trio Bliss N Eso.  The blend of influences remind me of early 90’s mixes that incorporated all of those styles as well as house music, and Timmy and team successfully update that sound with “High”.

  • SHOWTEK and LEON SHERMAN, “Listen To Your Momma” (A-Trak remix)

You can’t keep a good song down and I’m a big believer of remixes to help good songs reach greater heights.  “Listen To Your Momma” by Showtek and Leon Sherman was actually released in 2015, but it’s such a fun song with an inspired vocal that a bevy of remixes have now surfaced.  The best of the bunch is from A-Trak, who recently woke us all up with the praise to to the house music gods and stern advice for DJ’s with Todd Terry in “DJ’s Gotta Dance More”, which was #1 for several weeks on my personal chart.  With it’s big bounce and plenty of vinyl scratching, A-Trak’s remix of “Listen To Your Momma” should make headway to clubs and festivals all over the world this year.

 

 

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #559, April 15/19

The top of the chart appears relatively unchanged, but the bottom of the Top 10 is all abuzz as a few songs soar, and four debuts add to the pleasures.

I can’t get enough of “i’m so tired…” by Lauv and Troye Sivan, such that I think they should record another song together.  It would be the perfect follow up until Lauv’s forthcoming album is ready.  “i’m so tired…” is locked in at #1.

The only new entry to the Top 5 belongs to Nashville’s Mokita.  The pensive “London” advances 6-4, while the singer/songwriter gets his 3rd chart entry with the bubbly and knowing “Kiss And Tell” at #26.  Watch out for Mokita, his music is absolute fire right now!

“Love” by Simon Curtis rises 8-6.  I can’t wait to hear what Simon has coming next, and as gorgeous and soulful that “Love” might be, I want something more hard-hitting and danceable next 🙂

The fastest riser on the chart is by UK/Germany production duo M-22 with “White Lies”, which catapults 23-7, with definite eyes on #1 in the coming weeks.  I saw the duo drop the song at Miami Music Week and with those deep house vibes, courtesy of some influence from Inner City’s “Good Life”, “White Lies” simply can’t miss!

In a darker but somehow uplifting vein is “Go Ahead” by L.A.’s Mahalo featuring vocalist  MŌZ.  It climbs 13-8 and follows the now-departed “In My Arms” for a 5th Top 10 song here for Mahalo 🙂

In any other week a 24-9 leap would be the fastest riser, but in direct competition with M-22’s “White Lies” is another brilliant new dance song, “Good Things” in its disco edit by Cedric Gervais and Just Kiddin’ featuring vocalist Kyan.  “Good Things” just brims with fun and energy and like “White Lies” is bound to be one of my favourite songs of the year.

The Top 10 isn’t done yet if Sam Smith and Normani have any say in the matter.  “Dancing With A Stranger” climbs 14-10, becoming his first Top 10 since “Too Good For Goodbyes”.

Just outside of the Top 10 there’s “Black Gasoline” bubbling under and rising 17-11 for Italy’s Mark Mendy and featuring some irresistible vocalizing by Australia’s Beamish Brothers (Ben and Jeremy).  

We find another, more famous set of brothers moving up 19-15.  It’s those Jonasei with “Sucker” still keeping fans happy in the shadow of the new, quieter single “Cool”.

There’s so much great dance music always coming from The Netherlands, and “Enlighten Me” by DubVision and SYZZ is no exception.  This rollicking foot-fest climbs 26-18.

NYC singer/songwriter Matt Beilis enters the Top 20 with his Maroon 5-ish “Chemistry Or Chemicals” moving up 22-19.

Disco dancing is alive and well with the clubland enthusiasm of “Let’s Go Dancing” by UK producers Horse Meat Disco and NYC vocalist Amy Douglas, which jumps 25-21.

Ever-prolific Illenium moves up 27-22 with the softer, almost Country-flavoured (in a “The Middle”/”This Feeling” kinda way) “Crashing” featuring California duo Bahari on vocals.

The highest debut belongs to Belgium’s Felix De Laet, or Lost Frequencies as you better know him.  Featuring vocalist Flynn, “Recognise” packs a punch when it slams right into its great chorus at the :25 mark.  “Recognise” bows on the chart at #25.

German producers and musicians Saxity have been to the Top 10 twice, with “Brothers” and “You Found Me”.  They’re back and wanting to party hard with “Weekend” at #27.  I just love all of the instrumentation that the song has to offer in the background, which makes it sometimes seem like it really wanted to be an Earth, Wind & Fire record in disguise 😛

The final debut is a reprise of a collaboration between another German producer, Final DJs and US-based Welsh multi-talent Bright Light Bright Light.  The strut-worthy house of “Wild” arrives at #28 following their #11 charting song from a few years ago called “Lost In Feelings”.

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 🙂

L.A.’s @weareMako pushes boundaries with futuristic rock-electronica of “Coyote”

MAKO, “Coyote”

When I last saw Mako – L.A.-based singer/songwriter/producer Alex Seaver – in concert over a year ago, he tipped me off after the show that his next releases would be much more adventurous and progressive.  And while he’s been busy scoring the video game series League Of Nations and collaborating with the likes of Illenium and The Glitch Mob, there was nothing to prepare me and his fans for “Coyote”.  The dance/pop of “Smoke-Filled Room” and “Breathe” now has to make room for a new futuristic, intense and emotional side of Mako.  “Coyote” is a dark song that you might find amping up a critical scene in a movie rather than on the dance floor.  It’s challenging but draws you in, allowing you to expect the unexpected without being polarized.  Mako has a dedicated fan base that I think will easily embrace “Coyote”.  I’d also definitely pitch the song to fans of Illenium, Odesza, Rufus Dü Sol and others who continue to successfully test the waters with songs and styles that stimulate and instigate your attention.  Like other performers such as Lemaitre, I must remind you that Mako is also a rock band led by Alex and there is prominent guitar and other live instrumentation amid the electronics in “Coyote” too.  Check out the animated lyric video above.

Published in: on April 15, 2019 at 9:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Alt.Soul Variations featuring Victor Perry @perksofbeingvic: “Eve” with @ZBDmusic and “Boomerang” with @Labrosemusic

ZEROBADDAYS and VICTOR PERRY, “Eve”

LABROSE, “Boomerang”

For the last few years you’ve read fairly frequently in these blog pages about NYC-based, Georgia-bred singer/songwriter Victor Perry.  Victor has one of the most distinct, consistent, engaging (and unsigned!) male voices around – and other than when producers choose to mess with it a bit, it doesn’t hurt that his voice is almost perfectly on key every time 🙂 Victor has two recent releases, a second partnership with Germany’s ZEROBADDAYS (aka Mr. Stan Sax of Saxity) and a new one from his side project with British producer Ficci called Labrose.  “Eve” is lyrical retrotastic Michael Jackson-inspired alt.soul – it reminds me of those fine deeper songs you’d often find on a late 70’s Jacksons album that still resonate today.  It’s quite a different record from the first ZEROBADDAYS collaboration, the gentle “We’ll Be Okay”.  “Eve” is lovely and a real grower.  “Boomerang” is more pop flavoured and follows up last year’s catchy “Gravity”.  It’s more of a late night “quiet storm” track with Victor’s voice gliding over the lilting electronic backdrop.  Add “Eve” and “Boomerang” to your favourite playlists where pop and R&B converge ASAP!

Published in: on April 15, 2019 at 9:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Introducing “10/10″#01: @bDavidsonmusic @missMollyMoore @RadCatmusic @itsDylanMatthew @SleepyTom @Lights @Saxity @Cookin3burners @HenriPurnell @Revelriesmusic @FinalDJs @BrightLightx2 @TheDriverEra @Fambamusic @itsLostBoy

Introducing… 10/10 #01

10/10 (or tenoutoften) is the name of my new feature when I will write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I will also continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually. 

Writing 10/10 features means I will be able to cover more songs in one shot than I’ve been able to do recently.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about.  I think that’s pretty fair 🙂

So let’s move on to #01:

 

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  • BEN DAVIDSON, “No One Knows”

Scottish singer Ben Davidson has a beautiful, rich tone to his voice that could make an encyclopedia sound melodic.  “No One Knows” is the title song from Ben’s album from last Fall which followed attractive singles “The Chain”, “Fallin’ In” and “Learning To Let You Go”.  But “No One Knows” bests them all with a warm story of dedication to a special person. The song just gets better as it moves along, leaving with a finish that resonates like fine cognac after a good meal.

  • MOLLY MOORE featuring KEENAN CHARLES, “Vibes”

Continuing to stretch the boundaries between pop, rock and dance music, L.A.-based singer/songwriter Molly Moore follows up “Be Here Now” with something completely different.  “Vibes” captures the cool of L.A. with an edgy, soulful sound that is accentuated by the flowing emcee work of Keenan Charles. It’s not every day that you reacquaint yourself with your high school prom date and ask him to contribute to your record but Molly has done just that and it’s an indelible if sometimes subdued release.

  • RAD CAT and DYLAN MATTHEW, “Show Off”

It’s been a while since I wrote about Christian Ariza, the San Diego producer otherwise known as Rad Cat.  “Show Off” is a bouncy, familiar-sounding feel good track with hip hop vibes marrying happily with electronica and a catchy vocal from Dylan Matthew.  I’ll pitch this one to fans of The Knocks who will enjoy the funky rhythm.

  • SLEEPY TOM and LIGHTS, ” Amateur”

Vancouver’s Sleepy Tom has steadily released top notch dance music since his breakout hit “Be Right There” with Diplo.  This time he takes a cue from fellow Canadian producer Felix Cartal and enlists another Canuck, Lights, for her vocal on “Amateur”.  As with Felix’s “Love Me”, Lights is definitely the star of the show, perhaps even more so here, as her tones fill the loud speakers easily at chorus time.   Sleepy Tom’s slick synths and production will help keep you glued to “Amateur”.  And then there’s the Sleepy Tom video game, a clip of which you can check out below.

  • SAXITY, “Weekend”

Mr. Stan Sax and Koni, the saxophonist/guitarist/producers behind Saxity, return to help make Springtime brim with enthusiasm for the good weather and partying when it’s all about the “Weekend”.  Stellar musicianship helps make this new dance anthem go down really smooth, making it an easy add for club DJ’s.  Unleash this one on the dance floor and watch people move!

  • COOKIN ON 3 BURNERS with HENRI PURNELL and REVELRIES, “Force Of Nature”

Taking its cue from “This Girl”, the monstrous worldwide hit a few years back by Kungs and Cookin on 3 Burners which is still heard positively everywhere, “Force Of Nature” is a wicked blend of old school soul and house music.  For it was the unique sound of Australian trio Cookin on 3 Burners that anchored “This Girl” (a variation of a song they recorded about 10 years ago), and that retro 60’s lounge style from that song pervades “Force Of Nature”.  Partnering in the mix are Germany’s Henri Purnell and Emirati/Netherlands-based duo Revelries, who have both acquitted themselves well with Top 5 songs on my personal chart (“Silent Games” and the current “Don’t Think Twice”, respectively).

  • FINAL DJs and BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT, “Wild”

Its wonderful to see the pairing of Germany’s Sebastian Stuetz, aka Final DJs, and long time fave Bright Light Bright Light (Rod Thomas) continue with their latest single together called “Wild”.  It’s got a classic house groove that will simply command you to move and convince you to go as “Wild” as the title says. Very rarely does Rod make an appearance on another record and he flourishes beautifully here as in his own songs like “New York Pretty” or “Love Part II”.  The duo’s earlier single “Lost In Feelings” landed at #11 on my chart during its release.

  • THE DRIVER ERA, “Feel You Now”

The Driver Era is the alt.rock offshoot of popular family band R5 that consists of brothers Rocky and Ross Lynch.  Ross, of course, is a current star of Netflix’s “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”.  The L.A. based, Colorado-born duo fit easily into these rock trappings, possibly much better than you think.  I saw R5 perform in concert two years consecutively and there’s no denying the talent, which also led to Ross being heard in other songs like electronic duo Tritonal’s “Feel The Love”.  “Feel You Now” is powerful and anthemic, reminiscent of music from yesteryear such as by INXS or even Grand Funk Railroad (take a listen to “Closer To Home” for example).

  • FAMBA, “Swear To God”

After emerging on the dance music scene about three years ago with songs like the fun ‘n funky “Right Here Right Now” (for Armada Deep) and “Vibe” (for Tipsy/Epic Norway), Halifax’s Famba signed to Sony Canada and got attention with remixes such as for fellow Canadians like Tyler Shaw.  Currently, you can hear Famba’s “Wish You Well” (featuring vocalist Trove) on every single pop music station in Canada, and I think its next stop will be to conquer the USA. Following that song up in the meantime is “Swear To God”, a powerful electronic release that steers away from the pop of “Wish You Well” for a memorable house track that is more apt to follow up Loud Luxury’s “Body” as the next big dance hit from Canada.

  • LOST BOY, “Help”

California singer/songwriter/musician Lost Boy (aka Dillon Deskin) returns with an endearing song with a gritty rhythm called “Help”.  Strange things happen to our hero in his video (above) for the song so if the lyrics aren’t convincing enough to give him a hand or three, then the video will definitely do it.  “Help” is a rare breed, wanting to connect with you and make you dance at the same time.  This sends Lost Boy in more of a direction that currently works for fellow artists like Bryce Vine and will definitely work well in a club setting.

 

 

 

 

Canadian trio @NikkisWives return with crunchy rockin’ anthem “Lemonade”

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NIKKI’S WIVES, “Lemonade”

The Toronto-bred trio of Nikki, Dylan and Nate are back with a bigger but more familiar sound that still has lots of edge in “Lemonade”.  It reminds me of a cross between Gwen Stefani’s 2000’s solo work (particularly “Hollaback Girl”) and 80’s hair metal band anthems, and certainly stands out among the plain-ish rock of today.  Nikki’s voice is powerful and engaging, the guitar work is ablaze, and the drums pack a big whomp.  “Lemonade” is a fun song that will definitely be of interest to more than just the alt.rock fans who caught on to Nikki’s Wives with their last release, the EP Motorcourt.

Nikki’s Wives play a free RSVP-only event on Friday, April 5, 2019 at Lee’s Palace in Toronto (I’ll be there! 🙂 ).

Published in: on April 3, 2019 at 10:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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