The voice of Scotland’s Ben Davidson @bdavidsonmusic shines on both the @HandbagHouse remix of “Anything” and @DSMmusic’s ballad “In The Rain”

BEN DAVIDSON, “Anything” (Handbag House remix)

DSM and BEN DAVIDSON, “In The Rain”

Scotland’s Ben Davidson has one of those captivating voices that will alternately make an uptempo song more vibrant or let a softer song make you melt.  

Ben recently released the single “Anything” for Energise Records, but in its original mix I find his vocal doesn’t so much go hand-in-hand with the production’s additional layers of sparkle.  In its remix by Handbag House, “Anything” is so well suited for the deep house genre that you would think it was the original mix.  Like with Sam Dickinson’s “Wild Sun” last year, Handbag House offers a solid alternative for dance clubs to relish.

While Ben co-wrote “Anything”, it and “In The Rain” were co-written by Dan Scholes, a veteran British producer who also records as DSM.  Instead of Ben, “In The Rain” was co-written with Canadian Kim Williams, and it’s an independent release that puts Ben into more-than-comfortable ballad territory, which invokes a story of a past relationship and being constantly haunted by the anguish some memories can cause.  DSM and Ben are so in tune together, making “In The Rain” a stylish and memorable treat for those who like softer music with a great voice to lead the way.

#Toronto’s @LizLokre delights us with powerful piano ballad “Stop Runnin'” from @LittleItalyfilm

LIZ LOKRE, “Stop Runnin'”

Toronto singer/songwriter Liz Lokre makes the most of a powerful piano ballad called “Stop Runnin'” by having it featured in the recently released and highly acclaimed film “Little Italy” (starring fellow Toronto area native Hayden Christensen, and set on Toronto’s Italian strip on College Street).  The song grabs you from the first few words she sings and doesn’t let you go in its empowering story of self-realization that so many young people can relate to.  The melody and piano playing create a lovely, warm, and inviting cushion.  “Stop Runnin'” could do well, particularly in Canada, at Adult Contemporary radio which would surely welcome such a glowing song with big intentions.  Check out the video for this fine young new talent above.

Published in: on September 27, 2018 at 9:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Can emotional and physical bruises “Heal”? It’s asked through song by Michael Medrano (@Michaelantny) and @SteveGrandmusic

MICHAEL MEDRANO & STEVE GRAND, “Heal”

It might be a difficult song to get through if you’ve just had a break up of some sort, but “Heal” is a beautiful ode to the confusing feelings resulting from a particularly tumultuous relationship.  It’s from L.A. newcomer Michael Medrano who includes Chicago’s Steve Grand to help sing the story.  Each’s voices play off each other so well that you’re not sure if they are part of the same relationship or incorporating their own story within the song.  And with the electronic backdrop, it’s a splendidly diverse musical setting for Steve, who nearly 5 years ago released “All American Boy” to another kind of audience, and has since moved away from that sound to more classic pop and rock, with a new album coming soon.  “Heal” is an intensely beautiful song despite the harsh source of its setting.  Add it to your Sad But Hopeful Songs playlist using the Spotify link above.

Published in: on May 3, 2018 at 10:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The dynamic duo of @SanHolobeats and @TaskaBlack makes dreamy electropop with “Right Here, Right Now”

SAN HOLO featuring TASKA BLACK, “Right Here, Right Now”

It was inevitable that festival fave San Holo and Belgian producer Taska Black would pair up, but would you have ever expected it to be in dreamy electropop like “Right Here, Right Now”?  It’s the Dutchman’s EDM ballad-anthem for remembering to be always in the moment with your special someone.  But it’s not all synth wonderfulness – there’s also some fine guitar work within.  Cap it off with spry and convincing San vocals, and while it may not have intended to be a dance radio-ready tune, “Right Here, Right Now” could easily find itself there as a lead-in to the brighter, fun part of the year.  Another brilliant Bitbird pairing of San Holo and Taska Black would be more than welcome!  Watch the lyric video above.

Published in: on March 27, 2018 at 8:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Swedish production trio @weareJRL goes for the heart with “Break Your Fall” featuring Cammie Robinson @UKCammie

JRL featuring CAMMIE ROBINSON, “Break Your Fall”

“Break Your Fall” is the follow-up to JRL’s deep house collaboration with Ludvigson back last Fall with “Waiting On You”, once again for Tipsy Records.  This time the Swedish production trio goes straight for the heart with a rich melody and hook accentuating some high notes in an electronic ballad led by a knowing but warm vocal by UK singer Cammie Robinson (hailing from my grandmother’s home town of West Yorkshire).  “Break Your Fall” may be familiar but it’s timeless and captivating which will bring it home for most listeners and should garner a few close-ups on the dance floor too.  You’ll know what I’m talking about when you give it a spin at the link above.

Published in: on March 16, 2018 at 9:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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With “No Secrets”, Chicago-based producer @AashMehtamusic channels singer/songwriter @AlexaLusader’s emotional story

AASH MEHTA featuring ALEXA LUSADER, “No Secrets”

Following his lush, often romantic electronic pop EP Stardust, Chicago-based producer Aash Mehta returns with “No Secrets” featuring L.A. singer/songwriter Alexa Lusader.  It’s a special release because it chronicles Alexa’s own experience harbouring a constraining secret for many years.  Working through it all, the song allows her to “inspire others to speak up, free themselves, and live life” the way it should be.  It’s less about the music and a lot about the solid vocal and well-thought lyrics.  Similar to his way to tap into a romantic ballad, in “No Secrets” Aash channels the story through his graceful production.  Listen closely to “No Secrets” at the link above. 

Published in: on November 18, 2017 at 10:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A.-based @missAlexxMack is a new versatile voice to hear on “Your Car” featuring @weareExes

ALEXX MACK featuring EXES, “Your Car”

Take one beauty of an original and add intriguing, poignant vocals to a minimalist kind of dance ballad mix and you have “Your Car” by L.A.-based singer/songwriter Alexx Mack featuring co-writer Exes.  “Your Car” is the kind of instantly relateable, pensive song that reels you in slowly so that you catch every important word and become drawn to the straight-forward, dreamy melody.  It looks like Alexx has already received some attention through appearing on an Armada Records release, but “Your Car” is definitely going to create an even more in-demand factor for her.  It’s also a great song for clubs late at night as the set winds down.  Check it out at the link above and pick it up at your favourite digital music store.

Published in: on November 11, 2017 at 8:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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As the evening winds down there’s “Honey” by @Madnapmusic featuring @SophiexMeiers

MADNAP featuring SOPHIE MEIERS, “Honey”

The big beats have stopped. Sports is over on TV.  Your favourite movie has roared to a finale.  So it’s time to find some quiet private time with that special someone.  “Honey” by L.A.’s Madnap sets the tone nicely for what might follow.  Featuring a sultry and confident vocal by Sophie Meiers, “Honey” whirls the slow dance to the end with melodic, hollow sounds providing a sometimes acoustic backdrop while Sophie sings as if she’s the second last one in the room next to her own loved one.  Madnap makes “Honey” glimmer and it’s hardly sugary sweet, more like the teaspoon you want to lick from sitting in your cup of tea.  While clubs could easily use it in a slower set mid-evening, the most appropriate and effective place for “Honey” is near or at the end.  Madnap keeps it new and fresh at the link above.

Published in: on October 4, 2017 at 10:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Be Happy” has gentle Spring loving in the air courtesy of L.A.’s @FRND69

FRND, “Be Happy”

“Be Happy” is a gentle and loving hymn of positive reminiscence for Spring by L.A. mystery man FRND for Crooked Paintings.  He’s getting his name out there as performer and remixer/producer, and “Be Happy” is great for a slow dance and a few swirls, and even a catchy breakdown before the end to make you let go a bit.  FRND has a knowing, reassuring voice that will definitely give you those happy feels, more so if love is in the air.  Not to be underestimated, if you’re looking for something a little different and downtempo with house vibes then “So Happy” will fit that order nicely. 

Published in: on May 3, 2017 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Poignant, direct lyrics and edgy but heart-felt lead vocal makes @WittLowry’s “Let Me Know” (feat. @ToriSolkowski) sink skin deep

WITT LOWRY featuring TORI SOLKOWSKI, “Let Me Know”

Connecticut-born rapper Witt Lowry returns with possibly his most personal song to date with “Let Me Know”.  Usually when records are produced, some of the more natural effects of a voice are smoothed over.  But in “Let Me Know”, you can hear Witt’s voice break numerous times, and it drives the honesty and poignancy of the lyrics home.  Tori Solkowski’s supporting vocal is a knowing, perfect foil for the heartbreak and edge brought up front by Witt.  Kudos for the production team for thinking outside of the box to make a straight-forward song much, much more.  Club DJ’s should give it a spin – it’s a head-turner.  Listen to “Let Me Know” at the link above.

Published in: on March 31, 2017 at 11:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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