10/10 (or tenoutoften) is this blog’s new feature where I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.
I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs. That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually.
Writing 10/10 features means I can cover more songs in one shot . So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about.
- JAY BIRD and DANNI CARRA, “Let You Down” (free download)
“Let You Down” marks a personal best for SoCal producer/remixer Jay Bird. It’s one of those songs where every aspect has been carefully crafted, balanced, and executed. With a beautiful melody and danceable rhythm that doesn’t bow to any particular dance sub-genre, “Let You Down” is a warm and inviting story about being dedicated to a special someone. It also marks another collaboration with singer Danni Carra (check out my blog post about “The Reason”, which was released earlier this year). “Let You Down” is a generous free download – get it while you can at the link above.
L.A. based producer Prizm returns after a bit of a break to showcase his melodic side after a few harder edged tracks last year. “The Prizm” has an uplifting, anthemic quality about it at times, and veers into softer, emotional EDM about half way through before the beats return and lead to a quiet ending. The song reminds me, production-wise, of others that have come from Sweden in the past few years, using a pitched up vocal to carry it through. The result is a creative and diverse release that should serve as a springboard for Prizm.
- NICK HAGELIN and PXTN, “Good Time”
“Good Time” is a breezy Latin-infused song meant for mid-evenings as the sun is setting. It comes from always charming Atlanta-based singer/songwriter and ballet dancer Nick Hagelin, about whom I’ve written for many years, including long before his Top 10 finish in Season 10 of “The Voice”. Taking time to balance raising a young family and maintain his professional dancing while recording and writing songs, “Good Time” marks Nick’s first release in about two years with a nice change of pace, still sounding fresh and improvised at times. Here he brings along his buddy from “The Voice”, fellow Top 10 finisher Paxton Ingram (here billed simply as PXTN), which adds an in sync energy to the song. Here’s to more new music from Nick Hagelin!
Dave Winnel is an Australian producer/remixer who divides his time between Sydney and The Netherlands, thanks to his work with Armin van Buuren and many others associated with the Armada label. Only recently starting to release his own material, a four song EP called Lily Of The Valley (The Journey) has arrived from Dave. Amid some imaginative, more progressive songs comes “Ksamil”, which has a different presence from the other songs. “Ksamil” is small beach-side village in Albania in which Dave wrote it. In contrast to some percolating synths, it’s got relaxing and gentle elements that make it perfect for an outdoor festival on a sunny day. Play this one back-to-back with Tez Cadey’s “Logic” and create your own mini-voyage.
Janos is a Norway-based Swedish singer, songwriter and musician who has been releasing music for most of this decade, receiving some attention at home and in England. “Zero” is danceable alternative pop-rock with an outside-of-the-box approach to songwriting. I’m really not too sure what the song is actually all about but there’s an affable vocal, tight instrumentation and production, as well as a carefree feel that, despite Janos’ European origins, reminds me most of 90’s American bands like Third Eye Blind or The Rembrandts.
Current blog favourite Nashville-based singer/songwriter Mokita continues his sturdy roll of top notch songs with “Til I Don’t”, following “All Into Nothing” (with R3HAB), “London”, and “Kiss And Tell”. “Til I Don’t” is a quickie at only 2:07 and perhaps his slightest of the four, but it’s tightly crammed with words from Mokita’s always interesting perspective on relationships.
- NICK PETERS and JAMIE GREY, “Where Did You Go”
18 year old French producer Nick Peters has released a few consistent singles of his own since 2016, while providing remixes for others such as Major Lazer. Regular blog readers know how much I enjoyed his 2017 collaboration with Frank Pierce and Scott Vega (now known collectively as Juscova) called “No Love In Brooklyn” (#4 on my personal chart). “Where Did You Go” is top drawer and benefits from anchored deep house beats and rhythms, and a memorable, soulful vocal from British singer Jamie Grey. The radio edit alters the pace slightly, so go for either version, focused on the beat or the lyricism, as you see fit.
Although they were previously known under other names in the dance music scene, GODAMN is a Swiss production duo who have been getting support from the best in the biz since they emerged under this name in 2017. Their latest, “Kickers”, is a fun bass house production that would highlight any club DJ’s set and trigger instant reaction from lovers of this sub-genre. GODAMN have a clever, bouncy club hit in the making with “Kickers” so lend an ear for it this Spring and Summer.
Taking its cue seemingly from both techno-styled trap and science fiction movie themes, NYC producer Aadysi is back with “Don’t Need You”. Featuring Aadysi’s own vocal, the song starts off with some punchy beats, but slows down into a trap-influenced rhythm which morphs into some unexpected and smartly made progressive synth pop. “Don’t Need You” then circles back to its heavier edges before a soothing, spacey ending. It’s a stylish electronic kiss off to a past relationship that’s well worth your attention.
L.A.-based singer/songwriter Axel Mansoor continues his consistent string of releases with “Busy”. Ever the interested observer in relationship, Axel provides a convincing story to ensure that you do not forego who and what are right in front of you every day. A midtempo beat and some well-placed synth work carries a lilting acoustic guitar melody that will make you clap or tap along. “Busy” is indie pop that goes down easy while providing honest food for thought.