#BILLCSTop30 #574 – November 11/19

The new chart is brimming with activity as some hot new songs take advantage to move up in the place of older favourites.  

The music from my chart and blog will be featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA.  You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!

1-2-3 – all locked in for another chart.  Throttle’s “Dreamer” (above) from the fine EP Where U Are stays put at #1, while the OKJAMES remix of “Like Like” by Lostchild and “I’m Not Alright” by Loud Luxury and Bryce Vine (both below) remain at #2 and #3 respectively.

Aside from “I’m Not Alright”, the Top 5 songs are comprised entirely of indies, and rounded out by Nashville duo Apollo LTD’s “On The Way Up 2.0” (6-4) and UK singer/songwriter Benedict Cork with “Breaking Hearts” (7-5), both below.

New to the Top 10 are:

  • “Lights Up” by Harry Styles (above), from his upcoming sophmore December release Fine Line.  This beautiful performance is one to keep an eye on closely as it zips up 16-7.
  • “Don’t Break My Heart Again” by Australia’s Peter Wilson in a Stormby edit climbs 11-8, becoming the singer’s second Top Tenner, after last year’s “Verona” with Sean Smith reached #2.
  • “Flicker” by NYC producers Anden rises 13-9 for those late night deep house parties.

The fastest riser on the chart is “Faith” by Sweden’s Galantis which is graced by the inimitable Dolly Parton and Dutch vocalist Mr. Probz. It soars 25-13, and is actually a cover of a Grammy-nominated song from John Hiatt’s 1987 album Bring The Family called “Have A Little Faith In Me”.  It’s also been covered in recent years by Joe Cocker and Bon Jovi, so this dance rendition was highly unexpected.  But you can’t knock the immensely positive vibes, guaranteed to make anyone smile.

It’s guaranteed to grow on you with each listen – “Punching In The Dark” is by another Swedish producer, Jon Hellberg, featuring an excellent vocal by Aloe Blacc, which climbs 23-16.

As fast as “Walk Alone” (above) has moved up the chart 24-18, Dutch producers The Him have another solid brand new mover and shaker for you.  Check out “In My Arms”, featuring Norma Jean Martine, below.

By popular demand, remixes and an acoustic version of “Mad” by L.A.-based singer/songwriter Brandon Colbein, are coming soon, as the song climbs 26-19.

I’m so thrilled with Sam Smith’s take on Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” – with much thanks to producers Disclosure, who couldn’t be more bang on with their interpretation – that it bows at #22.  It’s Sam’s most adventurous record with an outstanding vocal.  He’s been to the top of this chart 4 times – with “Money On My Mind”, “Stay With Me”, “I’m Not The Only One”, and of course his first partnership with Disclosure on “Latch”. “I Feel Love” marks his 13th entry.  A previous cover of the song charted in 2003 by Blue Man Group featuring Venus Hum and reached #2.

It’s also my pleasure to add “Toxic World” by Peter Foldy to the chart at #27.  Peter had three hits in Canada in the 1970’s – “Bondi Junction”, “Roxanne”, and “Julie Ann” – all very well-respected by Canadian music lovers, and it’s great to have him back in a contemporary mix of a song that’s full of optimism despite its title.

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 🙂

 

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #572 – October 14, 2019

I have a briefer blog post for you as a result of a combination of a busy Canadian Thanksgiving weekend and illness.  I will be back with more about the Top 30 for you in two weeks, and of course with blog posts in-between.

I am pleased to announce that music from my chart and blog will be featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA.  You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!

“Push” by Ukrainian dance group Kazaky once again holds court at the top, giving the Depeche Mode-influenced song 4 appearances (8 weeks) at #1.  We’ll see what this talented group plans as a follow up!

Looking to challenge in two weeks is “Dreamer” by Australian producer Throttle, which climbs 6-2, as Throttle’s first ever EP Where U Are is released.  It uniquely mixes thoughtful lyrics and a variety of dance styles and genres which will appeal to fans of both pop and dance music.  There are even vocals by Throttle himself!  Check out the full EP below, and listen to the songs consecutively as he suggests, which include “Dreamer” and his other previous single “Japan”.

“I’m Not Alright” by Loud Luxury and Bryce Vine advances 5-4 and now has its own video, check it out above.

Also eyeing the top of the chart is the OKJAMES remix of UK indie electronic performer Lostchild’s “Like Like” (below), which zips into the Top 10, up 11-5.  Check out the video of the original version of the song above.

Half of the Top 10 are independent releases with no label power, and one I’m happy to see climbing 12-8 is from Nashville duo Apollo LTD with the commanding “On The Way Up 2.0” from their must-hear album Out Of Body.

The other new entry to the Top 10 is a Top 30 hit in the UK and a dance hit as well.  It’s “Ritual” by Tiësto, Jonas Blue and Rita Ora, moving 13-10.

The fastest riser on the chart is by another independent performer from the UK.  The golden voice of Benedict Cork carries “Breaking Hearts” 20-12.

I’m sooo glad Pet Shop Boys and Years & Years teamed up for a record because it is absolutely a treat to listen to each time.  “Dreamland” rises 21-14.  Remixes are coming in all physical formats on October 25!

While other upward moving songs between 15 and 24 should break loose in some way or form in two weeks, you can’t deny the power of the highest debut at #25.  Harry Styles’ “Lights Up” simply should be one of the biggest hits of 2019, and the signs will show in the coming weeks.  Any vocalist should be in awe of his performance here, in such a different style from his previous album two years ago too.  The video above has almost 20M views since October 11!

As “Good Things Falls Apart” tumbles off the chart after the maximum 10 appearances (20 weeks), 5 of which were at #1, it gives room for another Illenium song.  “Broken Ones”, featuring the stunning voice of Anna Clendening, arrives at #26.  If you saw one of Illenium’s recent shows, you also saw Annika Wells (known for her vocal on “Crawl Outta Love”) sing it as if she recorded it.

The last two premieres on the chart were hard to fill, but both artists have appeared on the chart a number of times.  At #28 (above) is the infectious “Punching In The Dark” by Sweden’s Hellberg featuring the easily identifiable voice of Aloe Blacc.  And arriving at #29 is “Walk Alone” (below), the early ’10’s and very welcome melodic house throwback by Dutch producers The Him.  Both Hellberg and The Him have been to the top of the chart, Hellberg with Dzeko & Torres and “Care For Me” in 2016, and The Him in 2018 with Parson James and “Broken Love”.

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 🙂

#BILLCSTop30 #569 – September 2/19

September marks a big change-up on the new chart.  Not only is there a new #1 which more people need to discover, there are five new entries.  And it was a tough decision as to which songs debuted as there is quite a line-up of chart-worthy recent releases.  So while leaves will begin to tumble and the cooler air sets in where I am in Toronto, the music on the chart is free-flowing and most deserving of your attention!

It’s Ukrainian dance ensemble Kazaky who reign supreme on the chart now with “Push” and its stunning video (above).  It’s rare that you will see such physical choreography, and much of it danced in stilettos, so these guys must be so disciplined and committed.  Plus it’s a great song with early 90’s Depeche Mode all over it married with modern synths.

Kygo’s redux of Whitney Houston’s 1990 recording of “Higher Love” climbs to #2.  I must say I’m calling out radio in North America for not supporting such a great record.  The rest of the world indeed has much better taste these days, and so do dance clubs, where it’s already been a #1 hit.

“Time” is my favourite song from the Emanate album by EMAN8 (Brandyn Burnette). He’s been in my Top 10 numerous times over the last five years, but “Time” rises 9-6, his first time this high on the chart since “Run” got to #4 a little over a year ago.

Three songs climb into the Top 10, and they are Sam Dickinson’s joyous “All We Are” (11-7, above – all of Sam’s charted songs have reached the Top 10!), Avicii’s “Tough Love” (13-9, also above) and Italian musical mirth-makers Eric Zava & DJ Mirko B with “Even In Confusion” (12-10, below).

There’s lots of activity immediately below the Top 10, as the dark and mysterious deep house of “Alone Again” (above) by Mahalo and Polish producer Milkwish climbs 16-11.  Right behind is Loud Luxury and Bryce Vine with their huge Canadian radio hit that deserves to spread worldwide, “I’m Not Alright” (below), moving up 18-12.

The fastest riser on the chart is the highest debut from two weeks ago, “Dreamer” by Australian producer Throttle, which soars 22-13.  I’m hoping this is Throttle’s breakout record – dance music radio really needs to jump all over its refreshing sound.

The other debuts from the last chart also make progress.  Nashville duo Apollo LTD have one of my favourite albums of the year called Out Of Body, and their song “On The Way Up 2.0” (above) rises 24-20.  Then the unexpected dream team of Tiësto, Jonas Blue and Rita Ora move up 26-21 with “Ritual” (below).

The highest of five premieres this week belongs to England’s Lostchild with the charming and fun “Like Like” in its OKJAMES remix arriving at #23.  Lostchild reached #5 last year with the equally engaging “Blacklist”, so watch for great things for “Like Like”.  Both OKJAMES remix and the video for the original version of the song are above.

Someone else who is no stranger to this chart is Florida-born producer PLS&TY, whose latest engaging single “Run Wild” bows at #24.  Its repeated sample of a Finnish acoustic song is infectious and refreshing.  The Morgan Page of PLS&TY’s “Down For Me” got to #6 last year.

Chicago’s Win & Woo make their debut on the chart as lead performers with possibly their best single to date so far, which is the biting “Here U R”, featuring and co-written by singer Sara Skinner.  It arrives at #26.  Win & Woo’s other chart appearance was in 2016 providing a good-natured remix of Brandyn Burnette’s “Made Of Dreams” (#5), which I still play a lot.

Australia’s Peter Wilson returns to the chart after getting to #2 last year with Sean Smith in the unique duet called “Verona”.  It’s the Stormby edit of “Don’t Break My Heart Again” that bows at #27 from the EP of remixes for the song.  You’ve also seen Stormby on this chart before, with one of my favourite remixes of this decade, Kaden’s “Black Light”, which got to #1 in 2013.

The fifth debut will keep the heat of the summer continuing, in music anyway.  It’s the soulful, lazy melody of “Poolside Vibe” courtesy of two gents usually known as producers, Pretty Sister (Zak Waters) and MarcLo (Marc Lomax of The Monsters & The Strangerz collective), entering at #29.

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 🙂

#BILLCSTop30 #568 – August 19/19

As the ides of August pass by, a close battle for the top on this new chart did not change too much. 

For with the arrival of his new album Ascend, Illenium along with vocalist Jon Bellion once again take #1 with “Good Things Fall Apart”.  That makes it 5 appearances – 10 weeks – at the top, which has only been achieved by one other record in this decade, and that is “I Wanna Be (Free)” by Brandyn Burnette (now recording as EMAN8, and in the chart at #9 with “Time”), my #1 song of 2015.  After listening to Ascend, I am very lost for words and it needs another go through.  But it’s an outstanding record sonically, musically, and lyrically, with many fine collaborations.  

That means that “World At Our Feet” has another close call for #1 but stays at #2 for a 3rd appearance for Australia’s Timmy Trumpet.  Still, it’s a true favourite of mine for ’19.

Unless “World At Our Feet” succeeds “Good Things Fall Apart” at #1, then it should be Push by Ukrainian dance music group Kazaky that gets there next.  “Push” would sound great next to any late 80’s or early 90’s Depeche Mode song, and it climbs 8-3.  And watch the video to see what these five guys do with choreography and huge stiletto heels!

The cool, relaxed vibe of “Monday Blues” helps send this dance track up 7-5 for L.A. producer Eric Sharp and vocalist Kenny Zhao.  Play it after “Cola” by Camelphat and Elderbrook and you’ll see what I mean.

Showtek and Leon Sherman’s “Listen To Your Momma” (A-Trak remix) continues its journey into the Top 10 landing at #8.

Sam Dickinson’s beautiful and affecting “All We Are” will become the UK singer/songwriter’s fourth Top 10 entry on this chart in two weeks, but for now it climbs 14-11.  Sam has a new single coming called “Diamond Skin” and Pt. 3 of his EP trilogy From The Glass House.

Cutting loose through the middle with a lovely orchestral hook is “Tough Love” by Avicii featuring Swedish chanteuse Agnes plus Avicii’s long time collaborators Vargas and Lagola.  It rises 19-13.

It was never an issue if “Alone Again” by Mahalo and Milkwish would leave the lower 10, it was just a matter of time, amid fierce competition on the chart.  “Alone Again” rises 21-16.

Right behind “Alone Again” again is “Flying On My Own” by Celine Dion, which also makes its presence known, climbing 22-17.

The Fastest Riser on the chart is “I’m Not Alright” by Canadians Loud Luxury with vocalist Bryce Vine.  It’s one for the lazy, hazy end of summer days and moves up 26-18.

The Highest Debut belongs to Australian producer Throttle with “Dreamer” at #22.  This one’s a real grower and you pick up the sincerity in the song as you hear it more.  Plus it’s got a knockout beat to keep you grooving.  It’s also a rare appearance on this chart for Canadian dance music label Monstercat, which previously charted with Hellberg’s “Synchronize” (#8) in 2016.  “Dreamer” is Throttle’s second appearance on the chart following his playful take on Michael Bublé’s “My Kind Of Girl” (#21) in 2017, but don’t forget he also had a #1 remix with Troye Sivan’s “My! My! My!”.

The next new arrival is at #24, Nashville duo Apollo LTD’s “On The Way Up 2.0” from their wonderful album Out Of Body.  These guys know how to write songs and put together an album that flows from song to song.  The “2.0” in the title does signal a new version of a previous single that perhaps sounded initially too much like an Imagine Dragons kind of song.  Keeping the anthemic appeal intact, “2.0” takes the song down a few notches and lets us bask in its fine melody and great vocal.

The third debut will become an easy go-to record for me.  It’s “Ritual”, a collaboration of Tiësto, Jonas Blue and Rita Ora, which arrives at #26.  While Tiësto and Jonas Blue are no strangers to the chart, it is Rita Ora’s first entry and definitely one of her best vocals.  The hook in “Ritual” is just insane and had me singing along right away.

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 🙂

Call it the new Power Pop: “Out Of Body” is the debut album by Nashville’s @weareApolloLTD

APOLLO LTD, Out Of Body

I must admit I do not listen to full album releases much these days.  But after a couple of promising single releases, you owe it to yourself to check out Nashville duo Apollo LTD’s debut album Out Of Body.  It puts all of their singles and two previous EP’s into one convenient place, and shows how cohesive these songs sound when you listen to them all consecutively. 

Call it today’s Power Pop – incredibly strong melodies that naturally blend pop, rock, and dance genres, featuring multi-layered stories that can apply to anyone.  The tight production has a wall-of-sound effect which gives the music a retro-classic kind of feel.  Jordan Phillips is the vocalist with the affecting tones while Adam Stark handles production but both handle the various instrumentation.  The combined sounds of synths with live instruments also offers a big, full sound on the album.  

I’ve already written about “Misfits”, “On The Way Up”, and the ballad “Heaven (All Around You)”.  The latter song also appears in its more uptempo version, while “On The Way Up” has been re-recorded and seems to emphasize more anthemic dance qualities than the mainstream sound of the original.  “On The Way Up 2.0” (above) is probably my favourite on the album, with “Misfits”, “Supernatural” (also above), “Drive”, and “Tired Of L.A.” all memorable in their own special ways.  

Out Of Body is a consistent effort from Apollo LTD with undeniably fine songwriting and production that sets their songs apart from the rest.

It’s 10/10 #04: @DJSAVI @TarynManning #TobiasBergson @MichaelShynes @AdnanVeron @ShayceOpal @PaulHofficial @BenedictCork @weareApolloLTD @Beticalmusic @KenSummit @EricKupper @AmyDouglassings @ValenciaJamestw #Homestead

10/10 #04

10/10 (or tenoutoften) is back and is once again 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. 

tenoutoften

tenoutoften 04

  • SAVI & TARYN MANNING, “Bring Me Back To You”

“Bring Me Back To You” is a future house fan’s delight from L.A. producer SAVI and long time dance club favourite, singer/actress Taryn Manning (“Orange Is The New Black”, “Hawaii Five-O”).  This Strange Fruits release is a well-produced mix to keep dancers on the floor, with a nice trappy mid-section that draws you back into the latter part of the song.  It’s great to hear Taryn in this slightly different, more progressive setting, so with her track record on the charts – two #1’s “Send Me Your Love” (with Sultan + Shepard) and “GLTCHLFE” – club DJ’s will easily fit “Bring Me Back To You” to their mid-evening Saturday night sets.

  • TOBIAS BERGSON & MICHAEL SHYNES, “Keep Trying”

“Keep Trying” is one of those positive slices of deep house music that’s destined to be a crowd pleaser.  Brought to you by the new Dutch label Diepgraven, Austria’s Tobias Bergson surrounds the lyrics with bright sounds and a riveting rhythm to allow the fine voice of US singer Michael Shynes to anchor the song.  This one’ll getcha in the same way that Armin van Buuren & Trevor Guthrie’s “This Is What It Feels Like” or Dave Edwards & Mark Asari’s “That’s What We’re Made Of” created timeless, effortless good vibes.

  • ADNAN VERON & SHAYCE OPAL, “Without You”

Anytime is the perfect time for romance in “Without You”.  Adnan Veron is a new producer out of Indonesia and he’s got a fantastic British singer named Shayce Opal to carry the song for him.  It’s a delightful combination of stunning high vocal notes with mid-tempo electronica, and it lilts along at a comfortable pace with wistful lyrics setting the tone.  “Without You” is a gorgeous Neon Fruits release that deserves attention.

  • PAUL HETHERINGTON, “Touch”

Australian producer and vocalist Paul Hetherington follows up his first release in a number of years called “When I Lost You” with the atmospheric and taut “Touch”.  The song seems to take cues perhaps from 80’s new wave and late 90’s and 00’s pleasures from the likes of fellow Aussies Darren Hayes and Savage Garden.  Paul crafts an intriguing and memorable melody while the provocative synth beat throbs along.

  • BENEDICT CORK, “Funny How Things Change”

It came out a little while ago now but I don’t want “Funny How Things Change” by British singer Benedict Cork to slip away without notice, in the same way that I immediately latched on to YEBBA’s “Evergreen” in late 2017.  This is indeed a happy marriage of a wonderful new voice and a splendid song, which Benedict co-wrote.  He has a radiant tone that immediately impresses and cuts through the lyrics like butter.   Benedict Cork is definitely one singer to put on your list. In fact he’s released another song since “Funny” called “Breaking Hearts” so I’ll have to get to that one soon too.

  • APOLLO LTD, “Misfits”

Nashville duo Apollo LTD returns with “Misfits”.  It strikes you instantly with an urgent vocal and a snappy melody with well thought out words to which anyone can relate.  It has a slightly soulful backdrop that could have found its way out of a 70’s Boz Scaggs or Steely Dan record, but mainly “Misfits” is a solid, contemporary pop release that stands out.

  • BETICAL, “Runnin'”

French brothers Max and Martin, aka Betical, offer up late night deep house grooves with “Runnin'”.  It’s a bit different from their more recent releases but should have no problem drawing folks out on to the dance floor with its atmospheric vocal and booming house beats.  The song hopes to strike a chord with the younger crowd about being independent and free-thinking.  DJ’s might find themselves making “Runnin'” a go-to for late hot summer nights.

  • KENNY SUMMIT, ERIC KUPPER and AMY DOUGLAS, “Give Me Love”

“Give Me Love” has one mission – to make you groove long and hard.  This is big sounding deep house at its best thanks to US producers Kenny Summit and Eric Kupper featuring the classic, soulful voice of NYC’s Amy Douglas, who most recently appeared on Horse Meat Disco’s “Let’s Go Dancing” (which got to #14 on my personal chart).  There’s simply no denying the power of a song like this in dance clubs.  It draws heavily from 90’s house – a nice companion piece in my opinion in fact to its namesake late 90’s classic by Alcatraz.

  • VALENCIA JAMES, “Flames”

Australia-based, NYC-bred singer/songwriter Valencia James is a newcomer with a fierce voice to remember in her debut single “Flames”.  It’s a powerful song with an expressive and compelling vocal that uses the imagery of playing with fire when a relationship is about to be permanently damaged.  There’s no doubt when you hear Valencia James that you will think of another very famous NYC vocalist – Lady Gaga.  “Flames” is a great introduction to Valencia James and I’m sure we will be hearing much, much more from her.

  • HOMESTEAD, “Runaway”

“Runaway” was a nice surprise to come my way as the debut single from two super and talented fellow Canadians calling themselves Homestead, producer/guitarist Liam DeBoer and vocalist Joël, who previously reached #12 on my personal chart with 2016’s “You Fucked Up”.  This alt.rock flavoured dance track has a hypnotic melody led by Joël’s at times unique and mysterious-sounding vocal.  I haven’t figured out what it’s all about but “Runaway” is chock full of interesting imagery and warrants multiple listens.

 

Nashville duo #ApolloLTD’s “Heaven (All Around You)” is a delightful piano-driven ballad

APOLLO LTD, “Heaven (All Around You)”

A well-known singer/songwriter posted this past week wondering what songs kids would slow dance to these days.  Look no further than Nashville duo Apollo LTD’s “Heaven (All Around You)”.  It’s a gracious but still edgy ballad, with Jordan Phillips’ passionate vocal letting loose, rasp and all, near the end, and Adam Stark working all kinds of magic on the keys.  The lyrics will speak easily to many who enjoy the music of All-American Rejects, All Time Low, or Simple Plan, and there is definitely retro 80s/90s appeal to “Heaven (All Around You)”.  Watch the nicely shot video above for full effect.

Published in: on February 18, 2019 at 5:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Nashville duo @weareApolloLTD will lift you higher “On The Way Up”

APOLLO LTD, “On The Way Up”

“On The Way Up” by Nashville duo Apollo LTD takes a trademark anthemic sound that bands like Imagine Dragons offer to pop and mainstream radio fans, but transforms it through a big synth arrangement for clubs.  That doesn’t mean at all that the song is all fist-pumping power.  “On The Way Up”, in fact has a dynamic arrangement that brings the music down to those quiet, phone-flashlight moments before it erupts again.  Plus, Apollo LTD clearly knows how to get you to those unmistakable highs thanks to an immensely catchy chorus.  So “On The Way Up” ends up having wide appeal that should be supported by pop, rock and dance music fans alike.

Published in: on November 22, 2018 at 10:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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