Going down easy: “The Pain I Feel” by @mr_MarlonPercy and @LOFRAMES

MARLON PERCY and LOFRAMES, “The Pain I Feel”

“The Pain I Feel” is a lovely European house-flavoured alt.dance song that’s as much for your heart as it is for your feet, and is guaranteed to stop you in your tracks on your first few listens.  The singer/songwriter is London-based Marlon Percy, and his vocal here rings true without question.  It has a raw, almost live-off-the-floor bluesy feel at times that is contrasted by more produced sections where it sounds quite pristine.  Anglo-French production duo LOFRAMES knows how to bridge the emotional parts of the song while still very much making you want to unleash on the dance floor.  I’ve mentioned before in these blog posts that someone’s pain in a dance song brings out the need to empathize through the rhythms and beats.  “The Pain I Feel” is a fabulous, unassuming, fresh-sounding collaboration that awaits your  undivided attention!

Published in: on July 11, 2018 at 9:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Finland’s @Aliskymusic gives us the edgy “Traces” with American singer @Iolitemusic

ALISKY and IOLITE, “Traces”

It’s moody and offers its fair share of dramatic vocal effects, but nonetheless “Traces” by Finnish producer Alisky and featuring young American vocalist IOLITE will easily snag your attention.  There’s an almost psychedelic rock side to the futuristic house style that Alisky tackles with a lot of finesse.  IOLITE’s vocal tells a story that’s even more of a mystery unto itself once it’s distorted and reshaped in “Matrix” like musical fashion.  Best of all I like “Traces” because it’s bold and doesn’t hold back.  Alisky offers a bracing alternative take on house music that makes you want to hear more.

Published in: on July 11, 2018 at 9:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #539 – July 9/18

The new chart is fueled with so much activity that I have to be really picky about what I’m writing about in this accompanying post.  Songs 7 through 18 are all on the rise!! One thing that’s certain though is the new #1.  It’s brought to you by a producer/DJ who is in his own zone creating innovative music that stands apart from most others.  AND he has the highest debut among three with his hypnotic follow up.

The Top 10

  • Bobby Nourmand not only had the first EP to chart both songs on my chart in its 20 year history, but those songs actually made their way to #1.  The Subterranean EP comprises the dark title track and the haunting, almost scary “Estranged” (both above – don’t play this one alone in the dark!!).  It becomes Bobby’s second #1 following last year’s playful “D E E P in NY” (featuring DOC & Goodmorning).  Get the extended mixes over at Bobby’s Beatport page.  Bobby also debuts at #23 with “The Sun” (below), featuring Blonde’s Adam Engle on vocal.  Despite its 6 minute length it’s a deep, soothing dance track that sounds unlike anything out there in dance music.  2018 is turning out to be a brilliant year for Bobby Nourmand.

  • Bobby getting another #1 stopped The Him from getting theirs – this week anyway.  “Broken Love”, co-written and sung by Parson James, is a perfect midsummer reflection of a breakup, and it climbs 5 to 2.

  • Electric Light by James Bay is one of my favourites of 2018 thus far and “Pink Lemonade” lands at #3 this week.  James’ recently announced North American tour has been postponed till next year.  I missed his gig this past Spring in my city because it sold out too quickly.  Hopefully the new one will also be a headliner at a bigger venue (and not opening for someone bigger, as has been known to happen).
  • Adam Foster’s retooling of Marvin Gaye’s “Too Busy Thinkin’ Bout My Baby” as “Time” continues to climb, rising 10-7.  You cannot keep a great song away even changed up like this.  A super creative idea, to be honest!
  • Rüfüs Du Sol’s “No Place” is not only a dance floor gem but it’s a real earworm that should by all rights be played on radio (but likely won’t be).  It’s the fastest riser on the chart, advancing 18-9 for the Aussie threesome.

  • The other new entry to the Top 10 is “Lonely” by Norway’s Matoma featuring MAX on vocal.  It’s Matoma’s second Top 10 here following 2016’s “False Alarm” (#6), and it’s MAX’s 6th as either a lead or featured performer.  Can’t wait to see MAX again in concert in November!!

Movin’ On Up

  • Talk about heavy summer anthems! You can party hardy to “Back The Funk” by Estonia’s Madison Mars as it heads towards the Top 10, soaring 19-11.

  • Florence & The Machine have a winner of a lead single from the new High As Hope album.  The powerful “Hunger” climbs 20-15.

  • It’s already a huge hit in Canada, with the UK not far behind, but what about the US?  It’s making its way up Billboard’s Dance Club Play chart – “Jackie Chan” by Tiësto and Toronto’s Dzeko featuring Preme and the omnipresent Post Malone.  It’s a fun, kind of silly singalong which is a summer winner.  “Jackie Chan” rises 23-16 and is Tiësto’s 4th chart entry as an artist, his first since 2007!
  • Not to be outdone by “Jackie Chan” is French producer RetroVision’s “Get Down” and its enthralling sample of The Shapeshifters’ classic “Lola’s Theme”.  It moves up 24-17.

  • And also right behind, just to throw another true independent performer into the mix, is England’s Lostchild with his engaging “Blacklist”, available in pop/dance and acoustic versions that are equally worth your time.  “Blacklist” glides up the chart 25-18.

Also New To The Chart

  • Miami’s Alyx Ander gets his first hit for Spinnin’ with “Casually” (#25) in collaboration with Dutch duo Redondo and featuring Maria Z on vocals.  Alyx wrote the song with Maria and it is not only a touch of grace for the dance floor but it’s a great long lyrically and melodically too.  It’s Alyx’s third entry, following last year’s Top 10’s “Memories Of You” (#5) and “Wake Up For The Night” (#4), so he’s on a roll.

  • A new song by the pairing of veteran smash hitter Tony Moran and powerhouse vocalist Jason Walker is always welcome on my chart, largely because they tend to be larger-than-life, exhilarating songs designed for clubs.  Their latest, and on its way to the top of the Billboard club chart, is “I’m In Love With You”, totally sizzling in the Victor Dinaire and Bissen remix, and it bows 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 🙂

“Peace Out” by NYC-based @Squiredmusic confidently meshes electronic dance with hip hop

SQUIRED, “Peace Out”

For a debut single, “Peace Out” by NYC-based act Squired is one powerful, confident piece of business!  21 year old New Jersey native Sean Squires, previously one half of Opvs, packs a wallop with his blend of electronic dance and hip hop styles.  There’s a continuous hard-edged groove that barely lets up led by a smoking vocal.  Layers of synths are everywhere but I’m also detecting a lot of rock influences in the mix which provide its anthemic qualities.  Squired takes his inspiration from artists like Flume and R.L. Grime and then runs wild with it.  “Peace Out” arrives and commands instant attention, making Squired someone to put all ears on for the rest of 2018.  You can bookend “Peace Out” with another similar slice of electro hip hop like Bobby Nourmand’s “D E E P in NY” and add it to your favourite dance playlist using the Spotify link above.

Published in: on July 2, 2018 at 9:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A.’s @BobbyNourmand takes us on another journey into late night dance bliss with “The Sun”

BOBBY NOURMAND, “The Sun”

There is no denying that the music of L.A. producer Bobby Nourmand can easily find its way under your skin.  It’s music that is specifically designed for clubs, usually featuring big house beats and rhythms, many distinct synth sounds unique to Bobby’s music, and either hooks or vocals (or sometimes both) which make his songs stand apart from so many others who are better known in the dance music world.  Despite its title, “The Sun” is definitely a song for the late night club crowd, a worthy companion to “Subterranean” and “Estranged” from his most recent EP for his new DITN imprint.  His vocalist here is Adam Engle from noted UK band Blonde, who have had three Top 20 UK hits and have worked with singers Craig David, Alex Newell, and Karen Harding, as well as producers like Sigala.  Adam’s vocal is shape-shifted into an eerie but seemingly all-knowing voice that helps make “The Sun” so hypnotic.  “The Sun” is a feast for your ears and your mind.  Add it to your Late Night Deep House playlist using the Spotify link above.

#BILLCSTop30 #538 – June 25/18

The new chart gets shaken up a whole lot, with a bunch of songs making large moves.  There are five debuts, but somehow the two on top remain the same…

The Top 10

  • Mercer and Ron Carroll’s “Satisfy” (above) has enough staying power to wrap up a 3rd appearance (6th week) at #1, while The Chainsmokers’ “Everybody Hates Me” (below) matches the two appearances at #2 that “Sick Boy” had not long ago.  Be prepared for changes next week, which are being instigated by the huge movement below.

  • Bobby Nourmand’s been a busy guy, and his Subterranean EP, featuring the dark title song (above) and the creepy and forboding “Estranged” (below), climbs 7-3, making it a contender for the top in two weeks.  Bobby has a new song called “The Sun” on deck and it receives release on Friday June 29. Watch for words on this one at that time!

  • James Bay’s “Pink Lemonade” soars 15-4 from the Electric Light album, making it his biggest hit on the chart to date and also a #1 contender.

  • The one to watch though is the beautiful and timely “Broken Love” by The Him and Parson James, which is the fastest riser, up 20-5.  It’s the Dutch producers’ third Top 5 hit on this chart.

  • “Run” by Brandyn Burnette, from his forthcoming debut album Emanate, climbs 11-7, to arrive next to his co-write with Jesse McCartney and Molly Moore, “Better With You”, hanging at #6.  The third single from Emanate will be “Amen”, coming in July, while the album will arrive in August on the singer’s birthday 🙂

  • Troye Sivan’s third single, featuring Ariana Grande, called “Dance To This”, may be taking some attention away from “Bloom” (above), but it still climbs 12-9 on this chart, while Adam Foster’s “Time” (below) also bows in the Top 10 at #10.

Movin’ On Up

  • “Lonely” is a great end of school song for the romances that never were, courtesy of Norway’s Matoma and ever-energetic singer MAX.  It rises 19-12.
  • “2012” does indeed recall songs from around that year, becoming common particularly with veteran producer DJ’s like Tiësto, Hardwell, and Afrojack, who know dance audiences are clamoring for updated tastes of that classic EDM era.  So not coincidentally Afrojack shares billing with protégé Ravitez on “2012”, which rises 18-14.
  • Rüfüs Du Sol has announced a North American tour, which will bring the Aussies to a city near you (including my city Toronto, on November 16).  Their latest single “No Place” moves up 24-18.
  • Madison Mars’ “Back The Funk” is one of the cleverest, non-sensical dance songs to come along in a while to make you love it to death.  This new party anthem will be heard all summer long and rises 25-19.

5 Debuts

  • Making it four songs on the chart from his Musical Freedom imprint, Tiësto pairs up with Canadian buddy Dzeko but gets Preme and Post Malone on vocals for the incredibly infectious “Jackie Chan” which bows at #23.
  • French producers RetroVision liberally borrow the hook from The Shapeshifters’ “Lola’s Theme” and a sample from “It Takes Two” by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock to make “Get Down” memorable.  The rest of the song is great house music for the summer.  “Get Down” arrives at #24.

  • UK singer Lostchild premieres with his independent release “Blacklist” at #25.  In video format, it comes with two interesting personalities, the NSFW one influenced by Madonna’s “Justify My Love” above, and the acoustic one (below) which emphasizes the singer’s excellent voice and layers of charm.  He’s one to watch 🙂

  • Canadian producer Felix Cartal has a residency in Las Vegas happening, so watch for dates.  He recently released the versatile and generous (18 songs) album Next Season, from which comes the undeniably catchy “Worry”. featuring singer Victoria Zaro, at #26.
  • Another independent UK singer debuts on the chart.  She calls herself Jazz Mino and her song “Misunderstand” is an eloquent, upbeat way to kick the door closed on a relationship that didn’t gel.  “Misunderstand” gets the #27 spot.

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 new BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

Atlanta duo @BellsandRobes weave an intriguing tale set to electronic dance rhythms in “Jackal and the Moon”

BELLS AND ROBES, “Jackal and the Moon”

Atlanta production duo Bells And Robes are not your typical electronic dance music makers.  Drawing a lot of inspiration from zen and other philosophies, their latest effort “Jackal and the Moon” is almost fairytale-like in structure.  The premise – two new lovers dancing in a foreign land, not knowing that their relationship is never meant to be – is intriguing and put across beautifully by uncredited vocalist Kaisune in a passionate and committed performance.  Amid all of Bells And Robes’ electronic experimentation – sometimes house, sometimes future bass with dashes of trap, thriving from what sounds like it could have been a classical piece originally – the vocal holds the song together and retains your interest throughout.  “Jackal and the Moon” is going to be a tricky sell, but there are electronic dance music fans out there who enjoy music that’s a little more left field, and college radio may also be a good home for it.  Check it out at the link above.

#BILLCSTop30 #537 – June 11, 2018

The top of this week’s last chart for Spring stays pretty consistent, leaving one to wonder what will succeed the current #1 song.  Some other recent songs make key moves, while the new chart brings three top-drawer debuts.

The Top 10

  • “Satisfy” by Mercer and Ron Carroll handily lands at #1 for a second appearance, and a third one is beckoning from the dance floor 🙂

  • Both “Sick Boy” and “Everybody Hates Me” by The Chainsmokers really got under my skin for their topical and unconventional lyrics, and for the duo’s sidestep away from danceable Top 40 pop.  Like “Sick Boy”, “Everybody” has reached #2… but does it have enough to get to the top?
  • Following “I Want You”, Canadian producer Robotaki obtains his second Top 5 hit here with the soulful “Butterscotch”, produced with Falcxne and owing great thanks to a scorching vocal by Jamie Fine.  
  • Jesse McCartney’s “Better With You” advances 8-6, but it’s not his biggest hit on this chart.  Album track “Relapse” from Departure got to #1 in 2008, and his biggest hit in general “Leavin'” reached #5.  “Bleeding Love”, which he co-wrote, got to #3 for Leona Lewis also in 2008.
  • Whethan’s “Be Like You”, featuring New Zealand duo Broods, climbs 13-9 becoming the first Top 10 entry for both the 19 year old producer (real name: Ethan Snoreck) and the duo.  I wrote about Whethan’s recent remix for Clairo this week.
  • Shawn Mendes gets his second Top 10 song on this chart with the romantic “Lost In Japan” from his self-titled album.  “Japan” climbs 12-10.

Movin’ On Up

So many new songs about to breakthrough even more in two weeks!

  • Brandyn Burnette’s debut album Eminate is due on his 28th birthday, which is August 23.  In the meantime, “Run” is a few pages from his recent years documented in song, and it rises 16-11.  Brandyn also co-wrote Jesse McCartney’s “Better With You” at #6 above.

  • The new “Bloom” video is out and it’s overflowing with colour and images.  Troye Sivan’s tour (announced last week on his 22nd birthday) is coming to a city near you (I’m going to his show with my daughter – who introduced me to his music from You Tube – in October), and the Bloom album is also on its way.  “Bloom” soars 17-12.
  • “Time” is Adam Foster’s retake on Marvin Gaye’s “Too Busy Thinkin’ Bout My Baby” – minus its original chorus.  He creates an entire new one and has made this one very club-worthy.  “Time” rises 19-13.

  • The fastest riser on the chart comes from my unexpectedly favourite albums of 2018, Electric Light by James Bay.  The New Order-ish “Pink Lemonade” advances 25-15.  You have to listen closely to the song to hear the title when James sings about drinking it ‘while watching movie trailers till late’.
  • Ravitez and his mentor Afrojack definitely have an old school-flavoured summer EDM anthem in play with the instrumental “2012”, which climbs up 22-18.

  • Norway’s Matoma and blog favourite MAX make an impressive pairing with the expressive “Lonely”, which rises 24-19.

Three Debuts

  • Just as their recent “White Lies” peaks at #7, don’tcha know that Dutch duo The Him come back aboard the chart with what might be their best song to date.  Co-written by and sung by American singer Parson James, “Broken Love” is a supreme soundtrack to lost love that arrives on the chart at an impressive #20!
  • I jumped on the Rüfüs Du Sol train a little late, but the Aussie trio are back and better than ever with “No Place” with its big instrumental hook.  They make their bow on the chart at #24.
  • Also new to the chart is Estonian producer/DJ Madison Mars who gets on the summer party anthem train with the brief but heavy and fun “Back The Funk”, which premieres at #25.

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 new BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

#BILLCSTop30 #536 – May 28/18

Some recent favourites give way to new ones in a particularly competitive Top 10, and there are three debuts.  

The Top 10

  • It’s French producer Mercer who gets to #1 in his first appearance on this chart with the rollicking “Satisfy”, featuring a terrific vocal by Chicago’s Ron Carroll.  There’s no wonder why the best DJ’s were playing this one back at Miami Music Week, where I first heard it.

  • Last week’s songs 4 through 8 each move up a notch. About songs 3 through 5:
    • Also prevalent at Miami Music Week was MK whose “17” (above, up 4 to 3) was a Top 10 hit in the UK at the end of last year, and it subsequently became a Top 10 dance club hit in North America.  
    • Duo Sofi Tukker are happily straddling the pop and dance music worlds, and my favourite song from their album Treehouse remains “Baby I’m A Queen” (also above), which climbs to #4.
    • “Everybody Hates Me” by The Chainsmokers (below) is poised to make its key move in two weeks as it rises to #5.  The duo won three Billboard Music Awards last week in the Dance music category!  Bravo!!

  • Jesse McCartney gets his first Top 10 on this chart since 2009’s #6 “How Do You Sleep” with “Better With You”, which rises 13-8.  So great that it was co-written with blog faves Brandyn Burnette and Molly Moore!
  • Quickly following “Prisoner”, Bobby Nourmand racks up another Top 10 with songs from his EP Subterranean – the title song and the dark and eerie “Estranged”.  They soar into the Top 10 rising 15-9.

Movin’ On Up

  • He only just turned 19 but he’s already on his way to having a Top 10 record on my chart.  That’s Chicago’s Whethan, who got to feature acclaimed New Zealand duo Broods in the compelling “Be Like You”, which climbs 17-13.
  • While talented Canadian singer/songwriter Tyler Shaw already has a Top 20 national hit with “Cautious” (up 18-15 in its Famba remix), he already has a second single out from his upcoming album.  You can check out “Anybody Out There”, with female vocalist Amaal Nuxx, below.

  • Brandyn Burnette’s upcoming album is called Emanate, and the debut single from that album is “Run”, which jumps 22-16.  The second preview of the album is “Layup”, below.

  • Not surprisingly, the fastest riser on the chart is the title song from the upcoming album by Troye Sivan called “Bloom”.  It zips up the chart 26-17 to follow up the departing “My My My!”, #1 this past week on Billboard’s Dance Club Play chart!
  • Not far behind is Miami producer Adam Foster’s bold rework of Marvin Gaye’s classic hit from 1969 “Too Busy Thinkin’ About My Baby”.  Omitting the chorus, he makes a new one as he rechristens it “Time”, available as a free download, and moving up 27-19.

  • Norway’s Matoma and US singer/songwriter MAX are a joint force to be reckoned with in “Lonely”, which rises 28-24.  You can hear it now in 4 remixes, including one by Steve Aoki and another by MAX’s side project Party Pupils, below.

Debuts

  • James Bay has made a transformation from folk/rock troubadour to glamorous pop star in one fell swoop.  His new album, Electric Light, is one of the best of the year, so I am belatedly debuting its best song and second single “Pink Lemonade”, at #25.  It’s got unexpected 80’s influences all over it – I hear mid-80’s New Order for one.  The album is diverse and well-produced.  Don’t be surprised if other songs from Electric Light land on the chart in the coming weeks.
  • UK producer bvd kult arrives on the chart for the first time with the sunshiny pop/dance of “Let You Go”, featuring vocalist OT, which I wrote about a while backIt debuts at #26.

  • Florence & The Machine gets its 6th chart entry with “Hunger” from the upcoming album High As Hope.  It has one of Florence Welch’s best recent vocals, and “Hunger” is also their first chart entry since 2012.  The band’s highest peak was attained with their first entry, the #2 “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)”, back in 2009.

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 new BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

 

Listen to atmospheric “Off To Get Lost” by French duo @Kultursound

KULTUR, “Off To Get Lost”

“Off To Get Lost” is an ideal song to end off an evening of clubbing, where you might head off into the night, with or without others, to wander among the darkness and light, and gear up for that 24 hour diner breakfast that awaits.  I can’t say that French duo Kultur (more members of the Slow Hours collective) really offer anything new here, taking a lot of cues from progressive electronic and ambient music that might go back to the early 80’s.  But “Off To Get Lost” is a very well produced instrumental indeed with trippy vocal effects and melody that will draw out some positive and emotional reactions.  Check out “Off To Get Lost” at the link above.

Published in: on May 19, 2018 at 9:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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