“Too Busy” marries future bass with soulful vocals from Australian producer @Noymusicau and singer @Sophiegrophy

NOY and SOPHIEGROPHY, “Too Busy”

“Too Busy” packs an immediate double-whammy punch thanks to rich production by Australia’s Noy and ear-catching vocals by Nigeria-born, New Zealand raised Sophiegrophy, who is a new singer to me but one I will be on the lookout for again. It’s a rare happy mix of future bass with pop/soul, with big and fresh synth sounds from Noy which lend a commanding presence to Sophiegrophy’s voice. Every year there are always surprises that come from talented Australian musicians and singers like these. “Too Busy” is a follow up to Noy’s collaboration with Jordan Burns which I wrote about this past July on the solid progressive electronic EP Like Me.

Published in: on September 7, 2020 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Australia’s @TiaGostelow and @HolyHolymusic make a winning collaboration with “Always”

TIA GOSTELOW & HOLY HOLY, “Always”

It’s a good strategy for performers on the rise to combine forces and bring the best of everything they have to offer to the table, especially not being particularly known outside of their own country.  Tia Gostelow won Australia radio station Triple J’s Album of the Year last year, and the duo of Holy Holy have placed a few songs in the upper reaches of the ARIA charts.  Combined together they have millions and millions of streams to their credit, and the original “Always” is a winner.  The vocals by Tia and Holy Holy singer Timothy Carroll are affecting enough together to drive the song home, and an acoustic rendition would be a welcome alternate take on it.  However the production here also accentuates lush synths which are an electronic blanket for the longing in the lyrics.  “Always” would certainly sound great next to Dua Lipa and Harry Styles on the radio.

Published in: on August 16, 2020 at 9:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The beauty of starting a relationship is documented in “Long Distance” by Australia-based producer Latchmere

LATCHMERE, “Long Distance”

“Long Distance” is the opening song from Australia-based electronic producer Latchmere’s self-produced first album called Undo.  It follows two solid house-influenced dance pop EP’s called Lovedrunk and Rule The World.  However, Latchmere (aka Shaun Galvin) has switched gears for Undo, which is more of a progressive electronic concept album whose synth work was produced largely using a Native Instruments Maschine MK3.  The album documents how a good relationship pays off in the end.  If you’ve ever been in one before, long distance relationships are never an easy thing, and ultimately you have to make decisions.  “Long Distance” is the melodic consciousness of that new beginning, one filled with hopes as well as the unexpected.  It’s a positive starter for club DJ’s to play as an evening kicks off.  The album heads off into more unconventional directions that play on many moods, and could appeal to those seeking similar organic content to an Illenium song, and Calvin Harris-like experimentation, but without the large synths and drops.

Published in: on July 25, 2020 at 9:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Australian producers @Noymusicau and @jordanburns__ collaborate for big progressive bass sounds on EP “Like Me”

NOY & JORDAN BURNS, Like Me (EP)

Progressive bass house fans will welcome the consistent and melodic sounds of Aussie producers Noy and Jordan Burns into the mix with their three-song EP called Like Me.  The title song, essentially an instrumental with some vocal added to provide a memorable hook, takes what their fellow countryman Fisher does so well but into another dance music realm.  “Movin'” is a floor-filler where you’ll find your head will have difficulty catching up with your feet.  Best of all, “None Of It’s Real” is the banger of the bunch, with its infectious, herky-jerky rhythm, and bound to be a crowd-pleaser once events start happening again.  Noy & Jordan Burns offer a solid addition to the Night Bass roster that does not disappoint.

It’s 10/10 #13: @Yello_band @KidBloomusa @EbonyroseBuckle #DeanRobert @Jazz_Mino @Airportsmusic @Toniiamusic @Boye_Sigvardt & H. Kenneth @KenFleet @SC_Undercover @Mindchatter

It’s 10/10 – Edition 13!! 

A second 10/10 post in June to close out the month brings you a lot of unique music that requires your full attention in order to win your appreciation.  We cover the globe with songs from Germany, England, Ireland, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland and the U.S. with a dashes of mystery and fun!

In 10/10 (or tenoutoften) ,  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, and they are not listed in any particular order. 

Writing 10/10 posts 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. 

  • YELLO, “Waba Duba”

The Swiss maestros that are Yello can orchestrate the best complex electronic nonsense even into their late 60’s and early 70’s, and have returned with their first release in three years called “Waba Duba” from their upcoming album Point.   “Waba Duba” recalls some of their best work of the 80’s, such as “The Race” or “Goldrush”.  Don’t try to confound yourself by trying to figure out if there is any plot to the song.  Instead enjoy the always-bizarre vocal and the layers of synths and samples that make some of the most unique sounds you will hear in pop music.  “Waba Duba” is loads of fun, destined to annoy the heck out of you like “Oh Yeah” did all those years ago while you groove to the beats.

  • KID BLOOM, “Wounded/Surrounded”

“Wounded/Surrounded” is an anthemic-sounding, atmospheric new melodic electronica release from L.A. singer/songwriter Kid Bloom.  The song takes you on a journey through a sea of emotions, wrought by the singer’s captivating voice.  When he sings without effects it sparkles and sometimes sounds like Frankmusik; at other points the song is awash in synths and vocal manipulation and because of it you can feel the bewilderment.  Alternately dreamy and thought-provoking, “Wounded/Surrounded” is an ear-grabber and well-worth your attention.

  • EBONY BUCKLE, “Ghost”

Ebony Buckle is a London-based singer/songwriter originally hailing from Australia.  She has a stunning, controlled, theatrical voice which immediately recalls Kate Bush and Imogen Heap.  And her pristine vocal puts all the right human touches in “Ghost”, a pop song that could have otherwise been a difficult listen.  It’s a true story about being physically apart for two years from husband (and co-writer) Nick due to visa issues.  And that is simply heartbreaking, a separation that could have been irreparable.  Instead, they wrote “Ghost” over Skype, turning their story into song so that anyone else in an unfortunate state of separation can relate and heal.  Be sure to give “Ghost” your complete attention.  It would also be perfect as set to a lyrical dance routine.

  • DEAN ROBERT, “Get Up”

It’s strange that even before I read up about Dean Robert, the other voice that came to mind when you hear “Get Up” is The Script’s Danny O’Donoghue.  For Dean also hails from Ireland and even opened for The Script when he was part of a band.  Now Berlin-based, “Get Up” is bright, energetic dance second release for the singer that will win you over. Dean’s voice may be a little bit too manipulated in the production at times but there’s a great melody afoot in “Get Up” and it moves along briskly and enthusiastically.

  • JAZZ MINO, “Like A Drunk Girl”

UK singer/songwriter Jazz Mino releases music that needs to be heard by more of you who enjoy interesting pop with idiosyncratic perspectives.  Her latest single, “Like A Drunk Girl”, is more about standing up for yourself and making your own decisions to do what you want than meets the ear.  The title is actually negative imagery for what other people might say to put you down, so you cave in and do what they say.  Jazz Mino’s always affable nature really shines through in this song which sings from both experience and the heart.  Check out the lyric video above.

  • AIRPORTS, “U Feel It 2”

You never know these days if an artist is a band or a singer judging by the names in use.  “U Feel It 2” is a delightful slice of romantic pop from Australian singer Airports (aka Aaron Lee).  It’s definitely a mood-setter with a subtler boy-next-door vocal that shies away from what would be called “boy band pop”.  The production focuses on the song’s lovely melody and there is definitely radio play potential here.  Check out what alternative video ideas occur above when Airports’ original plans were scuttled by COVID-19.

  • TONIIA and SUNNIE WILLIAMS, “Only Human”

Blending hip hop and trap flavours with electronics, German producer Toniia has released “Only Human”.  It features the strong and sultry voice of Sunnie Williams, whose vocal is the drawing power for “Only Human” for its first minute, before the beats kick in.  After that, the song is a sea of many moods with some big drops and synths that command “Only Human” until its finish.  It’s a fast listen at 2:49 with many sounds and qualities to perk up your ears.  Watch the lyric video above.

  • BOYE & SIGVARDT and H. KENNETH, “Party Sucks”

Don’t let the title fool you – “Party Sucks” is actually a dark slice of deep house music from Danish producers Boye & Sigvardt and Nashville’s H. Kenneth that will appeal to fans of recent work by Mahalo among others.  The classic house rhythm is the key with pitched-down vocals that make it perfect for a late night set.  And it’s cool that Boye & Sigvardt and H. Kenneth never get stuck in one style or groove, collaborating with UK producers Sondr,  creating diverse music that shows they would rather be innovators than producing the next wannabe house anthem.  

  • SC.UNDERCOVER, “Morals”

“Morals” is a standout song because it sounds like nothing else out there.  Brought to you by UK producer/songwriter/vocalist SC.Undercover, the song fuses pop and R&B flavours with drum ‘n bass vibes, making for a fast-paced ride.  At its core, the song is about finding love after making mistakes and experiencing significant regret.  The warm, uncredited female vocal is offset by SC.Undercover’s own vocals. At one point, he provides a gentle rap, and at other times hits upper register harmony vocals which remain fascinating and noticeable in the background, forming the song’s hook.  “Morals” is unconventional pop/dance music at its most listenable.

  • MINDCHATTER, “Language”

Mindchatter is a NYC-based producer of mystery who doesn’t identify him/herself in any of his Twitter, Facebook or Soundcloud bios.  “Language” is an intricate, somewhat experimental sounding song that’s intriguing because it seems to borrow from late 90’s Everything But The Girl and Roísin Murphy at their most daring, fusing it with other more contemporary sounds you might associate with label-mate ZHU.  “Language” is not for everyone but you have to admit it is one very cool, well-produced song, accompanied by quite a different visualization, above.

 

 

 

10/10 #12!: @RufusWainwright @FrancescoYates #TheBeamishBrothers @Gillian_music @Vampaofficial @KarlWolfs & @iamJuliusWilson J-Mi of @JMiandMidiD @DJDezza @FLouisemusic @Bellsavvy

It’s 10/10 – Edition 12!!

When you don’t write a blog post for two weeks, then the new music accumulates, so I’m glad I have this feature which helps me continue to bring you some new songs you might not otherwise hear.

In 10/10 (or tenoutoften) ,  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, and they are not listed in any particular order.  The song residing at #1 on my current chart, “You’ll Be OK” by Gareth Emery, was featured in a 10/10 blog post back in March.

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.

  • RUFUS WAINWRIGHT, “You Ain’t Big”

Before I continue, you have to know that I’ve been a huge fan of Juno Award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright since his debut self-titled album was released in 1998.  I’ve seen him perform 6 or 7 times, but not now for many years.  “You Ain’t Big” is the title song from his new EP, his first new pop music since 2012’s album Out Of The Game, after forays into opera and Shakespeare as well as a live album.  It’s a return to the carefree, whimsical songwriting of his earlier career.  To me he’s also in his finest pop voice since 2007’s Release The Stars.  “You Ain’t Big” is the standout, and though no song on the EP disappoints, also check out “Trouble In Paradise” and “Peaceful Afternoon”.

  • FRANCESCO YATES, “Bad Decisions”

My fellow Canadian Francesco Yates is back with another great new song that taps into the punchy R&B-flavoured pop that gave him his start with  jams like “Better To Be Loved”.  To me, “Bad Decisions” is his best one since the early days, it just brims with energy and devil-may-care lyrics about getting into some specific trouble with a special someone.  Like with “Superbad”, Francesco teases us with a short video, with more to come.  Check out this dynamic release with video and full song above.  Canadian radio stations definitely needs to jump on it.

  • THE BEAMISH BROTHERS, “Nature”

Rising and talented siblings from Queensland, Australia, the Beamish Brothers have released their first 2020 single in style with “Nature”.  Ben and Jeremy have been well established as regular voices on several dance tracks over the past couple of years, and started to release their own music last year with the alt.pop EP Brutalism.  “Nature” had the bonus of being featured as a runner-up in February in Eurovision Australia Decides.  It draws from numerous styles which will appeal as much to fans of Paul Simon as it would fans of Years & Years.  The brothers’ seamless vocal interplay is a big draw, and is punctuated by rich and soulful, memorably choir-like bursts of the title.  “Nature” is a classic lesson in the way to make DIY music work wonders.  

  • GILLIAN, “high”

Boston teen pop singer/songwriter Gillian has an unconventional winner with “high”. The song’s protagonist has a major crush on someone who cannot reciprocate the attraction because his priority is to get high. It’s a frustrating scenario when you discover that someone is not who they say they are until you see their true colours, and hope for the best for the protagonist at the end. Gillian’s vocal style is proudly unique, stemming from a long line of singers with similar styles – Jill Sobule, Joan Osborne, Regina Spektor are some names that come to mind. “high” is a strong song with deft execution that makes it memorable.

  • VAMPA, “Dark Matter”

“Dark Matter” is the title song from the recent EP by relative newcomer, the Chicago-based bass music producer VAMPA, whose heavy and melodic style could easily fit alongside releases by Rezz, Kai Wachi, Zed’s Dead, and Wooli.  “Dark Matter” instantly slams with the best of them and I think it’s her flair for melody and ear-popping synth effects that will get listeners’ attention.  VAMPA’s vocal narrative at the beginning also nicely sets up what’s to come and flows into the rest of the song with ease.  

  • KARL WOLF and JULIUS WILSON, “City Of Lies”

It’s been a slice since Karl Wolf was all over the radio in Canada with his huge cover of Toto’s “Africa” and other songs such as two with Kardinal Offishall, “Ghetto Love” and “Amateur At Love”. You may not know though that he was a co-writer of bülow’s debut “Not A Love Song”, among his many other songwriting credits.  He’s back with an infectious, retro R&B flavoured dance pop song called “City Of Lies”.  It features the striking voice of Halifax-born (of Jamaican and Bajan heritage) Julius Wilson, whose diverse vocal fits snugly into the hybrid electronic pop mix of the song.  The video above offers a glowing backdrop of Toronto which makes us pine for the nightlife that is currently missing from our lives.  “City Of Lies” is from Karl’s forthcoming album Night Of The Wolf.

  • J-MI, “On Our Own”

“On Our Own” is a most pleasant and refreshing surprise. Sherbrooke, Quebec-based producer J-Mi, forever active on the gamer circuit, returns to pop music with her take on the 1989 Bobby Brown classic from “Ghostbusters 2”. Strangely and somewhat out of sync with these times, its production (by J-Mi with long-time collaborator Midi-D aka Dave Phaneuf) remains glued to the new jack swing vibes of the original. While that may leave you scratching your head, the results are charming and brimming with enthusiasm (with J-Mi being an ultimate “Ghostbusters fan). J-Mi has put loads of effort over the past few years into honing her vocals, and the results are flattering. Unabashedly bold, the aim of “On Our Own” is to leave you smiling and it is completely on point with that.

  • DEZZA and MIKE SCHMID, “Carry Me”

“Carry Me” is sophisticated, emotional house music for your soul and feet, brought to you by Halifax producer Dezza, and co-writer and veteran vocalist Mike Schmid, who has performed in concert with the likes of The Chainsmokers, Troye Sivan and Miley Cyrus.  Dezza has been releasing music consistently for the last few years as either a producer or remixer, with much success in Europe in the company of the likes of Armin van Buuren.  “Carry Me” stands out as a pensive house track with elegant synths that support Mike’s soothing voice.  While atypical, “Carry Me” will win you over with a few listens.

  • FRANCESCA LOUISE, “Ride The Waters”

I’m bringing you another song by British pop/folk singer Francesca Louise after I first wrote about her a month ago.  Her voice is a breath of fresh air, with its own unique spin on pop music, which in “Ride The Waters” recalls the confidence of a Christine McVie or Sheryl Crow, while retaining her own sound.  In fact the song is about being successful on your own terms and directs an empowering message towards young women.  So this is not dreary folk music from another era.  “Ride The Waters” is spirited and engaging and deserving of your attention.

  • BELLSAVVY, “Queen Of My Mind”

Bellsavvy is a new voice to get to know, and she hails from London but was raised in Brazil.  The daughter of a pop star in Brazil, Bellsavvy follows mom’s lead after a modelling career with the potent “Queen Of My Mind”.  It’s an ode to self-realization after the singer herself faced mental health issues.  With production from David Lei Brandt, who worked with Lady Gaga, there will be the inevitable Gaga comparisons, which are completely justified.  Bellsavvy has a well-honed, stunning tone in her vocal, and “Queen of My Mind” will also appeal to fans of Kiesza, Charli XCX, and Madonna.  “Queen Of My Mind” is a striking debut indeed!

It’s 10/10 #08: @GarethEmery @WinandWoo @KyanPalmer @ChetPorter @AWonderland @JessieReyez @Dzekomusic @Kiesza @MattFaxmusic @TheHim @SuperDuper808 @MadisonMalonem @JerinJamesmusic @iamDeverano

For the first time since January, I bring you my 10/10 feature!!

In 10/10 (or tenoutoften) ,  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.  In fact my recent #1 “Shivohum” by Tritonal & Henry Dark, was included in a previous 10/10!

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

  • GARETH EMERY and ANNABEL, “You’ll Be OK”

British electronic dance producer Gareth Emery says “You’ll Be OK” is the best song he’s released to date.  And he has many reasons to say that, for it’s a gorgeous song with trance-drenched synths and some big, frenetic beats.  It’s also actually a personal story about being on a plane he thought would crash, and based on a letter he was writing to his wife at the time.  Its video above has an emotional ‘life flashing before your eyes’ story as a result.  “You’ll Be OK” has many soft and peaceful moments, which hit home a little more knowing this information.  Vocalist Annabel personifies it all with her rich and gentle voice, and it’s extremely appropriate as a backdrop to what’s going on in the world right now.  “You’ll Be OK” is an amazing follow up to Gareth’s current hit “Yesterday” and is culled from his forthcoming album called The Lasers.

  • WIN & WOO and KYAN PALMER, “Sleepwalking”

American dance producers Win & Woo continue with a series of songs released through Armada that portray how much better they keep getting at their craft.  “Sleepwalking” features Arizona-born, L.A. based singer Kyan Palmer, who has been gracing other electronic dance records over the past few years with his R&B-influenced style.  “Sleepwalking” is a big, bouncy, fun record that can easily ignite a set at a key point in the evening at a dance club.  It also has big potential for dance music radio airplay.

  • CHET PORTER and ALISON WONDERLAND, “Bummed”

We’re all “Bummed” that his upcoming club tour was cancelled, but we’ll just get more time to enjoy the unconventional sound of “Bummed”, Torontonian Chet Porter’s collaboration with Australian electronic producer Alison Wonderland.  “Bummed” has an early 80’s DIY new wave vibe about it that’s utterly charming, complete with old school drum machine sound.  Chet and Alison collaborated on a song that suits their voices and has plenty interesting that’s going on within.  Go deeper and you’ll find all of those delightful melodic flourishes that you get inside every Chet Porter song.  “Bummed” is a both a refreshing surprise and a winner.  Definitely play it alongside Porter Robinson’s new music for starters.

  • THE HIM, “Freestyle Scientist”

It looks like Dutch producers The Him have been immersed in late 90’s techno-house, if “Freestyle Scientist” is any indication.  It’s an extremely playful departure from the duo’s pop-leaning deep house tracks which have graced these blog pages (and my personal chart) many times in the last four years.  Brace yourself this one.  Add some early Chainsmokers-flavoured synth vibes into the mix and it looks like “Freestyle Scientist” could be the start of a new musical era for The Him. Check out the trippy video above.

  • JESSIE REYEZ, “Love In The Dark” (Dzeko remix)

Award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Jessie Reyez has a Canadian radio hit with her latest single “Love In The Dark”.  And with her recognition earlier this year as a Grammy nominee, you can bet that the song will garner attention stateside as well.  It’s amped up for clubs by fellow Canadian and esteemed electronic dance producer Dzeko.  He puts just the right kind of propulsion behind the deep house rhythms, and you’ll wonder why it wasn’t a dance track in the first place.  Club DJ’s will want to showcase this remix of “Love In The Dark” in a mid-evening set for immediate reaction.

  • SUPER DUPER, “All On You”

Hailing from Nashville’s vibrant music scene, which includes a lot of electronic dance music, is Super Duper (aka Josh Hawkins) who definitely pushes some interesting boundaries in “All On You”.  The song honestly starts out like nothing special, with a distorted vocal and a rather uneventful lead in.  But Super Duper totally shifts the rhythm and feel of the song just after the first minute, and “All On You” grabs you with a sudden WTF magnetic force.  The beats kick in and you immediately start having flashbacks to songs like M83’s “Midnight City”.  “All On You” now has you completely under its spell and so it succeeds rather well in a roundabout way.  Super Duper’s latest is released by the Fader label and is currently being featured on every major streaming platform. Remixes could help push “All On You” further.

  • MATT FAX, “Light On”

French producer Matt Fax eloquently captures the current rise of old-style trance and techno vibes in his latest release, the instrumental “Light On”.  This percolating track will sit nicely next to tracks by Gabriel & Dresden or Above & Beyond in a late night trance set.  Matt keeps the atmospherics working and ever changing which makes “Light On” a synth-filled feast for the ears.

  • KIESZA, “All Of The Feelings”

Calgary’s Juno Award-winning Kiesza has brought us many fine vocals since coming back to the music scene as an independent artist after suffering a life-altering accident.  “All Of The Feelings” is one of those feel-good, vibrant songs that has ‘hit’ written all over it, and many people would hear this as a return to the pop/dance style that brought us “Hideaway” back in the day.  We’ve seen how versatile Kiesza can be with her songs, most of which are original co-writes.  “All Of The Feelings” may skew a more commercial slant but it’s such a well-written and performed release that no one should quibble.  And you can see her perform it in the video above.

  • MADISON MALONE, “Fragile Heart 1”

L.A.-based singer/songwriter Madison Malone dazzles us with her pitch perfect voice on “Fragile Heart 1” from her unique album called I & II (that’s One and Two).  The highly listenable album consists of five songs each recorded in two different versions, all of which work pretty well because the songs themselves are so strong.  But it’s “Fragile Heart 1” that stands out – kind of what could happen if a minimalist Rufus Wainwright song somehow transformed into one with Sarah McLachlan inspiration.  “Fragile Heart 1” is emotional and vulnerable but still very hopeful.  Madison has made herself known at festivals like SXSW and on a recent US tour, so definitely keep your eyes and ears out for her.

  • JERIN JAMES and DEVERANO, “Birds And Bees”

Jerin James is a new name to the dance music biz though he is hardly a newcomer, having previously recorded under another name and had other roles in the industry.  “Birds And Bees” is all about atmospherics and vocals, and even if the song overall to me is a bit familiar and what I would call ‘much ado about nothing’, it works quite well.  The dramatic, sophisticated production is enhanced by Deverano’s stylish and often far-reaching vocal – he’s graced a number of dance records and always gives them a big lift when they need it.  “Birds And Bees” is a compelling start for Jerin James.

A new supplement to the 10/10 feature is my new Spotify playlist called the BILLCS Viral Weekly.  Check it out below as it contains some of the songs in this 10/10 blog post!

 

It’s 10/10 #07: @Hunternoneon @saxity @francescoyates @revelriesmusic @mahalo_dj @shuhandz @brendanreilly @mattfaxmusic @listentoTrove @spencerbarnett @deepchillsmusic @wearefury @micahthezealot @garethemery @nashmakesmusic @linneyofficial

10/10 #07

The 10/10 feature is back!! In 10/10 (or tenoutoften) ,  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 07

  • HUNTER and ROSHIN, “I Don’t Forget” (extended mix)

Toronto’s Hunter Siegel is known for his many No Neon club shows and for being a respected producer, DJ and remixer.    2020 brings us his latest EP I Might Forgive, I Don’t Forget, and its lead track “I Don’t Forget”, in partnership with newcomer and fellow Canadian Roshin, is a memorable, pounding, gritty deep house club banger.  It’s dark and haunting and is an easy centrepiece around which club DJ’s can build a set.  If you like music by Faithless, The Chemical Brothers, and Bobby Nourmand then “I Don’t Forget” is for you, particularly in its extended mix above.

  • SAXITY, “Forget Me Nots”

The German production duo Saxity returns and brings some long lost Patrice Rushen back to “Forget Me Nots”.  That’s because the melody of the song is long associated with its smash sample in Will Smith’s “Men In Black”.  But that was 1997 and 23 years later an uncredited female vocal in classic R&B style gives this great song new life amid the usual classy Saxity production including the requisite spiffy sax solo.  “Forget Me Nots” is a great and overdue cover choice!

  • FRANCESCO YATES, “I Got You”

My fellow Scarborough, Ontario native singer/songwriter/guitarist Francesco Yates offers a silky smooth retro-flavoured ballad in “I Got You”.  As I’ve seen several times in concert, Francesco can rock it out with the best of them but also kills it with a soft, romantic song, which we haven’t really heard since his 2014 debut on “Honey I’m Home”. And there’s a brilliant soulful falsetto as well that brings shades of Justin Timberlake at his best.  Like “Honey”, “I Got You” is tender and sincere and may be a welcome throwback to the Francesco Yates sound that most people got acquainted with in the first place.  Don’t let this one slip through the cracks.

  • REVELRIES, BOYBOYBOY and WILL CHURCH, “Fall-Out”

2019 brought us my favourite Revelries release thus far with the infectious “Don’t Think Twice” (featuring Oktavian) reaching #2 on my chart and finishing at #11 for the year.  Spicing it up with some funky touches and a staccato kind of rhythm, “Fall-Out” is a bit softer but a grower alongside other songs by the Netherlands-based Emirati production duo like “Naked” or “Handle”.  “Fall-Out” is a collaboration with production trio Boyboyboy and England-based German-born singer Will Church.  There’s a lot of instrumentation in the mix and with the mystique of Will’s vocal and a compelling melody, it all gels together nicely.

  • MAHALO & SHUHANDZ and BRENDAN REILLY, “Sweet Spot”

Coming off of his biggest record to date last year called “So Cold”, L.A.-based producer Mahalo continues to be busy making great music like his new one “Sweet Spot”.  Never one to get fixed with similar melodies and beats, “Sweet Spot” has an airy, jazzy quality about it in partnership with fellow L.A. based producer Shuhandz and a dreamy vocal by England-based American singer Brendan Reilly.  If you recognize Brendan’s voice then you’re a fan of Disclosure’s Grammy-nominated Caracal album, where he was featured in “Moving Mountains”.  “Sweet Spot” is a tidy mix that ends before you know it in just under three minutes.  Club DJ’s with a soft spot for jazzy vibes will take to this one.

  • MATT FAX and TROVE, “Animal”

“Animal” is an atmospheric release by French producer Matt Fax with vocals by one of Australia’s favourite go-to voices for dance music, Trove, known most recently for his work on Famba’s Canadian radio hit “Wish You Well”.  “Animal” has seductive, dark qualities about it, that keep getting richer until Trove’s vocal stops entirely.  And that’s when an extended coda takes over, which DJ’s will absolutely love for mixing purposes.  Though only just into his 20’s, Matt Fax has been working with all of the best labels for European house so 2020 could be the year where we hear much more original music from him.  “Animal” definitely amps up the intrigue and Trove’s vocal glides beautifully through it all.

  • SPENCER BARNETT, “I’m Fine”

Spencer Barnett is a talented L.A. teen with massive pop appeal if his latest single “I’m Fine” is any indication.  It’s the title track of his latest EP in which Spencer sings to justify why he’s okay, whereas the sullen melody may convince you otherwise.  Its moodiness captures the complex sentiments of today’s teens who were too young when One Direction peaked about 6 years ago, which makes him an instant draw for the lovelorn and heartsick among them.  His indie charm is proving successful so far though with a club date coming up in February in NYC.  So I think we’ll be hearing more from young Mr. Barnett in the coming year.

  • DEEP CHILLS and NOT FAMOUS, “Backfire”

Italy’s Deep Chills spreads his tropical vibes into the winter months for us with the savvy mix of pop and dance genres in “Backfire”.  The song features a delightful vocal by L.A. singer/songwriter Not Famous and a memorable bridge and chorus that will waste no time turning into a singalong.  Deep Chills doesn’t make you forget that the song at its production roots is a dance record so you can waste no time busting a few moves as well.  “Backfire” is a playful and bright release that deserves your attention.

  • WE ARE FURY and MICAH MARTIN, “Echoes”

“Echoes” is the hard-hitting recent single from Vancouver production duo We Are Fury from their two-song EP called Dusk, which also features the compelling instrumental, “Resistance”.  Taking cues from Illenium and Seven Lions and other progressive-minded producers, Stuart and Joachim bring Iowa singer Micah Martin on board for alt.rock atmospherics that will transport you back to the mid-2000’s heydays of My Chemical Romance and Linkin Park.  “Echoes” will be a force unto itself in a live set in the same way that Illenium’s “Blood” (from Ascend) leaves audiences spellbound.  We Are Fury definitely brings all of the goods with “Echoes”.

  • GARETH EMERY & NASH and LINNEY, “Yesterday”

Melodic dance music has a fascinating way to draw you in, and through its various iterations in the sub-genres of dance music, I hope that it will always be present.  After his return with Ashley Wallbridge for last year’s album Kingdom United, UK producer Gareth Emery continues in 2020 with the beautiful “Yesterday”.  Working with newcomer and fellow UK denizen NASH, they take a few cues from early 80’s electronic music by employing the lovely voice of American singer Linney, who is no stranger to dance music and recalls vocalists like Maggie Reilly and Annie Haslam.  “Yesterday” flows and pours out a positive message about leaving behind what should stay in the past.  It keeps you locked in for its just over 3 minutes, and then of course wanting more. 

Australia’s @Parralox gets it oh so right with reverent cover of Propaganda’s 1985 electronic classic “Duel”

PARRALOX, “Duel”

When not creating innovative original music, Australia’s John von Ahlen and his project Parralox can also create cover versions of classics and lesser known songs from the 80’s and 90’s that come within a few steps of the originals.  On Parralox’s latest album Holiday ’19, along with especially faithful covers of The Human League’s hits “Human” (a #1 in 1986) and “Heart Like A Wheel” (Top 30 in 1988), Parralox tackles “Duel”.  It’s much respected (and often thought to be untouchable) electronic classic from 1985 by the German duo Propaganda and their album A Secret Wish, still heralded to this day, and originally released by Trevor Horn’s ZTT label, which also brought us Frankie Goes To Hollywood.  The vocal for the song by Louise Love is spot-on, and John and team keep the utter essence of the song intact, down to the Fairlight synths and harmonies.  There are a few friendly digressions, and hearing “Duel” receive such a delightful update is simply a treat. 

Published in: on January 12, 2020 at 11:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Australian producers @TwoCanmusic return with pop-house track “Gonna Be” featuring Dutch vocalist Martyn Ell

TWO CAN and MARTYN ELL, “Gonna Be”

“Gonna Be” is a well done new song featuring a familiar mix of acoustic guitar and other instrumentation along with the synths that fuel its house-lite rhythm.  Two Can are brothers Myles and Oscar from Melbourne, Australia, who have probably made their brand known more as remixers (Viceroy, BØRNS) as well as festival/club regulars in Oz.  They release original music infrequently but “Gonna Be” has a refreshing appeal thanks to the earnest voice of Dutch singer Martyn Ell, who reminds me a lot of Norway’s Jesper Jenset.  “Gonna Be” is glistening ear candy that should not go unnoticed.

Published in: on November 2, 2019 at 6:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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