#BILLCSTop30 #495 – October 31/16

The only thing scary about this Hallowe’en edition of the BILLCS Top 30 is that songs 4 to 18 are all bulleted, which means that songs are patiently waiting their turns to rise faster up the chart.  You should also know that the BILLCS Top 30 is strictly my list of favourites and the rankings are purely subjective.  Even better, these 30 songs form part of a regular 60 to 70 song playlist on my iPod – yes I have lots of faves even if they aren’t on the chart!

The Top 10

  • The Top 3 are some of my favourite songs of 2016, all holding steady, with Gramatik and Leo Napier once again holding court at #1 with the Jenaux remix of “Native Son Prequel” from Gramatik’s album Epigram.  But will it stay on top next week or relinquish it to another song?
  • I don’t know when I’ve ever had two songs from Norway in my Top 10, but the first of those is “High” by Jesper Jenset in a punchy Young Bombs remix.  It climbs 8-4 – will it be enough to get the song to the top in two weeks?
  • Songs #5 and #6 have been bookends for weeks and they continue to climb – Tritonal & Jenaux’s “Broken”, featuring Adam Lambert (ab0ve), giving NYC producer/remixer two songs in the Top 5 🙂 and Norwegian #2 Matoma & Becky Hill’s “False Alarm” (below – the Steve Void remix), which is at last making inroads at US Dance Radio.
  • Zipping into the Top 10 13-7 with eyes towards the top is “Plans” by Elephante featuring Brandyn Burnette, neither of whom are strangers to the Top 10 this year.  Elephante’s “Closer” peaked at #3, while Brandyn has visited four times solo and once featured as part of Cosmos & Creature (his side project with Molly Moore), but first time as a featured solo artist!
  • Toronto’s Chet Porter brings his show back to home territory on Tuesday November 8 opening up for Lemaitre at the Velvet Underground.  His current single “Stay”, featuring Chelsea Cutler, continues to move up, 10-8 🙂
  • Also new to the Top 10 are two tremendous slices of EDM:  “In My Head” by Steve James featuring RKCB (above) rises 11-9, while “In The Name Of Love” by Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha (below) leaps 14-10.  It becomes Martin’s 4th Top Tenner following #1’s “Animals” and “Proxy” and #3 “Gold Skies”.

Movin’ On Up

  • It looks like Brandyn Burnette may land three times in the Top 10 in two weeks – which he has done before solo 🙂 – as “Closer” (from his EP State I’m In, above) glides 15-11 in a crunchy Sean Turk remix.  He also features on Molly Moore’s hypnotic “Just A Dream” (below), which is the chart’s fastest riser, vaulting 20-13.

  • It’ll take a lot for me to get sick of Torontonian The Weeknd’s epic “Starboy”, featuring Daft Punk, which jumps 18-12.
  • Bright Light Bright Light and Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic climb 19-16 with “I Only Want To Please You” (above) from BLx2’s album Choreography.  Not to be outdone, BLx2 follows it up with an EP of cover versions called Cinematography, featuring his rendition of Michael Sembello’s #1 song from the film “Flashdance”, “Maniac”, which you can hear below 🙂

  • Cole Plante looks to be headed for another Billboard Club Play #1 with “Teardrops” (featuring Bobi) as it approaches that chart’s Top 5.  “Teardrops” swiftly moves up this chart 27-21 too!
  • The only appropriate Hallowe’en song on the chart is “Skeleton” by  NYC’s Stefan Alexander, and I understand that a video is forthcoming 🙂  “Skeleton” climbs 28-22.

Three Debuts – Fun and Funky, Fun and Wacky, Fun and Dirty

  • L.A.-based producer/DJ Bobby Nourmand has outdone himself with a rework of one of his own songs.  “D E E P  In NY” takes his deep house instrumental “Deep” and adds fantastic fun and funky hip hop rhythm and rhyme courtesy of D.O.C. and Goodmorning.  It’s a striking original all over again and bows on the chart at #25.  Bobby has some fantastic news coming soon as well.  
  • Halifax EDM artist Famba has a fun and wacky debut on this chart with “Right Here, Right Now” at #26.  The extended version is a must hear for Famba’s long, enjoyable patter – point of reference for me is Eric Burdon & War’s “Spill The Wine”,  combined with 90’s house rhythms similar to classics like “Push The Feeling On” and “The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)”.  It totally sustains its 7 minute length so check it out above!
  • The second song with hip hop sharing space with EDM is Convex & Titus’ “Bad Kids”, which unto itself is a pretty cool track.  But creative Chicago remixer Snøwmass takes it several steps further making it even more fun and dirty.  “Bad Kids” arrives at #27.

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 with my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST on http://www.planetradio.ca most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear Tuesday at 9pm EST! :)

#BILLCSTop30 #493 – October 3/16

Just after the New Year, the BILLCS Top 30 will reach its 500th chart!  Now I suppose if I had been posting it weekly it would be well over 1,000 editions by now.  In this edition, there are so many hot new songs that several get caught in a mid-chart log jam while others continue to flourish near the top.  And don’t discount the four new songs that arrive either!

The Top 10

  • “Closer” by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey will always be a hard act to follow now that it’s one of the biggest hits of 2016.  So that’s all the more reason why Alex and Drew should release another single!  Below you can hear “All We Know” featuring Phoebe Ryan.

  •  (free download!)Both “Native Son Prequel” by Gramatik featuring Leo Napier in a Jenaux remix (holding at #2) and “Balance” by The Him featuring Oktavian (up 6 to 3) are positioning themselves nicely to succeed “Closer” at the top.  But which one will do it, or will something else beat them to it?  Aussie teen Joe Mason is already scoring on this chart with his remix of “Elevated” by RKCB at #13, but check out his remix of “Balance” below (free download!).
  • MAX gets his second Top 5 hit on this chart with the Two Friends remix of “Lights Down Low”, which vaults 9 to 5.  And if you missed my blog post on his new project called Party Pupils, with their cover of OutKast’s “Ms Jackson”, you can check it out right here.
  • The remixes keep arriving for “Rainbows” by Victor Perry, which continues to advance 8 to 7.  Check out Zewmøb’s bright and funky remix below (free download!).

 

  • I’m very happy that two EDM acts that continue to break out happen to land in my Top 10 at the same time.  Tritonal’s “Broken” (with Jenaux and featuring Adam Lambert, above) climbs 12-9 and “False Alarm” by Matoma featuring Becky Hill (below) moves up 13-10.  Matoma put on a heckuva show on September 23 in Toronto , where the audience was very drawn to the variety in his set… imagine what he could do with a stadium-sized audience!  Tritonal has their turn coming up in my city on October 14 🙂

Movin’ On Up

  • The fastest riser on the chart this week belongs to young Norwegian singer Jesper Jenset whose wickedly catchy “High” scores in a Young Bombs remix, climbing 22-15 ahead of some pretty fierce competition!
  • Also making a key move on the chart this week is Steve James collaboration with duo RKCB on “In My Head”, which like “High” has a drop that’s hard to beat.  “In My Head” moves up 20-16.

  • Rihanna’s “Love On The Brain” advances 21-19 but fear not, it’s just caught in that log jam of great new songs and should break loose in two weeks.

  • Liquid Diet’s “Luminary” from the trio’s debut album Double Life rises 24-20, while they’ve released a hilarious and raucous NSFW video to their song “My C**t” (below) – if you’ve seen something like it before, think less wild and Austin Mahone (also below) 😉

  • Rod Thomas, aka Bright Light Bright Light, has now proven three times that he can make great albums and not just great singles.  Each of his albums has excellent deeper tracks, and in particular those are the ones that register with me more on Choreography.  His collaboration with Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic “I Only Want To Please You” is up 26-21.
  • “Just A Dream” is a dark, hallucinogenic feast for the ears by Molly Moore and featuring Brandyn Burnette in one of their best vocal pairings yet.  Culled from Molly’s upcoming EP Now You See Me, “Just A Dream” climbs 27-22.

And They Keep On Comin’ … Four Debuts

  • Arriving at #23, why it’s Brandyn Burnette again (four times in this chart 😀 ), this time fronting Elephante’s song “Plans” from the I Am The Elephante EP.  “Plans” shows incredible versatility from both performers, just when you think there’s not another side that can be showcased, here it is!  Just a beautiful song, too.

  • If it didn’t get you from first listen – for shame!  My fellow Torontonian The Weeknd surprised everyone with the immediate release of “Starboy”, featuring none other than Daft Punk, and then its compelling video.  It should be topping charts everywhere in the next two weeks, and bows here at #24.
  • L.A. quintet Satchmode write some pretty interesting songs, and one of them, “Undertow” was recently remixed by NYC brothers Anden, which got it featured on Tiesto’s Club Life mix.  Anden gives it a late night cruising-down-PCH feel to it, and it premieres at #27!  My original post about it is right here.  It’s a free download too!
  • One of the most inauspicious instrumentals of 2016 received a winning remix this summer, which got it to #1 on the Hype Machine charts.  The song is “Vague” by Fabian Luttenberger, as remixed by none other than Saxity’s talented Stan Sax – so yes, do listen for the highlight that is the saxophone break!  “Vague” is one sultry affair that will be stuck in your head for days (check out my original post right here), and is new to the chart at #28.  It’s another free download!

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 with my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST on http://www.planetradio.ca most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear Tuesday evenings at 9pm EST:)

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #492 – September 19/16

There’s a new #1, five debuts, and plenty of movement, so lots to write about in this 492nd edition of the BILLCS Top 30 🙂

The Top 10

  • It should be no surprise that “Closer” by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey is the new #1 after I’ve been singing its praises since its release on July 29.  No mean feat either knocking “Shy” by The Magician and Brayton Bowman out of the top spot.  I’m not sure how long “Closer” will endure at #1 given the fantastic mix of songs heading upward but it’s the first topper for the duo of Alex and Drew who have had triumphs unlike any other EDM performers in 2016 while staying true to their roots.
  • One of the songs challenging “Closer” moves up 5-2 and that’s the Jenaux remix of “Native Son Prequel” by Gramatik featuring Leo Napier.  This song has an amazing ‘wow, cool!’ factor about it like no other song on the chart, and it may yet get to #1.
  • It became his first American Top 10 song as a lead performer and deservedly so for Charlie Puth, who with Selena Gomez, have “We Don’t Talk Anymore” riding the Top 10 wave here too, moving 10-7.
  • Atlanta’s sweet-voiced Victor Perry climbs 13-8 with his independent release “Rainbows”, very deserving of your attention from his EP 4 A.M. Nostalgia.  An official remix surfaced this past week by L.A.’s The Wookie…. and I had a little something to do with it 🙂  Download it for free above.
  • The second new entry to the Top 10 is also the Fastest Riser on the chart.  MAX (Schneider) gets his third Top 10 entry this year as the Two Friends remix of “Lights Down Low” soars 19-9.

Movin’ On Up

  • Jenaux is back this time with co-billing as lead artist with Tritonal for “Broken” featuring none other than Adam Lambert, which leaps 18-12.

  • Right behind is Norway’s Matoma with UK singer Becky Hill for “False Alarm”, now a UK Top 40 hit, which moves 20-13.
  • Toronto’s Chet Porter has a winning EDM ballad with “Stay” featuring Chelsea Cutler, and it rises 24-16.

  • It’s taken a while on North American shores, but Martin Garrix finally has his follow up radio hit to 2013’s “Animals” with the powerful “In The Name Of Love” featuring Bebe Rexha on vocals.  It jumps 25-18.
  •  Sean Turk’s funky remix interpretation of Brandyn Burnette’s fine “Closer” from the EP State I’m In is in the mix rising 26-19.
  • RKCB’s in fine form not only on their own “Elevated” at #14, but as featured vocalists in Steve James’ great dance track “In My Head”, which climbs 28-20.

Those Five Debuts!

  • Rihanna doesn’t need help from my blog but she gets her 10th chart entry and first since 2010’s “S&M” with the amazing “Love On The Brain”.  And what convinced me was her outstanding performance of it on the MTV awards, which despite weaker performances that night was the real deal.  It arrives at #21.
  • New to the chart at #22 is the second entry from Norway.  I think 19 year old Jesper Jenset has a potential international hit on his hands with “High”, and in the remix hands of Canadian duo Young Bombs (who got to #1 here a few months ago with their take on Connor Phillips’ “Lost”) then clubs will come-a-calling. 

  • I glowed about the debut album Double Life by NYC trio Liquid Diet recently, and before that about their intriguing video (above) for “Luminary”.  The retro Europop-influenced dance track arrives at #24. 
  • I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Bright Light Bright Light’s third album Choreography since its release in July but have been holding off adding any of its songs to the chart till now.  One of the most engaging and memorable songs within is his collaboration with Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic on “I Only Want To Please You”, which premieres at #26.  It’s Rod Thomas’ 15th appearance on my chart as a lead act, plus one as a featured vocalist 🙂
  • The final debut on the chart is the intense alternative EDM belonging to Molly Moore with “Just A Dream” from her upcoming EP Now U See Me at #27.  It’s an amazing vocal collaboration with her beau Brandyn Burnette, whose low octave here is in perfect contrast and support of Molly’s exquisite lead.  

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 my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST on http://www.planetradio.ca most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear Tuesday evenings at 9pm EST:)

You can dance: @BrightLightx2 scores aces with 3rd album Choreography

BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT, Choreography

I’ve pretty much gotten away from writing about full-length albums, but there is always an exception, and Bright Light Bright Light’s third long-player Choreography is exactly that.  Bright Light x2 (Rod Thomas) first appeared in this blog not long after I began writing it in 2009 and I’ve looked forward to his music ever since.  Consistency is hard to maintain but Rod does that with the songs in Choreography.  Always writing from unique perpectives, these songs do give examples of how one choreographs one’s life, or at times, has it choreographed for them.  The bevy of guest stars – pals Sir Elton John (featuring in three songs), Mykal Kilgore, and all members of Scissor Sisters (including Del Marquis), plus Alan Cumming! – do not overwhelm or detract from Rod’s approach, they simply fit, exactly how it should be.  Standout songs are lead singles “All In The Name” (with Sir Elton), “Little Bit” (above), along with”Home” (with Alan), and especially when Rod gets to party with Scissor Sisters on club bangers “Kiss For Kiss” (with Jake Shears) and “I Only Want To Please You” (with Ana Matronic).  You can dance and sway to it all however you like, or you can listen attentively.  Bright Light Bright Light’s Choreography is as an electronic pop beauty that you can’t ignore.

“All In The Name” is new and uniquely @BrightLightx2 featuring @Eltonofficial

BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT featuring ELTON JOHN, “All In The Name”

After the long-lasting songs from the success that was Bright Light Bright Light’s 2014 album Life Is Easy comes “All In The Name”, from his upcoming third album Choreography.  All you need to do is search these blog pages to find the countless raves about Rod Thomas’ music since I first encountered it in late 2009!  “All In The Name” is no exception to the high quality of songwriting.  It’s a cheery danceable pop song for sunny summer days, featuring another appearance from his friend and mentor Elton John, after 2014’s “I Wish We Were Leaving” (Elton appears on two more songs on Choreography).  So that you remember the title of the album, the video (above) for “All In The Name” is a highly stylized affair, full of eye-catching pastel colours, fine editing, and nifty choreography (my daughter danced for 10 years so I have some insight here!).   “All In The Name” is light and memorable – with a cast featuring Alan Cumming, Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears, Ana Matronic & Del Marquis, and that soulful vocal near the end by Mykal Kilgore (who recently co-sang the Billboard Top 20 Club Chart hit “Wait” with Vinny Vero) – and everything a fine pop song should be (now onto the remixes?).

Dance To Diss: @BrightLightx2 & @MsAnaMatronic with “Good Luck” (remix)

BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT & ANA MATRONIC, “Good Luck” (remix)

The music of Bright Light Bright Light is never too far away from a blog post, and I’m happy to hear that a remix album Life Is Hard is coming in June.  To kick it off is “Good Luck”, a song from BLx2’s album Life Is Easy, which grew on me months after the album was released.  It’s a pretty potent diss of a song that goes perfectly with the early 90’s house rhythm, and is dead on similar in theme to Basement Jaxx’s 2004 hit also called “Good Luck” (mashup, please?).  For the remix album and the above new video – and who’d have thought of Rod Thomas as a boxer – well, perhaps metaphorically 😛 – Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic joins to inject an entertaining, welcome campy side to the song.  Good on Rod and his team for giving “Good Luck” its own due showcase.