BILLCS Chart #386 – August 27/12 – Be Kind, Push Rewind!

The top of my personal chart is tighter than ever, as DATABOY’s “Dreams Are Gold” gives way ever so slightly to “Remember When (Push Rewind)” by Indiana-born Chris Wallace, which advances to #1 just before the release date of his album Push Rewind (album cover art above, reprise of the video below). There’s a lot of the Top 10 that stays the same – with good reason, the songs on this chart are especially strong – but in the midst there is some notable movement.

Kyle Patrick has been to Singapore, the Philippines, and Malaysia these past few weeks. The house that The Click Five built over there is significant, and Kyle’s “Go For Gold” is making great strides on their charts. From his self-titled EP, “Gold” is definitely winning, and climbs to #6 on the chart. Down further there are two new entries to the Top 10. The spry Green Children remix of Foster The People’s “Houdini” works its magic at #9, while fastest riser “Spectrum” by Zedd featuring Matthew Koma is headed for the upper reaches, advancing 21-10.

Mark Thursday, August 30 on your calendar to watch the New York episode of The CW network’s new show “The Next”. The supremely talented Baiyu is one of four contestants – and her competition had better be on their game! Best of luck to Baiyu ūüôā Her song “Hunter” climbs to #11 on my chart. Her coach on the show is none other than Nelly.

Several other upwardly mobile songs continue towards the Top 10. “We Dance 4 Reason” by Latvian dancer, model, DJ/producer, and singer, Poptronik performer Markus Riva vaults 20-14, followed directly by the long-lasting “When She Was Mine” by Lawson at #15. ¬†Watch their video for the UK Top 5 hit “Taking Over Me” below. ¬†The third chart entry for DATABOY, the splendiforous “Genius”, jumps to #16, with “Long Time” by Sweden’s John De Sohn and singer/songwriter Andreas Moe (also still residing at #7 with “Collecting Sunlight” himself) rising to #17. The feel good vibe of L.A.’s Saint Motel continues at #22 with the swinging “Benny Goodman”, while “Emergency” by Audio Playground with Snoop Dogg is up to #24.

All of our new entries are by performers who have already visited the chart, some more recently than others. We’ll start with a couple of doubles, please. The highest new entry at #20 is the instantaneously ear-pleasing pop of Ellie Goulding with her first single from the upcoming Halcyon album (artwork above) with “Anything Could Happen”. While “Lights” took its sweet time getting to the upper reaches of the international charts, the response to “Anything” should be swifter. Ellie’s free download cover of The Weeknd’s “High For This” continues to climb at #19. Then we have the good natured dance floor fun brought to us by Portugal’s Carlos N√≥brega, whose latest song “Music Makes You Lose Control” (#23) will be sure to inspire much dancing at those upcoming Hallowe’en parties. ¬†The anthemic “Turn It Up” is lifted to #12 as well.

After “Scream” from this past Spring, one could see that UK duo Bim are headed in the right direction as they create songs for their upcoming sophomore album. Their latest single, “Lights Out” (video reprise below), is a free download that combines the emotion of the songs from Scatterheart and some wickedly powerful vocals to create a song that is completely captivating and arrives at #27. Their “Head Over Heels” got to #3 on my chart in 2010. Lastly Kyle Brylin is back with some slick electronica featuring catchy melodies and hooks like we heard last year in “Everything I’m Missing” (#5) and “Never Love A DJ” (#8). From his latest 4 song EP comes the emotional house track “Hurricane” at #28. ¬†So that makes Kyle (Patrick), Kyle (Brylin), and Kylie on the chart – a nice triple play ūüôā

AND DON’T FORGET: ¬†A year in the making, the Poptronik festival in Sitges, Spain will be a dream come true for electronica fans on September 1 and 2. ¬†Needless to say I’m jealous of all those who can party on the beach to some great performers, including Andy Bell of Erasure, Markus Riva, Adam Tyler, SIRPAUL, Garcon Garcon, and many more. ¬†Best of luck to all involved!

BILLCS Chart #384 – DATABOY Score Gold For A Third Time

My bi-weekly chart of favourites is delightfully abuzz of a great bunch of new songs, which is making it increasingly difficult to rank every two weeks.  So the ups and downs of songs look like they will be a bit dramatic during these summer months, and the wait for #1 for some top notch songs may continue longer than it normally would.

DATABOY score their third number one song on the chart with “Dreams Are Gold”, a song that’s awash in as great a melody as it is with lyrics that totally hit home for me with its message. ¬†They’ve already been on top with “Just Once” last summer (also included on their Dreams Are Gold album), as well as with Rune RK for “Memorize Me”, the song that brought sunny Ibiza sounds to my winter months. ¬†Be sure to listen to “Dreams Are Gold” below.

That means that “Remember When (Push Rewind)” by Chris Wallace, which is starting to get national radio play in the U.S., moves up to #2. ¬†It’s surely a contender for #1, but it’s a matter of WHEN it will get there with “Dreams Are Gold” ahead of it. ¬†That also means “One Kiss” by Jeronimo, one of my most played current songs, drops somewhat early to #3 but should hang in and around the Top 10 for a few more weeks. ¬†And did you know that one of Jeronimo’s songs is the Cartoon Network ID for some parts of the world (outside of Europe and North America)?? ¬†

The fastest riser on the chart, because I can’t get it out of my head ūüėČ , is “Timebomb” by Kylie Minogue, which soars 15-4 somewhat in anticipation of what she’ll release next. ¬†All of Kylie’s 5 songs that have got on my chart have reached my Top 10; “Timebomb” surpasses the #5 peak of “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head” to become her biggest chart hit. ¬†Watch her performance from “The Voice” (UK) below. ¬†Daniel Bedingfield has been performing some gigs in L.A., which hopefully bodes well for them to spread to other parts of North America in the near future. ¬†“Secret Fear” jumps to #5, matching the same peak of “Wrap My Words Around You” back in 2005.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL‚ÄôS PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click¬†right here.¬†You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.¬† Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer. ¬†There‚Äôs always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement ‚ÄúLeave A Comment‚ÄĚ ‚Äď please feel free to do so¬†:)

The rest of the Top 10 moves up, with the exception of “All Our Love” by Gentlemen Hall, which slips to #10. ¬†“Hollywood” by RAC featuring Penguin Prison climbs to #6, and DATABOY’s concurrent Top Tenner “Lotion” moves to #8. ¬†The second new entry to the Top 10 is “Collecting Sunlight” by Andreas Moe, which arrives at #9.

The third newcomer to the Top 10 is the highest debut this week. ¬†The Calvin Harris remix of Florence & The Machine’s “Spectrum (Say My Name)” turns the song into a most colourful and rousing dance hit that is the current UK #1. ¬†It bows on my chart at #7, giving the band their second Top 10 hit following 2009’s “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)”, which got to #2. ¬†I’m glad “Spectrum” got release as a single as something needed to give new life to the Ceremonials album while Florence waits to return to touring after throat problems caused some gigs to be cancelled.

And as if that wasn’t enough, the chart continues to be busy below the Top 10. ¬†“Moves”, the song by Bright Light Bright Light that’s immersed in a late 70’s disco strings arrangement, leaps 21-11, while “Angel” by Darren Hayes (the flip side to the single of “Talk Talk Talk”) is right behind, up 16-12. ¬†“Go For Gold” has certainly arrived right in time for the Olympics, so don’t be surprised if Kyle Patrick’s song (moving 23-14) gets some deserved attention during the many weeks to come. ¬†Kyle has also recently released his self-titled EP on iTunes, while “Go For Gold” continues to be a free download. ¬†Watch the video below.

I’m pleased to report that New York singer Baiyu is a contestant on the new CW show “The Next”, which features Gloria Estefan, Joe Jonas, John Rich, and Nelly as panelist judges. ¬†The show begins on August 16, so be sure to tune in to see how far this talented gal can go. ¬†In the meantime, watch her video for “Invisible” (#22) below. ¬†The club-oriented title song from her Hunter mixtape also climbs to #15.

“Chasing The Sun” by The Wanted charges to #16, while Monti Monta√Īez’s “Turn Up Your Radio” (from This Beat Is… Poptronik Volume One) moves up to #17. ¬†The high dose of summer energy that is “Turn It Up” by Portugal’s all round entertainer (and fellow Poptronik performer) Carlos N√≥brega vaults 26-19 (listen below), while UK foursome Lawson reach #20 with “When She Was Mine”.

I’ve previously written about 3 of our remaining 4 debuts, which you can see/hear below. ¬†Foster The People’s “Houdini” (#23) is a real sleeper that comes alive in the clubby Green Children remix. ¬†Poptronik performer Markus Riva (who is also a DJ on Latvia’s Capital radio) gets his second chart entry with the pulsating “We Dance 4 Reason” at #24. ¬†“High For You” was written and originally recorded by Toronto’s noted The Weeknd and has received some radio play as well in his home city. ¬†Ellie Goulding puts a slow grooving spin on the song, which is also a free download. ¬†While the pop world delights with playing her song “Lights”, “High For This” arrives at #26 on my chart. ¬†Lastly, ¬† as with their Billboard Top 10 Dance Club Play hit, “Famous”, Canadian trio Audio Playground has found that their latest single “Emergency” (featuring Snoop Dogg) has broken out of Quebec. ¬†“Emergency” lands on the chart at #28.

Spring Popervescence #1 featuring Jeronimo, Audio Playground, Daniel Bedingfield, Martika, Conor Maynard, The Garlics, and HandS

It’s that time of year again, when new songs start to swell at the seams, resulting in a big POP – hence Spring Popervescence is born for 2012 ūüôā

Jeronimo “One Kiss”

Pardon me while I rave.¬† You’ll recall that I got all mushy and teary-eyed at “Somebody Who Loves Me”, the Jeronimo song which hit my chart late last year and rose to #22.¬† The Brazil-born Dutch singer has done one even better.¬† “One Kiss” manages to capture the same charm as “Somebody” while riding the crest of success of groups like The Wanted.¬† You’ll notice a folksy European flavour to “One Kiss” similar to “Glad You Came” and perhaps to other dance hits like Edward Maya’s “Stereo Love”.¬† But the real key is Jeronimo, for if his vocal wasn’t so spot on the song would be less than the sum of its parts.¬† And it’s available internationally – get it on iTunes ūüôā

Audio Playground featuring Snoop Dogg “Emergency”

Yes, you ready that right.¬† It’s a huge score for a Canadian group to have an internationally successful performer participate on a record.¬† Audio Playground just reached the Billboard Dance Club Top 10 with “Famous”, featuring Kardinal Offishall.¬† Snoop Dogg is the featured performer on “Emergency”, whose similar dance vibe is already breaking big time out of Montreal.¬† “Famous” was a Top 40 radio hit domestically.¬† Expect the equally fun but rocking “Emergency” to follow suit.¬† Audio Playground is headed for the global market soon.¬† Like “Famous”, “Emergency” is available in English and French.¬† Watch for more linguistic dynamics from AP as their songs become known throughout the world ūüôā

Daniel Bedingfield – Stop The Traffik – Secret Fear (EP)

Comeback kid #1 in this post is New Zealand-born, L.A.-based Daniel Bedingfield, who we last heard from back in 2004/05 with his sophomore album Second First Impression, which somehow didn’t even get international release despite hits with “Nothing Hurts Like Love” and “Wrap Your Words Around Me”.¬† Of course, you know him best from the title song of his 2001/02 release Gotta Get Thru This, whose title track with pitched-up vocals and D’n’D remix reached the top of many country’s charts.¬† Stop The Traffik – Secret Fear is an EP available for free download with an email subscription, but is also available on iTunes with two additional songs.¬† And with the gap in time, expect the music you hear to be a little different.¬† Released independently, the EP rocks out and totally kicks butt with the outpouring of release on “Secret Fear”, the emotional strength of “O.V.E.R. U.”, the blunt, quirky and quick “Rocks Off”, and the funky Maroon 5 companion “It’s Not Me It’s You”. You can listen to the free EP on Grooveshark right here .

Martika “Flow With The Go”

I already told you that U.S. singer Martika was headlining the “Poptronik” music festival in Spain this September.¬† But I hadn’t yet heard “Flow With The Go”, comeback kid #2’s latest release.¬† And it’s one catchy piece of business with the singer sounding and looking just fabulous as if she had never left her heyday of #1 “Toy Soldiers”, “Love… Thy Will Be Done”, and “Martika’s Kitchen” some 20 years ago.¬† “Flow With The Go” glides and bounces along with a positive summer flavour sure to keep you happy during those warm months.¬† It’s from her forthcoming album The Mirror Ball.

Conor Maynard “Can’t Say No”

To me, “Can’t Say No” is a breath of fresh air among male pop singers who have a major label (EMI) behind them.¬† They actually picked UK’s Conor off of You Tube thanks to his viral performances.¬† They’ve done good with “Can’t Say No”, a delightful slice of soulful pop that sets the stage for much more success ahead of him.¬† The song was kept out of #1 by Canada’s own Carly Rae Jepsen in the UK, but be prepared for some deserved North American success.

The Garlics featuring Amasic “Tout ce que t’es pour moi”

In efforts to broaden your appreciation of pop music recorded in another language, I bring you the latest from Quebec rockers The Garlics.¬† “Tout ce que t’es pour moi” means “all you are to me”, and it’s a high energy effort carried by lead singer May and guest vocalist, Quebec teen sensation Amasic.¬† The voices truly sound like they were meant to be together.¬† And thanks to always top notch production and mixing by John Nathaniel (who also co-wrote it), the song is even taken to a higher level.

HandS “Wake Up”

Joining in the big, excellent sweep of Nordic music that is finding its way across shores internationally, we have duo HandS, consisting of Hakon and Sofie (hence H and S – get it?), who hail from Bergin, Norway, home base for Annie (“Don’t Stop”) and the dynamic duo Royksopp, but are now based out of London.¬† The music of HandS fits nicely alongside the emotional pop of the likes of Bim, Bright Light Bright Light, and of course Robyn – touching lyrics alongside melodies that make you sway and more.¬† Listen on Soundcloud below.

Bill’s Top 75 Songs of 2011

That annual ritual is upon us again. ¬†I kicked it off with my previous post “And Visions of 2011 Danced In His Head”, which talked about my favourite 20 performers (and one compilation album) that made 2011 glitter for me. ¬†I won’t go into much depth about those performers again, other than those whose songs are in my Top 10. ¬†I’ve provided links to some notable videos and/or songs in my list below (click on the relevant song titles), particularly some you may not know, as well as some comments. ¬†You can see the web-pretty list using the Best of 2011 list in the sidebar to the right or click right here.

Before we begin, only one performer has more than 4 songs on the list, and that is Simon Curtis, who had my #1 song of 2010 “Beat Drop”. ¬†Among 7 entries, he has three duets on the list! ¬†Then with four songs is Frankmusik, and with three songs apiece we have Penguin Prison, Elouise, Eric Saade, Ro Danishei, and Kyle Brylin. ¬†These are no surprises if you’ve read this blog throughout the year.

Are you sitting comfortably? ¬†Then I’ll begin ūüôā


75 TILL THE WORLD ENDS  Britney Spears

Unlike much of the pop world, I have never much been a fan of Ms Britney.  But this year she recorded the best song of her career thus far which kicks off my year end list.  In fact one of the very best reasons for expanding my list to 75 songs this year was to include this song.  Well done Рmore like this please!
74 METAPHOR  Nick Hagelin

Watch Nick’s Twitter account for word about his upcoming single “X Games”!

Portland, Oregon duo Amy Paige and Josh Hoertzel make magical melodies together, and “We Don’t Miss A Beat” is their best yet. ¬†Watch for more in 2012.
71 ICE MELTS  Matt & Kim
70 ANOTHER DIMENSION   Bass Robbers featuring Matt Blue
69 NEVER WILL BE MINE  Rye Rye featuring Robyn
68 THE CITY (Richard X emix)  Patrick Wolf

It was so grand to hear British singer Patrick Wolf full of positive and happy energy with songs like “The City” from his recent album Lupercalia.
67 TILL IT HURTS (Radio mix) Native Underground

Native Underground and singer Javi Silva (who gave us last year’s tantalizing “Situation”) are part of a New York City new dance/disco undercurrent. ¬†Watch for more from them in 2012, including Javi’s other project Chasing The Ghost.
66 CINEMA  Benny Benassi featuring Gary Go
65 FALLING Bright Light Bright Light

BrightLightx2 aka Rod Thomas recorded this free download and unique interpretation of the theme from TV’s “Twin Peaks”, originally sung by Julee Cruise.

64 WHITE HORSE  Jessica 6
63 MORE (Red One Jimmy Joker remix)  Usher
62 STUPID WITH YOU  Eric Saade
61 MY FIZZY POP   Kyle Brylin
59 ALL YOU NEED IS NOW  Duran Duran
58 THE LOVER’S RUMBA ¬† Elouise

The first of three contemporized ballroom songs to appear in this list from the fantastic Ballroom Remixed compilation from our favourite UK torch song chanteuse.

57 KEEP YOUR HEAD UP  Andy Grammer

One of the most upbeat and carefree songs of the year also had one of the most enjoyable (and interactive) videos!

56 BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE  Chris Brown featuring Benny Benassi

I must say I was totally enthralled with Chris Brown’s performance of this song on the Grammy Awards – though it was really a lot of special effects that catch your attention more so than the song, you can imagine how much work went into it. ¬†But I was totally puzzled that his record company did not promote this song to pop radio, and instead it became a #1 Dance Club Play hit.

55 TAINTED LOVE  Elouise

Another magnificent Steve Anderson production which turns the song best known as the 80’s hit by Soft Cell into a seductive, smoky, and empowering torchy rendition.
54 ALORS ON DANSE  Stromae

53 NEVER LOVE A DJ  Kyle Brylin

50 SUNLIGHT Bag Raiders featuring Dan Black
49 FAMOUS Audio Playground featuring Kardinal Offishall or Randy Raymond

Canadian dance trio Audio Playground enlisted Kardinal Offishall for this infectious dance song that perked up Canadian radio playlists this Fall.

48 LADY LUCK  Jamie Woon
47 ROCKETEER  Far East Movement featuring Ryan Tedder
46 BAD DOG  Neon Hitch

From the little belter herself, a live clip of this version of the ABBA hit which shows that Elouise has the goods and you’ll hear much more from her in 2012.

43 MOVES LIKE JAGGER  Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera
42 MONSTER  Kanye West featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver & Nicki Minaj

I will always listen to Kanye West’s music knowing that he can come up with greatness with the help of such friends… and to me Nicki’s outstanding rap in this song is what helped get her on the map.
41 FAIR WARNING (Dirty Vegas remix) Penguin Prison
40 VENOM Long Story Short

A hooky, movie theme-inspired rock song from this duo, who are from Quebec and L.A.  Watch for more from Long Story Short in 2012.

The most adorable song from Ballroom Remixed which shows a different side of Simon.
38 PREY TO THE BEAT   Ro Danishei

Prey To The Beat is the hidden gem in Ro’s End Of The Rainbow album. ¬†It can easily slay the dancefloor!

Block After Block is set to one of the best videos of the year – it’s just so much fun, like the duo themselves.

35 MULTI-MILLIONAIRE (Shook remix)  Penguin Prison
34 TALK TALK TALK  Darren Hayes

33 FIX ME  Matthew Kurz

Fix Me is one of the most heart-wrenching ballads of the year by L.A.’s Matthew Kurz, a new singer with an amazing voice. ¬†Download his Mixtape featuring Fix Me right here.
32  CINNAMON  Matt Webb 

Guitarist Matt Webb ¬†initially released Cinnamon as a limited free download before appearing on his debut EP Coda and Jacket. ¬†It’s one of those perfect summer heartbreak songs that shows another side of this Marianas Trench member.

As Kyle enters an acoustic phase of his career, his electropop of 2011 leaves its mark especially with this hypnotic song with a video that makes you watch, even reluctantly. And what is it about the eye makeup that helps give this song a bit of a sinister side? ūüėČ

30 SUPERHERO  Simon Curtis

Your Superhero arrived in May to stage the arrival of¬†R‚ąÜ.

29 STUPID (Brad Walsh remix)  Databoy

It takes a few listens until you realize what a smart release this is from this Austin TX duo. ¬†It’s still available as a free download right here.

28 I WON’T LET YOU GO ¬† Adam Tyler

Watch the colourful video from the best song on Adam’s Shattered Ice debut release.

27 MICHELLE  Ro Danishei featuring Simon Curtis

Watch Ro and Simon perform this blistering duet from London, the first of two videos from that show in this list!

25 I’M IN LOVE ¬†Christian TV

The first of two pop/dance confections on this list from the Detroit performer who now goes by the moniker JMSN. ¬†Watch for more tricks up Christian Berishaj’s sleeve in 2012.
24 PRISONER OF LOVE  Jessica 6 featuring Antony Hegarty

Prisoner of Love is just one of those to-die-for duets that happen once in a while.  Hopefully this will be the first of many Nomi Ruiz/Antony Hegarty pairings!


There are few performers who can convey heartbreak so conscientiously as Darren Hayes.  The best song on his Secret Codes & Battleships album is also one of his finest vocal performances.  Watch the video all the way through.

22 PUMPED UP KICKS (Skeet Skeet Show remix)  Foster The People

It’s very clear from their sold out concerts and their praised performances (even on TV’s Saturday Night Live) that Foster The People is not a one-hit pony. ¬†Despite the strange subject matter, the song became one of the defining hits of the summer, but my preference is for the frenetic Skeet Skeet Show remix.
21 JACKSONVILLE  Brandon Flowers

Held over from 2010, Jacksonville is one of the songs on the deluxe version of Flamingo, an album that could have fared very differently if the excellent deluxe tracks had been the the core of the record.  Nonetheless, this is Brandon at his most unique РJacksonville could have also been kicked up a notch with some dance remixes.
20 DISCO MOMENT Bright Light Bright Light

One of Rod Thomas’ very best songs contains several lyrics that can leave you teary-eyed while you dance: ¬†“And I am open, I am open, but I might just close if… /You make it so hard to be around”. ¬†The outstanding video will twist your emotions on the spot.

19 OUT WITHOUT YOUR BOYFRIEND  Jerry Reid featuring Ben Waters

The best song from the Ballroom Remixed compilation is this contemporary jive number, aided immeasurably by the magic fingers of Ben Waters.  Jerry Reid, too, is a new bad boy talent to watch in 2012.
18 TALK TO ME  Andrea Lewis featuring Simon Curtis

Toronto’s Andrea Lewis has another hold over from 2010 release 54321, with her 60’s retro sounding duet with Simon Curtis. ¬†Watch the exclusive performance by these best friends from London below.

17 HURT YOU AGAIN Frankmusik

Pre-dating the Do It In The AM album by several months, it’s one of the rare tender ballads you will hear from Frankmusik, originally available as a free download.
15 S&M Rihanna

Rihanna was a non-stop music-making machine in 2011, but S&M to me exceeded all expectations and made the music that followed pale in comparison. ¬†She was at the top of her game but is now probably due a break for fear of that other industry-eating event, over-exposure. ¬†The song also accompanied an interesting cadre of songs with suggestive topic matter, which all ended up in Billboard’s Top 4 on the Hot 100 earlier in year – the others were “Born This Way” by Lady GaGa, “Fuckin’ Perfect” by Pink, and “Tonight (I’m Fuckin’ You)” by Enrique Iglesias ūüôā

14 DO IT IN THE A.M.  Frankmusik F/ Far East Movement


One of 2011’s must-talents to watch is 19 year old Matt Blue, who hails from the Netherlands. ¬†Songs like “Can’t Help Myself” transcend the record industry barriers for official release through their videos.

12 LOVE 2 BABY Christian TV

If there was any song that should’ve been a hit in 2011 it was “Love 2 Baby”, dance pop at its best and somewhat hedonistic video to boot. ¬†Watch for the artist now known as JMSN in 2012.

11 NO I.D. Frankmusik featuring Colette Carr

One of the most joyous treats of 2011 was watching this completely unexpected video throwback to “Grease”. ¬†Frank and Colette have great chemistry together – hopefully they’ll record again.

10 MADE OF POP  Eric Saade

It was never released as a single *hrumpf* but this love letter to Eric’s fans has some of the best lyrics that pop music could offer in 2011: ¬†“My kings and queens /Are speaking through me /¬†Got my degree / In the big P-O-P”.


Rolling In The Deep is the song that defines 2011 in pop culture. ¬†It endured the entire year, became a massive hit beyond expectations, was covered – sometimes magnificently – a gazillion times. ¬†More than any other song in the 21 album, it showcases the many broad talents of Adele. ¬†Now let’s hope her voice recovers and we hear more magnificence in the next few years.

8 NIGHT AIR  Jamie Woon

One of the most mysterious and oddly appealing songs by this new English singer with deep down embedded talents. ¬†While the video surely must have had “Twilight” as a source, its quiet is incredibly elegant.

7 THE FEAR INSIDE  Frankmusik

The best song from Do It In The AM was Frank’s first single from the album, released about a year ago. ¬†Just release yourself to this one.

6 GOLDEN TRAIN Penguin Prison

Penguin Prison held court on my chart at the top of the year for two months with this song, which was made even better when Chris Glover paired it in a stunning mashup with Michael Jackson’s “Workin’ Day And Night”, which you can hear and download in the link in song title.

5 LASER GUNS UP  Simon Curtis

It lasted from the first time I heard it in a live clip from a January show throughout the year. ¬†Laser Guns Up is still my anthem for 2011. ¬†And I still want some LEGO laser guns. ¬†“This one’s for the people who’ve been told they’re never good enough /¬†The little girls and boys who dream of what they wanna be /¬†The little girls and boys who grow up into you and me”.
4 JUST ONCE Databoy

I had just heard “Stupid” and had not yet charted it before I was introduced to Databoy at the Superfraiche showcase in New York City in April. ¬†And that’s where I heard this song. ¬†Instantly, it became my song for the upcoming summer, and when it arrived as a free download there was no other competition. ¬†I can’t wait for more Databoy music in 2012.

3 WICKED BABY Ro Danishei featuring Simon Curtis

We had to wait till late Summer for this bonus track from the deluxe edition of Ro Danishei’s End of the Rainbow, but the best was saved for last. ¬†This is the child of Ace of Base’s The Sign that you’ve all been waiting for, with a stunning dubsteppy breakdown amid another smoking Ro/Simon duet. ¬†And I wasn’t the only one who loved it, check out My Fizzy Pop’s thoughts on the song too!

2 FLESH  Simon Curtis

There was no song more unique in 2011 than this second single from Simon’s¬†R‚ąÜ album. ¬†Totally different from even the songs within R‚ąÜ, it’s a tour-de-force of sensual imagery carried by fierce production that will simply throttle you. ¬†I still want to see it featured in a segment on TV’s “The Vampire Diaries”: ¬†“You put your hand upon my neck and feel the pulse beat-beat-beat-beat /It’s like a trigger getting ready to shoot” and “Hold me up against the wall /¬†Give it till I beg, give me some more /Make me bleed, I like it raw /¬†Like it R‚ąÜ R‚ąÜ R‚ąÜ”.
1 POPULAR  Eric Saade

“Popular” is the best and most captivating song of 2011 to me, which threw Swedish singer Eric Saade even more into the spotlight when the song won the Melodifestivalen contest and came third in Eurovision. ¬†It signalled things to come, with Saade’s Volume One and Volume Two albums dropping before year’s end and giving us the year’s most ¬†lighthearted, feel good, crunchy electropop, which hopefully will find its way around the world in 2012. ¬†Eric Saade and his team have created the template, the rest of the world needs to catch on. ¬†And if you’re a male pop singer, all eyes should be on Eric! ¬†Watch the star-making performance from Melodiefestivalen again below.

Tuned-On! Top 30 #366 – November 21/11, plus new Elouise and Boy Banned

Only two more personal charts to go in 2011, and my year end list is in the works. ¬†Years ago this list was of 100 songs, then it got whittled to 75, then to 40, and then back up to 50. ¬†There has been so much great music this year – and so many songs that didn’t end up on my chart – that I may increase the list again. ¬†We’ll see, gotta save some surprises for you!

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here. You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.

So the top of the chart remains static, but that’s not a bad thing by any stretch. ¬†Frankmusik and Colette Carr get another chart at the top with one of the glorious songs of 2011, “No I.D.”. ¬†I’m still waiting for that release of “Memorize Me” by Rune RK & Databoy to happen… all good things in time… meanwhile the song holds at #3. ¬†Trust me it will be MASSIVE, and ¬†you can listen to it right here. ¬†“Bloodstained Heart” by Darren Hayes anchors Secret Codes And Battleships at #4, while “Pull The Trigger” by Adam Tyler becomes the singer’s third Top 5 entry on my chart. ¬†

While this song is in full electronica mode, Adam occasionally dips into more minimalist settings from time to time, and – hot off the presses – posted an extremely well done acoustic version of “Turning Tables” by Adele today that truly shows off his voice. ¬†You remember his cover of Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” from a while back? ¬†“Turning Tables” matches it. ¬†Listen right here and watch for a video of it soon.

The rest of the Top 10 continues to be busy as “Can’t Help Myself (Keep Dancing)” by The Netherlands’ Matt Blue should find its way into the Top 5 in two weeks. ¬†It’s followed directly by Audio Playground’s Canada-wide hit “Famous” at #7, the party-itis of “Block After Block” by Matt & Kim at #8 (note that these Brooklyn faves are playing New York City for New Year’s Eve), and the powerful Eurodance of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Agnes at #9.

There’s plenty of competition for Top 10 entries next time with indie guys Kyle Brylin and Nick Hagelin sitting at #11 and 12, while rising starlet (and somewhat of a Stevie Nicks soundalike in spots, doncha think?) Lana Del Rey climbs to #13 with “Blue Jeans”. ¬†Kyle’s new and humorous video for “That Bad” is video #1 at the bottom of this paragraph. ¬†Adam Cohen’s “What Other Guy” moves to #14 as he winds down a tour of Europe, Israel, and the UK, and his new video for “Like A Man” (a simple but powerful idea full of great faces too) is video #2 below this paragraph. ¬†Penguin Prison is the Fastest Riser with “Don’t Fuck With My Money” soaring 22-15. ¬†Make of it what you will, but the official video for “Money” is set smack in the middle of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations – watch it as video #3 below this paragraph. ¬†Also continuing their rise are the highly danceable “White Horse” by Jessica 6 at #16, and “Then I Go Twisting” by Erasure at #17.

Ahead of the debuts, we find the remainder of last week’s newbies off to a good start. ¬†Fastlife by Joe Jonas is a great album to crank up in your car on a sunny day with its brushes with electropop. ¬†But “Just In Love”, a soulful ballad, is a dazzling alternative that rises to #20. ¬†Jon McLaughlin’s “Promising Promises” is the song to hear on his Forever If Ever release, and it’s up to #21. ¬†Then Darren Hayes’ sad but compelling “Black Out The Sun” moves up to #22, and Jeronimo’s winning “Somebody Who Loves Me”, a Top 40 hit in the Netherlands, jumps to #25.

The three debuts are no surprise, as I’ve written about all of them. ¬†The album I’m currently waiting for, at least for another 9 days or so, is Saade Volume Two by Eric Saade. ¬†His duet with Dev on “Hotter Than Fire” simply sizzles as it lands at #23 for a starting point. ¬†Mika is currently wrapping up recording for his upcoming album The Origin Of Love, and he threw a free concert in L.A. to conclude his time there. ¬†I blogged about his French song “Elle me dit” back in June, but better late than never, this French singalong with a fantastic video (below – only the French could make this one, with a great set of character actors) is at #24. ¬†Then at #26 is Toronto quartet The Midway State, who are touring the heck out of their second album Paris Or India and the second single from it “Fire!”. ¬†I’m hoping to catch them in Toronto in December for a show (I saw them last in 2009) as I have not been able to catch the band while they’ve been in town. ¬†The video for “Fire!” (also below) is a terrific showcase for a concert performance by the band.

I’ll finish up with two more new songs. ¬†UK chanteuse Elouise has transformed her “Little Belter” shows in London into something festive for the season called “Santa’s Little Belter”. ¬†She’s released a new EP of the same name, available on iTunes, and I hope to show off the other songs to you over the next while. ¬†For now, here’s a taste of her warmly gorgeous redux of Judy Garland’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” to get you in the Christmas spirit.

And don’t say you weren’t warned, if you are suddenly charmed, boy-band style, or rather Boy Banned-style. ¬†The quartet has been acquiring quite a following in the UK, and if there’s a song to seal the deal on drawing in more fans it’s “The Stars Are Saying Yes”. ¬†This is when you kind of wish that North American radio wasn’t so limited and would just get back to playing good ol’ songs like this. ¬†Even better: The iTunes single features an acapella version! ¬†Enjoy ūüôā

Tuned-On! Top 30 #364 – October 24/11

It took a month and a half of waiting – thanks to the instantly overpowering effect of his duet on “Wicked Baby” with Ro Danishei, which held court for 6 weeks – but “Laser Guns Up” by Simon Curtis takes the top spot this week on my personal chart. ¬†It’s one of the key reasons for you to buy his sophomore album¬†R‚ąÜ on iTunes, and is one of a number of rousing and anthemic songs that will make you want more! ¬†But right behind “Guns” are buddies Frankmusik and Colette Carr, whose duet on “No ID” is one of those reasons why music can make you smile, take you away for three minutes, and be happy in 2011.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here.  You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.

I’m going to talk about the highest debut on the chart now because this song has all the makings of being MASSIVE. ¬†I previewed “Memorize Me” by Rune RK & Databoy this past summer, after the song found favour in the Ibiza club circuit, being touted by no less than the legendary Ti√ęsto himself. ¬†There are several reasons why this song launches at an impressive #5 on my chart. ¬†The pairing of the two DJ teams is impressive. ¬†You combine European DJ/producer Rune RK’s flair for creating Ibiza beach party anthems with Austin duo Databoy’s creativity and vocals, along with a seductive lyrical subtext, and voil√† – “Memorize Me” is a true original. ¬†Revel in each listen or dance your ass off, your choice ūüôā ¬†Way to go – I can’t get enough of this song right now. ¬†It will be available imminently as a free download but for now you can listen to it right here.

The stunning debut of “Memorize Me” has created a bit of a backup on the chart for songs 6 through 11. ¬†The infectious “Bad Dog” by Neon Hitch scoots up a notch to #6, while “Pull The Trigger” from Adam Tyler’s debut album Shattered Ice rises 9-7. ¬†Adam is touring actively to promote the album, and “Trigger” looks to join past chart hits “Friction” and “I Won’t Let You Go” in my Top 5.

Penguin Prison’s self-titled album was finally released in North America this past week and I’ll have my comments on it in the week. ¬†In the meantime the Dirty Vegas remix of “Fair Warning” moves 11-8.

Kyle Brylin’s “My Fizzy Pop” and Eric Saade’s “Stupid with You” round out the Top 10. ¬†The prolific Kyle has more new music coming for you in his upcoming “Revenge” project, while Eric’s upcoming album Saade Volume Two drops on November 30, with a new single featuring Dev arriving next week.

Most of the rest of the Top 20 looks Top 10 bound. ¬†Arriving this week in the rest of the world – Australia got the album last week – is Secret Codes And Battleships, the fourth solo album by Darren Hayes. ¬†His compelling and heart-felt Australian single “Bloodstained Heart” rises to #11. ¬†The song is available in a free download as a remix through Darren’s website by the talented Monsieur Adi right here.

“Famous” by Audio Playground is a certified hit in Canada and jumps to #12, while the smooth and sexy mid-tempo R&B ballad by Nick Hagelin called “Metaphor” moves up to #15. ¬†Agnes’ powerful “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” jumps to #18, while “The Way I See” by Will Young rises to #19, and Kyle Brylin’s second chart entry, the late night club rave-up “Never Love A DJ”, climbs to #20.

The fastest riser on the chart is the contagious fun that is “Block After Block” by Matt & Kim, which soars 25-16. ¬†The Brooklyn duo is playing a New Year’s show in NYC which is guaranteed to be a blast. ¬†I’ve been getting into their album Sidewalks more and more these past few weeks. ¬†Their music has an exhilarating and distracting effect – most needed right now!

Four more debuts round out the chart. ¬†The Netherlands’ Matt Blue is a talent to watch for internationally in 2012. ¬†His debut single “Can’t Help Myself (Keep Dancing)” has been released by Universal in most of the European countries and has started to breakout. ¬†Despite its familiar formula, the song has such a terrific sincere performance showcasing Matt’s supurb vocals. ¬†It debuts at #13. ¬†Watch the video below.

Down further is one half of the debut single by American singer Lana Del Rey, who is based out of London and is finding some success initially in the Benelux countries. ¬†“Blue Jeans” comes to us in the form of a sexy Penguin Prison remix. ¬†I like it a lot better than its other half, “Video Games”. ¬†Listen to “Blue Jeans” below.

At #25 is “White Horse” by New York trio Jessica 6, who I’m hoping to see in a club show in the coming weeks. ¬†It’s part of the group’s disco-music-with-a-conscience, you can move along to this song effortlessly while singing the chorus that gets stuck in your head. ¬†Take a look at the video below. ¬†Not to be confused with the 80’s hit by Laid Back.

Rounding out the chart at #26 is “Then I Go Twisting”, one of the stellar songs from the Frankmusik-produced album Tomorrow’s World by UK dance pop veterans Erasure. ¬†I’ll have my comments about Tomorrow’s World in the week. ¬†In the meantime, you can listen to the entire album for yourself right here.

Lastly, I’m going to leave you with an incredibly guilty pleasure. ¬†“I Like” is a new European dance single by DJ/producer Klaas and DJ/production duo Bodybangers. ¬†It gets right into your face and into your head, courtesy of lead vocals by the stunning singer/model Victoria Kern. ¬†Think Kesha meets Pussycat Dolls with a dash of “Jump Around” by House of Pain, and you’re right there. ¬†Watch the fun video below and don’t say I didn’t warn you. ¬†Like last year’s “We No Speak Americano”, it may be coming to a wedding or party near you sometime soon.

Tuned-On! Top 30 #363 – October 10/11

October is proving to be a watershed month in 2011 for album releases – yes that’s right album releases! ¬†As many of you know, I’m a singles-going-steady kinda guy, one song will do it for me over an entire album. ¬†So we have no shortage of album releases this month – priorities for me by Darren Hayes, Erasure, Penguin Prison, Chris Isaak, Florence & The Machine (Nov 1), and the already released Adam Cohen – plus Evanescence, Kelly Clarkson, Drake, Coldplay all on deck too… well the iTunes gift cards will be bountiful this year. ¬†So my new personal chart is a transitional one until the floodgates open. ¬†And I’m still waiting for some highly anticipated singles to drop – “Memorize Me” by Rune RK & Databoy and “Can’t Help Myself (Keep Dancing)” by Matt Blue to name two.

So something will likely give at the top of the chart in two weeks, and you can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL‚ÄôS PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click¬†right here. ¬†You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page. ¬†But for now it continues to be “Wicked Baby” by Ro Danishei and Simon Curtis at the top but virtually neck and neck with Simon’s own “Laser Guns Up” in second place. ¬†Rumour has it that Ro is now signed to Sony BMG – fantastic! – but I’m not sure of details, and I’m sure they will be forthcoming at some point.

“Disco Moment” by Bright Light Bright Light should by all rights join “A New Word To Say” and “Love Part II” as number ones on this chart, but may get shortchanged in the coming weeks, so it jumps to #3 for now. ¬†New York’s Jessica 6 will be starting a small North American club date tour soon, which will then take them to Europe. ¬†“Prisoner Of Love”, their unique splash of disco nightlife pairing with Antony Hegarty of Antony & The Johnsons, climbs to #4. ¬†I’m anxiously awaiting the video for this song!

The Top 5 is rounded out by the Fastest Riser on the chart. ¬†“No I.D.” by Frankmusik and Colette Carr are in the running for the top as the song surges 20-5, thanks to relentless touring – now that the Erasure/Frankmusik tour is wrapping up overseas, there will be another tour for both performers along with fellow Cherrytree Records signees LMFAO and Far East Movement, starting very soon!

Songs 6 through 12 are trapped in the middle and some should break loose in two weeks. ¬†“Fix Me”, the stunning ballad by L.A.’s Matthew Kurz and his free download mixtape, holds at #6, while “Bad Dog” by UK singer Neon Hitch (and that’s her real name too!) jumps to #7. ¬†And what would a chart be without Adele? ¬†“Set Fire To The Rain” is her third Top Tenner for me from the 21 album, currently one of my favourite albums of the year along with others such as R‚ąÜ¬† by Simon Curtis, Eric Saade’s Saade Volume One, and Do It In The A.M. by Frankmusik.

Contemporary electro pop is all a flutter right now as represented by a delightful next bunch: ¬†Adam Tyler’s “Pull The Trigger” becomes his third Top 10 entry at #9; “My Fizzy Pop” by Kyle Brylin follows “Everything I’m Missing” as his second Top Tenner; Penguin Prison does not look to miss the Top 10, making it five in a row in two weeks with “Fair Warning”; and “Stupid With You” by Eric Saade is simply charming pop at its best.

“Bloodstained Heart” by Darren Hayes can only be purchased in Australia right now, but will be on release worldwide in two weeks when his album Secret Codes And Battleships arrives. ¬†The song continues to rise up to #14. ¬†Florence & The Machine’s “What The Water Gave Me” is holding at #18 while their new album Ceremonials is on deck. ¬†And four more of last week’s debuts make headway. ¬†Will Young’s free download of “The Way I See” climbs to #22, while Swedish pop queen Agnes moves 29-23 with “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”. ¬†Nick Hagelin’s tender R&B ballad “Metaphor” also climbs to #20 and is a free download from his website. ¬†With every week that passes, “Famous” by Audio Playground manages to find more radio stations playing it in Canada – Top 50 on the Billboard Canadian Top 100. ¬†This past week saw the debut of the video of the French version of the song, featuring Randy Raymond. ¬†Watch it below.

I’ve spent the past week blogging and tweeting about Like A Man, the fresh start of a sophomore release by Adam Cohen (son of Leonard), as well as his lovely and intimate show I saw in Toronto this past week. ¬†His beautiful and thoughtful single “What Other Guy” (available as a free download) arrives at #24. ¬†One of Kyle Brylin’s latest releases, the propulsive and somewhat gleefully cynical “Never Love A DJ” joins “My Fizzy Pop” on the chart at #27. ¬†Lastly, on the more raucous side, Brooklyn duo Matt & Kim have been promoting the hell out of last year’s release Sidewalks. ¬†I saw them perform last Fall, and they won me over with their energy and crowd interaction. ¬†“Block After Block”, from Sidewalks, keeps grabbing my attention, and with a spot-on performance on the Jimmy Fallon show this summer, the song arrives on the chart at #25. ¬†If you don’t know about this fun pair, watch the Fallon performance by clicking on the link below, as well as the official video at the top of the blog, and you will be converted.

Tuned-On! Top 30 #362 – September 26/11

As Autumn is upon us, like the leaves that begin to fall, some recent favourites of mine drop off my personal chart to make room for some noteable new blood.  You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here.  You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.

There is no moving the Top 4 songs, no sirree they just aren’t a budging. ¬†“Wicked Baby”, the insanely catchy song that updates the Ace of Base vibe courtesy of Ro Danishei & Simon Curtis hangs on to #1 vying with Simon’s own victory cry “Laser Guns Up” in second place. ¬†“Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People keeps its summery lustre long enough for another chart at #3, while “Disco Moment” by Bright Light Bright Light is solid and still on the rise at #4. ¬†The only change-up in the Top 5 sees Jessica 6’s duet with Antony Hegarty on “Prisoner Of Love” belatedly making a big gain in the face of so many great songs on the chart. ¬†A video for the song is forthcoming!

The rest of the Top 10 sees a major shakeup. ¬†The intense emotions of Matthew Kurz’s “Fix Me” often give me pause for many thoughts, and the song soars 11-6. ¬†Do check out this talented singer/songwriter’s FREE mixtape using the link on my chart page. ¬†October 18 is the North American street date for Penguin Prison’s self-titled album. ¬†As Chris Glover and band continue to play dates throughout North America, they are present on the chart with both “Multi-Millionaire” at #7 and “Fair Warning” rising to #14. ¬†To entice you more, Penguin Prison has a FREE download of “Don’t Fuck With My Money” available with an email subscription right here. ¬†You can hear that song above this paragraph. ¬†Then, our favourite “Bad Dog” is on the loose! ¬†Neon Hitch played a well received gig last week in New York City, and her song is propelled to #8. ¬†Adele’s enduring and powerful “Set Fire To The Rain” takes 9th place, while the heartfelt “Never Will Be Mine” by Rye Rye featuring Robyn lands at #10.

The middle of the chart is nothing less than busy. ¬†“Pull The Trigger” is the hottest song on Adam Tyler’s very good Shattered Ice release, with it’s sad-but-gotta-do-it lyrics married with an anthemic house rhythm. ¬†It’s also the hottest song on the chart as the Fastest Riser, moving 22-12 and you can listen to the song above. ¬†Then, we have the ultra-prolific Kyle Brylin with a real pick-me-up if there ever was one, “My Fizzy Pop” at #13. ¬†Not only did Kyle cover Rihanna’s “S&M” earlier this year, but perhaps he’s drinking the same water, since she’s coming out with new stuff as frequently. ¬†He teases you below with a preview of the hard hitting trance track “Never Love A DJ” and “Poison Venus” below this paragraph. ¬†Full comments about these songs later! ¬†And by no means should you think that “Stupid With You” by Eric Saade is done, after moving one place to #15. ¬†It’s a fantastic pop song, one of many on Saade Volume One as we await Saade Volume Two sometime in November!

At the top of this blog, you watched the new video for Darren Hayes’ Australian single “Bloodstained Heart”, which climbs to #17. ¬†I’m hoping it will be released to the rest of the world after “Black Out The Sun”. ¬†In particular, I enjoy Darren’s soothing high register and the dramatic crescendo halfway that serves as anticipation for the final scene of the video. ¬†Darren’s album Secret Codes And Battleships is released October 17 in the UK and October 21 in the rest of the world. ¬†Right below “Bloodstained Heart” we see the debut song from Florence & The Machine’s sophomore album Ceremonials. ¬†“What The Water Gave Me” moves up 26-18 in this chart edition.

The rest of the chart sees six debuts! ¬†It’s a huge week ahead for Frankmusik as his second album Do It In The A.M. sees release on September 27. ¬†The latest single, “No I.D.” featuring the delightful Colette Carr, arrives on the chart at #20 and is gradually becoming one of the must-hear songs of the year along with its “Grease”-y video above. ¬†2011 has been one heck of a ride for Frankmusik and it hasn’t stopped yet! ¬†Next up is the beautiful song from Nick Hagelin that I cannot get enough of right now. ¬†“Metaphor” (which I blogged about last week) premieres at #23. ¬†Further down at #26 is a song that has hung on throughout the summer despite no North American release for the singer’s album. ¬†“The Way I See” doesn’t appear on Will Young’s latest album Echoes, but you can get it in a FREE download from a link in my chart (the song was previously available for free through Amazon UK). ¬†It’s Will’s first appearance in these pages, and I look forward to paying closer attention to the songs in Echoes.

An impressive video for “Famous” by Audio Playground featuring Kardinal Offishall quickly arrived on our doorstep (above) and debuts at #27 on the chart. ¬†The song’s a certified hit, conquering Canadian radio by being added to practically every pop station in the country, while the French language version featuring Randy Raymond is everywhere in Quebec. ¬†Then at #28 we have Ms Grace Jones, sounding like she never left the music scene with her first release in 22 years called Hurricane. ¬†From that album we have the sinewy and compelling “Williams Blood”, which is available in the FREE Aeroplane remix radio edit (link in on my chart page).

This edition closes at #29 with a song hot off the presses this week by a singer whose voice I adore. ¬†Agnes Carlsson had a massive year in 2008/09 with her European album release Dance! Love! Pop! which contained the UK Top 5 and Billboard Dance Club Play #1 hit “Release Me”, one of my Top 10 favourites of that year. ¬†With voice to rival no less than a Leona Lewis, Agnes is back with a tougher and equally powerful pop/dance song that will turn more heads around the world this time. ¬†Watch “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (not the Elton John song) above and keep your ears peeled for much, much more from Agnes throughout the year and into 2012.

Thanks for reading!  Watch for changes to this blog coming soon too.  One thing I hope to change after this week is to give you shorter and more timely blogs, as well as the longer bi-weekly recap of my chart.  

Long Weekend Tunes: Audio Playground, Kyle Brylin, Ballroom Remixed…Remixed, Pierre Lewis, and the return of The Waterboys

Audio Playground featuring Kardinal Offishall “Famous”

One of the most exciting new records to drop out of Canada in 2011 is “Famous” by Audio Playground. ¬†At first listen, you might think it plays closely… perhaps too closely… to a formula started by Taio Cruz’s “Break Your Heart” or “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” by Usher. ¬†What puts this song over the edge is that it’s engaging and tight – before you know it, the song’s over and you want more!

So who are these guys anyway? ¬†Well you may have heard AP’s well-done version of Erasure’s “A Little Respect” over the past few years on radio or in dance clubs. ¬†Based out of multiple cities such as Edmonton, Toronto, New York, and L.A., Audio Playground is a trio comprising producers Rubix & DRC along with vocalist Anthony Gitto. ¬†“Famous” is their third release as they head towards releasing an album.

But first, there is a plan for global domination for “Famous”. ¬†Ambitious? ¬†Yes – and not only do we have a crisp English version featuring none other than Canada’s best rap export Kardinal Offishall (ab0ve), but a French language version is already tearing up charts in Quebec featuring vocalist Randy Raymond (below). ¬†And “Famous” will soon be famous in other language versions to tap into the global marketplace that is now our Internet, since AP’s songs have found their way into dance clubs world-wide. ¬†It’s not a new idea, but can you think of anyone who’s tried it lately, particularly in the last decade or so? ¬†Audio Playground is creating an intriguing blueprint, and I can’t wait to hear more from them.

Kyle Brylin “Bay”

It seems like every few weeks I’m writing about Wisconsin singer Kyle Brylin. ¬†There’s good reason for that. ¬†Young Kyle continues to make amazing progressions with each song he releases. ¬†This considering I wasn’t overly fond of the songs he released a few years back. ¬†The turning points for me this year were the sexy and danceable delights that are “Everything I’m Missing” and his cover of Rihanna’s “S&M”. ¬†These were reinforced with incredible strong songs in the “Telephoto Lens” EP, including a current fave of mine, the blissful “My Fizzy Pop”.

So now we have yet another side of Kyle that was explored on some early songs, one that’s more emotional and lyrical. ¬†“Bay” is well-rounded lyrically and seems to capture the ups and downs of being in a relationship from all vantage points. ¬†The melody and vocals are, for lack of a better word, sweet, in total contrast to the more aggressive lyrics and forceful beats in something like “Everything I’m Missing”. ¬†Kyle’s very prolific, but when the quality, with help from various songwriting partners or on his own, is this good, then each release has its own merits. ¬†Get “Bay” on iTunes.

Less Ballroom…More Remixed

Readers of this blog know how much I took to heart the music from the Spring release of Ballroom Remixed. ¬†It’s a record where you can’t go wrong: ¬†Ballroom music styles contemporized by a host of rising pop stars.

Two of my favourites get retweaked for clubdom and two others are improved somewhat in redux form. ¬†The full version of Ricardo Autobahn’s remix of Elouise’s “The Lover’s Rumba” has been available for free via talented Elouise’s newsletter. ¬†Autobahn’s edit makes the affair more compact for club DJ’s to zero in on its many charms. ¬†My most favourite song on the original record is the jive of “Out Without Your Boyfriend” by Jerry Reid. ¬†It’s too hard to improve on such a fun song, so Autobahn pretty much takes away the jive in favour of a successful transformation favouring European-flavoured club sounds and rhythm.

Then we get to two major improvements. ¬†I’ve enjoyed the campy fun of “I’m A Man (Not A Piece of Meat)” by (yes him again) Kyle Brylin. ¬†But here Autobahn carves out a European house groove that enhances Kyle’s playful vocals in an entirely different way. ¬†You can hear it below. ¬†Tammy Jay & Kally’s “I’m The One” is immensely improved in a more languid and dramatic version that better showcases the voices and the song’s lyrical qualities. ¬†Also included are Autobahn’s “Theme From Ballroom Remixed” and a remix of Jenny McLaren’s “You Were Never Really Mine”. ¬†Great value for those who want the beats and style more 2011 without taking anything away from the original songs themselves. ¬†Get it on iTunes!

Pierre Lewis “One Girl Show”

We’re getting closer to the September 19 release of Pierre’s EP Transitions, from which I previously brought to your attention the Michael Jackson meets Robin Thicke R&B/pop stylings of “Out Of My Mind”. ¬†In a similar vein comes “One Girl Show”, which does the job of creating more anticipation for this UK singer who has loads of potential to breakout big after amassing a huge online following. ¬†Hear it above and watch for Transitions later in the month. ¬†The clip below finds the singer talking about Transitions a few months back.

The return of The Waterboys with An Appointment With Mr. Yeats

An all-time favourite of mine is back with a return to form of their 80’s releases. ¬†I can remember vividly squeezing into Toronto’s El Mocambo on December 6, 1984, to hear then band-of-the-moment The Waterboys. ¬†The Irish band, led by singer Mike Scott, completely mesmerized the small crowd of mainly music industry insiders with a very different version of emotional rock rooted in Irish traditions, in support of their first two releases, The Waterboys EP and A Pagan Place, with another, This Is The Sea, soon to follow.

Aside from a few come-and-go members, the band eventually became just another name for Mike Scott, who took it in a late 80’s, early 90’s detour of albums deeper in Irish traditional music. ¬†After a misfired relationship with Geffen in the early 90’s for the Dream Harder album, Scott started recording under his own name, starting off with two fine ‘solo’ albums, particularly Bring ‘Em All In. ¬†The Waterboys came back in 2001 with A Rock In The Weary Land, a mixed bag with some strong songs, strong enough to take them back out on tour for some excellent shows. ¬†A few more releases later, we find Scott creating songs based on poems by Irish poet W.B. Yeats in An Appointment With Mr. Yeats, due out in the U.K. on September 19 (I’m interested to see if a Canadian release date will be concurrent or if we’ll have to wait till 2012). ¬†The two songs from it that Scott has posted on Soundcloud, “Sweet Dancer” and “White Birds”, are two of the best songs I’ve heard from him since Bring ‘Em All In. ¬†So now, I can just taste what might also be included in the Yeats album as well as a possible concert. ¬†Mike Scott and The Waterboys, you don’t know how nice it is to have you back! ¬† Listen to “Sweet Dancer” and “White Birds” below.

The Waterboys “White Birds”

The Waterboys “Sweet Dancer”