Australia’s @Spenda_C brings you the unique hip hop-infused “Release” featuring @CultShotta

SPENDA C featuring CULT SHØTTA, “Release”

People often forget how innovative the Australian dance music scene is, and that sometimes when new music arrives on North American or European shores, it’s treated as odd… and then becomes the next big thing six months later.  Spenda C is well-established in his homeland but puts a unique hip hop-infused spin on EDM with “Release”, featuring fellow Aussie, rapper/singer Cult Shøtta.  “Release” gives us an awful lot to digest in its 3:32 length.  There’s a terrific uncredited female vocal to give it a familiar EDM lift, but then Cult Shøtta’s vocal arrives, alternates between rapping and singing – fans who like everyone from Fetty Wap to Big Sean to Kranium will appreciate this diversity 🙂  And the song develops this infectious, dizzying buzz that keeps going, which you will simply love.  Check out “Release” at the link above.  This is a grower that could find its way as a surprise summer breakout.

Published in: on March 24, 2017 at 10:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #505 – March 20/17

This 505th edition of the BILLCS Top 30 is brought to you once again by The Chainsmokers, except this time they share the #1 spot with Coldplay on “Something Just Like This”.  This is a song that appeals to the good nature of everyone, and gets The Chainsmokers their third number one on this chart, while Coldplay gets their first (both “Talk” and “Clocks” got to #2).  Can’t wait to hear more from The Chainsmokers’ upcoming album Memories…Do Not Open.  These guys have not stopped and 2017 will continue to be huge for them.

Our Top 10 continues to seem like a revolving door as recent favourites depart to the lower parts of the Top 30.

The Rest of the Busy Songs on the Rise

  • In a chart where there were no songs by The Chainsmokers, Germany’s Koni and US vocalist Danelle would be at #1 with the effervescent “Mad About You”, which climbs to #2, bypassing The Chainsmokers’ “Paris” which dips 1-3.  “Mad About You” is one of those songs guaranteed to put a smile on your face, particularly if you happen to be someone crazy over someone else.  With Callum McBride, Koni has also done a great job on a remix edit of Ed Sheeran’s “Galway Girl”, injecting just a tad of tropical flavour – give a listen below and download it for free.
  • Another German producer and American vocalist soar into the Top 5 from outside of the Top 10.  It’s Levi featuring Victor Perry on the timeless and effortless “Sail”, which vaults 13-4 and is the Fastest Riser on the chart for a second time in a row.
  • A song I simply cannot get out of my head is “Be My Love” by Mahalo featuring Cat Lewis, so much so that even in its 8th appearance on the chart it still moves upward, bounding 9-5.  The pair also have a second song taking off further down.  “WTFYWF” climbs 22-15 (both below).
  • Toronto’s Loud Luxury pairs up with Ryan Shepherd on “Something To Say”, the deep house redux-in-disguise of Craig David’s “Fill Me In”, which flies into the Top 10 15-8.
  • If there weren’t as many songs as strong as DNCE’s “Naked” the song would be much higher on the chart but not as high as the #2 placing of “Cake By The Ocean” in late 2015.  Nonetheless, DNCE reach the Top 10 a second time as “Naked” moves up 11-9.

  • The last debut in the Top 10 belongs to the currently-touring Justin Taylor Phillips, aka Crywolf, who I will see in concert on March 25.  The waltz-like epic “Windswept” jumps 14-10.
  • One of the most unique songs of the year is “Manifest”, the progressive soul/hip hop flavoured song by Brandyn Burnette from his third EP Feature Films.  “Manifest” rises 20-13.

5 Debuts (all with featured vocalists)

  • I think young Dutch producer WRLD will become another Tiesto if song choices like “Stranded” keep coming his way.  Paired up with American producers SMLE, the song benefits immensely from an outstanding, soaring vocal by Kiddo AI and bows at #21.  It’s one-of-a-kind dance music for your ears and feet!  It’s also currently available as a free download 🙂

  • Right behind at #22 is “Stay” by Zedd featuring Alessia Cara.  “Stay” is Zedd’s fourth appearance on the chart, but first in three years, and Alessia’s chart debut.  Zedd is a refreshing change of electronic style for Zedd, and Canadian singer Alessia Cara to me gives her best vocal to date (she also is one of the song’s co-writers).  All of Zedd’s three songs to hit the chart have made the Top 5, including a #1 with “Spectrum” (featuring Matthew Koma) in 2012.  Will “Stay” follow suit?  I think there’s a strong possibility!

  • Dutch duo The Him are back after finding their way to #2 last year with “Balance” (featuring Oktavian) and opening on The Chainsmokers’ European tour.  But “I Wonder” is far different from the deep house of “Balance”.  It’s got a bright summery melody in stark contrast to a divine but forlorn vocal by singer LissA – and it all works beautifully.  “I Wonder” arrives at #24.  I will be checking out The Him’s own show on March 31.
  • NYC duo The Knocks make their fifth entry on the chart with “Worship”, featuring UK singer MNEK, about whom I’ve written a number of times, and who first appeared on the chart in 2015 with Zara Larsson on “Never Forget You” (#17).  I saw The Knocks on March 17 in concert and as usual they put on a dance party that you didn’t want to see end.  Their new EP is Testify, and “Worship” is the Gospel-flavoured ear-ringer which debuts at #25.  All of The Knocks’ previous entries have reached the Top 10, including a #1 last year with “Kiss The Sky”, featuring Wyclef Jean.
  • Our final debut is also the third one from The Netherlands (a fourth Dutch entry is at #11, “Light” by San Holo).  Lulleaux makes his song “Sinner” a winner featuring a top notch vocal by SVM, and it premieres at #27, the first entry for Florida’s Tipsy Records.

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

Listen for me on http://www.planetradio.ca on Tuesday evenings (returning on March 28), and with my Pick of the Week segment returning on March 27, aired throughout the week at 2:20 6:20 10:20 AM/PM EST 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second taste of new songs by @DanBlacksound with “Blow” (featuring #Fans)

DAN BLACK featuring FANS, “Blow”

The first music I heard from Paris-based UK singer and electronic artist Dan Black was back in 2009 at the time this blog began.  “Symphonies” was my favourite song of the time and his debut album UN still had not been released in North America.  It was part of an engaging soundtrack to what would turn out to be a rough winter for me.  Over seven years later, after starting a family, and after a few fine dance singles (notably “Hearts” with Kelis, and “Sunlight” with Bag Raiders), comes the first efforts from his sophomore album Do Not Revenge, and the second taste of that, following “Headphones”, is “Blow”.  Dan summarized it so well in his social media posts that it’s hard to top what he says: “… a song about those rare little diamonds, those people who blow our troubles away – even if for just a moment”.  Music listeners need all of the positives they can get, and with the billing “featuring Fans”, I’m wondering if this is the song where his fans’ voices are incorporated, after he asked them to send in their recordings?  With a breezy melody and undeniable hook, “Blow” is a perfect song for Spring, definitely (no pun intended) a breath of fresh air in 2017 even though it sounds like he has hardly missed a step since 2009.  Give it a listen above and watch for more music from Dan Black!

Published in: on March 19, 2017 at 3:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bluesy jam: “Drinkin'” by @iamJMSN

JMSN, “Drinkin'”

“Drinkin'” is an essential rocking bluesy jam that’s going to sound fabulous in concert by L.A.-based singer JMSN.  He’ll release his fourth album Whatever Makes You Happy on April 28 and is touring in North America to support it.  After a moody pair of albums, It Is and JMSN (aka the Blue Album), and working with folks like Kendrick Lamar, Kaytranada, J. Cole, and Tyga over the past few years, JMSN’s commanding vocal takes control here with a blistering vocal that reminds you of why you got interested in the first place back about five years ago with his solo debut album †Priscilla†.  With JMSN still producing and engineering “Drinkin'”, and self-releasing his records, props here must also go to the bass work by Yuki “Lin” Hayashi which captures a deep groove that helps bring the song home.  The focus now seems to be more on real instruments and musicians than electronics.  Give “Drinkin'” a listen at the link above.

Published in: on March 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #504 – March 6, 2017

 Regardless of what you think of The Chainsmokers after their 2016 successes, including a Grammy win for “Don’t Let Me Down”, you had to know that the only way was up in 2017.  So they’re touring in Europe and headlining some of the biggest festivals.  Yet they always find time for the fans and the up-and-coming producer/DJ’s who would like to taste even a modicum of what they’ve accomplished in a short period of time.  Those who knew them before the “#Selfie” days must be gleaming.  

So this week on the BILLCS Top 30, The Chainsmokers have the distinction of having the top two songs.  The reflective “Paris” (above) remains at #1 by a hair, but the second single from their upcoming Memories…Do Not Open album co-written and performed with Coldplay, the anthemic singalong “Something Just Like This” (below), bows at #2 and is set to succeed “Paris” in two weeks.  It’s the first time in a year since the same performer held the Top 2 – currently-charting Brandyn Burnette did it in January 2016 with “Nothing At All” at #1 and “Lost (Stripped)” at #2.  And it’s Coldplay’s first appearance on this chart, their 8th in total, since 2008’s #1 “Viva La Vida”.

And with this feat, half of the Top 10 changes…

Four More New Entries in the Top 10

  • German producer/DJ/guitarist Koni soars 13-3 with the glorious pop tune “Mad About You” featuring a delightful vocal by Danelle.  Had The Chainsmokers hits not come along, well, you can do the math!
  • The sultry and evocative “Memories Of You” by Alyx Ander featuring Srey Davi bounds 15-7 in this release for Nettwerk Records.
  • Following the #4 “Just A Dream”, Molly Moore follows it into the Top 10 11-8 with “Imaginary Friends”, from the EP Now You See Me, with fine remixes by Pluto and TelyKAST.
  • Heroic Records lands in the Top 10 for the first time thanks to German producer JPB and British singer Luke Cusato with the lovely “For You” rising 12-10.

Also Movin’ On Up

  • Set to follow “Cake By The Ocean” into the Top 10, DNCE gets “Naked” moving 14-11.

  • The fastest riser on the chart belongs to a third German producer/DJ, Levi, but featuring the gorgeous tones of American singer Victor Perry on “Sail”, which vaults 24-13.
  • Crywolf is in the midst of his North American tour, and a new EP Skeletons is due next week.  The epic “Windswept” climbs 20-14.
  • The Toronto pairing of Loud Luxury and Ryan Shepherd is responsible for a killer deep house redux of Craig David’s “Fill Me In”, retitled “Something To Say” (and also remixed by none other than Tiësto!), and it leaps 25-15.
  • I’m also looking forward to hearing more from Toronto quartet Blajk, whose song “Lethal” rises 21-16.

  • The bubbly, Broadway-flavoured Christofi remix of Elohim’s “Hallucinating” continues to climb nicely, up 22-19.
  • Brandyn Burnette’s third EP Feature Films is now available on all digital platforms, and the ambitious song from it called “Manifest” climbs 29-20.
  • The final debut from two weeks ago, “Know Myself” from Denmark’s Owkey featuring UK vocalist Ashdown, is no slouch rising 30-23.

One Last Debut

  • While The Chainsmokers and Coldplay’s high, high debut kind of steals some of its thunder, totally catchy in a different way is “WTFYWF” by Mahalo featuring Cat Lewis.  And yes, this collaboration is still riding high in the Top 10, moving to #9 with the exceptional “Be My Love”.  “WTFYWF” is a ribald, no holds barred party song which debuts at #22.

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

Listen for me on http://www.planetradio.ca live on Tuesday evenings, and with my Pick of the Week segment throughout the week at 2:20 6:20 10:20 AM/PM EST 🙂

“Rain”is a singalong highlight of @CallMeKarizma’s new EP Emo, featuring #ErikAstle

CALL ME KARIZMA featuring ERIK ASTLE, “Rain”

The prolific Minnesota rapper/songwriter Call Me Karizma brings us his most recent EP Emo, following the single “Disconnected”, where he showed off his equally fine singing voice.  Emo sticks to Riz’s trademark downbeat rap style, which always has a lot to say, expressed often in amazingly simple words.  Such is the case with “Rain”, a singalong in which he duets with lower-voiced Erik Astle, after a few past ones with women such as Cass on “F U Till I F U”.  So in “Rain” the guys mope away while recalling past relationships wanting those old feelings to ‘wash away’.  It’s very much like bored kids just sitting by the window watching it rain, and perhaps that’s why Riz samples the voices of children, including what sounds like one from the classic Little Rascals movie series.  Nonetheless, it’s no mean feat to right simple-sounding songs, and few people get it right, but more often than not Call Me Karizma always finds the right words in the songs on Emo, including his tip of the hat to those who have experienced mental illness in “Zombie”.  Check out “Rain” and the Emo EP on Spotify.

Call Me Karizma is in the midst of a US tour also featuring Cosmos & Creature (and I’m sooo jealous as it isn’t coming anywhere near me).  Check out Call Me Karizma’s website for tour details.

Published in: on March 4, 2017 at 10:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Manifest” is direct hip hop/progressive soul from @BrandynBurnette’s “Feature Films”

BRANDYN BURNETTE, “Manifest”

Brandyn Burnette continues to find unique ways to deliver his contemporary progressive soul takes on important messages.  “Manifest”, the second dip into the upcoming “Feature Films” EP, is about trying to head off what are normally everyday problems before they start and ultimately fester, but what does that really mean in terms of living life in today’s world?  It’s one of Brandyn’s most philosophical offerings to date, this time featuring hip hop verses as well as spoken word, which also makes this particularly personal.  The song it reminds me most of what he’s released so far is the hip hop remix of “I Wanna Be (Free)”.  Brandyn continues to be one-of-a-kind, seemingly carrying his own flag, but if you listen much closer, that flag is for all of us.

Gripping, cinematic “Warrior” comes from Grammy-nominee @SteveJames with vocal by @Lights

STEVE JAMES featuring LIGHTS, “Warrior”

While it has a somewhat common Asian theme to its melody, the latest from Grammy nominee Steve James (for co-writing Justin Bieber’s song “Purpose”) comes with a huge win of an assist from another Canadian, the award-winning Lights!  Her vocal is suitably ferocious, actually recalling fellow countrymate Alanis Morissette at her fiercest.  It’s a big cinematic story – maybe an accompanying video will surface – with a lot of rock flavour mixed into Steve’s complex production.  Steve James and Lights are definitely a winning force together with “Warrior” 🙂

Published in: on February 12, 2017 at 6:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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As love and mind connect: “Brainheart” by @LucienDante

LUCIEN DANTE, “Brainheart”

In 2015, one of the most unique and refreshing albums I heard was Lucien Dante’s Our Of We, an independent release which yielded one of my favourite songs of that year, the completely enchanting “Black Water”, which featured an easy going, expressive vocal.  That was followed up by an animated video of the song as well as another video for “Love Me Lessons”, which celebrated young people having a joyous blast together without attention to gender, clothing, etc., just being who they are.  It definitely set the stage for where Lucien, now based in L.A. after relocating from Chicago, is heading with “Brainheart”.  The song is about how love and the mind connect, when emotions and thoughts are synchronized to a point and you revel in being with your partner.  Lucien is extremely ambitious – producing, writing and mixing this song, as well as being a painter, sculptor and clothing designer.  “Brainheart”, in addition to its loving lyrics, is completed with a bright, feel-good melody and a more assured vocal.  Watch for more about Lucien Dante as the year goes on, including the possibility of a tour.

Published in: on February 12, 2017 at 6:08 pm  Comments (1)  
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Hypnotic and powerful,”Another Friend” is the latest by L.A.’s @DanaAndTheWolf

DANA AND THE WOLF, “Another Friend” (free DL)

I tell ya, L.A.’s alt.rock duo Dana And The Wolf are going to have one winner of an EP or album, should all of the songs be as musically consistent and diverse stylistically and lyrically as their most recent three, the latest of which is “Another Friend”.  Take an at times Amy Winehouse-ish jazz/blues soaked-vocal, send it through to the anguish of the end of a relationship, and augment it with a powerful soundscape with nightmarish highlights (and a beautiful high note near the end), and “Another Friend” may just be for you.  I’ve already compared Dana Hobson’s voice to Shirley Manson, Florence Welch, and Pat Benatar – she’s got true chameleon qualities.  “Another Friend” is equally as compelling as previously released (and blogged about) “Attitude” and “Close Enough”, with Daniel Wolf’s wall of drums, synths and guitars that doesn’t let up after a pause around the 1:20 mark.  Keep ’em coming Dana and Daniel – download “Another Friend” at the link above for free.

Published in: on February 7, 2017 at 12:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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