#BILLCSTop30 #548 – November 12/18

Some new personal faves make significant moves this week, and there are three debuts.  

The Top 10

  • The smashing two some of Kiesza’s “Phantom Of The Dance Floor” (above) and “Verona” by Peter Wilson and Sean Smith (below) hold on to the pole positions handily, but may have to give them up in two weeks given the challenges being presented immediately below!
  • Seattle duo Odesza had never appeared on my chart before but are slowly taking over with their redux of a festival fave, “Loyal”, which climbs 9-3.

  • Busting the fastest move on the chart for a second time is “DJ’s Gotta Dance More”, the oh-so-true deal from Montreal’s A-Trak and house legend Todd Terry on vocals.  It’s up 13-6 and will definitely give Odesza a run for the top in two weeks.

  • Also new to the Top 10 are Florida producer PLS&TY with “Down For Me” in its splendid Morgan Page extended mix (above), climbing 11-8, and Canadian producers Botnek with the retrotastic “Days Of Disco” (below) rising 16-10.

Movin’ On Up

  • I’m totally digging their second full album New York Narcotic, and The Knocks are closing in on another Top Tenner here with “Goodbyes” featuring Method Man moving up 17-11.

  • Though it’s “Thank U, Next” that’s everywhere, “Breathin” is still my go-to Ariana Grande song, rising 15-12.  Check out its new video above.

  • The Chainsmokers have had a busy few weeks, with several new remixes of “This Feeling” (featuring Kelsea Ballerini) as well as a new video (above).  The song climbs 21-16.  Check out the official remix by Canadian duo Young Bombs below 🙂

 

  • UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson is looking to bust out in two weeks with “Wild Sun” (up 23-18) as the Handbag House remix (above) and his EP From The Glass House: Part One are released this Friday.  Ahead of that, Sam has also released a lyric video for the upbeat pop/dance track “Hanging By A Thread” (below), where his high register is in winning Mika territory.  

  • Jessie Ware’s “Overtime” is her best, and funkiest, single in years, and it rises 27-21.

Debuts

  • It’s been a while but Sweden’s Hellberg is back in a huge way, with his new single “Headlights” in a co-billing with none other than the sensational voice of Leona Lewis.  With an intriguing, suspenseful video, “Headlights” arrives at #22.  Hellberg has been to the Top 10 three times including a #1 with Dzeko & Torres with “Care For Me” in 2016.  Leona has been to the Top 10 twice with “Bleeding Love” and “Better In Time”.

  • What would a year be like without a Bright Light Bright Light appearance on this chart?  It’s been the lead off single from his recent EP Tough Love, but it’s grown on me so much with repeated plays that it debuts at #25.  I will be seeing Bright Light Bright Light once again in concert, this time in my city, on Thursday November 15!

  • The next night I will be seeing Dutch producer San Holo in concert for the first time, but in NYC!  His recent pairing with vocalist Bipolar Sunshine on “Better Days” premieres at #26 from San’s acclaimed release Album1.  Can’t wait to hear what it all sounds like in concert!  “Better Days” is San Holo’s second chart entry, following 2016’s #4 “Light”.

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 🙂

The progressive soul evolution of Brandyn Burnette continues as @EMAN8 with “Amen”

EMAN8, “Amen”

Singer/songwriter Brandyn Burnette has re-branded himself as EMAN8 (from his Jamaican middle name meaning “come forth”), whose music is launched with “Amen”, a song that moves easily through many musical styles showcased within.  Carried by friendly rap-singing that’s speckled with pop culture references, “Amen” flows from classic R&B, through to Blues and Gospel.  It’s chock full of positives about getting through to whatever will make you a better person.  The choral background vocals and some fluid trumpet keep “Amen” uplifting, and somehow it still is tied up very much in an alternative pop vein as well thanks to EMAN8, who with his cadre of fine support, all know what to do to get it there for broad appeal.  Inherently though, we’re likely to hear more songs by EMAN8 in future that pull  out more of that progressive soul that we already know and love from his R&B roots.  This may result in even richer flavours that may move away from other song styles – such as electronic pop/dance, now more associated with EMAN8 and Molly Moore’s successful side project, Cosmos N Creature.  It takes a few listens but “Amen” lays the welcome mat foundation to the ongoing diverse musical journey of EMAN8.

Published in: on November 5, 2018 at 10:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #547 – October 29/18

There’s plenty of new music to be abuzz about, including four new entries, and lots of songs rising up into the Top 10 to challenge for the top!  And the top of the new chart is all about wonderful singers.

The Top 10

  • Reigning at the top appropriately for Hallowe’en is the delightfully over-the-top “Phantom Of The Dance Floor” by Kiesza featuring Philippe Sly.  I think this is the first time in the 20 years of my chart that I’ve had a Hallowe’en-oriented song at the top.  Couldn’t happen to a nicer song by incredibly talented singers.
  • It’s not the only song in contention for the top, but “Verona” by Peter Wilson and Sean Smith makes its key move, up 4-2.  What’s not to love about such an intriguing story sung by singers who sound so different separately but create fantastic harmony together.

  • Despite its pop facade, “All For You” by Years & Years, up 8-6, has quite a set of telling lyrics for you to enjoy as part of their sophomore album Palo Santo.

  • It’s a pop dance bop all right – “One Last Time” by Gromee featuring Jesper Jenset climbs 10-7.

  • It took a bit of time but “Rise” by Jonas Blue and Jack & Jack slides into the Top 10, up 11-8, becoming Jonas’ second Top 10 on this chart, after his cover of “Fast Car” got to #3 two years ago.
  • Odesza’s slamming crowd favourite “Loyal” sets a new benchmark for progressive dance music and glides into the Top 10, moving 14-9.

Movin’ On Up

  • The intense Morgan Page remix of “Down For Me” by Florida’s PLS&TY is a stunning redo of an already fine song that jumps 15-11.

  • There are plenty of old school house vibes on this particular chart, so it makes sense that “DJ’s Gotta Dance More” by Montreal’s A-Trak, with house legend Todd Terry on vocals, is the fastest riser, soaring 24-13.

  • Ariana Grande’s “Breathin” is still delightful and fresh and climbs 19-15.
  • More Canadians in the form of east coast duo Botnek grab a hold of house rhythms and shake them down in “Days Of Disco”, moving up 21-16.

  • The Knocks kick it NYC-style with Method Man for “Goodbyes”, from the duo’s album New York Narcotic, rising 23-17.
  • And France’s Mercer highlights a lot of 70’s flavour in “Fireworks”, which climbs 25-19.

Debuts

  • England’s Sam Dickinson has the highest entry with his new effortless-sounding single “Wild Sun” from the forthcoming EP From The Glass House: Part One (video above).  And what’s even better about “Wild Sun” is that remixes are coming on November 16, including my favourite which is the “Handbag House remix” that you can hear at the Spotify link below.  “Wild Sun” arrives at #23 to make Sam’s third entry onto the chart.
  • With Denver’s Illenium having so many fans in the dance music scene, if you’re going to do a remix, it’s best to get the man’s blessing.  L.A.’s PatrickReza did just that for his fierce take on “Crawl Outta Love” (featuring Annika Wells), and it bows at #25.  It’s also available at the link above as a free download.
  • UK singer Jessie Ware is back and sounding better than ever after the solid Glasshouse album with “Overtime”, which returns more to the Prince-inspired funk-pop of Tough Love.  “Overtime” premieres at #27.  Jessie previously got to the top of the chart with “Say You Love Me”.
  • NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry is a name you’ve already seen on this chart in the Top 10 a number of times these past two years.  With his pristine vocal in “Gravity”, Victor appears under the guise of Labrose, his latest single in his project with British producer Ficci.  “Gravity” debuts at #28.

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 🙂

NYC alt.rocker @MickyJamesmusic shakes you down with “Tie Me Up” and “New Heart”

MICKY JAMES, “Tie Me Up” and “New Heart”

NYC singer/songwriter Micky James is definitely an attention grabber with ‘double A’ single “Tie Me Up” and “New Heart”.  He’s got a look that makes you think Oasis meets Mick Jagger, but his sound is contemporary sort of post-punk blast from the 80’s, if you think Joan Jett and Generation X-era Billy Idol.  “Tie Me Up” is a quick, edgy, tidy rocker that may draw its energy from the punk era, recalling Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe.  “New Heart”, on the other hand, is a bouncy synth-rocker that has a lot of roots in British new wave like Duran Duran as if sung by a Billie Joe Armstrong or Brandon Urie.  There’s a lot to enjoy about these original songs vocally, musically and melodically, which makes them stand well on their own, however you consider Micky’s possible influences, so be sure to give ’em a shot at the Spotify links above and below.

 

Published in: on October 25, 2018 at 9:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #546 – October 15/18

The Ides of October are upon us already, and that means Summer favourites are departing the chart.  To replace them though, there’s no shortage of great tunes.  There are three debuts and a brand new #1!

The Top 10

  • Calgary’s Kiesza gets her first #1 on this chart with the season-appropriate “Phantom Of The Dance Floor”, featuring Quebec opera singer Philippe Sly, in only its third appearance on the chart.  It’s a fun song and an even more fun, manic video.  Spread the news about this one kids as people are missing out.  It’s also the first #1 by a Canadian since this year at this very time when Loud Luxury and Nikki’s Wives held court with “Show Me”.  Benny Benassi & Sofi Tukker’s “Everybody Needs A Kiss” slides to #2, still one of my faves of the year, and it will hang around for a while.
  • Another song that I can’t stop playing is “Verona” by Australia’s Peter Wilson and England’s Sean Smith.  It advances 9 to 4 this week, and the combination of 80’s musical flavour/production, great storytelling, and fine singing make “Verona” the total package!
  • Philadelphia’s N i G H T S get their second Top 5 hit with “Eyes”, following last year’s totally different “P A R T Y”.  Give these guys some time and they will make their mark, with so many songs up their sleeves.

  • Both “High On Life” by Martin Garrix and Bonn (above), and “All For You” by Years and Years (below), finally break into the Top 10 after a lot of patient waiting for some of my favourites to depart.  “High On Life” climbs 11-7 and “All For You” is up 12-8.  

  • “Vacant Love” by Caden Jester and Blake Rose hits another new peak, climbing 10-9.

  • Norway’s Jesper Jenset gets his second Top 10 as featured vocalist in Gromee’s “One Last Time” (above), which climbs 13-10.  He’s also featured in Lost Kings’ new single “Drunk As Hell” which you can check out below in its amusing Simpsons-ish looking video.

Movin’ On Up

  • It’s sort of peaked already but “Rise” by Jonas Blue and Jack & Jack (above) has been slowly making its way up my chart.  It climbs 15-11 this week.  Jack & Jack recently dropped their new song “No One Compares To You” (below).

  • Netherlands-based producers Revelries also continue to climb with their latest original “Infinitum”, featuring Australia’s Beamish Boys on vocals.  It rises 14-12.
  • The fastest riser on the chart is “Loyal” by Odesza, up 24-14.  This should be no surprise; it’s one of the most intriguing and unpredictable songs on the chart with a soulful female vocal (sample or no?) that drives it home.

  • Also making a significant leap is PLS&TY’s “Down For Me” in its club-ready Morgan Page extended mix, climbing 21-15.

  • Though it made a small move two weeks ago, “Soldier” by Sidney Samson & GWise is hardly done, and jumps 27-22.

3 Debuts

  • It took a few spins for me to really dig this record, but now there’s no stoppin’ me playing it!  My fellow Canadian A-Trak is back with a fun, inspiring original called “DJ’s Gotta Dance More”, made even more genuine with legend Todd Terry on vocals!!  This song is a MUST for every club DJ.  It’s classic, reverent house with a great message.  It bows at #24.  A-Trak was last on the chart as part of the trio with Kimbra and Foster The People’s Mark Foster in 2012 for “Warrior” (#10), a freebee at the time courtesy of Converse.
  • Mercer returns to the chart after his #1 “Satisfy” with “Fireworks”, a 70’s retrotastic song I’ve been playing for months that is re-released as part of French producer’s new EP Neo Disco, along with another new song “Monte Carlo”.  “Fireworks” arrives at #25.

  • The Chainsmokers are also back making a collaboration with Country singer Kelsea Ballerini work so well with “This Feeling”.  Their other recent single “Side Effects” failed to resonate with me, sounding too much like other dance pop on the charts.  “This Feeling” premieres at #26.

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 🙂

 

Meet Baltimore’s @BretSears with streetwise pop/hip hop of “Break The Rules”

BRET SEARS, “Break The Rules”

Baltimore’s Bret Sears is branching out from his dance/pop group project Casual Encounter, which I wrote about last December, to tackle fresh streetwise pop/hip hop with “Break The Rules”.  It’s definitely got a polished pop side but with some grittiness that could attract fans of  Justin Timberlake, Jesse McCartney, Logic, and G-Eazy.  While “Break The Rules” isn’t going challenge any boundaries, it’s got an undeniable hook which is when the vocal is at its strongest.  The melody has raw qualities about it that sound like throwbacks to 90’s NWA/Ice-T/2Pac releases which you generally won’t find in a pop-oriented record.  I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what’s next for Bret in this new undertaking.

Published in: on October 13, 2018 at 9:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Moonlight” is a fanciful upbeat electro-ballad from Germany’s @itsLeviofficial and vocalist Victor Perry @perksofbeingvic

LEVI and VICTOR PERRY, “Moonlight”

I will always say that if the chemistry is there and you score with your first record together, then definitely make a second!  And so that’s what’s happened with German producer Levi and sweet ‘n soulful American vocalist Victor Perry, who first created the thoughtful, lilting “Sail” together last year, one of my favourite songs of 2017 which got to #3 on my personal chart.  The pair return with “Moonlight”, a different kind of electro-ballad that isn’t slow-paced as regular ballads usually are.  It’s got a playful, fanciful uptempo rhythm at times that seems to recall doo wop more than any other style of music, and is old school in the same vein of “Lost In Japan” by Shawn Mendes.  “Moonlight” is punctuated with great melody and another stellar vocal from Victor, who is a highlight to any release.  “Moonlight” isn’t a club banger but a lot of charm, rhythm, melody, and fine singing goes a long, long way (and maybe a Zedd remix is in order too 🙂 )!

Published in: on October 9, 2018 at 9:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Norway’s Dyrisk is back with acoustic-guitar driven electro of “Whispers”

DYRISK, “Whispers”

One thing’s certain with Norway’s Dyrisk – aka Vetle Gjøstøl Olsen – is to always expect something unconventional.  He scored big time in collaboration with UK producer Nik Ernst earlier this year with “Smile”, a #1 on my chart that is totally unlike anything you’ll hear this year – witty, smerking, in your face alt.rock,  and you can dance to it if you want to.  “Whispers” seems to take some cues from Radiohead and Beck and offers alt.electro with acoustic guitar folk flourishes in a commonly told tale where you can’t seem to do anything right in a relationship.  There are long pauses and drawn out melodies that totally work even if they’re against the normal grain.  Definitely even more of a change of pace for Tipsy Records, “Whispers” contains lots of soft electronic synth touches and a smoother Dyrisk vocal this time that offers up an earnest protagonist in the song.  Anything is possible in a Dyrisk song and I’m a firm believer that you will enjoy “Whispers”!

Published in: on October 9, 2018 at 9:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“The End” by breakout trio @DMAsmusic gets a dark deep house remix by fellow Aussie @YvngJalapeno

THE DMA’s, “The End” (Yvng Jalapeño remix) (free DL)

Australian trio is definitely on the breakout, currently selling out UK tour dates in support of their album For Now.  Their song “The End” is given a dark, deep house remix from fellow Aussie Yvng Jalapeño, which puts the song somewhere between Twenty-One Pilots and The Presets.  Disco beats trade places with big synths at times, which are in compelling contrast to a pleading, sometimes effectively isolated vocal about to face the inevitable.  But Yvng Jalapeño has a strong flair for what will work in a club setting, and his remix of “The End” can definitely fill a late night room with pulsating, intense sounds that capture the bleak tone of the song so well.  You can get Yvng Jalapeño’s remix of “The End” for free using the Soundcloud link above.

Rock out with the intriguing “Last Dance” by Sweden’s Simon Alexander @SimonAlexmusic

SIMON ALEXANDER, “Last Dance”

I introduced you to Swedish singer/songwriter Simon Alexander earlier this year with the taut “Won’t Be Found”.  His latest single “Last Dance” is an immediate ear-grabbing alt.rock tune with a memorable chorus that arrives uncharacteristically at the 30 second mark.  From there in, you’re already swept into the intrigue of the song and how the couple in the song came to their last dance.  The guitar work is solid and a well-balanced production keeps the song moving fluidly.  Simon has both power and range in his voice, which could also be spotlighted well in an acoustic rendition of this song.  As is though, “Last Dance” is a fresh-sounding radio-ready rocker that wraps up handily just before the three minute mark.

Published in: on October 6, 2018 at 7:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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